Thursday, March 12, 2009

Review - Stranger

Title: Stranger
Author: Megan Hart
Publishing Date: January 2009
Genre: Contemporary (Erotic)
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Burning

Grace Frawley is the owner and funeral director for Frawley and Sons Funeral Home. She took over the business from her father, and he from his father. She has always been aware of death as a part of life, even as a young child. Her dealing with death on a daily basis has stunted Grace's need for a permanent relationship. Instead of Grace going on dates like a normal woman, she pays men for companionship. It's safer emotionally for Grace. If she never becomes attached to someone than she won't have to worry about dealing with the loss later on when they die. Grace is not afraid of death herself, it's being left behind because those she loves have passed on without her that she fears the most.

Grace was to meet Jack, her paid companion in a hotel bar. She mistakenly picks up Sam, a regular guy who is visiting in town. Within fifteen minutes of meeting each other, they go back to his room and have sex. She leaves without a phone number or anything signifying they will continue their relationship. This is a one time only deal. A few days later though, fate throws them together once more and Grace embarks on a new journey.

When I first started reading Stranger, I will admit that I had reservations about liking the book. I was afraid that Grace would be too damaged for me to relate to her. I am glad to say that this wasn't the case at all. Grace was very likable. Even though she pays for sex, she explains her reasoning and it all seems so very practical and matter of fact. I started think this was a pretty good idea myself. Then as the book progresses, the reader sees Grace move into a more permanent relationship with Sam. Her emotional journey through this new uncharted territory is quite an adventure.

I will admit, I am not a big fan of the artistic, drifter type hero. I prefer a more concrete sequential type of guy. Give me a corporate executive any day of the week. That's just me though. Sam is a struggling musician with his own emotional baggage. At first he seems like a fun guy, but after learning more about him I felt he wasn't quite good enough for Grace. Grace has other ideas, though, so I guess I should respect her opinion.

I think a lot of readers might be put off with the way things are resolved at the end of this book. I personally thought the ending was very cleverly done. Not all of my questions and hang ups I had about this relationship were clearly answered. Am I completely convinced that this relationship will last for all time? Nope. But as a true testimony to Megan Hart as an author, I still felt deeply connected to the characters. Stranger is not a bad read by far, but it is not my favorite by Hart.

Here is what others had to say:

The Happily Ever After
Nobody Asked Me
Romance Book Wyrm
That's What She Read
Breezing Through
Leslie's Psyche


Seneca said...

Broken has been my all time favourite.
Good review :)

Jill D. said...

I think Dirty may have been my favorite so far. Broken was great too. Megan Hart is one of my favorite authors.

~ames~ said...

Great review.

I forgot to mention in my review how offputting I thought Sam's seeming alcoholism was.

Jill D. said...

That's a good point Ames. Sam just didn't do it for me. It's kind of a conundrum for me though because I like that Hart's characters are so human, aka, flawed. But in this case, Sam was never really given the chance to prove himself.