Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Real Live Hero - Kimberly van Meter (HS #1911 - Mar 2014)

Series: Sinclairs of Alaska (Book 2)

Go big, or go home

TV producer Delainey Clarke thought she was done with Homer, Alaska. Until a last-ditch attempt to save her career lands her in town, filming a reality-show pilot about expert search-and-rescue tracker Trace Sinclair. Trace is also the man whose heart she broke in half years ago. A man whose kisses are as powerful as the grudge he still holds against her.

Delainey can't afford to let Trace's attitude interfere with production -- any more than she can resist falling back into his bed. But for how long? Because Delainey isn't trading Hollywood for Homer…not even for Trace.

Very good book with a whole lot of issues going on.  Delainey had left Homer behind years ago to follow her dream of working in television.  She had also left Trace, the man she loved and who loved her.  Now her career is about to go down the tubes unless she can convince Trace to allow her to film a reality show about him.  But he wants absolutely nothing to do with her or her show.

I will admit that at the beginning I really didn't like Delainey at all.  She was so intent on getting what she wanted that she didn't care what lies she told or who she stepped on to get it.  Her smugness when she manipulated Trace's boss into forcing the issue made me want to smack her.  I had a little more sympathy for her when she was dealing with her father, but not a whole lot.  She was not real happy to discover that her attraction to Trace was as strong as ever, and it was reciprocated.  Things were really tense between them until that attraction overcame their hostility.  But while things are great between them physically, their differences are just as great as ever.  She will not give up her career in California, and there's no way Trace is going to leave Alaska.

Delainey has a lot of things going on in her life.  She's trying to save her job.  She has to deal with seeing her father again, the man who abused her and her brother, and may be dying. And then there's Trace.  He's still furious at the way she left and holding a grudge, but the chemistry between them is explosive.  Sleeping with him again reminds her of the love she  had felt for him and her unhappiness when she left.  But Delainey has had a very one-sided view of everything and is forced to face some hard facts when Trace confronts her about her actions.  It was interesting to see her face her selfishness and realize what effect her actions had had on the people around her.  Her feelings for Trace are still just as strong but she is still unwilling to make any kind of changes in order to make a future possible for them.  I loved seeing the way it was her obnoxious camerman who showed her a way she could have it all.

Trace has changed a lot since Delainey left Homer.  Between the death and one of his sisters and Delainey's departure his attitude toward people has become quite surly.  Delainey's surprise arrival shocks him and her request for his cooperation for the show infuriates him.  He can't believe she would ask such a thing of him after what she had done.  He's even angrier when she goes around him and manipulates his boss into ordering his cooperation.  He plans to make it as hard as possible for her until she confesses her troubles and he finds his old feelings of protectiveness popping up again.  Add in the attraction and he figures he's in for it again.  He doesn't just give in though, he does confront her about what happened between them.  He tells her exactly how he sees what she did and his feelings at the time.  But he also gets told by Delainey just how she felt and her view of the same events.  Trace is stunned and realizes that maybe she has a point that it wasn't all her fault.  I liked seeing the way that it changes his attitude somewhat and he stops being such a pain.  I also liked the way that he supported her with her father's illness.  His love for her has come back as strong as ever, but he is also having trouble figuring out how they can ever be together.  

Also in this book was a story continued from the first book in the series One Reckless Night.  In that story we see Trace's parents as they avoid dealing with the pain of their daughter's death.  Trace's father has taken to growing and selling (and smoking) pot and ignoring what is going on with his wife.  She has developed a problem with hoarding that she refuses to admit and gets angry whenever she is confronted about it.  Trace and his sister finally have had enough and call in the authorities.  I ached for Trace and Miranda and hope to see a happy resolution in the next book.

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