**A very long time ago - 2009, in fact - I read a book named Wizard's Daughter. I never reviewed it. Here it is.**
The Brides #10
*** (Three out of six stars)
Cover - Eh... It's a romance, working part-time as a fantasy. The cover is par for the course... At least there isn't a bare muscular chest, or almost bared heaving bosoms...and hair flowing in the wind, a man standing proudly with a woman sprawled at his feet, reaching up beseechingly.... (shudders)
So - Here is the truth, the unadulterated truth, one I'm not particulary proud of. Ready? Okay - here goes.....
I sometimes read a romance novel. ugh. When I was a young woman, like 17, 19....25... I read almost exclusively historical romances. When I was younger, I was reading books like Hawaii by James Michener - or Captains and Kings by Taylor Caldwell. That type of thing. Soon, I opted for more light reading. Seems the more stressful the life, the more I read for escapism (which might be why I'm into the Urban Fantasy and SciFi currently)
It took me a few years to get tired of some of the more insipid of the romances...the ones where the heroines put up with pretty abusive treatment for love. Or the books that featured extremely alpha males with rather passive females that were able to triumph through their passiveness and calm, serene being. That got old pretty damned fast. So I focused more on the romances where the main female leads were more adventurous and feisty. I like feisty.
Then I started reading more of a variety of genres, and when I read a romance, I stuck to authors like Julie Garwood, or Catherine Coulter. Catherine Coulter, especially about the midpoint of her writing career, seemed to write stories about a couple, who would end up married though they might not want to be married; the plot being the way they ended up respecting and enjoying each other along with a bit of danger or mystery. But the main focus of her novels were the relationships - done with humor and plenty of spirit.
A few years ago, I picked up Wizard's Daughter. I hadn't read a Coulter book, or a romance novel in a while, and just knew I would enjoy it.
I sort of enjoyed it, and sort of didn't. Trouble was....This book not only had a bit of the relationship in it, but it also had a mystery and some supernatural events. Coulter is good at the relationships (or she used to be) and can do a danger plot -- but for some reason this particular novel just didn't seem to work.
It kept me reading, but at the end I had the feeling of being kind of bored through most of the novel. A lot of the reading felt like I was waiting for something to happen, and nothing much happened. The relationship seemed a bit sudden - The guy offers for the girl on the first night he meets her. There's a explanation for it, but that doesn't mean it worked when I read it.
In one of her earlier books, Ryder Sherbrooke brings home a girl he'd found nearly beaten to death. This book tells part of her story. She's picked her own name - Rosalind - and years later in this new book, Nicholas sees her and HAS to marry her. There's something in his ancestry that pulls him to her. He also has a wicked stepmother, which comes up later in the novel.
So these two end up married, and then they end up searching for a thing, and having a supernatural adventure, only it's not that supernatural. Another couple from a previous book travels with them on their quest...and the whole thing just seemed...barely put together. Not at all like Coulter's previous stories where there are many pages of fun events, conversations, chuckles, misunderstandings, etc.
So at the end of the book, I ended up with the feeling of not feeling like a I read a completely fleshed out story. A feeling of disappointment. Not up to her usual. However, I do kind of want to re-read some of her earlier novels - only I'm afraid that I'll feel like I felt when I re-read one of my other formerly favorite novels...
Coulter has been writing a more contemporary FBI thrillers lately, so that might be why her historical novel was a little off her usual game. I've read a few of the FBI novels, and they're good - a kind of mix of thriller with some romance thrown in.