Simply Irresistible By Rachel Gibson Release Date: January 1, 1998 Publisher: Avon Book #1 in the Chinooks Hockey Team series Number of pages: 388 Kindle Edition Source: MCL Contemporary Romance/Sports M/F Rating: NC-17 Read 12/6/17 – 12/9/17
It’s often hard to read a contemporary romance book that isn’t too contemporary. Often, the technology and pop culture have changed so much that it’s distracting. I’ve had great experiences with older contemporary romance; the earlier books of Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Chicago Stars series come to mind. I’ve also had experiences with authors I generally love that have some earlier works that just don’t stand up to time. This one ended up a mixed bag for me.
The technology aspect in this story wasn’t a problem. Sure, some things would have played out a bit differently if the characters had cell phones or if social media was in the mix. Yet it wasn’t anything that took away from the story or that I found distracting. My issues with this story had more to do with the multiple pop culture references made throughout the book. They really weren’t necessary to the story. I’m sure, back in 1998 when this book was originally published, the tidbits would have added another level to the book…given it a little extra oomph. But the story would have still held up without those nuggets. I’m not sure if the references and the clothing descriptions took me out of the story more because the 90s are definitely my “coming of age” era. I graduated high school, got married, and had kids all in the 90s. So that decade is very much burned in my brain.
Another issue is some of the hockey stuff. I loved a lot of it. I was born and raised in the Detroit area and the 90s were definitely the time for the Detroit Red Wings to shine. I was very into hockey during that era so it made me giggle to read the characters bagging on Claude Lemieux. But I also know enough to know the Dallas Stars were NOT the Dallas Stars in the 80s…when the characters initially meet and the team is referenced. They were still the Minnesota North Stars. So while enjoying the name dropping and rivalries of 90s era hockey it is more obvious to me when mistakes are made.
So what about the romance? After all, this is a contemporary romance book. It’s really hard for me to put my finger on my issues. There were definitely warm fuzzies in some parts of this book; that’s always a good thing. The heroine, Georgeanne, by turns annoyed me for her judgement of others (while always feeling she was being judged herself) and tore at my heart for the way her learning disabilities were handled when she was a child. John also had some major issues with cluelessness that would annoy me here and there, but he really has a great heart. I’m on the fence as to whether or not Georgeanne and John met somewhere in the middle enough times throughout this book though.
I will say, the ending somewhat saved this one for me. As much as I wanted to scream at Georgeanne during an intense scene during a vacation (trying not to give spoilers), it was a catalyst to John opening his eyes a bit about his own behavior.
All that being said, there was an excerpt of book 7 of this series in the copy I read. I really want to read that story. I am not the type that can read random books in a series. If I’m in I have to be all in and read them all in order. Since I had a great first experience with this author with Just Kiss Me, and it’s hard to judge an author off just one book or an outdated book, I will be continuing this series. Don’t take this wrong. This is still quite an entertaining read. And honestly, if you’re not a huge 90s NHL fan (or maybe you’re younger than me so don’t remember the 90s so vividly), the things that stood out to me as annoyances probably won’t even be noticed by you.