Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot

3.5 Star

Is going back Robyn’s only way forward?
American-born Robyn Matthers is going home. With her dad in hospital, his roadhouse in ruins and the ice hockey team slipping down the league, she needs to take charge. But does she have the strength to do it?
Cole Ryan is a hockey player on a personal mission. He’s tall, dark, hot and Robyn’s noticed! But can she trust her feelings - or his? And what will Cole do when he finds out the truth about her?
With an ill father, a trailer trash step-mom and ex-boyfriend Brad desperate for another chance, does Robyn have time to contemplate a relationship? Can she start again? Does she really want to? And can two people really fall in love in three days?

Kaley - 3.5 Star

There’s a lot going on in Taking Chargeand it easily could have been too drama filled but, luckily, author Mandy Baggot is able to find a balance and delivers an enjoyable novel.

Bear with me while I start off with a mini rant that has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the book. I am Canadian and that means hockey is a part of my life (I’m totally playing into stereotypes here but that’s ok). It drove me absolutely crazy that Baggot kept referring to the sport as “ice hockey.” I know that sounds ridiculous but, to me, “ice” is redundant. Up here there’s one kind of hockey and all those others (ball, field) need to be identified.  Also, the little glossary at the beginning of the novel was kind of neat but to define NHL? I’m pretty sure I knew what that was when I was a kid. This is totally a personal opinion but I had to let you all know that I wanted to scream every time I read “ice hockey”! That being said – I loved that hockey played such a huge part in this novel. There aren’t enough books that feature hockey players and this one was able to have the sport be an integral part of the plot but not overtake the main story. Oh, and I loved that no one knew where Henrik, the random European, was from!

Robyn was hard to connect with. She had a wall up when it came to the people in her life and, unfortunately, that wall came up between her and me as well. She had such a tough exterior and wouldn’t let anyone close to her. I knew, as Cole did, that there had to be a reason for her prickliness. Once I found out what had happened to Robyn (and I definitely wouldn’t have guessed it) I could understand why she hadn’t come home in nine years and why she threw herself into bringing back the diner and hockey team. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t get a good sense of Robyn right away but eventually I was able to better understand her and relate to her a little bit more.

In some ways I found it strange that Robyn could fall back into her old group of friends as she did. She had been away for almost a decade and had had little contact with most of those people. At the same time, it was awesome to see how she could go back and it was like nothing had changed. It made me think about my own group of friends when I was sixteen and what it’d be like to hang out with some of them now (as I’m the same age as Robyn). Making me think and relate things back to my own life was a definite plus for this book. Love that!

Overall, I enjoyed reading Taking Charge. Mandy Baggot created a tomboy main character that was fun to read about. While I did figure out the big twist well before everyone else did I was happy that the rest of the novel was not predictable.  I think other chick lit lovers would enjoy this one as well and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of Baggot’s books!

Thank you to Mandy Baggot for our review copy!

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