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My 1st rom susp by a male author was far better than some by female authors: intriguing, battle of the sexes...slight Spoiler
on 17 June 2011
Of the responses that I got to my recent 'avid reader seeks books in return for review', this was probably the one that appealed to me most: intrigue, romance and hot steamy sex. I've never (to the best of my knowledge) read anything with sex or romance in it by a male author, and had I not known beforehand that the author was male, I wouldn't have guessed. I read this in about 3hrs, and barely noticed time flying, as the novel flowed: lots of action, no stilted conversations, and nothing that was too outlandish, i.e. all was entirely believable.
This to me was a romance by modern standards: not the fluffy, gushy stuff that traditional romance novels might be, but a sexual attraction, a battle of the sexes, act-on-it-and-deal-with-the-consequences-stuff, as the attraction between the leads was there from the minute they met, when sparks began to fly. At times it was like watching a ping-pong match and waiting for the next action+reaction. The style of dialogue/repartee reminded me very much of the Carole Mortimer and Charlotte Lamb Mills and Boon novels from the late 70's/early 80's, featuring a powerful, arrogant, rich Mediterrean male, and a feisty female; true Battle Of The Sexes stuff. I mean this as a compliment, as I was a big fan of those authors (until CM sold out and de-sexed her books when AIDS/HIV hit the headlines, though CL remained true until she died in 2000). It's not 100% my type of romantic novel, as I wasn't sure that Eduardo and Jenny could actually have a HEA, given the deception by Jenny, her succumbing to another guy despite having admitted her love for Eduardo, and the fact that the book did not have a firm ending. I was interested enough to check out the author's website, and if I am not mistaken, his April 2011 release is connected to this one, and I hope to find out about what has happened to the leads from this tale.
It had intrigue to it, but not what I personally would call suspense, as there wasn't anything threatening, but the intrigue itself was well done. The intensity/vehemence of certain conversations at the start of the book that did not initially make sense to me were revealed at the very last minute, keeping the mystery intact. I liked that things didn't all very conveniently unravel too quickly and easily and end with an anticlimax (unlike the 2 recent alleged rom susp books that I've read and reviewed this week).
I also kind of liked that none of the main characters were perfect, as their flaws made them more believable, if not necessarily, IMHO, likeable. I'm of Asian descent, but can't stand Bollywood-style sugary-sweet, rose-tinted spectacle denouements that I find in so many novels, so I found this quite refreshing. And maybe that's where a guy's perspective is different to a woman's.
Overall, this was a really decent read, and yes, I'd read more by this author.