You know how, sometimes, you will adore 90% of a book, and there's this one thing
that makes your brain start plotting ways to fix it? It can be something minor, or something not-quite-major, or even something major-- although, really, it's much harder to love 90% of a book if there's something major that really infuriates you.
I read a review of the latest by Sarah Morgan
, who is a British author writing for Mills & Boon (which is Brit-speak for Harlequin, basically)-- since she writes for the "Presents" line, she's working under fairly specific page constraints. I mention this because part of what bugged the reviewer (and me) seemed like it was caused by space constraints-- if she'd had, say, another fifty pages, there would have been time to fix the problem. I've actually read one of her earlier books, and there were some things I really loved-- the fact that the heroine runs away from the hero and spends a year living comfortably and happily and gains about 15 pounds and a boatload of self-confidence, the fact that the heroine (rather than meebling and moping about her appearance and weight) has a moment of "Waaaaaait a minute-- you're not telling me to not buy this dress but to get the horrible sack-like thing over there because you think I'm ugly.... you're doing it because you think I'm sexy
-- and is completely correct, because her now-voluptuous figure is pushing all the hero's buttons and he is kind of freaking out, and the fact that once the heroine has figured this out, she goes after the hero's attempt to put her into a nice, neat contained "this is my wife and wives are not supposed to be sex goddesses" box with a very large hammer (and also lingerie). So I was pretty excited about reading the new one, in spite of the very silly title (the sad thing? It's a silly title partly because the editors of M&B/Harlequin are trying so hard to get away from the standard "The Greco-Roman Tycoon's Amnesiac Pregnant Mistress's Regatta Dilemma" or whatever model). "Doukakis' Apprentice"... yeah. It main thing that makes it silly is that "Doukakis" sounds like you're either talking about the politician or the actress, and both sound weird in this context-- and "Apprentice" is just.... weird, and wrong, in the sense that there is no apprenticing to anybody at any point, and I don't think that the word even comes up ANYWHERE IN THE BOOK. Seriously; this is a book that would have been better if they'd gone for the stereotypical standard (which, frankly, at least tells you something about the book, which is important when you have three seconds to scan covers and figure out what interests you).( Let's get spoilerish...Collapse )