Making slow progress? Maybe, but meanwhile I've finished another book, so I'm still three behind. Onward then! Back in Febrary (on my birthday, to be precise :)) my lovely hubby took me to the used bookstore in Teaneck (funny, I just dreamed about a used bookstore last night but that's b/c I was composing this in my head earlier). Selection was not infinite (online used books have spoiled us all) but I did find, for the can't-be-beat price (ok I'm sure it could be beat, but I'm not looking) of $1 (no shipping :)), Summers At Castle Auburn. This is a Sharon Shinn book I may actually have reviewed before on this blog, I read it one recent-ish summer, but of course I'm not going to check first. In any case, it's a fairly light-on-content fantasy romance tale, so pretty much up my alley. Certainly enjoyed it the first time I read it, and subsequent times as well. Worth buying, so I did. Then I left it in the car for like 5 months and took it out only a few weeks ago. It sat on my table for a while, and when I was packing for my trip, was a natural choice to bring along, since the only library book I had was the previously reviewed Terry Pratchett, which I was anyway almost finished with.
So along with me it came. Did I expect to get much reading done on the trip? Not sure, but as it turned out, there was little opportunity until Shabbos (because I had the Olympics of course :)) But there was Shabbos, and then two nights in hotels *w/o* t.v. (Glacier National Park don't go in for that sort o' thang) so I made my way through it pretty swiftly. Really quite swiftly - I only put it down one night because it was getting dark and I didn't want to put the light on (yes, we went to sleep early that night :)) This was somewhat of a surprise, if only because I had found that my enjoyment of this book did not tend to increase with each time I read it. But I guess I reached a good point last time, because I was able to fulfill my expectations and more with this time.
I'm not saying it was a perfect romance, which is much what I thought of it the first time I read it (other than someone telling me she got together with the wrong guy, causing me to root for what I thought what the wrong guy, only to find out that she got together with what I thought was the right guy... but that's a separate issue). There's a whole lot of the other stuff going on, and not *quite* enough interaction for our happy couple. Well, not that they don't interact, but it's not at all clear that there's any romance involved in the interaction until most of the way through. And the romance itself... well it takes on a lot of the book's quite serious tone. They are a nice couple, and he's certainly an admirable guy, but feelings (at least of the fun, angsty sort :)) don't seem to figure quite as much as they should.
So that's why I don't absolutely adore this book. But as I said, I do enjoy it. Because in the end of the day, it's a romance - a royal, fantasy, romance. Sure, there's intrigue, but no blood and guts, no physical hardship, and most importantly, no time when our heroine really feels she has no options, nowhere to go. She may not always fit in, but she has her place and she's got plenty going for her. And the royal palace is a fun place to be, for us if not for her. Kent is of course a perfect gentleman, wise beyond his years and eminently capable. At least for some of the book (when Corie is not 14 :)) he loves her from afar, and we can enjoy knowing that the second (and following times through). So it's all good, you know what I'm saying. No reason not to enjoy this stuff, it was written for the likes of me :)