Thursday, September 16, 2010

TBR Day: Homeplace by JoAnn Ross

It seems I'm back to a period of my life where I cannot accomplish anything on time ^_^; Sigh, that is really not a good sign. Time to put a bit of order in my life again I guess it means. However, I'm not giving up! LOL.

So yesterday was TBR Day. Although I had a book read, I just didn't realize it was TBR Day until I read Wendy's review. Also, I realized lately that I cannot do like before: blog-hop and blog in the same day... it's either one or the other ^_^; Sad no? Never thought I'd age that fast! LOL.

Okay, hopefully, I'll be able to complete this review and it will all make sense.

Homeplace by JoAnn Ross
published by Simon & Schuster in March 1999
Fighting legal battles eighty hours a week has left Raine Cantrell burned out and empty. Although she once dreamed that success might make the father who walked away without a backward glance take notice, the high-powered big-city lawyer now finds herself feeling very alone. Then she gets an urgent call from three kids in trouble in her Washington state hometown, and suddenly Raine is returning to face unresolved feelings, unhealed wounds -- and an unexpected desire.

Sheriff Jack O'Halloran, a man with a tragedy in his past and a six-year-old daughter to raise alone, has three teens barricaded inside a house and the media clamoring for a story. He isn't ready for Raine to invade his territory -- or his thoughts. And Raine isn't ready for anyone to touch her heart.

Unable to deny their attraction to each other, their solution is adult, reasonable -- and totally foolish. They decide to have a simple affair. But they are about to discover that love is rarely simple -- and that lives can change forever in a single heartbeat.

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Coldwater Cove, Book #1

The Story: Raine Cantrell is a successful lawyer in New York City. She's work hard, has recently closed a very high profile case and is about to make partner. Then, she gets a phone call from a young girl informing Raine that her grandmother has been admitted to the hospital... Worst is her grandmother's three foster protegees have barricaded themselves in the house, calling attention of Sheriff O'Halloran and the surrounding counties sheriffs and deputies. Raine has no choice then coming back home to take care of the trouble, as they cannot count on Raine's free-spirited mother.

Returning home, Raine has mixed feelings. Her relationship with her mother has never been good and all these years, she's been working hard, trying to gain her father's approval. However, seeing the situation of the three troublesome young ladies her grandmother has taken in, Raine realized that she was lucky because she always had at least someone there when she needed. As time goes by, Raine re-acquaints herself with Coldwater Cove and she starts to wonder if she's really happy. Least but not all, there is Sheriff Jack O'Halloran and his adorable little daughter...

My Opinion: Recently, I've been having a lot of difficutly knowing what to read. I thought of buying Ms Ross' new release, The Homecoming as Holly and Lori have enjoyed it a lot... However, I wasn't totally convinced. Then I remembered I had Homeplace at home and settled on this book instead :)

Ms Ross is an author that I read on and off :) I think my enjoyment of her books really depend on my mood ^_^; And this time, it was a miss. Part of the reason was the book itself, but the main reason I think is because I've been reading a lot of books with the successful heroine coming back to small hometown storyline - Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery and Burning Up by Susan Andersen - and this one was just okay in comparison...

I have to admit, Raine was part of my problem with this book. Basically, she just annoyed me. In many instances, she jumped to conclusions and I don't know if it's because she's a lawyer or something, but she was always thinking the worst of things. I don't like this kind of characters. I wonder if it's because it's opposite to my personality ^_^; Also, there was the fact she loved her grandmother and realized that she was aging and growing frail, but whenever her grandmother asked her for a favor, Raine would find excuses. Oh, they were good excuses and made sense, but at the same time, Raine didn't find ways to help out. As a result, it felt like her words and feelings were empty. As a whole though, Raine's character wasn't bad. She just didn't stand out for me.

