Well, I think this went fairly well for a first time out. I just want to thank you guys for being so supportive of this project, and giving me a chance to step outside my comfort zone and experience something new.
Taken from the standpoint of someone who had never read quote-unquote Romance Novels before, this book certainly opened my eyes, in ways I couldn’t have realized. Not the least of which was the whole “Rape Is Okay So Long As He Kisses You” aspect, which you all got to see me get blindsided with last month.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun book, and I quite enjoyed reading it (though not for the intended reasons, I’m sure). Don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually interested in looking through the other books in this series – which is apparently still ongoing, I saw one in the “New Paperbacks” shelf at Borders the other day – which means that I unfortunately can be counted in the masses of people hooked by the concept. I still can’t believe the mileage Sandra Hill has gotten out of a simple “There are Vikings, there are modern women, time travel happens and they have sex” concept, but I guess as long as you touch upon those core tenets, you’re pretty free to explore wherever you want. Thinking back on it, the possibilities are pretty much endless.
In fact, I’m going to try to come up with a couple ideas myself. Bear with me.
A journalist from a Big City Newspaper gets sucked into a time vortex and lands on an uncharted island. It’s not nearly as deserted as it appears, however; this island is the personal and private villa of a burly seafaring adventurer, whose desire for excitement and travelling the open seas is hampered only by his loneliness.
Does that sound good? How about another?
Jorgan Morganson thought he could do without women; his heart had been broken far too long. But when his ship gets blown off-course and he arrives in modern-day Texas, he gets swept away by a fun-loving cattle rancher, whose sense of adventure is second only to the size of her heart.
This is easier than I thought. One more as long as I’m on the subject!
Yolanda Johnson was at her normal job, when a tornado swept through her office building. Erik Ericsson had been enjoying a bit of leisure time after pillaging the Britons when a freak storm blew him away. Both of them find themselves on a desolate wasteland, seemingly for all eternity. Can they see past their differences and find their way home…and maybe TRUE LOVE?
Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder if she’s already done all these.
Anyway, this book is pretty much wish-fulfillment. Which is probably true of most romance novels, now that I think about it – I am speculating, of course, feel free to correct me if I am wrong on this – and it’s extremely obvious here, especially with how freaking convenient everything is. There’s no suspense, no real sense of worry about the characters at all; given the summary on the back, we know that Magnus is going to get swept into the future, and that he’s going to hook up with Angela.
And that’s really what’s wrong with the book, in my opinion. Since the entire thing is a foregone conclusion, there’s no point to any sort of tension between the characters. Even though Angela protests feeling anything towards Magnus at the beginning, it’s obvious she’s attracted, and there’s no point to her declaring otherwise. There’s no “other woman” or “other man” to cause friction between the two, there’s no star-crossed parting of the ways that might tear them apart later. Everything is engineered perfectly to get them together; hell, it’s Divine Intervention straight from the beginning.
Take a look at it a bit more closely; Angela is divorced, she needs someone who can provide for the vineyard and won’t cheat on her endlessly – and, if the subtext is anything to go by, someone who won’t beat her into submission. Magnus needs a woman who can handle his children and who won’t mind his insatiable love of farming. When Angela stresses about money, Magnus happens to have a chest full of antique coins that sell for thousands of dollars each. When someone tries to sabotage the farm, because there’s nobody there to stand up to bullying? Well, how about a giant norseman who’s ripped like Jesus?
That said, the thought behind it holds up, and that’s probably why all these people reading it have no problem with it. I’m extremely cynical, and I found a lot of this to be ridiculous and self-serving, but it’s also a bit touching. I mean, everyone’s had fantasies about The Perfect Person, who complements you in every way, who understands your needs and fulfills all of them. Emotionally, physically, and sexually, there’s a desire for That Person, and here they are. Angela and Magnus are exactly who they need to be for each other, even if they didn’t know it from the beginning, and that’s the draw. That’s the hook.
Bravo, Sandra Hill. As campy and ridiculous as this book was, I understand it, and I applaud you for your audacity, even if that was not your intent. I’m almost certain you take your writing extremely seriously, and that’s fine; I’m not going to step on your toes. It’s not my cup of tea, but that’s not the point of this blog, is it?
After all, now I know the proper way to deal with feminazis.