Book Review: Lisa Kleypas’ Rainshadow Road

Posted May 24, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor, #2)Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Friday Harbor, 2
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Second in the Friday Harbor romance series revolving around the Nolan brothers. The couple focus is on Sam Nolan and Lucy Marinn.

My Take
I do love reading Kleypas’ stories. There’s such a homeyness to them with the requisite happily ever after. Even if I do wanna smack Lucy’s parents up one side and down the other. Although, shockingly (truly!), the Marinns actually do the unexpected!

Justine makes a great statement:

“Life is a banquet, and you are both wandering around with chronic indigestion”

Then the flip side is Sam’s assessment of a past relationship in which the girlfriend’s idea of getting married:

“sounded like someone throwing a roll of paper towels and a can of frosting in an oven and saying, ‘You know, I think there’s a good chance this is going to turn into a chocolate cake.’ “

Kleypas provides some back history on the Nolan brothers’ childhood. Oh, boy. Fred and Mary Harbison were the closest Sam had to real parents and their deaths opened up a great opportunity for him.

I can’t stand that sister. I desperately hope that the next in the series, Dream Lake, gives us some peek in at Alice and that she’s frickin’ miserable! I will be miserable if she isn’t!!

It’s too much fun reading as Sam and Lucy’s relationship develops. They each have their issues and the lord only knows that Sam and Mark’s living situation is not normal. It is such a treat to read about how they cope. Most of the main characters are such decent and honorable people and you just want everyone to be happy. Well, with a couple of exceptions…Kevin is such a weasel.

If you’re a glass artist, you definitely want to read this if only for the descriptions of the stained glass windows that Lucy creates for Hog Heaven and for Sam’s Victorian.

The Story
It’s something of a two-fer: Kevin is a jerk with a roving eye and Lucy actively is paranoid about losing him. I can see where it could be irritating to be constantly questioned—it’s why counseling exists! So when Kevin breaks up with Lucy, she knew it was coming, but also knew why. And she just isn’t going to take it anymore!

The break-up is followed by a series of encounters with Sam Nolan. Some by accident and some on purpose. The beach. The rescue at the bar where she takes refuge when her car breaks down. Her need for a place to live during her recovery and after. It’s Lucy’s dream about Sam’s old house that provides her with a way to pay him back…that image of the stained glass window—love made visible.

Kevin and his dramas. He’d claimed to not want marriage. With her. But the wedding may not happen unless the bride’s sister is happy. The happy solution appears to be setting the sister up with a new man and Kevin thinks Sam is just the guy for his reluctant ex-.

The Characters
Lucy Marinn is an untrusting glass artist with low self-esteem and yet has her own shop in Friday Harbor. She also has a deeply held secret. One that shares a commonality with Sam. And Lucy’s lucky encounter with Mrs. Geiszler that sets her future. It’s little Alice‘s desperate struggle with meningitis as a child that will create her selfish, sociopathic character in the future. Her shut-down career as a television writer that drives her to the next step. Cherise and Phillip Marinn who teaches astronomy and works with NASA as a consultant are their parents. The ones who have enabled Alice ever since her illness, training Lucy to do the same. Kevin Pearson is the selfish boyfriend.

Sam Nolan is a commitment-phobic oenologist with his own vineyard at the end of Rainshadow Road. He and his brother Mark have been sharing the raising of their recently deceased sister’s daughter Holly. Alex is getting divorced from his shark of a wife and dipping deeply into the liquor. Renfield is their medically challenged bulldog.

Zoë and Justine Hoffman are cousins and run Artist’s Point, a B&B in Friday Harbor. They’re great friends with Lucy and care about her very deeply. Zoë loves to cook and I suspect she is Alex’s future love interest, especially after that muffin of hers entices him into eating. Zoë had been married and divorced within a year. Dr. Alan Spellman is a former professor and mentor of Lucy’s with great news for her about a residency. Duane is a member of a motorcycle gang, Hog Heaven, who feels very protective of Lucy who created an incredible stained glass window for their church.

The Cover
The cover is a pastel landscape with Lucy, her long brown hair tousled from the breeze, her sky blue sundress blown against her legs, releasing a butterfly into the wild from atop a grassy bluff overlooking the ocean.

The title reflects where Sam and Mark’s house is on Rainshadow Road on this little island just outside Seattle in Washington, just one of the roads that Sam and Lucy would travel together.