Katie(babs)'s Reviews > Rainshadow Road

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas
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Feb 24, 12


** spoiler alert ** Rainshadow Road is the type of book that will give you the warm fuzzies. It shows how the power of love and forgiveness can set a person free from whatever problems they must deal with in their lives. This is the second book in Lisa Kleypas’s Friday Harbor series about three brothers. The first book in this series was the novella, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor about the eldest brother Mark. Rainshadow Road features the middle Nolan brother, Sam, who owns a vineyard on San Juan Island near Washington State. Sam’s vineyard is on Rainshadow Road, thus the name of the title.

Rainshadow Road has a definite Women’s Fiction feel to it, but the romance element is big here. Also something occurs midway through the story that really surprised me and not in a pleasant way. I call this the magical woo-woo scenario, where something “magical” literally happens between Sam and the heroine Lucy, and I don’t mean to magical power of the hoo-haa or Sam’s tool of pleasure Apparently this supernatural and magical occurrence was obvious based on the blurb for this book and the mentions of magical this and that from the start of chapter one. I must have missed this between the lines, and because of that, when the magical woo woo happens, it came as a bit of a shock for me and pulled me out of the story.

Lucy Marinn is a glass artist who’s been with her boyfriend Kevin for a couple of years. Lucy admits she has trust problems, which stems from her issues with her younger sister, Alice, who at five years old got Meningitis and almost died. Because of this, Alice was spoiled and given whatever she wanted from her parents, while Lucy grew into a very independent woman. Lucy thinks she and Kevin have a good thing, but then he drops a major bomb on her. He’s breaking up with her because he’s fallen in love with someone else. That someone else is Alice and the kicker is they plan on getting married. Lucy feels betrayed and rightly so, but she’ll carry on although her already fragile relationship with Alice is more than broken.

Lucy meets Sam while walking on the beach. Sam is very personable and friendly, as well as being very attractive and charming. Lucy wants to keep her distance because Sam reminds her of Kevin. Sam knows Kevin and is insulted she would put him in the same category as that faithless cheater. But after a few more times where Lucy gets to know Sam better, she thinks he’s an okay guy and changes her opinion of him. Sam and Lucy are attracted to one another, but Lucy is still mourning the death of her relationship and isn’t ready to jump into anything sexual with another man. Sam has commitment issues and doesn’t want to hurt Lucy’s feelings because she seems like the type who wants to settle down. He decides it’s better to stay away from Lucy, but then she has an accident and he volunteers to help with her recovery. They become friends and start to bond. From that bond something wonderful and strange happens. They decide to act on their attraction and see where things can go between them knowing their time together is limited.

Rainshadow Road deals with many real life issues. It also brings to light the importance of family and friends. We see this perfectly with how the Nolan brothers care for one another and work through their trials and tribulations from their sister's death to the youngest Nolan, Alex, getting a divorce and using alcohol to numb the pain. Lucy has the support of her parents and her two good girl friends, Zoe and Justine. These relationships really make Rainshadow Road work in many ways. Also the way Sam and Lucy are with one another is incredibly sweet and romantic.

Butm and it’s a big BUT for me. The magical woo woo that occurs on two separate occasions in the story really failed for me as a reader. Around page 200, something ridiculous happens where I almost stopped reading. A supernatural element occurs and comes out of left field that threw me out of the story and made me go WTF? I thought I read it wrong and re-read this scene three times. And then when it happens a second time, that's when my jaw dropped and I go, "Are you kidding me?"

Lucy and Sam have a special type of power. Through the power of thought, Lucy can do amazing things with glass. With the power of touch, Sam can do amazing things to plants. Honestly, when I picked this book up, I had no idea it was a contemporary romance with supernatural elements. And for this reader, the supernatural doesn’t bring anything worthwhile to the story. If there was no ridiculous supernatural element, I would have graded this much higher. Because of this, I found the second half to be a big disappointment. I blame the bats. Bats you ask? In order to understand, you'll have to read and try not to laugh yourself silly as I almost did.

With that in mind I'm interested in seeing what happens to Alex, the youngest Nolan brother, who because of his divorce is headed to a dark place. His book, Dream Lake will features ghosts of some sort. There’s a mention in the blurb for Dream Lake how Alex is haunted. From this key word, it’s obvious there will be a haunting of some sort, I guess. Alex’s heroine is Zoe and she should really do an awesome number on him because in Rainshadow Road, their initial interaction really caught my interest. Zoe is spunky and perhaps just what Alex needs to heal. And since she’s a baker, I wouldn't be surprised if Zoe’s a secret fairy who sprinkles fairy dust in her homemade desserts.

