Thursday, January 04, 2007

Best of 2006...

Historical Style!

I didn't read a lot of memorable historicals this year, so this was an easy one to pick. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas was a great read. Kleypas is a very reliable author, in my opinion. Even her mediocre books are very readable. I think she's just good at creating chemistry between her characters, and also at creating memorable heroes. Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent is a fabulous rake--witty, cynical and naughty, without any tiresome torturedness. He just was who he was, unapologetically, and what he was was delicious. It's a toss up between him and Derek Craven, for real. I enjoyed the stuttering, mousy Evie Jenner too, although she wasn't quite as vividly drawn. The Virgin and the Rake has been done, done, done to death, but this was a nice take on the story. The gaming club setting was a nice callback to Dreaming of You, and I loved the secondary character Cam Rohan, who will be the hero of Kleypas' next historical.

Ahhh, Loretta Chase! Another very reliable author. I just wish she published more often. Her books are distinguished by great characterizations, and sparkling dialogue, and Lord Perfect was no exception. I liked the proper hero (Benedict Carsington) and the unsuitable heroine (Bathsheba Wingate), which is a reversal from the usual. This was a fun road romance. I love how Chase creates these very contained characters who fall ridiculously in love. It turns them into idiots and they don't know why. And it always works.

There has been a lot of discussion about the state of the historical. There are certainly a lot of mediocre ones out there. It just seems like they keep retreading the same plots, character types, and settings over and over again. But books like these remind me that a good historical romance can be the greatest escape there is. There's nothing like a world of wealth and beauty, with gorgeous men, balls and ladies' maids, to take you away from your concerns and daily grind.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you On DIW, probably the best Historical I read too in 2006!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you and Zeek about DIW.

I still need to read LP by LC. I'll get on that soon, I promise. :)

Kristie (J) said...

Ah - but could you make a choice between the two? Sybil and I need to know *g*. I did like this one, but dear Sebastian didn't quite take over Derek's place. And I still need to read Lord Perfect.