Any Man of Mine

Any Man of Mine

4.1 423
by Rachel Gibson

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What happens in Vegas . . . doesn't always stay there.

Autumn Haven's Las Vegas "to-do" list said to catch a show and play the slots—not wake up married to a sexy jerk like Sam LeClaire. The first moment she saw him eyeing her like a luscious piece of the dessert buffet, her usually responsible self told her to run. And she did—right into the

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What happens in Vegas . . . doesn't always stay there.

Autumn Haven's Las Vegas "to-do" list said to catch a show and play the slots—not wake up married to a sexy jerk like Sam LeClaire. The first moment she saw him eyeing her like a luscious piece of the dessert buffet, her usually responsible self told her to run. And she did—right into the wildest fantasy weekend of her life. But Monday morning jolted her back to reality, and before she could say "pass the coffee," Sam was gone.

Now a successful wedding planner, Autumn hasn't clapped eyes on the heartbreaking hockey superstar for over two years . . . until she organizes his teammate's "Special Day," where Sam makes a big play to pick up where he left off! But she has vowed any man of hers plays for keeps. Is Sam the man for her or does she banish him to the sin bin forever?

Editorial Reviews

From Eloisa James's "READING ROMANCE" column on The Barnes & Noble Review

Many years ago I tried out for the cheerleading squad. Alas, I was plump, awkward, and couldn't manage a cartwheel. But I wanted to fit in so desperately that I convinced myself that a pleated mini-skirt would transform me into a perky, high-kicking member of the in-group.

When the cartwheel fairy didn't show, I decided I was doomed to be a pigeon in a sea of swans. We've all encountered -- and failed to join -- groups formed by the rich, talented, powerful, or beautiful. The five romances I discuss this month each feature a heroine who doesn't belong to the most powerful group in her particular milieu. But these aren't novels about women who succeed in joining the elites. Each of these heroines champions a different kind of group: a twosome.

The heroine in Rachel Gibson's Any Man of Mine is living on the edges of a very powerful social group: the super-rich professional hockey players, Stanley Cup winners who limit their friends to the rich and beautiful. Autumn Haven -- a single mom struggling to get her event planning business on an even keel -- definitely doesn't qualify. She doesn't have fake breasts, blonde hair, or the faintest interest in hockey. What she does have is the memory of a drunken Las Vegas weekend with hockey star Sam LeClaire that resulted in a divorce certificate and a 6-year-old son. Any Man of Mine is a fascinating look at how hard it is to bridge two dissimilar worlds -- cool and uncool, cheerleader and bystander. Yet both Sam and Autumn come to realize that they want one thing: to create ties between the three of them that are stronger than any ties between friends.

Pia Giovanni, the heroine of Thea Harrison's Dragon Bound, also has to deal with a powerful group of successful men: the Elder Races -- magical shape-shifters -- who surround Dragos Cuelere, the most powerful shape-shifter of them all. Dragos is a phenomenally rich dragon who keeps a hoard of treasure beneath his Manhattan skyscraper. In human form he is a muscled predator, a man who dominates any group. Pia is his opposite, a tiny woman whose mother taught her to be always inconspicuous. His magic is flashy and known the world over; hers is subtle and hidden, yet wildly powerful. When Pia steals a penny from Dragos's hoard, he erupts in fury, determined to kill the thief who managed to get through all his locks and magical wards. But after tracking Pia down, Dragos finds himself fascinated and falling in love. Pia is a peppery, funny heroine, and Dragos is a classic alpha, but what makes this romance so compelling is not only the brilliant world-building (which brings to mind J. R. Ward's Brotherhood series), nor the sexy appeal of both characters, but the way in which Dragos learns that being part of a couple is better than being the leader of an elite group. In the end, the two of them are the only group that matters, as Dragos puts it: "You're with me everywhere I go but I miss you when we're apart."

Sarah MacLean's Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart places the insider/outsider dilemma in one of the toughest societies of all: the English Regency. Simon Pearson, Duke of Leighton, is, like Dragos, a born leader, wielding power, money, and birth. Miss Juliana Fiori has no place in England's elite: she's the daughter of an Italian merchant and a dissolute English marchioness. Worse, she's a magnet for scandal. But Juliana has a clear understanding of the arbitrary fortune that puts men like Sam, Dragos, and Simon on the top of the social hierarchy: "The way you behave," she tells him, "one would think you'd actually done something to earn the respect these English fools afford you." This is one of the most wildly romantic books I've read in a long time, stemming directly from the moment when Simon decides to break every rule that kept him at the center of English aristocratic society. I defy you not to sigh with happiness when Simon throws away his reputation, and then tells Juliana "everything I had spent my life espousing -- all of it…it is wrong. I want your version of life."

