Good Groom Hunting by Shana Galen
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This was a delightful read. Just what I needed, to get immersed into an escapist story that kept my eyes glued to the page. I think that Josie and Westman are such a great couple. I love how Westman's determination to be a better, more sober man is juxtaposed with Josie's impish desire to be free and do what she wants.
Normally, I'm not a big fan of the hoydenish historical heroine, but Galen does it very well with Josie. Her desire to be a free woman is very understandable and I respected her for it. I liked how she was out and out propositioning Westman in the desire to take a lover with no strings attached. Yes, I hear the record scratching for all the folks who know me. But it really did work for this book. I could see that Josie wasn't anachronistic. She understood, although somewhat naively, that her choices weren't the typical. But after a being in a family where her scary mother holds her on a very tight leash and dealing with the double standards for females, she is determined to live her own life and make her own decisions. She has never gotten over her childish wish to be a pirate like her grandfather.
Westman seems like a good partner, despite the fact that their families are sworn enemies and he's avoiding his old rakish ways, and he's arrogant, bossy and domineering like other men. She's drawn to him in ways that don't quite make sense at first. But as this story unfolds, Josie realizes that there is no way she can keep her heart unattached, and she really doesn't want an uninvolved (other than sexually) lover.
I think Westman is a super sweetie. I really felt respect for him that he had faced how ugly his actions were before he shipped off to India. He wanted to be a better man and make amends. He desired Josie, but in his mind, she was just the kind of woman he'd loved to get involved with when he was a conscienceless rake. However, Josie is different. She's ready to meet him as an equal. She might be inexperienced in comparison, but she's a passionate woman and the only woman for him.
The love scenes are very steamy and well-written. Josie and Westman have great chemistry and you could see that love wasn't far behind. The ending was very romantic. Westmore's gesture turned me into a buttery puddle on the floor. I really needed a strong romance story this weekend, and this fit the bill. I loved how even though their family issues weren't fully resolved, they made a united stand as a couple who were deeply in love, together and fully committed to each other.
I love the camaraderie between Josie and her cousins. They are all different foils for each other, and great partners in crime. If you haven't checked out this older series, you should if you like fun, sexy, exciting, adventurous historicals with heroines and heroes who are perfect for each other, but don't find out until you do about that.
The adventure aspect is a crucial part of this story, and I liked how Galen intersperses letters and correspondence from the history of their grandparents. I still have a fascination with pirates and while this is past the golden age of piracy, it fits well in this story through Josie and Westman's familial heritage as grandchildren of pirates.
There really is much to love about this book. I'm being more picky about giving five star ratings, but this is very close. It was the right book at the right time. Looking forward to continuing this series!
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.
View all my reviews