Jack O'Halloran was a more interesting character. He's a jock and bad boy turned into an authority figure. He married the love of his life and adopted a daughter, but unfortunately, his wife passed away from cancer. Now, he tries his best to raise his daughter. Jack was a good guy, level-headed. Willing to help and thoughtful. I liked seeing the bonds between him and his daughter, Amy. You can see that he's trying very hard. My favorite part was him taking care of Amy's electronic toy - kind of like a Tamaguchi. You know those little toys you had to feed, play and take care of for it to grow :)

The relationship was okay. Basically, Jack and Raine are attracted with each other and once everything is over with Raine's grandmother and the three young girls, there's no real obstacle for Jack and Raine to be together. No problem either from Amy as she's longing for her a mother. The only trouble in paradise for both of them is that Raine lives in New York, but that's taken care of easily.

What stood out for me in Homeplace was the reasons why Raine left. She didn't have any troubles with the town and people treated her nicely. Instead, it stems from her childhood and issues with her mother. Raine's mother is a free-spirit and a flake. She would often abandon her daughters to their grandmother and I guess Raine has abandonment issues... as a result, she's seeking her father - her lawyer shark in Hollywood - for approval. I thought that was nice that the problems were more internal than the small minds of a town. I'm also glad that she was able to work things out with her mother.

There was actually a lot going on in this book. There was a secondary story with Raine's mother and her first love. The three young girls that her grandmother took in. I think it was a bit too much. Ms Ross took many familiar storylines/plot devices and put them together to create Homeplace... However, nothing really had enough development and was a bit too typical.

All in all, my only real quibble with Homeplace was Raine's personality and that was pretty minor. As for the rest, well everything went as expected, but nothing exceeded the expectations ^_^;

My Grade: C.


  1. Nice review, nath!

    I think the reason why Raine left the town is interesting but I also have the impression that you thought the conflict a bit lacking. So I probably won't read this but please, if you find something that helps you put a bit of order in your life, let me know. It seems I have serious time management and motivation issues at the moment! LOL

  2. I got lucky & read a book for the challenge w/o realizing it. It just happened to be on the tbr pile.

    I don't think I've read anything by Ross but if/when I do, I'll skip this one. :)

    Nice review Nath - it made sense. :D

  3. It seems I'm back to a period of my life where I cannot accomplish anything on time.

    That's a perpetual state of being in my life, I think! ^_~

    At least you stick it out and get around to posting what you planned anyway. I just put it off so long that I say, "oh well." and then never bother. LOL.

  4. Nice review, Nath.

    And I hear you on losing the ability to multi-task (I can't blog and comment on the same day anymore, either.)

  5. Taja - Thanks Taja :)

    LOL, the only thing I can think that would put order in my life is self-discipline... but gosh, that is hard to maintain!! LOL.

    Leslie - That's good, Les :P Sometimes though, reading the book is not the problem... writing the review for it is ^_^;

    I'm surprised you haven't read anything by this author, Les :P

    Christine - LOL, Christine. But you're busy. You have a family, an aging FIL, two daughters, exercising, cooking. Seriously, I don't know how you do it all. Me? I have nothing!

    Kate Diamond - Thanks Kate :P

    I really don't know what happened to blogging and blog-hopping on the same day. Perhaps we're following too many blogs? and I used to blog-hop every day! Now... meh ^_^;

  6. Omgosh, you know me so well, nath --- I notice you didn't mention cleaning in that list!!! LOLOL! ;P

  7. Tell me about it! Sometimes it I think it takes me longer to write the review than read the book. LOL

    I've got at least one of Ross' on the tbr pile. It just hasn't made it to the top yet. :)

  8. Great review, Nath! I've been wanting to read Joann Ross for awhile. Thanks for the reminder (even if you rated it a C). I'll have to check my TBR pile to see what Ross books I have.

  9. I feared you would say self-discipline... :( Why is it so much harder to come by than an inclination to procrastinate? ;)

  10. Christine - LOL, probably because cleaning is very, very, very low on my list ^_^;

    Leslie - Sometimes indeed LOL. Or then you worry that the review is not very good or you just can't express yourself. Ugh.

    I hope you enjoy Ross when she makes it to the top :P

    Dev - No problem Dev :) You can start with another than this one :P

    Taja - LOL, probably because procrastination means do nothing... or do stuff that are fun LOL.