Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Prelude to a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle
Author: Delilah Marvelle
Genre: Fiction (Historical/Romance)
Love/Hate?: Like -- a strong like.
Did I finish?: Yes!
One-sentence summary: Naturalist's daughter marries for love but finds husband is more of a handful than anticipated.
Why did I get this book?: The set-up intrigued me!
Do I like the cover?: Yes -- has a romance novel-y feel without being overly lurid.
First line from book: Lady Justine Fedora Palmer knew all too well that her dear, dear father, the sixth Earl of Marwood, had always been an intelligent and upstanding, moral citizen.
Did... I laugh a lot?: YES. In a good way. A great way. This book is snappy and funny, perfect weekend reading.
Am... I totally over the predatory lesbian preying on married straight women?: YES. It seemed especially out of left field in this book.
Did... I find the sex sexy?: YES, although there wasn't a ton but what occurred was in character and actually rather plot-necessary!
Review: As I said in my last Teaser Tuesday, this is an unusual pick for me -- I'm not a regular romance novel reader. But I was really intrigued by the premise -- sexual addiction! -- and I wanted to see how it would shake out. There was the fantasy element I was looking for (becoming a duchess! dreamy hot hubby!) but at the same time, everyone wasn't sort of preternaturally perfect or charming or whatever. I rather liked our heroine, Justine -- she was feisty and fiery and all that but considering her upbringing, it felt real and grounded.
Overall, I wasn't disappointed; my big quibble was that the otherwise reasonable heroine allowed herself to get separated from her otherwise lovely husband on a rather flimsy premise. Marvelle's writing style is straight-forward and very funny and I'm looking forward to the second book in the Scandal series -- this time, she refashions Cinderella with the hero as the penniless romantic.
ETA: Despite my quip above about the predatory lesbian, I wanted to add I actually found this book to be remarkably queer-friendly. Refreshingly so. And the sapphic twist actually made sense in the context of the character -- I just wish it had been developed a little more. The book's overarching theme of sexual obsession makes the sapphic twist quite appropriate and intriguing -- historically homosexuality has been seen as a kind of obsession -- but it's also not a huge part of the plot. I don't want to overemphasize it at the expense of the rest of the story. But I also wanted to be fair about my gripe since I went there.