Monday, February 4, 2013
**In Love With Romance Book Tour ** Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot
Hi y'all! It is my absolute pleasure to be participating in Sapphire Star Publishing's In Love With Romance Book Tour!! (Be sure to click on the tour badge above to see of list of all the tour stops.) In honor of Valentine's Day, SSP decided to spotlight some romance books. Today, I'm thrilled to be able to share my review of Mandy Baggot's novel, Taking Charge.
Synopsis from GoodReads
Is going back Robyn s only way forward? American-born Robyn Matthers is going home. With her dad in hospital, his roadhouse in ruins and the ice hockey team slipping down the league, she needs to take charge. But does she have the strength to do it? Cole Ryan is a hockey player on a personal mission. He s tall, dark, hot and Robyn s noticed But can she trust her feelings - or his? And what will Cole do when he finds out the truth about her? Robyn returns to Michigan and things aren't quite the same. Her best friend has grown up and is thinking about marriage and babies, the ice hockey team is no longer the life blood of the community and her father is engaged When Robyn s twin cousins drag up past events that hold painful memories for her, she and Cole are forced together. But are either of them ready to start something new? With an ill father, a trailer trash almost step-mom and ex-boyfriend Brad desperate for another chance, does Robyn have time to contemplate a relationship? Does she really want one? And is it physically possible for two people to fall in love in just three days?
What a sweet story! I have to admit, when I started this novel it seemed like it was going to be mostly humor-laden. Robyn's rapid-fire speech reminded me of Vince Vaughn in the movie Swingers. And honestly, I would have been okay with just that. However, the story turned out to be so much more and it was completely satisfying.
Robyn Matthers is a seemingly self-assured young woman returning home after years abroad. She left home when her parents divorced, her mother taking her to England. When we meet Robyn, we get the feeling there's much more to her story and Ms. Baggot carefully reveals Robyn's secrets throughout the course of the novel. Robyn is going home to take charge of things for her dad, who is in the hospital in need of a bypass. While making her way to her connecting flight, the handle on her dufflebag gives way spilling its contents. Fate must have had a hand in Robyn's affairs that day because a hunky gentleman stops to help Robyn and he just happens to be on his way to her hometown as well.
Cole Ryan is making a change in his life -- a much needed change. He's leaving some unpleasantness behind and looking to immerse himself in his work. When we meet Cole, we get the feeling that he, too, has a deeper story and it, too, is slowly unraveled as he and Robyn get to know one another better.
Between getting Robyn's dad's roadhouse back up and running, trying to get the local hockey team in better shape, taking care of her dad, dealing with disappointing lab results, crazy former boyfriends, best friends in a relationship crisis and a past that keeps coming back to haunt both Robyn and Cole, they still manage to fall in love. Or was it love at first sight??? Neither Robyn nor Cole is looking for a relationship. Both have many intricate layers peeled away little by little. There's a lot going on and their love affair happens quickly, but as Robyn's almost step-mom says, "when you know, you know - end of story." And when Cole says things like
"Robyn, life's too short to worry about everything, you know...what people say, what people do, what people think is right or wrong. Some people in life just aren't going to like what you do. Some people are going to be with you your whole life long and others are going to fall by the wayside for one reason or another. I want to be there your whole life long."
"...We're just right together, Robyn, don't ask me to explain it. When we first met, you bowled me over, just because you were you."
*swoon* Yeah, Cole's pretty awesome! :) Who could resist that, right?!?
The supporting case of characters is quirky and colorful and they play very important roles. There also so real, they're the type of characters who seem like your friends. There's Robyn's cranky dad whom she has to reconcile with since she hasn't seen him in 9 years. Robyn's almost step-mom, Nancy, who Robyn initially sees as a gold digger, ends up being one of her biggest allies. Robyn's friend Sarah is having a crisis of her won and that gives Robyn something else to focus on. Cole's mom is quite the characters and although we don't see her much, she certainly adds some humor to the story. There's also the hockey team - the Portage Panthers - and their presence provides comedic relief quite often. Oh, and I can't forget Robyn's aunt Pam and uncle Bob. The banter between these two...oh my!
This is a finely crafted tale. It has a bit of mystery, some action, definitely some romance, but it's all blended together with the perfect mix of humor. As the story unfolds and the bond between Robyn and Cole strengthens, we see the value of family and close friends. It is well paced, action packed and just plain fun! It's a novel proving the existence of love at first sight. But it's not only about love, it's also about the power of forgiveness, and healing. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
**I received this book from Sapphire Star Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Mandy Baggot is a self-confessed Twitter addict who likes to sing on YouTube. She regularly guests on book blogs and is a featured author on the innovative website loveahappyending.com and is also a member of Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Taking Charge is her fifth novel. Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.
You can find Mandy here:
You can buy Taking Charge here: