Rainshadow Road, by Lisa Kleypas (review)

July 19, 2012 Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

Rainshadow Road, by Lisa Kleypas (review)Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Friday Harbor #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on February 28, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 308
Format: Paperback
Source: the library
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Also in this series: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, Dream Lake, Crystal Cove
Also by this author: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, Dream Lake, Crystal Cove, Cold-Hearted Rake, Marrying Winterborne, Devil in Spring, Hello Stranger, Devil's Daughter, Chasing Cassandra, Devil in Disguise

Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington. She is stunned and blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal: her fiancé Kevin has left her. His new lover is Lucy's own sister. Lucy's bitterness over being dumped is multiplied by the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life. Facing the severe disapproval of Lucy's parents, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on San Juan Island, to "romance" Lucy and hopefully loosen her up and get her over her anger. Complications ensue when Sam and Lucy begin to fall in love, Kevin has second thoughts, and Lucy discovers that the new relationship in her life began under false pretenses. Questions about love, loyalty, old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings are explored as Lucy learns that some things in life―even after being broken―can be made into something new and beautiful.

This book contains mature content and may not be suitable for younger readers.


Rainshadow Road, the sequel to Kleypas’s Christmas Eve in Friday Harbor, is a comfortable love story with a touch of magic realism and more emotional depth than its predecessor. Glass artist Lucy Marinn is blindsided when her boyfriend of two years announces that he is leaving her for another woman—Lucy’s spoiled sister, Alice, with whom he has been involved for months. Though determined never to fall in love again, Lucy is drawn into a relationship with local winegrower Sam Nolan (the middle brother from Christmas Eve in Friday Harbor.) The example of his parents’ highly dysfunctional marriage has left Sam equally unwilling to risk his heart, but when Lucy’s bicycle is struck by a car, Sam steps forward to take care of her while she recovers from her injuries. This being a romance, the outcome is never in doubt, and indeed, the lack of suspense is a minor flaw in this otherwise engaging novel. There is plenty of romantic tension, however, as the two fight their attraction and attempt to keep things on the level of friendship.

Some reviewers have complained about the touches of magic in Rainshadow Road.  Personally, I rather liked them, with one exception.

(click + to see spoiler)
All of the small magical events in the book speak of hope and joy, except that which occurs during a confrontation between Lucy and her cheating ex-lover; that incident is almost vindictive (and somewhat reminiscent of Hermione casting small birds at Ron’s head in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.)  Lucy’s use of the magic here is understandable, but it’s not consistent with either the spirit of magic elsewhere in the book, nor with the fact that no where else can she control it in any way; it usually just happens.  I found the dichotomy jarring, though it didn’t significantly diminish my enjoyment of the book.

While I wouldn’t rank Rainshadow Road among Kleypas’s best works, it’s a nice, satisfying summer read. I’m looking forward to the third book in the series, Dream Lake, featuring the youngest and most emotionally damaged of the Nolan brothers, the newly-divorced Alex.


NOTE: Review slightly revised on 4/22/2019


The books in the Friday Harbor series, in order (links go to reviews on this blog):

  1. Christmas Eve in Friday Harbor
  2. Rainshadow Road
  3. Dream Lake 
  4. Crystal Cove



About Lisa Kleypas

LISA KLEYPAS is the RITA award-winning author of 35 historical and contemporary romance novels. Her books are published in more than 20 languages and are bestsellers all over the world.

A graduate of Wellesley College with a political science degree, Lisa was chosen as “Miss Massachusetts” for the 1985 Miss America contest. She published her first novel at age twenty-one. Lisa lives in Washington State with her husband; they have two children.

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