Friday, 21 September 2012

Review: Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot

Publisher - Sapphire Star Publishing
Publication Date - 3rd May 2012
Genre - Contemporary Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - 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?

With an ill father, a trailer trash step-mom and ex-boyfriend Brad desperate for another chance, does Robyn have time to contemplate a relationship? Can she start again? Does she really want to? And can two people really fall in love in three days?

My Thoughts - After seeing a lot of hype about this book on Twitter around its publication date I was very much looking forward to reading Taking Charge, although it did take me a little while to finally get around to picking it up.  And, overall, it was an enjoyable read.

I really liked Robyn.  She has come back to America after nine years of living in England to take charge of her father's businesses whilst he is unwell.  And take charge she does.  Robyn knows exactly what she wants to do and heaven help anybody who tries to stand in her way.  I just loved this side of her personality, although at times she can come across as a bit too bossy.  But everybody still loves her anyway.  She is an incredibly likeable and relateable heroine who is so well fleshed out that she almost seems like a best friend to the reader.  Her little quirks are what really bring her to life - the fact that she loves to sing all the time but can't carry a tune to save her life, the way she seems to survive on eating nothing other than chips and dip, her obsessive love for monster trucks.  I could go on but it would probably be best if you read the book yourself to find out the rest.

In comparison to Robyn, Cole seems almost two-dimensional.  A large majority of the book is spent focused on Robyn and so by the end of it, although I found out Cole's back story, I still didn't really feel as though I knew him.  Most chapters were written mostly from Robyn's point of view, with only a short paragraph or two at the end from poor old Cole.  And quite a few of his moments of 'air-time' were dedicated to Robyn - what she was doing at that time, how she made him feel - and I would have liked to get to know Cole a lot better.  There was definitely an imbalance between the hero and heroine in respect to telling their stories.

I enjoyed the storyline and found there were a few good twists along the way that came as a surprise.  There is a very emotional storyline that revolves around the fact that Robyn was raped as a teenager and that the boy who got convicted of the crime had always defended his innocence.  I felt that it was handled in a very sensitive way and it really pulled me into the book.  However, I think it was made far too obvious from very early on who was behind the attack and this did spoil it for me slightly.

There is a cast of great supporting characters - friends, family, the ice hockey team - and I really enjoyed getting to know all of them.  I would love to visit Portage, Michigan again to find out the story of some of these secondary characters.  However, as far as I know, this is a stand-alone novel.

Summary - An enjoyable contemporary romance with characters you can't help but fall in love with.


Jenny said...

It sounds like a very character driven novel. I love a strong character that seems so real.

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Yeah, the characters in this one are great. I fell in love with them all :)

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