Who would have thought I would have a another opportunity so quickly? But, a succession of circumstances... Ok, you really want to know? I know you want to :) (or I want to make my review longer :)) Phone did not have a long time to charge today as I got in late because drove straight from cl and went to pump, and then ate lunch about an hour after I finished pumping, at which point I took my phone out to get lunch (like I always do) and forgot to plug it in. As I went up to lunch, I noticed my throat hurting and decided to go get a strep test. I went to the doctor’s office, which took quite a while, and of course my phone was not plugged in this whole time. Turns out I have strep so I went home early... and my phone was dead. It is now charging but does not have enough juice to do anything with (and by anything I mean read Slate because it *really* doesn’t have enough juice for tethering. So I need something to do while I take the local train back home. And what to do without internet? Writing a blog entry sounds perfect :) So! Next up... After I finished Grandma’s two presents, I didn’t go back to ebooks... not sure why, but maybe it was because I was almost going back to work? or was already so behind in my reviews that I didn’t want to bog myself down further? Whatever the reason, I wasn’t reading much, and when I did read it was books I had on my shelf already (oh right, probably the reason was I was watching t.v. except on Shabbos so I just needed something to read on Shabbos). Really don’t know the order, and besides, I want to review some in groups, so next up is the two Pink Carnation (Lauren Willig) books I own. These aren’t my favorite two, they are just the ones I happened to buy (#4, Crimson Rose because the library was taking forever to get it and #8, The Orchid Affair because I went to the book signing (yes I did :)). I actually reviewed #8 at the time I read it, but of course I can’t link to it right now because I’m writing offline, but you can go find it yourself :)
Anyway, you hear a lot about Lauren Willig if you read this blog, since she’s always offering up suggestions for authors (though I guess I don’t take her up on too many of them but I do feel like I mention her a lot). Her books have a strong element of Regency romance, which is why I read them, but they are also very well written and well researched, entertaining historical mysteries. Not found in the paperback section of the library or anything :) I always liked them, and still do, but I’ve noticed the “seams” showing a bit more in the past few years - by which I mean that her narration sounds like it’s often chuckling to itself. This is less a product of the books changing than of me getting more discerning (if I do say so myself :) could it be related to this blog?? :)), which I know because I see the same writing style in #4, which came out before I noticed the trend. So her writing, while good, is a bit too blithely irreverent for me, but not at all awkward and still vivid and entertaining. The books are solid romances, each with a fresh plot and the spy element is never too distracting. The modern element of the books has gotten less interesting as the story evolves (no surprise there as how long could the original romance be stretched out) but 1) it doesn’t take up too much time and 2) the new plot twists at least keep us from rehashing the same old conflicts. Basically, these are good, solid books, rare well-written examples of (my favorite) Regency genre (ok not technically Regency but close enough).
About these two specifically - like I said, they were never my favorite ones. Crimson Rose is about Mary Alsworthy, and while she is a sympathetic character in this one, she can’t entirely lose the taint of being a conniving and nasty sister in the previous book. I do heart Lord Vaughn :) but the romance showcases that issue where the cool guy is so cool you don’t want to see him humbled by romance. As for The Orchid Affair, it’s about a governess and a French bureaucrat... not exactly my ideal milieu. But the romance are both excellent of course and the stories well told. So I didn’t find it hard to read these, not at all. If I had more Lauren Willigs at home, I’d reread them too :) And whenever I start going to the library again the two (!) new Lauren Willigs (one not a Pink Carnation) will be first on the list.