Thursday, January 12, 2017

That Author

Well, I was told I needed to find a substitute for food to help me diet.  Only thing that could possibly be is books, right? So, though I had no more time than in previous weeks, I felt I had to fit in a trip to the library (to aid me in my diet, of course :)) So on Friday afternoon, I took my little girlies and went. It was a short trip, it being Friday afternoon, and it being kids at the library. I quickly went to a few known authors and grabbed some books.  First one, of course, Lauren Willig.  I was excited to read her next stand-alone, given how much I enjoyed the Ashford Affair.  Well-written, historical romance with a modern-day accompaniment. The next one after Ashford was That Summer, so I took that one (not that there's really any reason to go in order).

That Summer, like all the other LWs, is a story about a modern woman examining history, and we get the usual two love stories.  And like The Ashford Affair, I think it was well-crafted and well-written.  So let's get to the stories themselves - first, Victorian England.  Unlike the Ashford Affair, where the ending was clear from the beginning of the story, and the story itself was extremely familiar, I was not at all clear where this story would end up.  Very appealing in a way, a little bit of mystery :)  As the book progressed, I could see this would not be one of the angst romances I so love - it was one of the ones where the couple are kept apart by external obstacles, and not their feelings. Bor-ing! And the ending... well there was a good reason I couldn't figure out how this one would end up.  Was not exactly a happy ending.  With all that... well written, interesting, engaging story, and nothing too painful.  Can't *really* complain.

As for the modern romance - really, it felt a little perfunctory.  I'm not sure why, it was a typical chic lit romance of ups and down, misunderstandings and sweet moments before the reconciliation.  But it just felt like..  I don't know, I wasn't convinced.  Also, in this one, the modern story is much less about unraveling the history from the 1800s, and more about unraveling the heroine's own history.  Not quite as much fun (you know it's not going to be fun when there's history to unravel from someone's own life).   Really, nothing to complain about in this story either, I just wasn't feeling it.

So - basically, this story was well-written, in a genre I am eminently comfortable in, and nothing in the plot (even the ending) was unspeakably offensive to me. At the same time, the main oomph of the romance was just not there, and for whatever reason, I missed it (more than in the Ashford Affair, which also didn't really have a fantastic romance - maybe it was before the modern romance was better in that one. Or maybe it was just my mood, expectations, whatever). Anyway...

Verdict: 3.5/5

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