The MacGregor Grooms
After having read and thoroughly enjoyed The MacGregor Brides last summer, I glommed the first five books of the series with help from author Nora Roberts and her publisher. For those of you who recall, I arranged for Silhouette to send me copies of all the MacGregor books so that I could interview her about them. Smart, huh?
Beginning this fall and going into next spring, Silhouette is re-releasing the original five contemporaries and both historicals (one will only be available from Silhouette itself and not on sale in retail venues). In addition, the author has written more books for this delightful series. I hope she hasn’t written one too many. I say this because The MacGregor Grooms was uneven in terms of quality. The first story was as witty, sexy, and stirring; it was terrific. The third story was not quite as good, but strong nonetheless. The middle story, however, was a let down, and that concerns me.
D.C. MacGregor is an artist. He is the son of former president Alan and Shelby MacGregor. He is big and strong; some say he takes after his grandfather, The MacGregor. Layna Drake is the heiress to a department store empire. She’s smart, business-savvy, and comes from an unhappy home where her parents routinely cheated on one another. The MacGregor decides the two would suit, and arranges for the two to attend a party together. Don’t get any ideas about dating Layna, Daniel tells D.C. – she’s not the one for you. Reverse psychology has never been so much fun!
D.C. and Layna’s story sparkles. Daniel MacGregor and his old pal Myra work magic in bringing these two together. The MacGregor’s wit is in full force here, and the chemistry between our two unwitting/unwilling lovers is so strong you’ll polish off this story in one sitting. My only quibble is that the author seems to have forgotten D.C.’s age in his musical choices. John Fogarty and John Mellencamp would be more fitting for a slightly older man. Small thing, I know, but it was a distraction. Between Daniel’s meddling, cousin Duncan’s help at a critical juncture, and D.C.’s temper, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. This story earned a B+.
Duncan Blade is a riverboat hotel owner. He is the son of Justin and Serena. Cat Farrell is the vibrant musical talent Duncan has hired for a six-week stint aboard The Comanche Princess. The chemistry between these two is strong, and Duncan’s parents and grandparents add a nice touch when they board the Princess for awhile. But this was the weak link in this book, and I think it’s because The MacGregor didn’t scheme as much. There was little of his patented blaming of his wife for trying to fix the two up, and, the match-making itself was rushed. Daniel MacGregor only thought this one out for about a week. As such, there was less of the humor I look for in a MacGregor book. This story earned a C+.
Ian MacGregor is a lawyer who works with his parents Caine and Diana. Naomi Brightstone is an ugly-duckling-turned-swan who runs her family’s bookstore. She has no idea how lovely she is, and doesn’t have a clue that Ian is falling in love with her. He’s such a gentleman, however, and thoughtful, that it takes his sister Laura and cousin Gwen, to convince Naomi Ian’s got it bad. By the time his grandfather and father call him a pinhead for not asserting himself strongly enough, the reader will be laughing out loud, and rooting for Naomi to show her newly-discovered feminine power. Ian was just a tad too perfect for me to rate the story higher. While that worked in the context of the romance, it was less than believable. This story earned a B.
Daniel MacGregor’s personal journal entries, which open the book and continue between each cousin’s story, are as terrific as they were in The MacGregor Brides. I love Daniel and look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. I hope they have as much of Daniel as D.C. and Layna’s story. Roberts writes this extended family so well, and the cousins egg each other on in a delightful manner. Take away a strong portion of Daniel and humor, and these stories fall a bit flat, as evidenced in Duncan and Cat’s story. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Duncan and Cat’s story was a fluke.