Friday, June 10, 2011

Book mini-Review: The Player and The Bluewater Affair

One of these books came from my local Half Price Books, and the other came from my wishlist at www.paperbackswap.com.  I received nothing in exchange for my review of either book.

The Player by Evelyn Vaughn is the third and The Bluewater Affair by Cindy Gerard is the fourth, both in a continuity series called Family Secrets for Silhouette back in 2003-2004.  There are a total of twelve books, one each month, about a group of genetically engineered siblings.  Neither of these books is directly about any of the siblings, though Jake Ingram has a part in each of them.  I have not read any of the other books, and at this time, do not intend to read more of the continuity.

I picked up The Player because I love Evelyn Vaughn's books, and plan to like them even better now I've met her.  :D  I wishlisted The Bluewater Affair because the blurb in the back of The Player made it sound interesting enough for me to want to read more.  I am a sucker for crusty ranchers.

The Player is about a major player in Washington who's friends with Jake Ingram, one of the "extraordinary" five siblings.  Jake asks him to check into an old CIA project for him.  It's been declassified in part, but Matt may have better luck getting more than just the Freedom of Information Act partyline.  Matt hands it off to his assistant, Carey, who is, of course, more than a little in love with her boss, and is, apparently, the best assistant ever to walk the halls of the West Wing.  Anyway, research begins, stones are turned over, dangerous hijinks ensue.  Lest you think my cynical overview means I disliked the book, au contraire, mon frere.  I enjoyed it.  The "moment," you know, the one where the guy realizes he does love her after all, is not when I expected it to be, and Carey is stronger than you might think after the first few pages.


The Bluewater Affair is misnamed, but otherwise a good read.  Bluewater is mentioned only once or twice, toward the end of the book, and those mentions set the stage for the next book in the continuity.  That book probably should have been named The Bluewater Affair.  Anyway.  Susannah Hobson takes a good, hard look at her life and heads home to make up with her mama, only to find out mama, Violet Hobson, has been dead for a few days.  Mama's rancher neighbor, Travis Dean, judges the book by the cover and assumes Susannah is home because mama left her some serious property.  Despite his opinion of her as a gold-digging ne'er-do-well, he agrees to continue helping as he'd been helping Violet, then the bomb drops.  He's the executor of the estate, and terms are set in place that make Susannah take a hard look at him, with the same opinion.  Susannah spends some quality time with mama, via a coded journal, and spends some quality time with Travis, via a bridge-washing storm, and more of the puzzle of Project Proteus is uncovered and solved.  This particular story didn't have much bad-guy danger, and it didn't need it.  The plot revolves around Susannah revisiting her relationship with Violet and at the same time discovering that her mama wasn't -only- what she appeared to be.  Most of the bad-guy danger is related in the journal entries Violet made, and is very old news - circa 1960s.  The story is nothing new, yet takes a fresh look at why people become friends, and how those friendships change us, whether we realize it or not.  The story is set in the spring, and my favorite line in the entire book is, "This was the most pregnant place he'd ever seen."  It made me laugh out loud.  To understand the context, I guess you'll have to get the book your own self.

Both books are a good read, in my opinion, and I'd like to find other books by Cindy Gerard to see if I like her other stuff.