Friday, October 19, 2007

Thursday Talk-Time :: Fave Category Romance

My favourite category romance, hey? I was one of the ones who came up with this topic, and you know what? It is mean!!!

I have read many many category novels that over the years have touched me in such a unique way that I have had to keep them on my keeper shelves forever.

Sophie Weston’s Tango ‘The Bedroom Assignment’ about a modern day virgin heroine. My first book was bought as a Tango which was such a thrill considering my love of the above.

Trish Wylie’s ‘Her Unexpected Baby‘ which I was lucky enough to see the first three chapters of when Trish and I first became friends on the Internet. For a third book I found it so real, so mature, so loaded with romance and so believable. Love it love it love it!

Barbara Hannay’s ‘Her Playboy Challenge’ which won the RuBY and was nominated for a RITA. It was set in and around the Brisbane suburb where I grew up, so apart from being a fantastic book with THE most heavenly hero, it had added poignancy for me too.

I’m going to stop there before I have to recount a hundred odd books ;).

And I’ll give you just one more, the one if I had to at a pinch pick as my favourite is an oldie but a goodie. Janet Dailey’s ‘Enemy in Camp.’

Janet Dailey was one of the first big American authors to appear on the Mills and Boon scene. She was also a huge part of the creation of Silhouette books which came about to cater for American writers and American readers.

And – this part I think the coolest – her career was launched when, crossing the country with her husband, she set a romance novel in every state of the union for Harlequin Books. Hence the fact that you might find this book reissued as ‘Enemy in Camp : Michigan’. Cool huh?

‘Enemy In Camp’ is about Victoria Beaumont a blue blood heroine and Dirk Ramsey a journalist who comes to stay at her home to do an in depth interview of her father. Dirk had never had good things to say about Victoria's father in his newspaper and Victoria didn't think having the man come to stay would change any of that.

So we have close proximity. We have a heroine who is protective of her family and though a ta spoilt she's utterly likeable. Then we have a working class hero, oozing with charm, surprising at every turn who soon finds Victoria is the Beaumont he really wants to get to know.

Victoria's family play a huge part in the book, as does the family home location. And I'm a girl who loves settings and secondarry characters! And the black moment is pure genius. It goes a little something like this - and this is purely from memory as I haven't read this book in years:

Dirk's news story is finished. He is meant to stay one more day, but why should he? He and Victoria are enamoured but still on opposite sides of a great divide. He waits at the front door with his luggage, the taxi humming outside. He's looking back at Victoria, eyes burning, tight lipped. She knows all she has to say is "stay" and he will, but she just stands there. Silent. He leaves. He shuts the door. And she is alone. Her sister comes running downstairs saying 'Is he gone?' Victoria nods. 'Why didn't you ask him to stay,' the sister asks in all innocence. And Victoria, with tears in her eyes says, 'I don't know.'

This book is lucious. It is funny, poignant, real, just a little out of reach of the kind of like you or I could hope to aspire to, and the story would fit into today's Harlequin Romance schedule with ease.

Though on the original bright yellow cover Dirk was a sketchy Ridge Foreester lookalike with sideburns and bell bottoms ;).

My copy is old, frayed, the cover comes off and half the pages fall out, but it resides in my camphor chest at mum and dad’s along with my childhood flute and my first ever teddy bear among other treasures of my youth.

On her website the big news is that: KENSINGTON PUBLISHING ACQUIRES FOUR NEW NOVELS BY JANET DAILEY IN A SEVEN-FIGURE DEAL. So I guess that tells you sumpthink about her appeal ;).

Ally’s current release is Harlequin Romance novel MILLIONAIRE TO THE RESCUE. Out now in North America and the UK!

Brooke has lost her celebrity husband in the most sordid of circumstances and he has left her with nothing. Nothing bar the shoulder of his best friend, a man who may well have been in love with her all along...

Check out her website for more about the book!

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