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Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for September 29th, 2012

Just Reviewed Two Books at SBR

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It’s Romance Saturday at Shiny Book Review (SBR), which is why I reviewed two of Sherry Thomas’s Victorian romances — her two newest, in fact.  These books are BEGUILING THE BEAUTY and RAVISHING THE HEIRESS . . . and are available here:

Now, my brief take on these books?  They’re not up to the standard of Thomas’s earlier romances such as her debut, PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS, nor her third romance, NOT QUITE A HUSBAND.  They’re also not up to the standard of her second and fourth books, DELICIOUS and HIS AT NIGHT, respectively.

The upshot is that Sherry Thomas can write, and write well; in fact, her writing far outshines these plots, and makes getting through these books a pleasure while you’re reading them.

However, once you’ve finished the books, you realize, “What was that all about, anyway?”  And then wonder why a writer as good as Sherry Thomas would write books that, put simply, are fluff — well-written fluff, to be sure, with some emotional depth and resonance balancing out the extremely convoluted, yet stereotypical plotlines.

I’m sorry.  I love Sherry Thomas’s writing, but I did not love these plots.  And because of that, the better-rated romance of the two was a B (for RAVISHING THE HEIRESS; even though I actually enjoyed BEGUILING THE BEAUTY more, the unbelievable contortions of the plotline made it impossible for me to grade it out any better than a B-).

Now, for those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re well aware that HIS AT NIGHT rated a B grade, which seemingly matches the B grade I gave RAVISHING THE HEIRESS tonight at SBR.  But there are B’s and B’s — to coin a bad phrase — which is why I point out that had I reviewed HIS AT NIGHT along with these two novels, I probably would’ve given HIS AT NIGHT a B-plus or better.

At any rate, the two latest novels from Sherry Thomas will divert you, engage you, and once read, make you shake your head.  There’s some genuine emotion here, which is a plus; it’s the unbelievability of it all that vexed me to the point that I wanted to throw the books across the room.

So read these books, because Sherry Thomas is a great writer; then go back and read her truly excellent PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS and NOT QUITE A HUSBAND to study how great writing and great plotting enhance books, while great writing and really strange plotting are, at best, extremely confusing.

Written by Barb Caffrey

September 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Posted in Book reviews