And that would be ‘Do Not Keep.’
In my previous post, I talked about how Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney wasn’t a bad book despite its cultural hinkiness. I spoke too soon. I’m very lucky that the bookstore I bought it from accepts returns up to two weeks after a purchase, because this sucker is going back on the shelves. I usually don’t have that impulse with a book…though, God, if it wasn’t way, WAY too late to get a refund on Dark of Night by Suzanne Brockmann I’d jettison that in a heartbeat. Putney’s book ended up leaving me with a big sense of “meh.”
It felt derivative of her previous historicals, and grew progressively more ridiculous towards the end, in terms of her whipping out unheard of family relations for the hero and heroine left and right, and the uncomfortable perspective on Hindus/Indians continued to irk me. (Biracial children that are all conveniently light-eyed? Genetics, you fail at it, Ms. Putney.) Plus, it’s just such a series set-up. It’s packed with secondary characters to the point where you’re reading it like, “Gee, I wonder whose book is next? Randall’s? Will’s? Kirkland’s?” But having said that, I don’t think there was sufficient tease for the subsequent books. She devoted, like, one or two sentences to these characters we’re supposed to give a damn about enough to pick up the next in the series. And while Julia Bancroft and Randall both interested me a little, the overall handling was such that I might check their books out from the library but I’m not going to impulse buy.
Contrast that with Bound By Your Touch, by Meredith Duran, where I feel like Phin was richly sketched enough, and intriguing enough, for me to actually be stalking the bookstore for when Written On Your Skin hits shelves. That’s how I ended up picking up the Putney book, actually, because I didn’t want to leave the store empty-handed. Too bad it was like eating a salad when you really want a steak.