Monday, October 12, 2009

RAview: Tessa Dare's Goddess of the Hunt

Tessa Dare's Goddess of the Hunt is a historical romance, the first of a trilogy in which each title focuses on a different woman protagonist/couple.

Lucy was essentially raised by her brother (e.g., not as a lady) and hung around with his hunting buddies when they'd vacation yearly at his home. This makes her a fantastic protagonist, as she fancies herself not as naive as ladies, but still, at 19, is far from grownup. The book is narrated primarily from her perspective, although the male lead, Jeremy, gets maybe 30% of the book devoted to his thoughts and feelings. Of course, his thoughts and feelings are all about Lucy. That is to say, this is definitely a character-driven novel, as I suspect most romances are (what, with such a similar plot and expected happily-ever-after ending).

The language does not significantly add to the book's appeal, but it illustrates pace and mood well. The pace is quick but slows down a bit as the book doesn't end when many romances do--at the wedding. Details highlight period clothing, natural scenery (hunting), the class relations among a lord and his tenants, and the role of a proper lady.

The tone is exciting, anticipatory, sexy, witty, defiant. Tone has to do with how the book makes readers feel, so I would also say this book could be somewhat frustrating. We get the perspectives from the man and woman, and there's a lot of misinterpretation of emotions and misreading of actions, so near the end, the tension is somewhat grating. Some readers will enjoy a drawn-out dance, though.

I haven't read enough romances for readalikes. Eloisa James blurbed the book--"The sweetest, sexiest romance you'll read all year"--and she's one of the few other romance authors I've read, but her books seem more traditional, more formulaic (but not in a bad way!). The protagonists aren't as individual or relatable to modern readers (at least in Desperate Duchesses and An Affair Before Christmas), perhaps because her historical detail is more carefully cultivated and emphasized.

No comments:

Post a Comment