This has been a reading weekend, so here’s another book I’ve just read:
Oh how I love this book. This is Quinn at her absolute best. It begins thus:
“In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one’s been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one’s life will never be the same.
For Michael Stirling, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.
After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught then turning the tables until he was the victor, of caressing and kissing and making love to them but never actually allowing his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and so hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing.
…the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.”
See? I didn’t mean to go on and on and transcribe the whole first page, but I just couldn’t stop. There’s so much narrative traction I’m surprised to look up and not find myself on some desolate stretch of the Hume Highway.
And the reason it’s so good? Duh. The tenth commandment.
When people covet other people’s people in real life it’s messy and there’s a hell of a lot of pain, bitterness, retribution… I dunno, has it ever worked out happily?
But fiction – that’s another, er, story.
Pain = thrill + desire for the end of pain. It gives our hero the perfect reason to love our heroine absolutely and without any chance of fulfillment. He also loves his cousin like a brother, so the guiding purpose of his life becomes to keep his awful love a secret.
Hey, breaking a commandment ain’t a guaranteed killer book, but Quinn pulls it off and then some. I don’t always like her heroines (see my Ten Things review), but there’s something lovely, poised, convincing about Francesca. And Michael is…delicious. Tenacious. Emo.