This book was mentioned to me as something different (especially as regards Mormon characters), so I went a-seeking. And boy, did I get.
Corinne YoungThis book was mentioned to me as something different (especially as regards Mormon characters), so I went a-seeking. And boy, did I get.
Corinne Young is having an affair with her dentist. Kinda. Sorta. She���������������������������s not sure why, but there���������������������������s gotta be a reason, right? Her husband, Brent, holes himself up in his office with his computer all night long, working on the software training company he built. And then, well, all hell breaks loose. It doesn���������������������������t take long to understand why Corinne���������������������������s diddling the dentist, even if it takes her longer than the reader to figure it out. (Because, well, what does ���������������������������husband holed up in his office with his computer all night long��������������������������� say to you? Okay, after much thought, it occurred to me he could have been gaming.)
Let me get my beefs out of the way first, and they���������������������������re all editing beefs. The story could have been tighter in some places and expanded in others. I know I counted one spot where Corinne���������������������������s (the protagonist) name was spelled wrong (which, to me, is major carelessness). The mother character needed to be a little more consistent. The first-person past tense got mixed up with first-person present tense enough to be annoying. Some of the psychological definitions needed to be woven in better for the reader who (ahem, me) doesn���������������������������t speak the language of addiction or 12-step groups. There were other things, and all things that an editor should have caught, but���������������������������
I liked it. I liked it in spite of its editing flaws, which will usually put me off a book faster than anything. I would have read it in one sitting but I have children and a day job.
The voice was fresh and comical, with a sad subtext that gave me an earbug for ���������������������������the tears of a clown when there���������������������������s no one around.��������������������������� The fact that these characters are Mormons (jack, social, or otherwise) really doesn���������������������������t register with me, except that I understand the jargon and the nuances of some scenes, which would pass harmlessly over a non-member���������������������������s head without leaving the non-member behind. Of course, that could be me saying that knowing the jargon; I didn���������������������������t really understand what made Corinne a co-addict so it���������������������������s possible a non-member would have to take church references in context, as I did the 12-stepping.
I went on the assumption that this is quasi-autobiographical, so everything that happened in the order that it happened made sense to me. Perhaps, had I taken it on its face as a complete fiction (hey, at least she didn���������������������������t call it a ���������������������������memoir���������������������������!), I might have had an issue with what genre romance terms The Big Misunderstanding, but even then I might not have. Big Misunderstandings happen in real life, too, and I can accept that as a device as long as it���������������������������s not too contrived and the characters have already displayed a willingness to avoid confronting issues.
Odd aside: The publisher classifies this as ���������������������������chick lit.��������������������������� I guess I don���������������������������t know what chick lit is; this didn���������������������������t feel like what I thought chick lit was.
Somewhere between R and NC-17 for sex and language, none of which, IMO, were titillating in the least, so I���������������������������d err on the side of the R....more
Recommended read. He’s deeply bipolar. She’s co-dependent. It’s a psychiatrist’s worst nightmare. But it works and I can believe that each’s strengthsRecommended read. He’s deeply bipolar. She’s co-dependent. It’s a psychiatrist’s worst nightmare. But it works and I can believe that each’s strengths can overcome the other’s weaknesses....more
This is a fantasy with sweet romantic elements and I love the sweet stories as much as I love the hawt ones. There is no swearing or sex (oh, maybe aThis is a fantasy with sweet romantic elements and I love the sweet stories as much as I love the hawt ones. There is no swearing or sex (oh, maybe a ���������������������������damn��������������������������� or ���������������������������hell��������������������������� here and there, but I can���������������������������t remember). It���������������������������s set in the imaginary world of Karlathia, which I envision as a fairy-tale village whose battle technology is a weird mix of firearms and medieval hand-to-hand combat.
It has two narrators (Bertram, the kingdom���������������������������s seneschal, and Christopher, its army���������������������������s chief general), and is split into first and third person, which I love. In the almost-omniscient first person, the prose is loose and funny, yet cozy because it breaks the fourth wall, yet is more formal and intense (and removed, natch) in third person. Both suit the respective narrators��������������������������� personalities very well.
