Author: Lisa Norato
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
So, this book randomly showed up in my mailbox last week, and I have no idea why. It was sent directly from the publisher, though, so I suppose I must have requested it at some point. The jury's still out on why I would have done such a thing (I am totally not a romance reader).
With that in mind, I will try to be as fair as possible in my review. I've never read an actual romance novel before, so I don't know what the norms and expectations of the genre are.
What I did observe in reading Prize of My Heart was a strong tendency towards melodrama and gooey-ness carried to the point of excess. And, while I understand that this was not written to be an action novel, it did feel like the few action-type scenes there were were played down far too much in order to give place to the emotions and thoughts the characters were having during that particular moment.
The descriptions of characters' clothing were also a bit excessive. A little word or two of description here and there would have been fine, but I really don't need a stitch-by-stitch diagram. And for some reason I have yet to figure out, the author was particularly preoccupied with the main male character's 'knee-high black Hessians'.
The gooey melodrama was the biggest turn-off for me, though I have to admit that at times it almost became entertaining, it was so over-the-top. I mean, I've met and talked to guys who I thought were extremely handsome, but I've never felt 'overwhelmed by his masculinity'... whatever that means. And, although I have never kissed a guy, I find it difficult to believe that doing so makes a girl feel like 'her bones had turned to dust'.
Which brings me to the next issue I had with Prize of My Heart: the anachronisms (or historical inaccuracies) scattered throughout the book. Under no circumstances would a young lady in the early 19th century be allowed to barge into a man's quarters in her nightgown, no matter how horrific his dreams were and how much he was yelling about them. And I understand that a romance novel probably wouldn't be very romantic without some holding hands, kissing, etc. but I feel obligated to point out that both those activities were greatly frowned upon during that time period if the couple was not married.
The plot line as a whole was interesting, and the book was skillfully written. But as I said before, I'm simply not a romance reader, so I doubt seriously I'll be reading this one again.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for my review... I guess.