The cover of Spring Rain illustrates a man and woman in ecstasy under a waterfall. I don’t blame them; I nearly needed a cold shower myself after reading this book! The road romance plot device works wonderfully here; the hero and heroine are alone for most of the book, traveling the beautiful Colorado terrain and exchanging the most wonderfully sexy, biting verbal foreplay I’ve read in a long while.
Libby Chandler, our fearless heroine, whose first fiance died on their wedding day, is trying to locate her second fiance, whom she fears has also met a tragic end. While she didn’t particularly love this man, he was kind and she wanted to make a family. She leaves her Pennsylvania home and journeys to Colorado to look for her missing fiance and hooks up with tracker Reno McCord, who sets her blood afire just by looking at him. She bails him out of jail after he’s been in a barroom brawl and convinces him to take her along. Against his better judgment, he agrees and they are off to look for her missing fiance.
Naturally they clash. She lets him know up front that she thinks his life-style is beneath contempt. He lets her know that she’s a prissy prude who needs to laugh. He also lets her know in no uncertain terms that he is not a marrying man. And, he lets her know that he knows she is attracted to him.
Reno is conceited, yes. But that won’t bother you, I promise. You will immediately become engaged in Reno’s thoughts as he discovers his attraction to Libby, who sees herself as a “scrawny little chicken”. It doesn’t take long for Reno to discover she’s selling herself short.
With each day on the trail, they bicker good-naturedly and exchange double entendres. Enough danger befalls them that they have to rely more and more on each other. Each mini-catastrophe brings them together and each sheds more and more of their clothed facade, both literally and figuratively.
The danger they face is both real and surreal. Libby is haunted by dreams first of her fiance and then of Reno, being killed by a faceless man. Until she can locate the site of her dreams, they are forced to continue their journey, facing the elements, a ghost running around with an axe embedded in his forehead, and a drifter who won’t take no for an answer when he asks for a kiss.
The chemistry between Reno and Libby is extraordinary. This is not a book to read in public unless you are not bothered by blushing in front of strangers. When the author writes, “Libby forgot how to breathe” while Reno is kissing her, you will know exactly what she means.
But there is more than sensuality to this story. There is transformation as well. Libby is no longer a prim and proper school- marmish piano teacher who never laughs. Reno is no longer the lone, selfish, archetypal tracker who never cared for a woman.
There are a couple of problems with the book. For one, Libby lets Reno think she is wealthy when she is not. The author makes a point of this, but it wasn’t really something that should have been important. Also, there is the occasional foray into purple prose when Libby is castigating Reno for his behavior or comments. Obviously the author is making the point that Libby is prim and proper, but she went a bit far.
Reno’s insistence that he is not the marrying kind eventually threatens the love he and Libby have one another and they go their separate ways. This is always a frustrating part of a romance, but the author doesn’t end it too soon or make it last too long.
I think I’ll leave it at that, which is a perfect sentiment about this book as well. Spring Rain doesn’t end too soon or last too long. It’s just a wonderful little road romance brimming with heat and filled with great humor, characters, fun, and enough danger to keep things hopping.