10 April 2012

Tempest In Eden


Sandra Brown has long been one of my favorite authors, though more so for her mystery/thrillers than her straight romances. According to the author’s note, this book was originally published under her first pen name, Rachel Ryan, which promptly sent me to Fantastic Fiction to see what else had been published under that name in case I’ve missed something. (Only five books listed, all of which I believe I’ve either read or have waiting to be read.)

This one was a little different, in that the hero and heroine seem very incompatible at first. Shay Morgan works in a gallery, and models part time for various artists, in the nude. Nothing tawdry, nothing you’d see in the pages of a girly magazine, but sculptures and actual works of art. Oftentimes her face is not even used, just her body, or a part of her body. She’s very proud of her portfolio and feels no shame or regret in what she does.

Her mother remarries, and invites Shay to join her and her new husband at his cabin for a weekend. She doesn’t realize that she now has a new stepbrother, until she is wandering through the supposedly empty house and sees him stepping out of the shower. And then she finds out he is a minster.

I read a lot of Love Inspired books, so a romance featuring a minster or the like is not unusual for me to come across. But Shay’s life is so different from the usual heroine in those books, that their differing occupations seemed to me to be an insurmountable obstacle. Of course it all works out in the end, but it left me wondering how it would have played out in real life. Could it actually work out like this book did? I can’t imagine falling in love with a minister, or being a minister’s wife. I’m not a religious person. I don’t go to church, I don’t pray. I’ve gotten hooked on the Love Inspired books, but I don’t feel something missing in my life or that I’m searching for something. I just enjoy the stories. Shay’s religious background and beliefs were touched on only briefly, and I guess that’s what I felt was lacking in this story. They are supposed to be such disparate people, and yet she actually blended into his life and church quite easily and seamlessly. The adjustment would have been much harder for me, and I’m not sure that it would have even been successful. That conflict could have definitely been expanded on.

On the other hand, this was originally published as a “genre romance” as the author’s note puts it, so a light, enjoyable read it should be, and at that it excels. Sandra Brown never disappoints.

(I received this book through BookCrossing.)

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