Beyond Innocence Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jul 2001
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About the Author
Emma Holly lives in Minnesota where the winters are long and people will use any excuse to warm up. According to Emma, humanity's best inventions are hot showers, the printing press, coffee, chocolate, and bicycle shorts for men. She can be reached at email@example.com or P.O. Box 2591, Minneapolis, MN 55402-0591.
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This is a book I'll read again and again.
The themes of brotherly love of Edward and Freddie with it’s subtext of protection, and repression of sexuality in Regency times are both handled with sympathy by Holly. All three of the central characters here grow, make decisions – good or bad – and live with the repercussions of those decisions. It’s not a life changing book, but there are some interesting issues explored. And it’s unusual in that Freddie has almost as large a part to play in the text as Edward and Florence.
Steamy, fun, sensitive, sad – for a ‘simple’ romantic tale, there’s a lot to recommend itself in this book.
I am definitely not saying that this is a bad book but let's just say that I shan't be reading it again. I think that EH was 'hedging her bets' like crazy throughout the entire plot: these days we romance-addicts are crying out for more original stories other than your typical boy-meets-girl plot and EH seems to trying a little to hard to cater to that without upsetting the delicate sensibilities of the more traditional reader. Let me give you some examples. Our heroine is not a only charmingly innocent and helplessly stranded in the big bad world, she also has a strong head on her shoulders and manages to get herself out of dire situations. Not only is our hero an honourable man who loves his (quite gay) brother to distraction, he also sleeps with the woman he actually thinks his brother is in love with under the pretext of 'showing her a good time in the sack'. Sure Miss Holly throws in the very controversial topic of homosexuality in the regency era, but she somehow handles it in the most...uncontroversial way possible, taking most, if not all the excitment out of it.
I bought this book from amazon cos it was automatically recommended to me based on my previous purchases from the likes of Angela Knight. But trust me, if you like the Knight's stuff, you'll be very...underwhelmed by this book. Emma Holly's other books however, are much MUCH more promising and though I do not necessarily regret buying this book, I do wish that I'd bought some of her others first because I find myself quite reluctant to read any more of her stuff.
So to summarise my babbling, buy this book if
a)you're looking for something passably emotional enough to pass the time but not raunchy enough to keep you awake at night:)
b)you're looking for a book that's different but still very similar to every other romance novel you've read and finally c)you want a book that ends in a typically 'happy everafter' that's sweet but leaves you dry-eyed.
I liked this book too much to give it less than 3 stars and too little to give it more.