Nobody (Men of the White Sandy 3)
by Sarah M. Anderson
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
This is the third book in the Men of White Sandy, and while I did read it first and it stands well on its own, if you can get hold of the previous two books, Mystic Cowboy and Masked Cowboy I'd highly suggest it, because it takes a little something away from those two books to read Nobody first, in my opinion.
Now on to the review.
Oh, this story is just lovely, lovely and heart wrenching and heartwarming. Nobody Bodine is tall, dark and enigmatic. He's a vicious fighter and a protector of horses and children. He's also the invisible man...except to Melinda Mitchell. SHE can see him, even when he doesn't necessarily want to be seen. Melinda is Madeleine's sister (she's the heroine from Mystic Cowboy) and she's just about as opposite to her uptight doctor sister as is humanly possible. She's artistic and empathetic, and to put it not too kindly, something of a flake. But she can SEE Nobody in both a physical and a metaphorical sense. And their dance back and forth between each other and their own issues was something I adored watching unfold.
I'm torn between labeling this contemporary and paranormal because the paranormal aspect of this is really light and not a major focus of the story, but it is in there so I suppose it isn't a strict contemporary either. What I loved about this story is how clueless and sweet Nobody is (and his inner monologues can be quite humorous) behind that gruff exterior. He's just a rough, tough, cream puff and that's my favorite kind of hero. And I really enjoyed that Melinda is a strong capable heroine while still managing to be understanding without being a doormat. There is no "big misunderstanding", just the logical sort of miscommunications and difficulties one might expect from their backgrounds. And the way that Melinda learns to be the grown up and make the hard choices for the right reasons, and the way that Nobody learns that trust comes in a thousand different daily actions rather than one big gesture is just perfect.
Only two things didn't work for me. One, I was really hoping for that ooey gooey sweet real name reveal that never happened (I cracked up when Melinda was screaming "Nobody" during intimate moments). I mean I suppose it is acceptable that it supposedly doesn't matter since he's a someone to Melinda, but dang I wanted it. And I really wanted an epilogue of some sort. But that may have been more a function of how much I wanted more of their story than any actual need for it to complete the story. This will definitely be going on my re-read list.