Lizzy Chandler's Reviews > Always the Bridesmaid

Always the Bridesmaid by Nina Harrington
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Nov 26, 11

Read in August, 2011

I loved this book. I hadn't read a Harlequin Mills & Boon (except those written by friends) for a very long time when I won three books, Nina Harrington's story among them. I'm pretty sure this was Harrington's breakthrough novel to get published in this field. Such books are always great to analyse for craft as the authors have usually spent many years honing their manuscript and their skills. (Later books sometimes disappoint as the authors don't have the luxury of a single focus, and they're often working to deadlines.)

Harrington's humour is what stood out for me. And her command of the romance conventions. The conventions are all there - along with the hero's name, Jared Shaw - but they are deftly handled. Harrington drew me into the story in a way that enable me to suspend my knowledge that the hero and heroine would get together in the end. The story touches on a core emotional issue that I didn't think I'd see handled in romance. No spoilers here, but I'm amazed Harrington manages to sustain sympathy for her hero, touching on more than one issue that, in real life, are crucial to many women, myself included. There's a wealth of pain in the unwritten story, the one without a happy ending.

For students of romance, I'd highly recommend this book as a great example of the craft.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Nina (new)

Nina Harrington Thank you for your kind review Elizabeth. I am delighted that you enjoyed my debut book for Mills and Boon. And yes, you are quite correct,I had worked on my craft for many years before submitting this book. The editors appreciated the fact that I had used my experience in creating single title books to bring a different approach to the Mills and Boon Romance Line.
Amy and Jared were a special couple! LOL Nina x


Lizzy Chandler Aw, reading my review I wonder why I didn't give it five stars! Thanks, Nina. It's great to know a bit of the history. So when you write that you were "creating single title books", what do you mean? Were these published? (And, if so, how come I don't know about them!!)


message 3: by Nina (new)

Nina Harrington Oh I have to laugh out loud. Those single title books are sitting in boxes on the shelf behind me right now -loved but unpublished. Contemporary thrillers, technothrillers, and contemporary romance books which I can see now formed my hard earned apprenticeship in writing craft. Most were simply not strong enough or lacking that little sprinkle of fairy dust.
Maybe one day...?
Have a great weekend. All the best, Nina x


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