Rainshadow Road isn’t the best book Lisa’s written. It was an enjoyable read even with the magical woo-woo that didn’t work for me, but it’s not the type of book that will stick with me like Lisa's masterful and all-consuming Blue Eyed Devil did. I think in part my problem is that I hold Lisa Kleypas to a higher standard when it comes to her books.
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Reading Progress

02/22/2012 page 200
65.0% "I am hearting this book. A must read for any Kleypsa fan." 3 comments
02/23/2012 page 220
71.0% "A WTFckery has occurred. Out of a blue a supernatural element happens more than half way through the book that ruins this or me! WTF?!" 7 comments

Comments (showing 1-13)




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Holly I was talking to Claudia on Twitter tonight and she mentioned you were shocked by the paranormal element. I don't really see how it came out of nowhere. The book opens with "[heroine] found out that magic existed [when she was seven]. More specifically, that she had the power to create magic."

And in the second paragraph "Because the revelation of a magical ability, particularly one that you had no control over, meant you were different."

Then there's a demonstration of her magical ability. And several references to it prior to page 200. Plus, its mentioned in the blurb.

I can understand how it might be surprising when you open the book and read that first paragraph - I was certainly surprised - but to say it came out of left field at page 200? I disagree.


Katie(babs) Holly wrote: "I was talking to Claudia on Twitter tonight and she mentioned you were shocked by the paranormal element. I don't really see how it came out of nowhere. The book opens with "[heroine] found out tha..."

I honestly thought the "mystical" and "magical" element was a metaphor and I wasn't expecting the magical woo woo to appear. I really thought this was going to be a straight up contemporary like Sugar Daddy or Blue Eyed Devil.

Did you enjoy these two magical cases as your read because for me it really threw me out of the story?


message 11: by catherine (new)

catherine james I'm surprised to find out Ms. Kleypas went the magical route in this one, as I don't recall any "actual" magic in the first (CHRISTMAS AT FRIDAY HARBOR) and certainly wasn't anticipating a shift to PNR in book 2.


Holly @KB - yes, I enjoyed it. I think it worked well in the context of the story. They were both set apart by these abilities, and it was another thing that drew them together. Plus, the entire theme of the series is magic. So it ties in well.

I don't think you can say this is a paranormal romance. It's a contemporary with a hint of mysticism. The focus isn't on these magical abilities, but on the couple.


Katie(babs) Holly wrote: "@KB - yes, I enjoyed it. I think it worked well in the context of the story. They were both set apart by these abilities, and it was another thing that drew them together. Plus, the entire theme of..."

I think readers will be torn with this one. Some like you will like the woo woo, while others won't. I didn't care for it.

But I'll be interested in reading Alex's book. Great intro with him and Betty Boop ;)


Katie(babs) catherine wrote: "I'm surprised to find out Ms. Kleypas went the magical route in this one, as I don't recall any "actual" magic in the first (CHRISTMAS AT FRIDAY HARBOR) and certainly wasn't anticipating a shift to..."

I guess she did it to shake things up? I would have preferred no magical woo-woo.


Holly I understand you not liking it. It isn't going to be for everyone and that's ok. My issue with your review is you state it all of a sudden came out of left field on page 200. That wasn't the case. I'm not sure how a glass ornament turning into fireflies and fluttering out the window could be a metaphor, exactly.

I'm curious about the next book as well. Did you read the excerpt? It features a ghost. And yes, I think it will be Betty Boop. She'll hook him in with her mad baking skillz...


Katie(babs) Holly wrote: "I understand you not liking it. It isn't going to be for everyone and that's ok. My issue with your review is you state it all of a sudden came out of left field on page 200. That wasn't the case. ..."

When the humming bird scene happened, I was so confused and had to re-read it a few times because I thought I read it wrong. I guess I wasn't looking in between the lines earlier before it occurs and that's why it came as a shock to me.

Ohh excerpt for book 3? I must read that.

Ghosts and magical desserts. heh.


Holly Katie(babs) wrote: "When the humming bird scene happened, I was so confused and had to re-read it a few times because I thought I read it wrong. I guess I wasn't looking in between the lines earlier before it occurs and that's why it came as a shock to me."

I think you just missed it. I mean, she talked about it happening before then. And there were several examples...Not to mention his ability.

I'm kind of sorry I read the excerpt since it won't be out until August.


Rosanne I think it is cool that she tried something new (although we saw elements of this in one of her Hathaway books iirc), I think the setting is almost too contemporary for this to work if that makes sense? Other than her telling us about the magic, it is not really infused in the story or setting enough to make it believable.


message 3: by catherine (new)

catherine james Katie(babs) wrote: "catherine wrote: "I'm surprised to find out Ms. Kleypas went the magical route in this one, as I don't recall any "actual" magic in the first (CHRISTMAS AT FRIDAY HARBOR) and certainly wasn't antic..."

Hmmm, has me questioning whether or not I want to bother reading it, 'cause I suspect I'll have a similar reaction.


Christine If Kleypas is "shifting" to PNR, she needs to shift it right back.


Yirong i agree with you about the magic part, it ruinned the story.


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