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Rescue Me is the latest by Rachel Gibson; it’s a (very loose) follow-up to Any Man of Mine which was, in turn, a very loose follow-up to Nothing But Trouble.

I’ve read the other two books in the linked series and, unfortunately, I found this book to be the weakest of all of them.


The plot is fairly standard in this book. Vince is a former Navy SEAL and, for a variety of reasons, he ends up in a small town (Lovett, Texas which is also the setting of one of Gibson’s most successful books – Daisy’s Back in Town) and decides to stick around to purchase and renovate his aunt’s convenience store. Around the same time (same day, actually) Sadie comes back to Lovett to attend her cousin’s wedding. They have a meet-cute on the side of the road when Sadie gives Vince a ride to the nearest gas station. And the rest of the book goes downhill from there.

The primary reason I didn’t enjoy the book was because Vince was not a well written character. It’s not just that he’s not a likable character (and he’s not). It’s that he is not well written. Gibson frequently spends paragraphs and paragraphs on what’s going on in Vince’s head and there’s not much there. It’s just very repetitive passages on Vince’s memories of being a Navy SEAL and how that makes him incredibly macho. Since it’s a romance novel, the author also has to be very clear that Vince is not going to be deployed any time soon (because what kind of HEA would it be for the heroine if the hero is going to be shipped out to Afghanistan two days after they hook up?), so there is the requisite back-story of a siege gone wrong, a best friend who died, and a medical discharge that took away sixty percent of the hero’s hearing in one ear.

I got the sense that Gibson’s editors must have been ecstatic when the bin Laden raid happened and it was revealed that the SEALs were responsible for it. There must have been conversations between her and Avon where they said, “Look, this is awesome. SEALs are hot right now and you’ve got this book in the pipeline. Amp that up. Amp that SEALs stuff WAY up.” There are comments made about bin Laden, of course. And Vince spends a great deal of time letting everyone know that the SEALs are the best.

Well that may be true, but if Vince is a primary example of what they’re like, then they are also arrogant SOBs. Vince spends most of the book thinking mean thoughts about people and has major commitment issues (which seemed standard romance hero issue and weren’t really “cured” properly by the end of the book). He wants to have sex with the heroine but doesn’t think it’s at all possible to settle down and have a LIFE at some point. He appears to be in his mid-thirties so that particular personality trait makes him seem like an idiot. Especially since he’s spent a great deal of time helping his sister raise her child. It makes no sense that he wouldn’t – at some point – be able to look at his nephew and realize that he wants that for himself. He has no emotional growth and so I can’t buy into the HEA. How can he go from being that much of an emotional robot to “I love you so much” after hanging out with the heroine for a couple of months? It’s true that Sadie seems like an interesting person, but she’s not THAT awesome. In fact, she seems like a rather generic person to me – she has very little interests and no hobbies or talents (other than being a good real estate agent, I think? She also loves reality TV, which seems shoe-horned in to make her seem interesting, but does little to make her so.).

On Sadie’s part, she’s dealing with her own daddy issues and that doesn’t seem to be resolved all that well, either. I didn’t buy into a lot of the decisions Sadie makes at the end of the book. For that reason, I felt that we didn’t get to know Sadie and what made her tick. (I won’t get into the details of how we had a very rushed understanding of how she’s spent her life and she seemed to be a loner with absolutely no friends or life to speak of.)

This is the rare romance novel where I felt the romance actually DETRACTED from the story. Every time we made progress with Sadie and Vince (more so Sadie than Vince), I felt we had to press pause to let the two characters have a requisite sex scene. It was rather frustrating reading.

As I’ve said before, Rachel Gibson is a hit-or-miss author for me. This one was definitely a miss.



Date: 2012-06-05 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quoth-the-ravyn.livejournal.com
Thanks for the head's up. I haven't read any of her stuff, not sure I will unless you have a specific book rec. Nothing ruins a book faster than bad characterization. I can suffer through some really ridiculous plot lines if I love the characters.

Date: 2012-06-05 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sanalayla.livejournal.com
Actually, I think "See Jane Score" is a great book and it's one of the reasons I keep trying out Gibson's stuff. I would definitely recommend that one. (It is a "sports" book, so if you're not into that, you won't like it.)

Date: 2012-06-05 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quoth-the-ravyn.livejournal.com
Huge sport fan. :)

So I'll def. give it a go! Thanks!

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