I've always taken more than 12 steps away whenever I'm in the vicinity of the romance section. The covers with the heaving bosoms. The men with the flowing locks. The writing (I'm sure) is predictable and stale.
It's wrong, but I admit that for me, Harlequin and romance novels can be used interchangeably.
In all my life, I've
Or so I thought.
Then Lisa came up with a new book. A novella. And it had one of those romance-y covers, albeit a modern one. Initially I passed, as I was in the middle of a YA novel.
But something in me didn't want to miss out, so I asked for an advanced reader's copy and devoured the book. Overnight.
It's not your mama's romance novel because it's well crafted. The phrasing. The pace. It begins like honey on a semi-warm day. The opening scene just oozes along, drawing the reader into the beach setting. Things speed up and then slow down--just when you want them to continue full-speed ahead--to keep the reader on the edge of their seats.
To keep me hooked as a reader, it has all the components: a delicious, tongue-in-cheek villain/pirate in Scurvy Rickets. A damsel-not-in-distress in Merry Sunjoy. A stray dog. Wonderful wordsmithing.
However, I was also hooked as a writer. In this book. Lisa has fun (or at least seems to have fun) creating "Foundling Faeries" who serve as Jiminey Cricket/internal dialogue for Merry. These tiny creatures echo Merry's feelings. Sometimes they're the devil's advocate. Sometimes they're her conscience. Sometimes they provide comic relief.
What a brilliant idea. How delightful it is to see a writer creating a writer creating characters--the faieries--in such a deft way.
|Lisa Ricard Claro|
The word choices the author made also wowed me as a writer. The phrase "bruised sky" was one I noted, but I soon stopped jotting them down as I got engrossed in the storyline.
If you want to read a romance that's the opposite of a Harlequin romance novel, check out Lisa Ricard Claro's The Write Man. It's a quick read and a quick study in what can be done when it comes to romance-y books.
Hi. I'm Sioux and I'm not a reader of romance novels... unless they're authored by Lisa Ricard Claro...