Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Tale of Two Books

This weekend, I read two romances, both set in the Regency. One I liked, one I didn't.

The book I didn't like was written by a very popular author, whose books I adore. This author creates strong heroines taking unconventional paths that, in some respects, defy society's norms.

Not in this one. The heroine was indeed strong, but the unconventional path she was forced to take, not one she chose, plays into the current trend of sex, sex, and more sex. Boring.

I also disliked the hero. A rich, powerful, handsome nobleman, at almost thirty, he's still devastated by the untimely deaths of his parents and brother when he was a child. The author expects me to feel sorry for him. While his loss is sad, he has more than his share of life's good things as compensation. Deal with it, man, and do something useful. No sympathy here.

The book I liked is Phantom, a Regency paranormal, by Lindsay Randall. I don't generally like Regency paranormals. Usually, there's too much paranormal and not enough Regency. Not Phantom. Regency blends seamlessly with paranormal in a gripping, fast-paced action tale of a man doomed to house a demon from midnight to dawn and the love of his life who helps set him free.

The heroine, Robyn, is a woman who fights against being forced into a betrothal to an evil man. The hero, Dax, is exactly the kind of hero I like--a man who's suffered a great deal for crimes not his own, and his struggle against the injustice has made him a better man. This story, written in Ms. Randall's lyrical and highly descriptive prose is a joy to read. I'm glad I found it.

The first book is on the best-seller lists. Sadly, I see no other books by Ms. Randall listed in Borders and Barnes and Noble. I hope such a wonderful author, and one I've just discovered, doesn't fade away.

Thank you all,


Kaye Manro said...

This is an interesting post, Linda. I've seen so many authors go the easy route when they become well known. Too bad. Your second book sounds great. The author is probably a fairly new writer. I've found that newer writers stories are sometimes much better than the seasoned writers. Maybe this is because of the pressure to produce? Anyway, nice post.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Kaye, thanks. The established writers have to keep their numbers up, and sometimes they go the same route as everyone else. The first book is well-written, and I'm sure lots of people will love it. Not me.

As for the second book, the author wrote sweet Regencies for a long time. Now she has to branch out into something different. I hope she writes some more like "Phantom".

LK Hunsaker said...

"Bestseller" doesn't mean much, really, other than someone did some very good promoting. Wish I could hire that person since it does add up in $$. ;-)

I'm glad you found a new author you love. That's such fine. And I'm awed at the 2 books in one weekend. I rarely read anything paranormal. I don't mind the ghost stuff much as long as it's not nightmarish, but in general I'd rather stick to reality fiction.

However, I was at a bookstore yesterday and saw a romance by an acquaintance. I nearly put it back because it has a wolf as a hero, but I loved the first line ... and the author's an acquaintance, so I picked it up anyway. It's getting hard to find romances without the paranormal elements, isn't it? I hope that new author wasn't pushed into it.

Linda Banche said...

Hi LK, I'm not much for paranormal, either, but I will try something that looks interesting. Paranormal is still pretty big.

As for the bestselling author, if I had 10% of her sales, I'd be happy.