Rating: 3 stars out of 5
The life of Tony-winning musician Reese Matheson resembles a natural disaster, and caregiver Jude De La Torre is caught in the eye of the storm. But can the love of two opposites survive caring for an ornery octogenarian with wayward balls and a meddling family insistent upon tradition?
Fresh off the successful London run of his musical, the last thing Reese expects when he comes home is a house surrounded by paparazzi and his girlfriend throwing his stuff into the pool. All he wants to do is spend time with his beloved grandfather and musical mentor who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Reese knows he doesn’t have much time left before the elder Matheson forgets who he is. In classic “Hurricane Reese” form, he moves into the cottage by the sea and displaces Jude, the intriguing caregiver he hired two years before. When Grandpa proves too much for Reese to handle on his own, Jude comes to his rescue, taming Grandpa… and the Hurricane as well. Soon all Reese can think about is how to get Jude out of his scrubs and into his bed—permanently. Will Hurricane Reese destroy everything in his path, or will this odd couple learn to harmonize together?
I’m going to start off this review by saying that my perspective on this story and my review is based on my feelings towards one of the main characters and not on the writing or perhaps even the storyline of Hurricane Reese except with regards as to how the author met her obvious objective of her story themes.
I found Hurricane Reese to be well written, her characters well constructed, especially so in the case of Grandpa Matheson, a musician now battling dementia. Grandpa’s music still flows out of him when he’s not playing cards with gangsters and flirting with red heads. He’s engaging and poignant. But then there’s the times he can’t remember or take care of himself….that’s shown in equal devastating measure. It’s with Grandpa and Jude’s large Filipinos family that my heart lies. I adored them. I found them, their interactions with Jude and Reese to be realistic and believable. Even Jude as he fights to remain true to his family’s expectations and his roots is understandable and someone you can connect to (outside of his affection towards Reese that it).
No, all that reads like a 5 star story.
Then there’s the title character Hurricane Reese,Reese Matheson. Therein lies the rub. At least for me. I just can’t abide this character. He’s self absorbed, oblivious to the effects his actions has on others, nor does he seem to actually care once he realizes the turmoil he’s left in his wake. Self involved to an amazing level that he can descend on a grandfather he barely visits, toss out a caregiver without thought to his grandfather’s needs or his caregiver’s, and then panic on when it appears like it’s not working for him? Uh no.
I would like to say he redeems himself or demonstrate enormous growth as a human being, but for me, that never really happens. It seems that this character takes a sort of pride in the fact that he stirs things up, causing havoc wherever he goes. Yes, he makes a sort of amends for several events that leave you gobsmacked, but you wonder, honestly, how much he’s changed. And throughout the story, I always question, other than this guy’s obvious good looks, what on earth made Jude sleep and fall in love with him? What a total lapse in judgement!
So where does it all leave me? With writing that I like and 3/4 of a story’s worth of characters I enjoyed. But none of that was the romance and none of that was the title character. You might feel differently. If you are a fan of this author, take a chance on this book. For me I just can’t get past the hurricane that’s Reese Matheson.
Cover Artist: Kanaxa. I loved the cover. From the color tones to the model. Great job.
ebook, 205 pages
Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press