on September 4, 2009
I adore long romance novels - so much so, that I'd gotten out of the habit of reading shorter, category romance. Too often, I found the conflict too much for a short book, so the author has to wave a magic wand and in a moment all the problems are solved. Or the conflict is too flimsy - nothing that a good 10 minute talk wouldn't clear up. Or there really is no conflict, just a series of events (too often involving gratuitous sex that has nothing to do with romance).
But Merline Lovelace's Desire "The Duke's New Year's Resolution" is a perfect short romance. She has the right balance of conflict, sex, and romance development. Sabrina, our heroine, is independent with issues involving a domineering father, but Lovelace never uses those issues as an excuse for her heroine to act stupidly in order to forward the plot. Everything is so well constructed, that the conflicts arise naturally and are also dealt with naturally as well - no rushing or throwing logic out the window to get the two together. That doesn't mean the character's emotions don't throw a wrench in the works at times, but these moments never feel contrived.
And what a hero - a duke and a doctor, Italian, gorgeous, but not a stereotype. Set against the fantastic Amalfi Coast, Lovelace's book comes alive with her vivid descriptions of homes and scenary that most of us would love to visit, and even live in.
And don't let the title fool you. This book doesn't do the usual and throw a totally unprepared girl into a jet-set, wealthy setting and POOF! somehow she magically manages to overcome the misgivings that anyone would have about adjusting to that life. Sabrina herself is familiar with this life, so her ability to handle the pressure and the luxurious environment without being overwhelmed is totally believeable.
If you want a quick read (less than 2 hours), but a satisfying romance, then this is a great choice.