By Jude Devereaux
I guess I read 6 or 7 Jude Devereaux books in my 20s and 30s and I remember them to be very well written engaging historical romances. She fell off my radar screen and thought I would renew my acquaintance with a contemporary story thanks to the glowing reviews. Unfortunately, this one did not match up to my memory of her talent. The writing was stiff and choppy at times and seemed aimed at a YA level. There was a lot of awkwardness in sentence structure and plot developments. The character development wasn’t organic but seemed imposed on the characters by the author. Could it be possible that she is no longer writing her own books?
Teri comes home from a short trip to find a guy ensconced in her 2 bedroom cabin “But this guy… She really liked the look of him! The size, the shape, even his skin color were all her favorites.” If this sentence doesn’t seem a little “off” you probably won’t be further distracted by the writing. Or what about this? She moved from his shoulder down to his spine, to his waist. The furrow that ran down his backbone was deep enough to run a boat in. A boat that contained just her. I mean, what?
In physicality, interests, and food and drink preferences, they are a match. But here’s the bad thing. From the very beginning, she knows he is engaged to be married to a nice girl she grew up with but she continues to flirt with him, and he is more than receptive. They don’t do anything inappropriate, but they continue to live in the same house and the cheating is emotional. It’s more important to the story to keep them in close proximity than to give either of them a backbone and do the right thing, so that was the author’s priority.
I was mildly interested in hearing more about why she was such a pariah with the townspeople and the high society types and the inevitable triumph of truth and justice. A mystery is introduced at the end, and I did look forward to how the couple was going to deal with his fiance’s arrival on the scene.
All in all, it was comparable to a Hallmark romance, which is OK for 2 hours of T.V., but not for a whole day of total emersion that reading a book entails.
April 10, 2020