Tag Archives: 1980s

Defy Not The Heart, by Johanna Lindsey

9 Sep

Defy Not The Heart - new coverBack in the dark ages (early 80’s), many popular single title romance novels (mainly Avon titles), were translated to Spanish and published in Latin America, within a year of their release in the US.

While there were no Nora Roberts novels anywhere (and, going by what my sister tells me, still aren’t), there were plenty of Catherine Coulter and Johanna Lindsey titles to choose from, right at my neighborhood bookstore. And so, I was exposed, at a fairly young age, to the wonders of the over the top, old skool crazy sauce.

Back then, lacking all that many options, I would re-read those books until they came apart. At one point in the late 90s, I owned all of Ms Lindsey’s backlist, either in translation or the US paperback edition (with the original Fabio covers, thank you very much).

Being one of those people who keep books unless they find them absolutely, irredeemably offensive, I was greatly surprised to find out, a couple of years ago, that I had purged most of my Lindsey books. Which is why, seeing recently that Defy Not The Heart was on sale for a couple of bucks at amazon, I snapped a copy, and read it.

Now you get to see what I think of this novel–almost three decades later.

Defy Not The Heart, by Johanna Lindsey

I don’t know about anyone else, but I sincerely lament the fact that, for the past decade or so, historical romance seems confined to one place, one time period, and one socioeconomic class: the Regency. Back when I started reading romance, we had novels set all over the place–we had Romans in ancient Britain; we had British explorers in Asia and Africa; we had Westerns from the Gold Rush to the Civil War and beyond. These days? I’ll say that over 90% of historical romance published is confined to those nine years, to London, the Season, and balls.

So let us enjoy a something just a tad different.

It is the year of our Lord 1192, and, somewhere in England, our young heroine is in a bit of a pickle. She’s the only heir to a large and rich estate; her father is dead; her overlord is somewhere in the Holy Lands with Richard Lionheart; and she’s still unmarried. In other words, she’s the perfect target for many an unscrupulous baron.

Here, have the original blurb (from Fantastic Fiction):
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Ah, the 80s!

28 Feb

If you are a child of the 80s, this video will make you smile.

 

I admit that I cannot name all the movies, but isn’t it just wonderful?

Playing the Odds, by Nora Roberts

30 Sep

Playing the Odds, by Nora RobertsPlaying the Odds

Anyone who has read my blog/reviews for any length of time is probably aware that I’m a fan of Nora Roberts’ writing. The woman can write incredibly strong heroines, believable children, realistic family dynamics, great dialogue, pretty decent suspense, long running police procedural with romantic elements series…

Yeah, you name it, she’s probably written at least one of these. Her current list of published works comfortably exceeds 200, and La Nora doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

I have piles of Nora Roberts titles in my house, most of them read (and in my keeper room (I love books, what can I say?)) but a few yet unread titles exist—mostly, some of her first efforts. For some obscure reason hidden in my subconscious I often hesitate to read these older books.

Okay, it’s not really obscure nor hidden: I’m afraid that Ms Roberts’ first published works will not compare favorably with her more current oeuvre—which is actually bullshit, because I can re-read such early connected books as the five Calhoun stories and be as engrossed now as I was when I first discovered them (in 1997, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and cell phones were heavier than a toolbox).

Anyhow…

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So Close and No Closer, by Penny Jordan

27 Jan

This novel has been in the monstrous TBR shelves for…well, at least a couple of years, but probably more. I have already failed January’s installment of SLWendy’s TBR Challenge, but given Ms Jordan’s recent passing, I feel it fitting to review it nonetheless.

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So Close and No Closer, by Penny Jordan

Originally released in 1989, this category romance definitely reflects the mores of the day, though both it and Ms Jordan were popular enough to warrant a Collector’s Edition re-release in 1991. There were several things I liked about this story, not the least of which is the setting, a lovely village somewhere near Cambridge, England¹.

The back cover blurb is typical of the time (though really, it doesn’t seem the misleading has changed all that much): Continue reading

Glass Houses, by Anne Stuart

21 Mar

Glass Houses, by Anne Stuart

This is a very old category romance published by Harlequin as part of its Men at Work line back in 1989. It is also my first (to my recollection) Anne Stuart.

Isn’t it amazing how good writing can come through even as annoying conventions make one want to tear one’s hair out? For example, please take a look at the back cover blurb: Continue reading

Morning Glory, by LaVyrle Spencer

25 Mar

Morning Glory, by LaVyrle Spencer

I am having a horrible time writing this review. There’s nothing I can criticize about this book. Not one single thing. How can you write a balanced review when there’s nothing weak or flawed there to balance all the good? (see update at end of the review) So I’m giving up—this is not a balanced review, I’m going to gush and praise like the most rabid of fangirls.

The back cover blurb doesn’t even begin to convey the complexity of the story, nor the mastery of the writing: Continue reading