Tropical Sin (part of the Bandicoot Cove anthology, along with novellas by Vivian Arend & Jess Dee) [eBook only]
Samhain (US: 6th September 2011)
A common problem in romance fiction is that the main drama/conflict/problem/plot actually doesn’t feature IN the book, but much earlier.
In other words, the authors are writing the wrong stories. Their ideas for the right stories are evident, yet these gems don’t get the spotlight, instead hidden away within the space of a few pages of a way less interesting tale.
Reading Chapter Eight, hopefully you, too, will prefer a story featuring Derek Schulze than anyone else. His may not have a happy ending, but it’s bloody fascinating and emotional.
But since Derek doesn’t get a proper novella – he gets just those few pages, and they were more about Nick – dedicated to him, this serious note in Tropical Sin kind of feels chucked in.
Triple Dare (from the Red Hot Winter anthology, which includes other novellas by Jess Dee & Delilah Devlin)
Samhain (US: 4th January 2011)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
I would’ve given this four stars had it not been for that epilogue. So the novella’s downgraded to three.
It’s perfectly fine to give a character a life-threatening, inoperable illness. It makes ménage fiction less fantasy and more realistic. Adds some seriousness to the fun. All good.
But in the epilogue, you can’t just say the character’s in remission. If you’re going to have someone dying in earlier chapters, they should actually die – don’t pull a “just kidding” move. Because it seems like the inoperable illness is just thrown in for plot. The story would be fine if two characters marry, and have fond thoughts of their dear dead friend.
Or you can just say it’s not entirely inoperable. That still makes the story serious without pulling a “sucked in” move, and it ends reasonably happily.
So Triple Dare has a good idea, but the execution really pisses me off. Inoperable illness is inoperable for a reason. Don’t tell us something can’t be done when it actually does get done by the time the epilogue comes around.
Then again, I’ve never been an epilogue fan. I want a realistic ending, which is not necessarily a happy one.
The Down Under Divas invited me to guest-blog; said I could write about anything romance. You and I both know that I prefer romance as a sub-plot rather than the main event, and the Divas knew that, too. Yet, they liked my mini-essay enough to share it with their blog readers. So if you’d like to read about my favourite couple (or maybe just to be in the running to win Lexxie Couper’s Spaceport eBooks), stop by here. You have less than 24 hours until Lexxie selects a contest winner, but my essay will remain there for days after 🙂
And if you’d like me to guest-blog for you, my Inbox is open to suggestion. I don’t give away prizes, though; I can only offer my words 😉