Thursday, November 8, 2007

Classic Nora: Episode II

My Mission: Her Mother's Keeper by Nora Roberts, part of the 2-in-1 reprint With Open Arms.

Harlequin Connection: Published under the Silhouette Romance banner, it was Nora's 8th published title.

Publication Date: Originally 1983, my reprint edition was published in 2004.

How Long It's Been In My TBR: A couple of years? I do remember that it was an impulse buy.

Plot: Gwen Lacrosse is 23 and making her way in New York City when she starts getting disturbing letters from her mother. Mom's letters are filled with chatter about bestselling novelist and notorious playboy Luke Powers, who is now renting a room in her mother's spacious New Orleans home. Disturbed that her 47-year-old mother is having an affair with a man 12-years her junior, Gwen rushes home with plans to send him packing.

My Verdict: Oh dear Lord in heaven, my eyes were bleeding before the end of the second chapter. First off, Gwen's freaked by the 12-year age difference between mummy and Luke. Never mind that Luke is 35 and Gwen is 23. That's right. 12-year age difference. I hate hypocrites.

But that's not the worst of it.

Oh no

Because Gwen then proceeds to make out with Luke before we even get to the end of chapter two. Never mind that she still thinks her mother (yes, her mother!) is having an affair with this guy. She's going to merrily let him shove his tongue down her throat. I mean, what's the quickest way to break up a supposed relationship? All Gwen would have to say is, "Hey Mom? You know that hot guy you're having an affair with. Well he's been groping my goodies and I have first hand knowledge he can do fantastic things with his tongue." But does Gwen do this? Of course not! Why would she want to talk to your mother? And Luke? He knows that Gwen thinks he's boinking mama and he lets her believe it to "teach her a lesson." I can sort of see his point on that because Gwen is so uppity it's amazing she's not crapping diamonds.

But wait, there's more.

Amazing I know, but honestly, the best is yet to come.

This Big Misunderstanding goes on for the entire story! That's right. Gwen doesn't find out until the last chapter what a stupid-ass moron she is. That instead of having the sense that God gave a sack of blonde hair she should have, oh I don't know, talked to her damn mother about the supposedly hot-ass affair she was having! The whole set-up gave me a major case of the skeeves.

On the bright side, from a technical stand-point you can really see the growth in Nora's writing.

Final Grade = DNF. I only read the first 60 pages, skipped the middle and read the last chapter. I just couldn't handle it. No more memory lane for me, I'm sticking with Nora's single titles.


Rosie said...

Uh-oh...I read several of Nora's early category romances closer to their release dates like late 80s and early 90s. I don't remember having quite the crisis you are having but different times and different place. Here's hoping the next one you pick is a winner.

Wendy said...

Rosie: Yeah, the first story in this reprint definitely had a "different time, different place" feel to it. If I had read it closer to it's original release date, or even back when I first started reading romance, it would have worked better for me. It was merely a story that didn't "stand the test of time" that well.

Now this second story? I now it's been 20+ years but I just have a hard time imagining this plot playing all that well back in 1983. I mean, she's letting the guy she thinks is having an affair with her mother (yes, her mother!) molest and ravage her. I just could not wrap my mind around that....

Alie said...

Oh no! I love Nora too much to have it ever be a DNF. I actually didn't mind this story too much, but I can understand what you're saying about the inconsistencies.

I guess it's good to know Nora's improved in your eyes over the years lol.

Wendy said...

Oh man, has Nora ever improved - LOL Admittedly I haven't read much of her back list (a daunting task!) but it was amazing to me that the same writer who wrote the excellent Born In trilogy wrote these two early categories (especially this second story!).

I was talking to you Lil' Sis yesterday and she remarked that this story sounded very "soap opera-ish." Which it is. I *like* soap opera plots on TV, but in my romance novels? Nuh Uh.