Series: Animal Magnetism #4
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley on 5 November 2013
I really enjoyed the latest entry in the Animal Magnetism series even though it was fairly light on when it came to animals. Kate Evans, primary school science teacher, has had a crush on her best friend’s brother, Griffin Reid, for a long time. She’s been used to lusting after him from afar but now he’s hung up his special forces boots and is back in town.
Kate is simply a delight even though she had the tendency to mother everyone from her siblings, students, father and ex-boyfriend. Most of the humour comes from her sprouting random scientific facts whenever she gets flustered. She expends so much energy helping other people it is exhausting to read about and means she is constantly sacrificing her own happiness for the greater good. Case in point – she had the opportunity to attend a camp of sorts for years which would improve her skills but something always stops her from submitting the application. Now Griffin is back, she has a choice – she can get busy living or get busy dying.
Griffin is also at metaphorical crossroads. He couldn’t wait to get out of Dodge (aka Sunshine) and the army provided a perfect outlet. He spent years working as part of a tight team but an IED however meant the end of his career in Special Ops. Now he is not only on his own, he has debilitating headaches that he stubbornly refuses to deal with. At times he is confined to bed in so much pain he can’t move.
The chemistry between the two is palpable and heightened by Griffin’s sister warning him to stay away from Kate. The more everyone tells Griffin that Kate is too good for him and too sweet, the more he decides he wants her. Kate on the other hand has no intention of steering clear of Griffin and often propositions him. Griffin is very protective of Kate and with some support, she gradually realises that it is okay to enjoy herself.
The plot was fairly conventional with a geeky girl getting the great guy she’s always wanted. Shalvis took the opportunity to deal with two significant issues however which stuck with me for a while after I finished the last page. She portrayed the effect of a death in the family sensitively and although we might wish Kate’s father could get it together for the sake of his children, depression isn’t always that easy to overcome. His gradual improvement (with the support of his family) was handled nicely. Shalvis also explored the dynamics between Griffin and his father in a way that felt realistic. Both were uncomfortable sharing their feelings but had to renegotiate their relationship given Griffin’s return.
Rumor Has It was lots of fun and I particularly enjoyed Tommy, Kate’s seven year old brother who stole just about every scene he was in. Highly recommended.