Friday, April 8, 2011
Sometimes we're pleasantly surprised, and if I had to guess, those books that exceed expectations are the ones we never forget. Occasionally they completely blow what we thought we wanted from a certain book totally out of the water.
One of those books for me was Tina Donahue's EC release In His Arms. That is one hot cover and it's definitely a sexy story. But it's also extremely emotional and at times even nerve-wracking. The story is about a young girl being kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, basically every mother's worst nightmare. I wasn't sure if I'd like the story. And I didn't just like it. I LOVED it. I've recommended it to everyone I know. It actually made me cry and that never happens. As heartwrenching of a book as it was, I couldn't have been more pleased when I finished the book and set down my e-reader. As authors those are the reactions we hope to elicit in our readers and Ms. Donahue definitely succeeded.
But what happens when your expectations aren't met? I read a great story last week. Or I should be more clear…some of the story I read was great. I loved the hero and thought his motivations for doing some pretty questionable things were well-explained. If it had just been a book about this hero, I would've known that going in and would've felt I'd gotten my reading experience's worth. But it wasn't. This was supposed to be a romance, and with the bulk of the storytelling in the hero's POV and short shrift given to the actual face time between the hero and heroine, by the time I got to the end my predominant reaction was HUH? There was a Happy For Now ending. There were a few sweet love scenes. But the huge skew between how much I knew about the hero and how little I knew about the heroine really left the book feeling off-balanced.
That said, this was a series and I did go back and buy the first book. I liked the author's voice and really enjoyed the hero. Plus I kinda hoped this was just a one book aberration. I'm hopeful the romance in the book I just purchased will be more fully developed.
Then again, who's to say the romance in the book I had trouble with didn't work for some readers? I'm sure it did. That's the great thing about reading and why I'll always love books more than movies - we embellish things the way we want in our heads, make our own pictures and ultimately take away what we want from the words on the page.
What books have exceeded your expectations lately? Looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say when I get home from the day job tonight!
And since it's Friday, here's a little eye candy to help you slide into your weekend. I don't know his name but that's okay by me...