Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Romance of My Own.

A Duke of Her Own, by Eloisa James. I was apparently smoking pot at some point on ALA Day: I felt sure this was an ARC I picked up, and that it's written by a librarian. In reality, this book doesn't have "ARC" or any other promotional printing on it, so I hope I didn't steal it. Also, the author is an English Lit Professor, not a librarian, but she was still probably frustrated with the craptitude of romance writing. Well, whatever I may or may not have been on, this was probably the best romance I've ever read. The were a limited number of gratuitous sex scenes, but there were no lurid descriptions of various bits of anatomy. There were some terrible jokes, but meh, what are you going to do? Without sex jokes and explicit scenes, would it even be a romance? The author was able to do away with most of the bits that I normally hate about romances-- both main characters were honest, so the conflict of why they can't marry doesn't come simply from the fact that they act, for no reason, like they hate each other while secretly loving each other. The Smart Bitches (of Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels) would classify this as "New Skool" romance: they are at odds sometimes, but they don't hate each other; both characters actually experience growth; we get to hear some of the dude's thoughts along the way, so he's a real character, not just a prop. It's got the happily-ever-after (complete with gratuitous family scene with baby), but it was missing all the bits I hate about romance, so, yeah, a good book. The book is part of a series, but works just fine as a stand-alone. There were a few places in the book were I was a little confused as to what was going on: there was an abrupt scene change without letting the reader know, or people miraculously appeared in a room and jumped into a conversation. This happened a handful of times, but I'm sure many people wouldn't even notice. On a not-really-related note, I know that authors don't have a lot of say, if any, in their cover art, but it does bother me that books, romances in particular, overwhelmingly feature blondes on their covers. Eleanor has brown hair and that fact is mentioned many many times. So I guess this a slam to the publisher. Boo!

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