Saturday, June 6, 2015

Good Guys Wear Black (Rural Gentlemen, #4) by Lizbeth Selvig

    Title: Good Guys Wear Black
    Classification: Adult Fiction
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Format: Paperback; 528 pages
    Publisher: Avon Impulse (November 11, 2014)
    ISBN-10: 0062370154
    ISBN-13: 978-0062370150
    Author's Website:
    Notes: I borrowed this one from the library.

    Dewey Mitchell once had high hopes for his life, but everything changed when he was diagnosed with cancer. He lost his shot at the NFL, his hopes of having a large family, and his wife, who couldn't come to terms with the possibility that he may never be able to give her children. But despite the hardships and disappointments life's thrown his way, he's managed to survive. When the new single librarian comes to town with her young son in tow, however, that age old longing of  yearning to have a family comes back. 

Rose Hanrehan is a single mom whose family have driven her to escape. The daughter of a US Senator, her unwed/unplanned pregnancy brought scandal upon the family that she's never been able live down. Coming to the small town of Kennison Falls is her means of escaping their attempts to marry her off, thereby, making an honest woman of her. While she isn't against marriage, she doesn't believe she should have to settle for just anyone. Whomever she decides to marry has to accept not only her, but her son who has Asperger's syndrome as well--they're a package deal. Can starting over in a small town be the new beginning she needs?
    This book had a lot going on in it--banned books, cancer, and Asperger's syndrome. I have to confess, it was a bit overwhelming with a lot to take in and felt a little heavy and yet, ironically, not heavy enough. While I loved the way the banned books and Asperger's syndrome were handled, the cancer left me with a lot of unanswered questions. I would have loved it if Ms. Selvig would have expanded the story to include more of Dewey's back story. I kept wondering when he and his ex-wife had gotten married and what type of cancer he'd had. Neither of which were elaborated upon.

    Dewey's the town's Mr. Fix-it and the middle school football coach. He's good with kids and has a heart of gold, but when he first meets Rose, he comes off as an overbearing know-it-all in regards to Jesse, Rose's son. While Dewey has some good ideas as to how to handle Jesse, I felt at times he was a bit presumptuous with his advice, especially as he had no previous knowledge about Jesse's condition. I was in Rose's corner from the beginning in her dislike of him. He was one of those characters that had to win me over and eventually did.

    Rose is a single mom who has had to learn how to deal with a child who doesn't behave as other kids do. After research, physician recommendations, and trial and error she has pretty much figured out what her child needs. Dewey, however, shakes up Rose and her son's world and her son surprisingly takes a liking to Dewey. I loved seeing how the relationships among these three (even between mother and son) grew as the story progressed. What surprised me was how real and genuine the story felt.

    Overall, I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. At times the content was a bit heavy, but I liked the realistic feel of the story. I liked how Dewey finally realized he didn't have all the answers and did some research. I loved how when things got a bit rough, Dewey decided to tough it out and work through it. This was one of the few romances I've seen that has a few bumps on the way to a happily ever after and I rather liked that. As for the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

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