Sunday, January 29, 2012

One-Third Book Review

It's been a while again, but I guess I have an inner curmudgeon and she's egging me on to write tonight.

Some time ago I ordered some Regency romances.  I generally like romances and the Regency era is a great setting for them.  In my order were two volumes of three short novellas each: Autumn Kittens and Valentine Kittens. I guess you all know I'm a cat lover so you can imagine the attraction.  I've read one story in Autumn Kittens ("Cat's Cradle" by Shannon Donnelly) which was quite good.
However, I just finished the first story in Valentine Kittens and it was a real disappointment.  "Belling the Cat" by Jo Ann Ferguson held a lot of promise.  The hero and heroine meet at an inn when three kittens shred the heroine Amaris' gown.  The hero, Jason, vows to have it repaired.  This all leads into complications when Jason finds out she's almost engaged to the fellow (Raymond) his sister Olivia loves.  On top of that, he starts falling for Amaris.  
The story is fine for the first six chapters.  Jason has to put up Amaris and her servant at his manor which causes tension when he has to tell his sister about the impending engagement. And at the end of Chapter 6, Raymond is supposedly telling Jason why he didn't invite Olivia to be his special guest at his Valentine Ball.
Then comes Chapter 7 and sends the whole thing crashing. 
SPOILER:







Not that things don't end as they should (Jason and Amaris will be together, so will Raymond and Olivia.)
END SPOILER





But the author doesn't make much of the tension that could have made a much better next chapter or two.  Instead we have a really bad Chapter 7 with Amaris seeking (supposedly) some solitude in Jason's boathouse when he comes along and  - well;, I see him as just being obnoxious to her - I wouldn't want to be treated that way by someone who supposedly had - feelings for me! Anyway, it made him look much less likable to me - and - that scene supposedly solved everyhing?  I would like to have seen the four of them struggle to untangle things and draw the tension out a bit more - maybe things could have been sorted out during the Ball or something.
Anyway - what had been a good run up just turned into a real waste of the tension and a lost chance to do a bit more with Raymond and Olivia.
There are two more stories in the book.  The next story I'll read in this volume I think will be "The Birthday Kitten" by Cynthia Pratt.  That got a good review by a reader online. I hope this one will pass.

UPDATE:  I did start to read "The Birthday Kitten" but didn't like it and soon abandoned the reading of it.

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