March 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
This book was my introduction to Susan Elizabeth Philips. Every member of the unShelved has her own quirks and abilities. For one of us, it’s this knack for discovering authors all of us would enjoy reading. Which, incidentally, saves us a lot of money as one book can be passed around amongst all of us. But, as usual, I digress. This book is quite unconventional for a romance. Just take the main characters, for instance. A 34-year-old physics professor and a star quarterback. The physics professor decides the only way she could have a baby is to find a suitable candidate as a sperm donor. Enter our star quarterback, only they have to do this the hard way and the physics professor pretends to be a hooker for a night and gets her baby the old-fashioned way. And so begins their love story, in a roundabout way. You might be wondering just how they could proceed with such a huge deception opening up a chasm between them, but that is the magic of Susan Elizabeth Philips. She would put together the most unlikely of pairs, put them in seemingly implausible situations and still leave you, the reader, feverishly turning the pages, laughing the entire time, to find out how they all live happily ever after. You may never land yourself the unknowing prince charming described between these pages, but this book will make you wonder as you savor every word of it.
February 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
I confess to one tiny weakness: I find romance novels irresistible. This addiction began in my freshman year in high school when we demure Catholic school girls passed around battered copies of Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey and Jude Devereaux. Back then, Fabio graced the covers of Johanna Lindsey’s novels and we guiltily gobbled up what was then considered very racy love scenes. As my tastes in literature grew more . . . er . . . sophisticated, the romance aisles of bookstores still called to me and I could never resist their allure. Come on, be honest. Who wouldn’t want to be that plain Jane some gorgeous hunk of a man would go to the ends of the earth for, even for just a few hours and only on the pages of a book? And then one of the unShelved lent me her copy of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Nobody’s Baby But Mine and I discovered a writer who taught me that falling in love was more Pineapple Express than the Love Affair to Remember. I love SEP’s sense of humor, the way she mixes the bizarre with the every day (one pair meets while the girl is wearing a beaver costume, more about that later). Best of all, she makes me believe a football player (mind you, I find American football painful to watch) trumps Fabio in the romantic hero department. This is one author that brings truth to the wish “Happy reading.”
February 22, 2010 § Leave a comment
Oh, Judith, where should I start? Should I begin with 14-year-old me reading you with a flashlight under the covers till 4am on a school night? Or should I just get right on it and say that I hate you? You wove together such tales of love and romance that you filled my head with thoughts of jaded, reluctant knights in dented armor. Now, almost 2 decades later, you still have me searching for that one exceptional man who will take no shit from me but will care for me when I’m at my lowest and will come for me even at my orneriest moments. I’d like to say you write a lot of bull, but you’ve seen me through years of sleepless, lonely nights. While I sit up in the dark, reading and rereading your books, you make me believe that there is a Matt Farrell for me. I just wish he’d stop slacking around and come find me already.
February 15, 2010 § Leave a comment
Elizabeth Lowell is one of the pseudonyms of Ann Maxwell, a woman I admire for channeling her boredom towards something productive, like say, writing over 50 novels, most of which made it to bestseller lists. Her work as Elizabeth Lowell is categorized mostly as contemporary romantic suspense and in this collection that includes Midnight in Ruby Bayou, Amber Beach and Pearl Cove. Incidentally, they’re part of a series about the Donovans who, as is pro forma in contemporary romance, are a powerful (read: insanely rich) family who have interests in rare and precious minerals and gems. The first book I read from Elizabeth Lowell was Pearl Cove and I got hooked on how she seamlessly weaves in suspense in the love story. Yes, there’s this powerful man whom no woman has been able to conquer. And yes, there’s this broken woman who believes she will never be able to love again. They meet, go off on an adventure and live happily ever after. It seems formulaic, but you don’t get that feeling while you turn page after page, biting your nails to find out whether they will get the bad guys before or after they kill each other.