Sunday, December 12, 2010

Random Romance Sunday: Purple Reign

The Book: Crystal Passion by Jo Goodman

The Particulars: Historical romance, Kensington Zebra, 1985, Out of Print. There was a 1999 reprint, but it is also Out of Print.

The Blurb:
RAPTURE'S BRILLIANCE

When Ashley awoke from her drugged sleep, she found herself in the bedchamber of a dark-haired, steel-eyed stranger. Before she could escape, his powerful hands had pinned her to the bed--before she could scream, his lips had captured hers. Before she could explain that her guardian had tricked them both with a vile and ruthless scheme, the rapture of his searing, searching caresses drove all thought from her mind. All she could feel was hunger for his touch, thirst for his kiss, and yearning for ecstasy's endless pleasures...

LOVE'S SPLENDOR
Captain Salem McClellan was amused to discover that the Duke of Linfield's hospitality included a lithe young beauty to warm his bed. Tangling his fingers in her ebony hair, exploring the creamy satin of her flesh with burning lips, he felt the fire of Ashley's response beneath him. Too late, he realized her innocence and knew he could never leave her to the Duke's mercy. For he was enchanted by her fierce pride, ensnared by her rare beauty, and enthralled by the night of shimmering CRYSTAL PASSION

Is It In Wendy's TBR?: Uh, no.

Any Reviews?: 1985 - so, uh, not really. Amazon customer reviews range from 2 to 5 stars.

Anything Else?: When looking for books to feature on RRS, I tend to randomly surf around FictionDB until something hits me upside the head. In this case, it was a whole lot of purple. That back cover blurb is so gleefully over-the-top, so 1980s, so....just....so wrong on so many levels that I knew I had to feature this book. Plus the eye-popping original cover! And it was Jo Goodman's second book! Seriously, I can't be expected to resist all that.

Kensington must have realized that the back cover blurb wasn't going to translate very well out of the 1980s, because when the book was reprinted in 1999, looks like they did some tinkering. The blurb on Goodman's web site has a lot of the same pertinent facts in it - but the purple is reined in considerably. The publisher also went with what I call Boring Reprint Cover Art. I sort of understand why this was done, but I don't know. I mean, if I want over-the-top, throwback, historical romance crazy - I'm going to be more drawn to cover and blurb #1. But that's how I roll.

There's a treasure trove of information on Goodman's web site (yeah!) - which details all the books in this particular series (this is Book #1 in the McClellan Family) and the author even includes interesting tidbits for each book. For example? Naming a hero "Salem" sounds like something straight out of a 1980s Romance Writing Handbook, right? Wrong-o. Goodman swiped the name from a guy she met at a friend's house.

I know there are several Goodman fans out there in Romance Bloglandia, so fire away folks. Have you read the McClellan Family series? What did you think? Do they stand the test of time? Or do they need to be "enjoyed" while firmly wearing your Old Skool Over-The-Top Eye-Glasses?

21 comments:

Barbara said...

LOL, I know Kristie J is a HUGE Goodman fan. I've only read one of her books. Hmmm...I have to say, as much as the cover screams for help, you've raised my interest. I like the bodice ripper novels. I wonder if I can find it on PBS?

Anonymous said...

The title is killing me. I just finished Marry Me and can't stop thinking about how awesome that book is. So, after reading your post, it's a sign that I should read this one. Just ordered it from half.com and paid more for shipping than the actual book (75¢).

Vi

novelnelle said...

Shortly after reading "Forever in My Heart" by Jo Goodman I stumbled across 9 Goodman books at a used bookstore in Michigan. I bought all 9 of them in all their bodice ripper glory (a couple had tasteful covers but most - not so much). Crystal Passion (purple cover and all) was in that bunch. I haven't read it yet but now I'm not sure if I'm more intrigued and want to read it or afraid and want to stay far far away...

nath said...

I don't know, for me it's not the purple that's jarring, but actually the yellow. The fact that her dress blends into the flowers ^_^;

LOL, probably should ask Kristie for a review ;) I bet she's read it...

ms bookjunkie said...

Hey, don't knock Boring Reprint Cover Art! I love Boring Reprint Cover Art, as back in the day (as a teen living at home) it allowed me to read in peace from parental commentary.

KB/KT Grant said...

Didn't Johanna Lindsey write a romance much like this one where the heroine was given a drug to make her horny, and a Russian Lord or whatnot finds her in his bed and ravishes her because she needs relief?

Phyl said...

Goodman is one of those authors with a backlist that I hope will be digitized sooner rather than later. I'd love to buy up her old books for my Kindle. I've heard this series mentioned as a "classic" that I would love to read some day.

A Library Girl said...

Like Nath, it wasn't the purple that got me so much as the searing yellow in the sea of purple. It kind of hurts to look at, so at first I didn't realize that her dress wasn't deformed, but rather blending into a flower.

CindyS said...

Ho-boy - I'm starting to enjoy the old covers which is crazy but really, the purple and yellow together just screams passion!