Julianne MacLean's Claimed by the Highlander puts her heroine, Gwendolen MacEwen, on the fringes of a very different -- but equally rigid -- social group: that of a Scottish clan. Gwendolen is a MacEwen, at least until she's stolen by Angus the Lion, the head of the MacDonald clan. For sheer brawn, power, and elite status, you can't get more leader-of-the-pack than Angus, and Gwendolen finds herself fascinated by the laird. Still, she fights back, betraying Angus to the British in an effort to save her own clan. By the time she realizes that she desperately wants to be a MacDonald -- to be trusted by Angus -- it's too late. Angus too must learn that the strongest bonds are between two people who love each other, and that trust between man and wife means more than kinship or family loyalty. Claimed by the Highlander reminded me of Julie Garwood's early, wonderful Scottish novels about warring clans and feisty girls: novels in which love triumphs over the strongest of clan bonds.

Jacquie D'Alessandro's Summer at Seaside Cove appears to reverse the paradigm. Jamie Newman is the kind of girl who would have aced that cheerleading try-out. She has brains, honey-colored hair, and the ability to make friends wherever she goes. The novel opens when she rents a cottage for the summer on a North Carolina island, hoping to heal a broken heart. Unfortunately, that cottage turns out to be a broken-down mess, and its owner, Nick Trent, isn't much better. He's a scruffy, gorgeous bad boy. He certainly doesn't fit in on the island: he's a loner who disappears for days at a time, leading the community to think he's keeping secrets. This is the kind of novel that will make you nostalgic for sand and suntan oil, and might even have you singing "Summer Lovin'" in the shower. But the novel is not just a story of opposites. The secrets Nick is keeping have everything to do with his status as a loner, without friends or relationships. Like all the heroes in these novels, Nick has a lot to learn. The novel's sweetness springs from its understanding that material possessions and the power they bring can never guarantee happiness. None of the elite groups -- Rich, Ivy League, Handsome -- matter when it comes to the smallest and the most important group of all.

I never made the cheerleading team, and some part of me still wants to vet my friends and make sure they didn't either. But reading novels like these assuages any lingering tinge of bitterness. In the end, it doesn't matter how rich and popular a person may be -- or how successful he or she is in building up connections to peers. These novels promise that a happy relationship is better than cartwheels or cash.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Chinooks Hockey Team , #6
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What People are saying about this

Carly Phillips
“Rachel Gibson does it again! A fun, steamy story that also tugs at the heartstrings. A perfect Valentine’s Day read.”

