I am on a road to romance. I started reading romance when I was twelve, was forced to be a closet romance reader at thirteen, and emerged from the closet when I started working as a librarian and discovered that few of my colleagues were willing to give romance much of a go. Now I am on a more literal road. In July, I will head to New York City to attend Librarian Day at the Romance Writers of America Conference. I will hear Jude Deveraux speak, attend a panel on Romantic Suspense, and meet loads of well-read romance fans and authors.
I must prepare! And, as a 21st Century woman, I must blog about it! Feel free to guide me as I attempt to become a more well-rounded romance reader. Tell me your favorites and I will share what I am enjoying in return.
First up? Truly, by Ruthie Knox
May has just – somewhat spectacularly, somewhat violently, and really very publically – dumped her NFL superstar boyfriend. Desperately trying to escape the paparazzi and return home to Wisconsin, she leaves her Manhattan apartment via a back door and is promptly mugged. Suddenly, she is trapped. She has five dollars in her pocket, no ID, no phone, and no friends in New York. Drowning her sorrows in the one beer she can afford, she meets Ben, whose vibe is misanthropic, but who offers her a lifeline – a place to stay and some time to think about what she wants to do next.
Knox does a great job with the characters here and works that toughest of setups – one where romance blossoms in mere days – with genuine charm. She captures both May and Ben at a moment where they are open to change, and gives them plenty of room to get to know each other in a condensed time frame. She offers contrast in the form of May’s sister, who is about to marry her longtime beau and is facing serious doubts. How long does it take to get to know someone? To know that you want to spend a lot more time getting to know them – and through them yourself? The characters have a nice depth and it is fun watching them get out of their own way because they want each other that much.
To sum up, with Truly you get good banter, two strong characters, and some nice family side characters for color. It is the first in a new series that will be set in New York, and I am looking forward to seeing who will fall in love next.