Title: Waiting for Rain
Author Name & Publisher: Susan Mac Nicol — Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date & Length: February 23, 2014 — 280 pages
The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.
Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.
Susan Mac Nicol writes very hot, very steamy sex scenes. And this book is full of them.
Unfortunately, the story itself is quite complicated and feels very disjointed. Beyond Toby and Rain’s romance, the author strings together several very complex subplots without ever fully developing any of them. We have domestic abuse, workplace harassment, gay bashing, drought, sick kids needing hospital treatment…I think there were a few more but I lost track.
Some of the details don’t really make sense. The timeline for Toby’s rise from bellman to hotel manager is improbable. Since the UK has the NHS, people don’t mortgage homes for hospital bills. There are no hospital bills here so the climactic fundraiser is unlikely. I still don’t fully understand the reasons for the total hate Tammy’s boyfriend has for Toby. And the rampantly homophobic town is nothing like the accepting English village I live in.
As we lurched from topical theme to dramatic incident, I found myself skimming the plot and enjoying the romance. I really like Rain and Toby. Simon is also a great character and I’d love to see him as a romantic lead in a future book. Lucas and Tammy were also great supporting characters.
So I would recommend this for the characters, the sexy bits and the romance – but not necessarily the story itself.
Susan Mac Nicol is a self confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, self confessed geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.
Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self righteous idiots.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.