**spoiler alert** I've read a ton of Robards' books. She is one of my favorite authors. But...this book is probably one of my least favorite of hers....more**spoiler alert** I've read a ton of Robards' books. She is one of my favorite authors. But...this book is probably one of my least favorite of hers. I don't necessarily think it's bad, writing or storyline wise. I think I just didn't particularly care for the theme and content because it deals with slavery and all those prejudices and actions of that time, and being a very open-minded person, I had a hard time comprehending and understanding the mind-sets. With that type of subject matter, you just end up reading it - seeing a guy who lived a white life, believed he was white, then be told he had some black in him and become a slave - and thinking 'that's so fucking ridiculous!'
Along that line, I had a hard time with Lilah at times and how she responded to Joss and the black/slavery aspect. I'm sure there was authenticity to it, but it's just hard to follow that way of thinking in today's world. The moment Joss' heritage comes out, he becomes persona non grata to her. She often seems unbelievably dispassionate toward him - a man she has instant intense feelings for. She's like - oh, you'll come be a slave on our plantation, we'll treat you right, it'll be fine, no biggie. And as a reader, you're just like, what? How can she be so clueless and unempathetic? And fickle. The poor guy's whole life was destroyed and his freedom taken away, but she shrugs it off most of the time. Then sometimes, she's like, poor Joss.
I'm sure it makes it all authentic and that's they way thoughts and actions were; I just found it kind of depressing to read and hard to comprehend that mind-set.
The plot was pretty typical...forbidden romance, a shipwreck, disapproving relatives, etc. There wasn't anything unique or stand-out about it.
Aside from all that, not a bad book. Kinda interesting sometimes, but it's skippable in my opinion.(less)
**spoiler alert** I absolutely LOVE this book!!! I just read it for the 2nd time today and loved it just as much as the first time. Cover to cover, I...more**spoiler alert** I absolutely LOVE this book!!! I just read it for the 2nd time today and loved it just as much as the first time. Cover to cover, I just enjoyed every element of the book. I will admit, though, that's it's probably not for everyone. I know some really dislike romance stories where the woman is older than the guy, and I know some wouldn't like how crude and abrasive Johnny is for over half the book. Plus there's a small paranormal element to the story that some would hate. But if you don't mind all that, it's a fantastic story.
The chemistry between Johnny and Rachel is wonderful. They originally connected when he was in high school, enjoying talking about books, poetry, politics, and whatever else together. Johnny had the hots for her, but their relationship then was completely platonic. It builds a nice base for the present tense of the story. Then when the meet again, they just can't stay away from each other no matter how different they are. Rachel is a prim and proper teacher, and Johnny is the quintessential bad boy. If there's one complaint I have about their romance, it's that you don't get a clear understanding of the progression of Johnny's feelings. He admits from the start that he's "hot" for her, but Robards doesn't really give you the how or the why those feelings progressed to him being in love with her. I would have liked to know that.
As for the plot. Interesting storyline, even if at it's base it's a tad predictable. It was pretty easy to guess that with Johnny back in town, another woman would die to try to make him look guilty. But Robards does a great job creating twists and turns to make the storyline unique and interesting. I never would have guessed the identity of the attacker or the reasons behind it all, though it all made sense...in a twisted, metaphysical sort of way. You have to allow your mind to stretch a bit to accept the reasoning in the plot. And there's a certain surprise element at the end that was a great addition.
Just a fantastic all around story. I love the opposites attract romance and the great suspense plot. One Summer is one of my all-time favorite books.(less)
**spoiler alert** Really enjoyed the book. It was a real captivator - as in once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. Really draws you...more**spoiler alert** Really enjoyed the book. It was a real captivator - as in once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. Really draws you in.
I totally was caught by surprise over who the current killer was. I was so sure it was one person, but then the guy was "unmasked" and I was like huh, didn't see that one. I liked how different parts of the past were twisted around and fit into the present.
Also liked the typical comedic touches that Robards slipped in. The pet-pig was great. I loved that aspect.
