Sunday, September 12, 2010

Random Romance Sunday: The Great Gatsby In Miniature

The Book: Spring Fancy by LaVyrle Spencer

The Particulars: Contemporary romance, Harlequin Temptation #1, 1984, reprinted several times but all editions look out of print.

The Blurb:

Sometimes destiny follows no rules...

Winnifred Gardner, maid of honor at her best friend's wedding, never dreamed she'd be tempted by handsome, teasing Joseph Duggan, the best man. Her own wedding was only three months away!

The attraction was dangerous, and Winn knew it was wrong. But the initial thrill developed into a sensuous blaze, one that threatened to flare out of control. Winn was faced with an agonizing choice....

Is It In Wendy's TBR?: Nope.

Any Reviews?: Uh, not really. Mileage varies on the Amazon customer reviews. Everything from 5 to 1 stars. But Spencer is a beloved author in the romance genre, even long after her retirement. Opinions always welcome in the comment section!

Anything Else?: This cover caught my eye mostly because of the clothes. Also, I'm mesmerized by teeny-man in the left hand corner. I'm assuming our Robert Redford as The Great Gatsby look-a-like is the none-too-thrilled fiance' that the heroine is throwing over for The Other Guy. Geez, how unreasonable can a guy get? /end sarcasm.

For that reason, I'd rather be boiled in oil than read this book (I loathe Engaged To Someone Else At Start Of Book books) but you wanna know what I found neat-o? This bad boy was Harlequin Temptation #1. Numero Uno. May that line rest in peace.

And "Introductory Price, Only $1.50!" Sigh, those were the days.


Hilcia said...

Hah! I have this book in my TBR at the moment. Of course I don't have this edition. Love the old Harlequin covers... those floating bodies and heads are always a treat [grin]. I wonder how I'll like this one myself, since I don't usually like/love triangles... we'll see. :D

FD said...

I've read this one and I actually liked it; the main couple are so immediate and real together that I had no problem with the love triangle. And normally I feel pretty strongly about infidelity or variations thereof. The main theme of the book isn't so much about choosing between two men; it's more about deciding your own path in life and so the character arc here is mainly Winn's - Joseph doesn't really change at all, except to fall in love with her. That's one of the things I like about LaVyrle - that her female characters are generally pretty strongly realised although her later books have crossed over into more women's fiction rather than romance territory.
The cover is actually pretty accurate btw, it depicts their get-ups for the wedding mentioned in the blurb. What else can I say? It's very much an 80's contemporary - the hair, the perfume, the clothes, the cars.. and the fiancé's job in computers. An early sighting of nerd dissing. The heroine uses BC and it's explicitly mentioned (thumbs up!) Oh and a really memorable running together UST scene. Seriously, I read it for the first time nearly 18 years ago and it was still clear in my head when I reread it last year.

Kristie (J) said...

Back in the day, this was probably my second or third favourite Spencer book.
I don't know how it would hold up to today's storylines, I expect I'd want to smack the heroine upside the head, but I really did love it when I read it.
And I wouldn't say this is a love triangle book. Considering they are engaged, there really isn't much of a relationship between the heroine and her fiance.

bafriva said...

@KristieJ & FD--
I also enjoyed this book. I bought and read it immediately it came out and numerous times thereafter(until I lost my copy!)
Kristie--even then I wanted to smack her a bit for being so slow to stand up to for herself.
But Joe--what a cutie!
I also liked the fact that neither Winn nor Joe had a high-powered job. She was a physical therapist working with burn victims and he was an auto mechanic!

nath said...

Wow, Temptation #1?!?! LOL. These are like myths, you know. You know they must exist, but they really see or think of them :P

Wendy said...

Enjoying all the commentary on this book. This is what makes the Internet so fabulous. You all rock!

Nath: I've done a couple of presentations on Harlequin and category romance to my colleagues this year. It's fun highlighting the #1's in some of the lines. Another neat example? Corporate Affair by Stephanie James (AKA Jayne Ann Krentz) was Silhouette Desire #1 :)

Kristie (J) said...

Bafriva: That's really what I enjoyed about this one too - they just held ordinary jobs. Joe didn't mind getting dirt under his nails at all - as long as he got it out again.
I've always had a preference for a blue collar worker and Joe is just about perfect. And though I did want to smack Win, I could see why she let things go so far with her fiance.
It was just a wonderful little book. Nothing to profound, nothing to earth shattering - just a delightful story about two ordinary people.

Marie Thérèse said...

Given the cover art and the Gatsby reference, I was quite excited that this might be an early 20th century set romance but no such luck. Darn!

Oh well...