Now, you get a whole 16' section of old romance covers going and it's painful but one on one, they are starting to appeal.

Apparently getting older has affected my taste also. Gah.

I'm intrigued by the whole thing and I don't believe I've read a Goodman book but have heard many good things.

CindyS

Lynne Connolly said...

Sometimes I long for the passionate, pre-politically correct days! I can do without the rapes, but the torrents of passion and masterful heroes - mmm. Nice fantasy material.

Mayberry Mom said...

Actually, in this house Purple and Yellow means the Minnesota Vikings (BOOO! It's hubby's team), so I just can't get past that! LOL

I was born and raised and still live in WI so I'm required to be a Packers fan, so change it to Green and Yellow and I'm sold! ;o)

Wendy said...

Barbara: A know a lot of readers hate the "bodice ripper" term, but I don't mind it as long as it's used in the right context. In this case - a TON of the historicals published in the 70s and 80s.

Vi: I know, what exactly is Crystal Passion?! And do we really want to know? LOL

Novelnelle: Oh you know you want to read it! If only to tell us all about it! I can go back and read these older books, but I need to be in the right frame of mind to do so....

Nath: If anyone has read it, it's KristieJ :) The yellow is jarring, but also the hero's spray-tan. He's very....orange.

Ms. Bookjunkie: LOLOLOL! That deserves a poll right there. "What books did you hide under your bed as a teenager?" LOL

KB: Probably. It's so very Old Skool sounding. My favorite has to be, "yearning for ecstasy's endless pleasures..." I mean, really? Really now?!

Phyl: When I go back this far in an author's backlist I have be firmly wearing my "history hat." Sometimes these early books stand the test of time....but a lot of times they don't. But they are interesting to read, especially when you want to "see" how an author's writing has grown over the years.

Library Girl: She's springing out of the flower, and embracing a guy with a bad Paris Hilton spray tan. These 1980s covers often resemble a really bad acid trip.

CindyS: Oh Lord, me too! I used to hate these old bodice ripper covers, but the older I get, the more nostalgic I get. So if you need help, so do I!

Lynne: I like to go back and read some of these oldies, but I need to "prepare" for them. Not only the old school tropes, but the purple prose....which I can only take in small doses.

Whew! Lots of comments on this one!

Wendy said...

Mayberry Mom: LOL - it's Old School romance, so the green would have be that dark, jewel-tone green.

And dang - you guys snowed in up there? Of course been reading all the news, and thinking about happy I am at the moment that I don't live in Michigan anymore. I so do NOT miss winter weather.

Anonymous said...

I've read this book many times. It was actually the first book of Jo Goodman that I've read. This is one of those books and series that are fun to read, you think it's one of those that is only good enough for one read. But some time passes and you end up thinking about parts of it and have to pick it up again. There was about two years between my first and second read, but it got stuck in my head and I had to track down a copy.

Wendy said...

Anon: Oh heavens yes! I think that happens to every reader at one time or another. We read a book, enjoy it, don't think about it for ages - and then WHAMO! For whatever reason it pops in your head again and you just HAVE to do a reread.

I have so many books I would love to reread, but my crippling TBR Anxiety keeps holding me back :(

Gail Dayton said...

I like Jo Goodman quite a bit. I may see if I can look this one up.

Purple and yellow jump out at you because they are complementary colors--opposites on the color wheel. Like blue and orange, and red and green. Putting a color up against its complement automatically makes it more noticeable. (The things one learns by reading artist magazines.)

Wendy said...

Gail: I have to be in the right frame of mind if I decide to read far back into an author's backlist. I love the genre, but a lot has changed in 20+ years, that's for dang sure :)

novelnelle said...

All right. I'm doing it. I pulled Crystal Passion off my shelves last night and started it this morning. I haven't read very much but so far so good...

JamiSings said...

Am I the only gal here who didn't have to hide books under the bed? Dad disapproved of me reading "trash books" like romance novels, but usually just gave me a dirty look and said nothing. Mom actually would buy me romance novels.

I think in mom's case she was just so proud I was a reader when my teachers had told her when I was little that I was - well, they used the word "retarded" for me - that she wouldn't care if I read biographies of serial killers or Satan's diary.

Wendy said...

Novelnelle: Oooh, I hope you blog about it!

Jami: I was the kind of kid, had I read romance novels back then, would have hid them under my bed thinking my parents would have disapproved, but in reality? Yeah, they wouldn't have cared. Truly. My parents were actually very hands-off when it came to my reading material.

And LOLOLOLOL - Satan's Diary!

Anonymous said...

I've recently gotten hooked on Jo Goodman. I was loading up on her backlist at the UBS yesterday, and came across this book in both the original and reprint versions. Thanks to this article, I glommed right on to the original, in all it's purple glory. I was going to start on it right away, but got side-tracked by a NR I picked up. Now, I think I'll save it for last, so I can enjoy the anticipation (cue Carly Simon, here).