Thursday, 13 March 2014

The MacGregor Grooms by Nora Roberts

The MacGregor Grooms (1998) (Silhouette)
Nora Roberts
Grade: B--
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own 
The MacGregors: (1) Playing the Odds ... (10) The MacGregor Grooms 

Daniel MacGregor is no stranger to match-making at his ripe old age. After all, rattling around in his castle in Port Hyannis with his wife Anna, sitting on the fortune he has amassed through the years, what else is a man to do? Not that he would ever admit it out loud, but he’s had a hand in seeing his three children fall in love with and marry the partners he’s chosen and give him scores of grandchildren. Five grandchildren have already married (with his cunning input) but why stop when there’s still more to go?

D.C., the son of a former President of the United States and an equally politically blue-blooded sculptor, has followed his mother’s footsteps and become an accomplished artist in his own right. Layna Drake of Drake department stores is back in Washington, working in the family’s flagship store. When the pair are coerced into attending a formal function together as if it were a favour to the other, they quickly discover that they’re complete opposites – but that doesn’t stop the sparks from flying.

Duncan Blade has inherited his talent for gambling from both his parents who met (at Daniel’s manoeuvring) on a cruise ship where Serena worked as a blackjack dealer. Duncan runs the Comanche Princess, the floating arm of the Blade-MacGregor casino empire. His new headliner is one Cat Farrell, a twenty-five year old with a voice to stir the soul and who eventually stirs Duncan’s heart.

Lastly, there’s Ian MacGregor who has followed the footsteps of his parents into the law. He’s blown away by Naomi Brightstone, his firm’s client who has just taken over the running of the family bookstore. Her innocence is tempting and terrifying in equal measures and Ian is hooked. Equally, Naomi finds herself charmed by Ian’s confidence and experience but her own insecurities have her putting up a barrier between them that Ian is determined to break down.

D.C., Duncan and Ian alike are convinced that they won’t fall prey to the schemes of their meddling grandfather, but when it comes to love, Daniel MacGregor really does know best. The cuteness is unbearable and will never get old. This is classic Nora Roberts feel-good storytelling and though the short-story format means that you don’t get the same satisfaction as from a full-length novel, it’s near enough.

Heroes and Heartbreakers posted an article about addictions to series books and The MacGregors is certainly one of my favourite NR series. It’s a commitment to stay with a series as long as this and your investment pays off in spades. I love being able to return to the same family/characters and see protagonists from earlier books in their happy ever after. The article lamented at how NR parted with Harlequin before she’d managed to pair off the rest of the MacGregor gang – from the top of my head, this is the only incomplete family-series and so I certainly wouldn’t say no to more happy-ever-afters!

This could be read as a standalone or out of order, but you then lose out on the enjoyment of watching Daniel’s conniving ideas hatch and come to pass. He’s still using the same sneaky tactics and guilt-trips and I love how his children get involved and help to perpetuate his misdeeds. I’ve got one more MacGregor book to go before I can say that I’ve finished the entire eleven-book series. Unfortunately, it’s a historical one and so there’ll be no Daniel MacGregor to give me a guaranteed laugh, but I’ll live. The MacGregors is my favourite Nora family-series: start with Playing the Odds and don't stop.

Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction

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