Thursday, December 29, 2011
Judy Serrano, Easter's Lilly
I have to tell you something. Publisher deadlines, The Spirit of Poe Anthology, and just family holiday obligations have kept me from posting reviews as I should. It's rotten of me because there are a number of good books I've read and just stacked around the house, waiting for a spare few minutes to get a review up. I'll be posting like a rabid...uh...blogger in the next several days.
Judy Serrano is one of the authors who deserved better attention. I'm not a big fan of romance in general because I find the characters are often one dimensional and shallow and the plot lines are nothing more than operatic libretto geared to getting us to the next aria (or in romance speak, the next heart-fluttering moment.) Serrano's book isn't like this at all. There are a number of aspects to the book I really enjoyed.
First of all, Lily isn't one dimensional. She has depth you just don't usually see in the broad strokes we're used to in romance books. Of course, there are some implausible aspects to her character, but that's the genre, not a flaw. Even the unlikely aspects of Lily's personality, though, push the story along in a positive and an enjoyable way. I especially like the way Serrano portrays conflicted emotions. This isn't the typical junk of melodramatic "does he love me or doesn't he" or "which one should I chose." All of that's in this book, but I guarantee you don't imagine a sweeping orchestra in the background telling you how you're supposed to feel.
Maybe that's indeed what sets Serrano apart, here. She doesn't fall into the trap of spoon feeding the reader the emotional impact she's looking for. Instead, she portrays the actions and emotions of the characters and allows you the whole gamut of emotions involved, from "Awwww" to "What the hell is your problem, Lilly?" When you think about it, that's what separates a good novel from a bad one.
No, the book's not perfect. I think there is a great Milky Way Galaxy law somewhere that makes us think of certain male characters as attractive despite their criminal nature. My wife tells me that it's wonderful in a fantasy world even if she'd run like hell in the real world. Then, she usually says, "Shut up and let me read."
I'm still not really a romance fan, but if all romance novels were like Easter's Lilly, I might be willing to revisit that statement.