In which I join the throng
In a spirit of trying to broaden my mind and my experience of the Romance genre (I grew up reading SF/Fantasy, and had never read a romance before writing Captain’s Surrender), I decided to try some of the famous authors I’ve been hearing about.
Georgette Heyer was not exactly a disappointment because – aware of my enormous ignorance – I was not really expecting anything. On the whole, after trying three of her books, I’ve decided she’s not really my cup of tea. I don’t like her heroes, and I get bored with the way all the characters seem to spend page upon page doing nothing more than exchange wearingly ‘witty’ dialogue. She’s clearly a good writer, but she’s not my thing.
Nora Roberts on the other hand… I just read “Blood Brothers” by her, in which three childhood friends-turned-heroes have to defend their town from an ancient evil, with the help of three conveniently turned up sassy heroines. And I can’t wait until I can find the next book in the series and read what happens next.
I wouldn’t say her style is much more than ‘perfectly competent’, but she has a real storytelling gift. Her pacing is wonderful – I never got bored. Her characterisation is wonderful, with all six main characters individual and likable, and the minor characters well drawn too, and the book is chock full of plot. I skipped the sex scenes because I’m like that, but there were few enough of them that it didn’t put me out more than a couple of pages.
I liked all her heroes and I liked all her heroines, and I liked the dynamic between them in which nobody gets overwhelmed or subjected to bad gender roles. And there were demons, and mysteries to be solved, and paranormal, spooky goings on, so that the characters actually got to do something together and prove how clever and brave they were (very brave, possibly not that clever.)
I’ll definitely be reading the next two books in the series, and then looking out her J.D.Robb novels as well.