Friday, June 10, 2011

Book mini-Review: Casey

I picked up this book at my local Half Price Books, on the clearance rack.  I received nothing in exchange for this review.

Lori Foster wrote a four-book Harlequin Temptation series on the Buckhorn brothers back in the late 90s or early 00s.  According to her blurb in the front of the book, she received many, many requests to write about the fifth brother, Casey, who at the time was just a teenager.  This is that story.  If I read any of the others, it's been so long ago that I don't remember doing so.

We meet Emma, Casey and some of Casey's family at the beginning of the book, when Casey and Emma are just teenagers.  One thing too many has Emma looking to leave home, and she runs to Casey, who she knows from past experience will help her without helping himself to her.  Casey, with the agreement of his dad and stepmom, puts Emma up for the night, only to find her gone the next morning. 

Roll the calendar forward eight years.  Emma's stayed gone, but Casey never forgot her, and maybe just a little, never forgave her for running off in the middle of the night.  She's on her way back to town, to visit her father in the hospital, when her car breaks down on the side of the road.  Next person along the road is Casey, with a date.  Emma's not alone, either....

These two have to reestablish their friendship, and on Emma's part, without revealing too much about why she left town in the first place.  The results are funny and engaging, particularly some of the parts that involve his family.  Parts of the romance were a little too easy for my taste, but I guess that happens sometimes when a couple has history.

Here's what I really liked about this book:  Emma is messed up as a teenager.  When we meet her again as an adult, some of her internal dialogue, and one of her conversations with Casey, lets out that she's experienced, sexually speaking.  She slept with a lot of guys as a teenager and she enjoys sex as an adult woman.  I'm not saying that I condone her teenage behavior, but that it's refreshing for an author to give her heroine that kind of history.  Too many times, the female lead has aspersions cast at her character, only to find out later she's a virgin, or has only slept with one or two guys.  Lori Foster didn't go that way.  She took a young woman living in less than ideal family conditions and let her circumstances take her down a bad road.  The grown up Emma has a handle on her past, for the most part, and has a healthy attitude about it, except when she's talking to Casey, of course.

So, Emma took what life handed her, ran away, used her new circumstances to change her life, and came back to Buckhorn a successful small business owner who only had to overcome her feelings about Casey and his persistent teenage rejection of her sexual favors.

It was fun and flirty, and the secondary story, though much too secondary, was adorable as well.

I'll list this one on my paperbackswap bookshelf.