3 1/2 stars
I am a long time Rachel Gibson fan. I've read every one of her books and for me this wasn't a typical Rachel Gibson book - light, funny with witty banter between the characters. It's hard to pull that off when the H/h can't stand each other for the majority of the book. I think it's a tough road to hoe as an author when the characters hate each other and not in that playful he loves me, he loves me not kinda way.
Before I started Any Man of Mine I noticed Sam was getting a lot of negative press in the reviews and I was kind of apprehensive before starting, but I tried to keep an open mind.
Sam is a super rich, super self-absorbed, shallow athlete, jock hockey player. But Sam's also the father of a cute young son Connor. Sam didn't have the best relationship with his own dad so I wasn't surprised he didn't know how to relate to his own son. You live what you know from what you learn growing up - I am a firm believer of that philosophy. He did try to be a father in the only way he knew how, but he wasn't going to win any father of the year awards. And you could see that Sam came to the realization that he was really missing out on a lot by being a part-time father to Connor.
Autumn and Sam? It's hard to get invested in and care for characters when they don't even care for each other. My biggest problem was that I didn't care if they got together or not.
Their relationship started off after a very brief couple of days six years ago in Vegas. They definitely had chemistry and lusted after one another. After a quickie wedding Sam up and left his new bride and cold-heartedly contacted her via his lawyer for a divorce. In this case what happens in Vegas - doesn't always stay in Vegas. Hello bouncing baby boy nine months later.
Autumn had so much bitterness and hatred towards Sam, I didn't see how Rachel Gibson could redeem him enough in time for Autumn to forgive him. Over 2/3 of the way through the book and Autumn and Sam were still on the outs. I kept on thinking Autumn's been busting his balls this whole book - how are they ever going to get together? It's going to feel forced and rushed and probably not believable.
Sam did grow and mature as a hero. I think at the age of 35 he came to realize that blowing off his son to party, sleep around, and hanging out with his guy friends paled in comparison to what he could have had with Autumn and his son.
Sam did his moments (even if they were few and far between). The Cher tickets were a sweet, generous touch. Probably my favorite scene of the whole book was when Sam caught Autumn wearing rival Sydney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins hockey jersey. It was a funny, light playful scene - one I would expect from Gibson.
This wasn't my favorite RG book, but she's still an auto-buy for me. You can't score a winning goal on every shot. Sometimes the puck just misses the mark.