Monday, May 02, 2005

Dear Mom...I'm Back

This isn't actually a blog to my mom, but since I imagine she's the only one left who probably still comes around after my 20 plus-day absence, I figure I can just personalize it.

To those of you kind enough to keep checking back, my sincerest apologies for my utter disappearance. I offer as my only excuse the fact that I am not a professional tiler by trade and therefore had no idea the consequences of laying a travertine marble floor using the wrong kind of tile adhesive. Nor did I imagine that those Do It Yourself/Weekend Warrior type shows on HGTV actually don't make up all of the tragedies that befall those foolish enough to try to remodel a bathroom mere days before they are expecting a house full of guests. Lessons learned. Duly noted. Promise not to be repeated.

I must say that the cost was worth it on my end. At one point I was lucky enough to have in my home people from no less than three continents, five countries, and seven different forms of English. We've dubbed our three-day visit The Accent Convention (with delegates from Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the US) and have vowed to meet regularly. Although I've sworn that no matter what shape the house is in, I will not embark on any remodels beforehand.

So, what's new?

I've started Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible with great expectations. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to sit down and read it properly, which means from cover to cover with only bathroom breaks and trips to the kitchen to grab more junk food. (Thus proving to you all that I wasn't cheating on the blogging world by holing up with stacks of my best TBRs.) I'm having to pick away at it while waiting for kids in swimming lessons to finish up and during soccer practices, which means I'm only on page 100. And now that I have time to write again, I'm torn between just curling up in bed tonight and reading and using my free time to let those people talking in my brain back out on paper. Too much to do...too little time.

I'm having a love/hate reaction to this book. It is wonderful. I love both the heroine and the hero, and already I'm itching to see them together. I love the exotic location of Egypt which just begs for sultry nights and filmy veils and tents in the sand. The dialogue is superb, the introspection very informative but not heavy-handed, and the world fully fleshed out.

This is all the love stuff. What I'm not loving so much is the premise. Or rather, I'm not loving that the premise - the non-romantic plot, if you will - is so dominant. Just to give you a snapshot, Daphne Pembroke's brother, Miles, has been kidnapped. Rupert Carsington has been assigned to help her recover Miles. The story revolves around the couple's efforts to accomplish this goal.

It's a good premise - realistic reason for these two strangers to be thrown together and a great set-up for a fun road story. Except that it actually takes center stage. A lot of time and words have been spent on this part of the story, and I'm kind of annoyed by it. Not that this premise isn't fascinating - it really is. And Ms. Chase has done a wonderful job keeping the story moving along. She's revealed enough that we as readers know only what the characters know plus just a tiny bit more, so we still have no idea how it will all work out and why and when and all of that.

But it's Ms. Chase's fault that I'm not loving her A-Plot because she's created two such wonderful characters. I'm so anxious for them to move through the steps of their romance that I don't want to wait while they track down Miles and try to solve clues and stumble over dead bodies. I want all of that stuff to happen but more in the background. And I don't want to skim over any of it because the details are so nicely woven into the story that it would truly diminish my enjoyment of the story as a whole.

I think this is why I don't read romantic mysteries. I'd rather focus on the romance and relationship than on the who dunnit stuff. And I like it when, if I want to skip to the romance stuff, I can feel free to skim the A-Plot details without worrying that I've missed something or will be confused. I want my cake but I want to eat it, too.

I know we all have our likes and dislikes, and for many I imagine the action of solving a mystery is very interesting and exciting. I suppose I'd be fine with all of that, too, if the romance wasn't so nicely written. Maybe if I didn't like the heroine and hero so much and didn't feel the heat between them radiating off the page, I'd be okay with the spotlight turned toward the A-Plot details.

Guess this is an example of how success is a double edged sword.

Now that I'm back, I promise no more big gaps in posting. Until I go on vacation, but that's not for a long time. Plus I do have my laptop if my condo has internet capabilities...

*Sigh* It's good to be home.


Sheri said...

Welcome back!! Sounds like you were busy!

McVane said...

Welcome back, Lynn. You've been missed. :)

Elena said...

Yay!! Lynn's back!! I've checked regularly and since I knew the Accent Convention was over I was hoping you'd posted again. Welcome back. :)))

Anonymous said...

Hey Lynn :))

Thoroughly enjoyed the Accent Convention *g* Thanks for putting up with us invading your home and terrorising your cat!

Anyway... Mr Impossible. You said *exactly* what I was thinking and that's precisely why I haven't picked the book up again since getting home. I will finish it, but don't exactly feel in a rush to do so. Yes, Rupert and Daphne are fun, but the mystery plot dominates *way* too much. Chase's previous book in this series, Miss Wonderful, was far better done: although there was a mystery plot, it was very much in the background and the focus was clearly on the hero and heroine. A much better book, IMO.

One of these days, I'll pick Mr Impossible off my shelves and finish it... but it's not calling to me at all. On the other hand, maybe it's time to try Debra Mullins, another former fanfic writer ;)