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Any Man of Mine 4.1 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 423 reviews.
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
Autumn Haven is the wedding planner for Faith Duffy and Ty Savage (from "True Love and Other Disasters")trying to avoid Sam LeClaire. She was married to Sam years before in Las Vegas until the day after the wedding night when he took off without a word. To add insult to injury, she became pregnant. Sam has been an intermittent father at best so Autumn doesn't have him on her like list. After they meet again at the wedding, Sam has a little maturity spurt and he puts little effort into his relationship with his son. In the process, he and Autumn rekindle the spark that led to the impulsive wedding in Vegas. Sounds perfect! Not so fast- Autumn has just about gotten the tread marks off her heart where he drove over it and she isn't sure she is ready for a second heartbreak nor does she want to expose her son. Sam will have to go through some major hoops, Autumn will need to become more secure in her feelings, and her anti-Sam brother Vince (an ex-SEAL) will need to do a total turn around. Loved the book! I'm not a hockey fan but I have read all of the books in this series since the first one-"Simply Irresistible". It was great to see lots of the characters from earlier books. Hopefully this is not the last we will see of the Chinooks!!
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Autumn Haven is a successful wedding planner leading a structured, ordered life and doing just fine raising her son without her son's father Sam LeClaire in her life. He tends to waltz in and out whenever he feels like it, leaving her emotionally exhausted, and trying to explain the missed visits to her son when Sam doesn't show up. Autumn sees Sam LeClaire living his life like he plays the game of hockey for the Stanley Cup winning Seattle Chinooks - fast, loose and completely on his own terms. They met in Las Vegas by chance and Sam is the only time Autumn left her list behind and went with her heart - a huge mistake she will never repeat. Autumn found herself after meeting Sam married to him, divorced from him and pregnant with his son as a result of their encounter. Autumn adores her son and has her brother to help keep her grounded but now that Sam appears to have had a moment of Zen and wants more involvement in his son's life after 5 years with an objective to not be the man his father was will Autumn believe everything he is saying and let go of the grief he created from that time in Las Vegas? There may be physical hockey injuries for Sam but the emotional scars are still haunting Autumn all these years later and she is having trouble letting it go. Autumn may run hot and cold but Sam like a furnace is and always turned on and fired up for great time. Their adventures together make them appear to be a family but is that the truth or just a myth that Autumn is making up for herself only to let the big hurt happen again? When Rachel Gibson writes a book the reader s before it even arrives at my door that you are going to love it. Ms. Gibson blends the reality of life with the romance in our hearts together and always makes you take a deep sigh of satisfaction when you are done with her book. Autumn and Sam are great characters in that they are shown as imperfect, holding on to some childhood pain and learning to trust one another after a less than perfect start to their relationship. Rachel Gibson takes you on a great ride and when it comes to and end the reader must decide if the couple's flame is there forever or will it fizzle out after the heat of passion is exhausted?
booksonmynook More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. very well written. Finished it very quickly
KristinTX More than 1 year ago
Sam's ex-wife, Autumn Haven, is the wedding planner of a wedding he is attending which takes him by surprise since they haven't seen each other in over two years. They share a five year old son, Connor, and to spare him the baby mama drama of which they have a great deal, they agree to pass him back and forth through Sam's assistant. To have a good romance one must have believable conflict. Autumn and Sam have believable conflict in spades. Sam is quite possibly one of the most unlikeable Heros in any romance I have ever read. The couple got married in Vegas after knowing each other for five days. Autumn has fallen head over heals for the hottie hockey player but after their drunken Elvis impersonator wedding and unfortunate name tattoos (tattoo shops really should have Breathalyzers) he splits in the morning without a word and starts divorce proceedings. When she tells him she is pregnant, through his lawyer since he won't give her his cell number, he demands a paternity test before he will take any responsibility or even see the baby. Yeah, he's a real winner and only goes downhill from there. He likes his hockey rough, his women brainless, big boobed and undemanding, and to see his son only when it is convenient which isn't very often. He supports Connor financially but sees him rarely often canceling on him at the last minute. So it is no mystery why Sam is not Autumn's favorite person. He wasn't mine either. If one is going The Reformed Rake route the reformation must be believable and credible. Did Sam get there? Maybe. In the beginning he has the maturity and self-awareness of a three year old. Gibson gives him a painful back story to try give us a reason for his bad behavior and soften his toolishness but for his amount of narcissism and selfishness it falls a bit short. He finally decides that maybe Autumn is right and he has been a pretty uninvolved father and his son is getting old enough to notice. He decides that he will change his ways and spend more time with Connor and thus spend more time with Autumn. As his priorities change so do his feelings about Autumn. I really liked Autumn. She was strong and capable and very protective of her son. She had to be. She always tried to keep the drama of his parent's relationship away from Connor after a particularly bad fight that he witnessed when he was three. What I didn't understand was why she would go down the relationship road with Sam again. He didn't have to do too much to earn a second chance either when this is one Hero who should have been put through a wringer twice to get his second chance. That is why I'm not sure if he is completely reformed. He didn't have to work very hard for it. I might trust him again after two years but not two months. This is one book where I thought that if he became a good father and lived his life in a more responsible manner and Autumn found a different man who was worthy of becoming part of Autumn and Connor's family, I would have considered it a happy ending.
frosty1 More than 1 year ago
While I found this book enjoyable, I was left wanting....more. There wasn't any real drama. There was more of a yo-yo affect going on. I liked the characters more or less, but I just felt that if there was chemistry there wasn't a lot of it. It was great to see some of the past characters, Mini Pit and Pit Boss also plan a wedding during this book. Getting to visit with Faith and Ty was enjoyable but Autumn and Sam....just felt rushed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!! This is one of my favorite Rachel Gibson's books the best of the Seattle Chinooks series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not her best. Predictable, dull in spots, and neither the hero nor the heroine are all that likable. The transformations don't seem believable for either of the characters, either -- it read as if the scenes were all written out of order and then stitched together, so that the character development isn't smooth or understandable, but rather they jerk back and forth between complete tool and great guy (or awesome chick and stubborn witch). The rest of the series is better. The wasn't worth the money, IMO.
Hillary Sevart More than 1 year ago
I am a huge Rachel Gibson fan. Sadly, this was the first time that i was disapointed with her work. The plot in this book was oddly similar to one of her previous books ( girl hooks up with hot hockey player, gets pregnant, raises the child alone, then reconciles with the baby daddy and lives happily ever after). Also, this book was way too short. It was still worth reading, but more plot development would have been nice. Dont get me wrong, its not a bad book. It just doesnt live up to the excellent reputation that Gibson has created for herself.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Six years ago, hockey star Sam LeClaire woke up the morning after a painful loss to learn he married Autumn Haven. He does not stick around skating away from the woman. However, she gives birth to his son Connor, but he remains distant from both though he provides financial support. Sam attends the marriage between his Seattle Chinook's team captain Ty Savage and Faith Duffy (see True Love and Other Disasters). The Haven Event Management owner and wedding planner, Autumn avoids the father of her son as in her mind he belongs permanently in the penalty box for a life misconduct. When they meet, a wiser Sam spends time with his son and wants a second chance with Autumn. However, he drove a Zamboni over her heart so she refuses to free him from the penalty box. This is an engaging second hockey romance in which readers will enjoy seeing the first stars of previous Chinook tales (see Nothing but Troubles) attending the wedding. The story line is faster than speed skater Bonnie Blair even with hip-checks sending the lead couple to the boards. While her angry former SEAL sibling wants to rip out Sam's guts, fans will root for Autumn who distrusts her feelings for a man who skated away from her and Connor. Sam knows he has his work cut out even more than he ever had in his sixteen year career to send this game into overtime. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous 5 months ago
Not worth $7 it was only 193 pages and the the characters just annoyed me. The man was a play boy, who flat out compares bra sizes and sleeps around while the woman hasnt slept with anyone in the 5 yrs since they made a baby. They really do run hot and cold, But not in a good way. In a just shut up and leave eachother alone way
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Great book in the series
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love this hockey series
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