Trashy Read #15: The Calhouns: Megan's Mate, by Nora Roberts
I actually read Nora Roberts's series of five books about the Calhoun sisters way back in high school. At the time, Megan's Mate (the last in the series), was my favorite. I remember being in love with the hero, the awesomely-named Nathaniel Fury. So when I was in need of some comfort romance (having had my fill of scoundrels and scandals lately), I went straight to this one. It was exactly as I remembered: quick to read, warm, and sweet.
I mentioned last week that I love Nora Roberts because her heroes and heroines are always good people. They might do stupid things or be unintenionally hurtful or stubborn, but deep down, they have big hearts. Occasionally, I like the dangerous, angsty, hard-to-love heroes of historical romances, but in real life, I tend to fall for the hardworking, funny good guys. These are the kind of heroes Nora Roberts always writes.
Nate Fury (seriously, that name is badass) is just one of these good guy types. Abused by his father when he was growing up, he ran off and became a merchant marine as soon as he turned eighteen. He sailed the world and had a good time doing it, but he returns to his hometown to settle down and go into business with the Calhoun sisters and their various husbands. One of those husbands happens to have a little sister who moves to town at the same time to be an accountant for the family hotel. Megan O'Riley is a single mom who doesn't trust men after being burned years ago by a skeezy political type. Obviously, her and Nate fall for each other and much cuteness abounds. The skeezy ex comes back into the picture long enough to have the crap beaten out of Nate and to scare Megan, but the Calhoun family protects their own and it's all taken care of with rainbows and sunshine.
Honestly, this isn't a perfect book. Like the other books in the Calhoun series, it reads too quickly for the reader to get particularly attached to the plot. And Megan is kind of boring. Of course, like most Nora Roberts books, that doesn't matter. Nate Fury is adorable, kindhearted, and great with kids, with a toughness that makes him sexy. He makes the story worth reading. Also, to be fair, Roberts is a pretty decent writer. Her metaphors can be painful at times, and her language isn't exactly fresh or exciting, but she has a fantastic ear for voice. Her dialogue usually sounds like the talk of actual real people, and she refuses to let her characters be lonely. Side characters become great friends, the hero and heroine like each other for more than just their bedroom skills, and people with bad intentions always get their comeuppance. Seriously, Roberts is the most comforting comfortable comfort writer around.