Sunday, July 15, 2012

Suddenly You

The title: Suddenly You
The author: Lisa Kleypas
Publication: Avon, 2001
Got it from: Book Depot

Set in early Victorian London, this book features Amanda Briars, a celebrated novelist who is depressed about her upcoming 30th birthday and the fact she is still a virgin.  Desperate to experience the kind of lives the heroines in her novels have, Amanda visits the notorious Gemma Bradshaw and asks for a man to be sent to her on her birthday.  However, the wrong man shows up - Jack Devlin, London's most notorious publisher, who has bought the rights to Amanda's first book.  Deciding not to disappoint Amanda on her birthday, Jack gives her a night to remember.  Later, Amanda is mortified to discover his true identity, but she is determined not to let him get the best of her, despite their explosive attraction to one another.

I initially read this book because of my own upcoming 30th birthday and the fact that this book is on All About Romance's Top 100 Romances list (#30, naturally).  I loved the first 2/3 of this book.  Amanda and Jack definitely had a cat-and-mouse relationship, which is my all-time favourite, trying to one-up each other even when they can't keep their hands off each other.  I found myself laughing out loud at several scenes, which is always a good sign.  This is my first Kleypas novel, and I can see why she has so many fans.  The plot moved a good pace and the character and the dialogue were all believable, not once slipping into the ridiculous or far-fetched.  My only quibble is with the last third of the book. Time sped up and months jumped ahead, which is something I really disliked.  I much prefer to have my novels take place over a short span of time.  Also, as Jack and Amanda realized their love for one another, I felt that some of the "spark" between them dissipated, to be replaced with mushiness.  Which I suppose is how these things go, but I rather wished to see more of their banter.  I also felt disappointed that we didn't learn much about the plot of Amanda's novel, which seemed like it was built up to be a big deal at the beginning.  Overall though, a most enjoyable story.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Seeing a Large Cat

 The title: Seeing a Large Cat
The authors: Elizabeth Peters
Publication: Warner, 1997
Got it from: Chapters Vancouver, 2001 

Reading this book, I couldn't help thinking, "this is where I came in"  When I was a teenager and started reading these books, I jumped into the later books in the series, then went and re-read the back titles year by year.  This book, which is actually the ninth in the series, is the one just before where I jumped in (The Ape That Guards the Balance).  So now I feel that I'm (somewhat) caught up.

Being an Elizabeth Peters book, it is of course funny, well-written and exciting, but I couldn't help feeling that it was a little unmemorable.  The plot of this one involves the Emersons exploring a so-called "lost" tomb in the Valley of the Kings.  The three kids - Ramses, Nefret and David - are teenagers and starting to have adventures of their own, and we even get some narrative from Ramses' perspective.  There were many elements of the plot that feel familiar from other books - seemingly unrelated people and events turning out to be related, the Emersons having to prove to gullible people that there is nothing supernatural going on, people trying to get romantically involved with Ramses and/or Nefret.  And of course a gun-wielding villain in a tomb at the end. Which is to say that I loved it, of course, but as an Amelia Peabody book it wasn't one of my favourites.