Reading Out of My Comfort Zone: Harlequins
On Saturday afternoon, my husband threw down the gauntlet and issued a reading challenge. We were wandering the aisles at our local Target and came upon a wall of bodice-ripper romance novels. We spent whole minutes admiring and comparing the covers, reading blurbs, and generally have a good laugh at the genre’s expense. I fessed up to never having read a Harlequin and debate ensued about my book blogging credentials.
Anthony argued that being a book blogger who avoids an entire genre is akin to being a dermatologist who won’t lance boils because he or she finds that aspect of the job distasteful. With that half-assed simile, he decided to pick a Harlequin (based on cover image and premise) for me to read and review on Book, Line, and Sinker. I drew the line at covers featuring bare chests, heaving bosoms, or any type of undergarments. This was our compromise:
I zipped through the 192-page book in an hour or so and when it came to serving up cliches and insipid dialog, Kendrick didn’t disappoint. Angie, the mousy secretary is transformed into a wanton hussy with the change of an outfit. Her Italian boss is part playboy part chauvinistic pig, but the two manage to find some middle ground (her bed, his bed, his office floor, etc.). Thankfully, the book wasn’t as graphic as I feared, and the sex scenes were positively tame compared to Jackie Collins and her ilk.
Can meek little Angie get Riccardo to change his fickle ways and finally settle down? And can she also manage to repair her sister’s failing marriage and help Riccardo’s sister escape an arranged marriage and find true love? You bet she can.
With that, The Italian Billionaire’s Secretary Mistress secures the dubious honor of being the first book to ever receive 1/2 of a bookmark on my rating system. (One bookmark is ‘Not my cup of cocoa’, so you read into 1/2 of a bookmark however you see fit.)
Thanks to Anthony for suggesting this fun and adventurous challenge (and for footing the bill).