Thursday, 13 December 2012

Rameau Reviews: What the librarian did - Karina Bliss


I may or may not have found my new favourite author. 

There’s a reason Harlequin Superromances sell so well in Finland, better than Blaze or any other kinky ultra hot sex series or imprint. The impact of naked skin kind of evens out when you get used to seeing it regularly in the sauna. And we have those long winter nights and comfy blankets in our beds… anyway, it’s all about the story. 

Here, two adults in their thirties meet at a point in their lives that isn’t particularly auspicious for romantic entanglements. One desperately wants a family but isn’t ready to commit to a man to have it, and another is trying to build a new start for his life. It’s a good thing then that they don’t know anything about each other and can discover together what the future holds for them. But as I said, the timing is the best possible and their past mistakes are about to catch up with them. 

I made a list of all the things I loved about this book and it’s as disorganised as are my thoughts, still. I loved the wit and humour Bliss infuses her text with. Jokes are a delicate thing to write especially when the audience doesn’t necessarily share the cultural context with the author, but here:

”It wasn't that he had a five o'clock shadow at nine-thirty in the morning that screamed 'bad boy.' To Rachel's eyes, that simply made him scruffy.”

"Anyone could see she had a conscience. That must be painful for her."

”’I’m not offended. You're not my type, either.'
Perversely, he was piqued. 'Not a nerd, you mean?'
Her eyes narrowed. 'Not housebroken.’

Look at that and tell me it’s not funny even without the context. I dare you. 

I loved the fact that Rachel and Devin didn’t succumb to the insta-lust/love/attraction that’s a plague in modern romances. They were actually slightly antagonistic before building a tentative friendship with the option for more. Their romance was the slow burn kind with push and pull to keep them balanced. One gave the other took, and then they switched places. Truths were shared and actual smarts were displayed. I loved that both Rachel and Devin acted like adults. They weren’t perfect but they owned up to their mistakes and were determined to face the consequences. 

One thing I absolutely hate in romance novels is the plot twist involving an artificial, prolonged misunderstanding. It was delightfully absent from this book and it all comes back to characters acting like real adults. Even in their most idiotic moments, they remained true to their characterisations instead of changing to fit the whims of the plot. 

As for the reason why I now have a “can-I-has-a-Devin” shelf, let’s just say—without spoiling the book for everyone else—that the man knows the right things to say. (Yes, I’m aware that a woman wrote him.) He has brilliant scenes with Rachel and another character where he expresses his unwavering love, devotion, and trust in her. Once he’s in, he’s in. He’s made up his mind and he won’t let her insecurities drive him away, and he trusts her to figure it out eventually.

I’ll need to read that other book by Bliss I bought on the Harlequin Christmas sale. Then I’ll know if I’ll be adding another author on my list of favourites.

5 stars




Series: Harlequin Superromance #1622
Pages: 256 (ebook)
Publisher: Harlequin
Published: 2010
Source: Bought

34 comments:

  1. Look at that and tell me it’s not funny even without the context. I dare you.

    These jokes weren't funny. Not even close. Just ordinary things I say every day.

    Ok, I am kidding ;p.

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  2. This will teach me not to judge a book by its cover. When I first saw it I thought it had such a cheesy cover and didn't realize that there was so much more to the story.

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    1. I kind of expect some level of cheesiness from Harlequin covers. I actually prefer the old looking covers to the new ultra crisp ones that look like recycled stock images (which they most likely are).

      But yeah, the story is a winner, in my eyes at least.

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  3. Didn't know about this author but after your review I need to check her out.

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    1. Yay! I didn't know about her either and a friend linked to the book. Bought it on a whim and it paid off better than I expected.

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  4. Hm... I didn't expect a 5. I think I may have to check out this romance and perhaps the Super Romance series as well...

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    1. There's a very small difference between my four and five star ratings. One is a memorable thing that catches me unawares, the other is just a really good, entertaining read ;)

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  5. Wow a five and a new favorite author that is saying a lot. I wonder if this is still on sale. I am not a fan of the old fashioned librarian outfit.

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    1. I bought it on the Harlequin Christmas -50% sale so I doubt you'll find it at that prize, but I haven't kept up with the other Christmas deals.

      The outfit is a part of her characterisation, Rachel likes to dress in vintage clothes.

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  6. Replies
    1. Whenever I find an English writer whose humour works for me I latch on and won't let go, it's that a rare thing.

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  7. Oh god, I have to read it! I had this big goofy smile on my face reading this review. I love books like that! *running to harlequin website to see if I can scavenge it*

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  8. wow I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I didn't know this one but I confess I'm not a lot into this kinf of books. But maybe one day.

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    1. Thanks. If it's not your genre, it's not your genre. Luckily I'm eclectic with my reads, so maybe I'll find something else interesting and good for you at another time.

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  9. Oh sounds wonderful! So glad you enjoyed the story and all here. :) Thank you for sharing.

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  10. This sounds too cute. I will have to check out some Harlequin Super romances myself.

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  11. The Superromances are my favorite of the Harlequin lines. This book sounds great.

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  12. Adding this to my TBR. I found the excerpts funny too... I know somehow I will enjoy this one. Thank God for the absence of prolonged misunderstands, I absolutely hate them too.

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    1. I hope you'll like the book. Bliss' sense humour just fits me.

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  13. Adding this one to my list for the name alone!

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    Replies
    1. *stage whispers* That's what I did!

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  14. Wow, Rameau! What an awesome review! I love all the things in books you just liked, not an insta lust, not too many scorching love scenes. I've gotta try this genre.
    And yes, that housebroken quote is the best ever.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm glad you liked the review. I only hope you'll like the book too.

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  15. o.o a five from Ram...i must buy this now!

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    1. :P I hope you'll like it. I try to save the five star ratings for special occasions.

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  16. Sounds fun and you don't give out 5's every day!

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  17. heehee sometimes these kinds of books just look so cute! i'm glad this one really is!

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