Bertram���������������������������s overstated understatements and asides make me smile and laugh (in fact, I���������������������������d go so far as to say he upstages Christopher, but that is not to the story���������������������������s detriment).
It was a very fun and funny read. Bonus! I learned a new word....more
Not only that, but I thought the heroine was slightly foolish, until she (this superclever spy-type person) turned the cornerThis was a turgid read.
Not only that, but I thought the heroine was slightly foolish, until she (this superclever spy-type person) turned the corner into TSTL territory when she started blabbing her secrets to a dude she couldn't see while on a lovely stroll through the south of England. Who, you know, happened to be a spy--for the other side. Kinda. But how would she know? She's fucking blind. But not mute. Sadly....more
**spoiler alert** Overall, I enjoyed this book. There were a lot of things to like. The heroine was charmingly prickly and generally seemed to have he**spoiler alert** Overall, I enjoyed this book. There were a lot of things to like. The heroine was charmingly prickly and generally seemed to have her head on straight. Visited her parents, took care of her mother, but she wasn’t a mommy’s girl. There was no money angst. Yes, she had body issues. Some other reviewers found this tedious, but if you’re not fat, you would find it tedious because you don’t know. She wasn’t saying anything the rest of us haven’t said or any more frequently than we say it. Generally, I liked her and understood her.
The hero was attractive, charismatic, unique, and totally fabulous. In other words, not a guy who’s relationship material and here’s where I started to have issues with the book *as a romance novel*:
1. Nicholas’s persona as a drag queen as a result of sexual abuse. That warranted a long, weary sigh. (This is not a spoiler; it’s in the prologue.)
2. Nicholas’s hobby of fucking anything with a vagina. It felt like he was a gay man having sex with lots of women to keep a lock on the closet door. You’re trying too hard, darling.
3. Nicholas’s refusal to slow down when Freda asked him to. He was going way too fast for me to take his stated affection for her seriously, especially when he took a woman home almost specifically to shove Freda’s refusal to have sex with him in her face.
4. Freda never actually came right out and said, “I don’t want to sleep with you because you’re going to treat me the same way you treated the woman you took home and rubbed my nose in.” She never saw it as disrespect to her and a childish, cruel, retaliatory act because she didn’t give him what he wanted. Nicholas was written so that I believe he *would* have backed off and tried to gain her trust or at least seduce her properly *if she had said it straight out*, as he did seem a bit dense that way, but Freda took whatever he dished out.
I don’t think this is a case of me wanting the book *I* wanted to read. It is true I also wrote a straight drag queen (although a very secondary character) with a female lover AND a different hero who had been raped, but was relatively happy except for a trace of PTSD from a lifetime of war.
The problem was that I didn’t find much to admire about Nicholas, and I didn’t know why Freda put up with his shit other than the fact that he was attractive, charismatic, unique, and totally fabulous.
I don’t believe he loved her. I think he was mentally ill (not because he was a drag queen, but because his abuse “made” him a drag queen—he needed therapy, not a Liza Minelli act), so he was looking for a) an enabler and b) a codependent relationship. I don’t believe the HEA because I think he will cross Freda’s line one too many times and she’ll finally give up. She wasn’t codependent enough.
If Freda had ended the book saying, “He’s really fucked up, but I love him in spite of it, so I’m going to stay with him,” I could respect that and be satisfied. If Nicholas had said, “I’m really fucked up and I don’t know if I love you, but for however long we’re together—which will probably be forever, though I can’t guarantee it—I won’t cheat on you,” I could accept that as satisfactory ending consistent with the character.
All that said, every author has WTF books, so this one will not deter me from reading another of this author’s books. I find the voice engaging and, unlike a couple of reviewers, I like the asides and the breakage of the fourth wall....more
I'm not quite sure what I think about this book. It took me a long time to get it read (a week). This is a gothic novel, but not in the regular styleI'm not quite sure what I think about this book. It took me a long time to get it read (a week). This is a gothic novel, but not in the regular style of gothic novels, which is what's thrown me. I'll have more later....more