I’ve been taking a little breather from writing… which means I’ve actually done some reading! Here are my thoughts about two books I recently finished, both of which were billed as “humorous romance.” As you’ll see, that term is used widely; these two books were completely different, and left me with completely different responses/feelings.
French Lessons by Ellen Sussman
This book is actually three shorter stories wrapped into one. I found the first story dragging on longer than it needed to. The middle one is essentially a short one-night-stand story that had very little character development and no sensual appeal whatsoever (can you tell I didn’t like it at all?). The third was by far the better, about a man whose wife is a famous actress (he’s the ‘rock’ in the relationship), but it was hard to follow. Then there were the tutors themselves, who had a sort of love triangle going. I didn’t think the book was ‘sexy’ (which the description claims) – it was more sad, with the characters lonely and unfulfilled. The idea that stuck in my head was that sex doesn’t equal happiness. I heard the book was optioned for movie rights and was very surprised … with all the hype about the book and the author, I expected a whole lot more.
Mr. Rebound by Michael Caine
So geeky college friend (Kevin) has turned into sculpted god … that’s a bit tired and overdone, BUT for some reason, it worked – probably because Susan’s recollections of their college days included ways that Kevin made her laugh or feel comfortable as herself. Kevin does come across as a little too ‘puppy’ at times, and there is one scene of friend Liz taking retribution on the ex that didn’t need to be there … AND Susan sure seems to get over her ex in a hurry. But the author created believable people with characteristics that made them endearing. Whenever I thought they might get overdone or stereotyped, the author threw in tidbits that personalized them (like Susan’s honky sneeze). It was a nice light read for a cold, snowy day.