Adam’s Fall, Sandra Brown [Fanfare 1994 Reprint, 208 pages] is an early romance that actually reads well today outside of the datedness that is inherent in contemporary romance novels. It’s a real shame that this book isn’t available in ebook as I think it would do well. Sandra Brown is a favorite author of mine. I tend to enjoy her books even though her characters are not all that likable or her plots all that plausible. She has a style that I am used to and she is one of the few authors who can write smoking hot chemistry [Laurell K. Hamilton is the other one].
Entrepreneur Adam Cavanaugh and two of his friends are mountain climbing in Italy when there’s a tragic accident. Adam falls 30 feet and seriously injures his back while his two friends fall to their death. He’s flown to Rome then to Hawaii. His injury has caused temporary paralysis. The accident didn’t sever his spinal cord and the paralysis is due to diaschisis or spinal shock. Despite physical therapy, Adam’s condition hasn’t improved like it should. Eventually the hospital staff lets him go home because he’s exhausted their patience along with a long list of therapists.
Adam Cavanaugh has good friends in Thad and Elizabeth Randolph. They hear the news of his accident along with the lack of improvement and reach out to Elizabeth’s sister, Lilah Mason. She’s a physical therapist who’s good at her job. Lilah wants nothing to do with Adam. She cuts them off at the pass. She knows patients like Adam well. He’s a millionaire and a jerk who only cares about what he can’t do versus what he can. She doesn’t want to deal with his nasty behavior nor is she in the mood to baby him. Of course they talk Lilah into helping him and he’s everything she thought he would be…and a whole lot more.
Adam throws down the welcome mat with this salvo at his new therapist:
“Does a view of your cleavage come with your services?”
“Fringe benefit,” she replied with a cheeky smile, “thrown in for free.”
“I’ve seen better.”
“Not at this price, you haven’t.”
Adam promises to be a resistant patient:
“You’re wasting your time. I’ll never be good for anything but to lie here and stare at the ceiling.”
“Wanna bet, duckie?” I’ll have you walking if it kills me. If it kills both of us. In the meantime, we’re going to come to hate each other.”
“We already hate each other.”
Adam is such a petulant child that I had no hope for him:
“I don’t want physical therapy. It won’t do any good. I’m not putting myself through that humiliation. Pete, get that crap out of here. What’s in those boxes?”
“Portable therapy equipment.”
“Get it out of here.”
“Soon this bedroom will look like a gymnasium. Hand me that screwdriver, will you, Pete?”
“Pete, if you value your job, if you value your Asian ass, you won’t lift a hand to–All right, you’re fired. Pete, didn’t you hear me?” Then in a stubborn tone of voice, “I won’t use any of this. I mean it, you two. You’re wasting your time.”
The two battle like this for most of the book then it transforms into something else. I can say with all sincerity that despite the predictable storyline and some really cheesy dialogue, I enjoyed the story and how Brown tackled the emotional side of someone who’s handicapped. Under Lilah’s guidance, Adam starts to gain confidence in himself and his strength. For a romance written about two decades ago, I am surprised at how enjoyable it is to read today, flaws, virgins and all [hehehe].
So it’s a low B- for me, surprisingly. You can probably find a million copies of this book at the used bookstore. It’s not a book I would make a special trip for and since it’s dated 1988, it read like 1988, too. But overall, this was a quick, fun read with a injured jerk for a hero with a heroine who’s a good match for him. B-. Make sure to visit the other TBR Challenge participants this month and thanks.