Kyle is sitting at the coffee shop, checking out a handsome, well built man in line. Then he notices that man is with a teenage girl who is obviously not happy to be there. When the man orders, the girl storms out of the shop, and on her way, she drops her phone. Kyle hands it back, and isn’t even thanked for his trouble. The handsome man approaches, apologizing for his niece’s behavior, and introduces himself. That would be great except when Kyle reaches to shake the man’s hand, he accidentally pressed play on his own phone, bringing up a gay porn scene.
Brad is frustrated with his niece, but he sits with Kyle for a moment to catch is breath and talk. Naturally, Rachel is unhappy with that as well, so Brad must leave. However, he leaves his card on the table for Kyle.
When Brad tells Kyle that Rachel is staying with him because her mother (his sister) is in a court-ordered alcohol rehab, Kyle is willing to help him out. Kyle is a high school teacher and is used to working with teenagers. Also, Kyle and Brad have become very attracted to each other, giving them chance to get to know each other while trying to get Rachel to settle down. That’s no easy task, as she dates an older man and follows in her mother’s footsteps by trying to drink her troubles away.
You know, I liked the idea of this book. The whole hot guy raising a kid trope is a favorite of mine. When I saw this was available, I grabbed it up. I hate to use the word disappointed, so I’ll say I didn’t connect with the story like I’d hoped.
Kyle and Brad were both nice guys…kind and sweet, and right away, I wanted their relationship to work. The meet cute was great. I can only imagine how Kyle must have felt to have Brad look down and see porn on Kyle’s phone (Confession time. I’ve been caught looking at…ahem…less than clothed men on my phone while waiting in line at Walmart, so I get it.). There was some insta-love here, and that’s alright. I enjoyed their date at the carnival, even though Rachel was with them, and the sex scene that followed was hot, but I just didn’t feel all that…invested in them.
Then there was Rachel. Sigh…Rachel. There is a fine line between precocious and bratty. Rachel crossed that line and kept going all the way to the moon and back. I know teenage girls can be volatile (I was one once), and her mother was in rehab, but her anger was so over the top, she felt almost like a caricature. Rude to adults, dating an older man, drinking and driving…that girl needed a few days in timeout without her phone, computer, and anything else that made her life livable. I actually felt uncomfortable reading the scenes she was in because I wanted to reach through the kindle and give her the discipline her mother and Brad never gave her.
There were some words and phrases that were over used. “Tough” and “I work with teenagers every day” (or some form of that) started to get to me after a while. However, that’s just a personal, ticky thing on my part. Meanwhile, in the middle of the story, there is some angst, followed by some action that was pretty well done.
The ending tied up neatly, if not predictably. I was satisfied, and I think you will be too. All in all, Raising Rachel was an ok book. I’m going to cautiously recommend it to insta-love fans and fans of sweet, well meaning MCs.