My one complaint about the books is the ending. It was way too vague and left me wondering about way too many things. I wanted to know what happened with certain things, and those parts were just left hanging. Kinda ticked me off. But that's endings for ya.(less)
**spoiler alert** Vanished is a bit of a dark story. Robards doesn't really go into any gruesome detail that some might find...distasteful, but it is...more**spoiler alert** Vanished is a bit of a dark story. Robards doesn't really go into any gruesome detail that some might find...distasteful, but it is dark-themed, dealing with child abduction, child pornography, and other such things. It's definitely not a light story. Which is not a problem for me, really. I like a good dark, suspense.
Overall, a nice storyline. Nice progression, fairly nice romantic aspect. But I wouldn't call any part of it exceptional. I've read other books of hers that I liked a lot more. I did like Vanished, it was interesting and a good read; I just wasn't enthralled. Robards does a good job keeping you wondering who the bad guy is and setting everything up. Jake and Sarah were a good enough pair...didn't absolutely adore them, but they worked for the most part.
The one thing I really disliked about this story was the ending. When I read the last sentence I looked at it and couldn't believe that was it. I thought there needed to be more. The story really just felt so incomplete to me. I wanted to know more about what was going on with the people after her, I wanted to know more about what her daughter had been through, and I wanted more of the aftermath. I felt kind of cheated at the end. I thought the discovery of the daughter and her reintroduction was really cheap, rushed and forced. In all honesty, I almost thought the story would have been better served if the girl hadn't been found, or been known to be dead. It just didn't work for me the way Robards did it.
Anyway, decent story. Worth reading, but I've read much better books, and better from Robards.(less)
I enjoyed this book to a certain extent. I think you can definitely tell, though, that it is one of Robards early romantic suspense no...moreRating - 3.5 / 5
I enjoyed this book to a certain extent. I think you can definitely tell, though, that it is one of Robards early romantic suspense novels. It doesn't have the polish and solid romance that her later books have.
The book focuses mostly on the character of Clara, a romance writer who suddenly finds her life in danger because some Russian bad guys think she knows where CIA agent Jack McClain is hiding. Clara had never heard of Jack, let alone met him, until after the Russians busted into her house. Then she finds herself on the run with him. And like most "on-the-run" type romance stories, the two end up having sex and later professing their feelings.
So the storyline is rather predictable. It's also on the ridiculous and unrealistic side of things. But it was still mostly fun to read. I loved Puff the cat. He was freakin' hilarious.
The romance was so-so. A lot of the time, Jack was almost an anti-hero. Not really a Gamma like Anne Stuart's ICE heroes, but he wasn't ever very nice. He said some mean things to Clara and never treated her very well. So I can't say I was all that into the romance. Sure, there was some chemistry, but there was nothing particularly endearing.
All in all, not bad, not great. If you're a Robards fan, like me, it's something worth reading. Or if you just happen across it used somewhere. But I wouldn't consider it a must-read romantic suspense. (less)
**spoiler alert** I'm surprised that the average rating of this book is 4.00 (out of 6 votes). Generally I like Robards's books, but this one...UGH!
Fo...more**spoiler alert** I'm surprised that the average rating of this book is 4.00 (out of 6 votes). Generally I like Robards's books, but this one...UGH!
For one thing, it used my least favorite plot device: stranded in the wilderness. And secondly...I couldn't stand the characters! The plot was better than average, I guess, but the characters...yikes!
Normally I don't mind dominant alpha male heroes, but Sam was an arrogant, domineering, nasty bastard. Some of the things he said and did were just wrong. And Lisa, I had absolutely no respect for her whatsoever. I wanted to yank my hair out when I read the scenes where Sam's just said some particularly awful things to Lisa, then comes on to her and she practically just falls at his feet in supplication. I was offended for women everywhere. When they started saying they loved each other, I rolled my eyes.
It takes a lot for a book to really annoy me, but this one did it. The attitudes of the characters were more suited to some types of historicals...which I suppose makes sense considering this was Robards' first contemporary foray after writing a number of historicals. Knowing that doesn't make me like it any more.
I was glad to finish the book. It left a bad taste in my mouth.(less)