Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dishonorable Intentions: The Best Romance I've Ever Read

A while back I posted a poll to determine the extent to which readers of this blog were also readers of romance novels. Of those who answered the poll, 100% of the women and 24% of the men had read at least one romance. I was among the 76% of unenlightened men... until now.

Indeed, I just finished reading "Dishonorable Intentions," by Katherine Ivy, aka Lady Notorious, aka my charming, talented girlfriend, Rhonda. It wasn't the first time I had read her stuff- I had also seen her short story, "Love's Consequence" in the anthology "Modern Magic: Tales of Fantasy & Horror," and I had read the not-yet-published fantasy novel that she wrote for her master's thesis. Both of those blew me away, so I had high expectations for the romance novel. Rhonda tried to lower those expectations by explaining that "Dishonorable Intentions" was a different genre, and that it had been her first effort at writing, completed as a just-to-see-if-she-could-do-it "practice novel" while she was an undergraduate geology major. It turned out that Rhonda's warnings were unnecessary, because I found Dishonorable Intentions to have the same fast-pace, ingeniously-constructed plot, and badass-yet-realistically-characterized heroes that drew me into her other writings.

Dishonorable Intentions takes place in England during the "Regency" period of the early 19th century. The Regency was a rich and ritzy time for the nobility, and it was less uptight than the subsequent Victorian period, so it was the perfect setting for juicy romances. The romance of Dishonorable Intentions is made juicier still by intertwining with a crime mystery; the perilous hunt to recover a lost fortune in the form of a giant sapphire called "The Eye of the Storm." Intense drama develops as gorgeous, intelligent, great-spirited young Arabella battles to save her family and preserve her independence while winning the love and healing the heart of the handsome and virtuous but cynical and much-maligned noble Gabriel.


I must admit that before reading the book I doubted that I would be able to sympathize with characters from the upper crust of English society. I figured the nobles of "le bon ton" would just be tiptoeing around from mansion to carriage to ballroom, snootily obsessing over superficial concerns. In fact, some of the background characters in Dishonorable Intentions WERE a lot like my fluffy stereotypes, but the heroes Arabella and Gabriel had personal strengths and values that ripped right through the bullshit parts of their world. Those qualities made them very appealing, both to each other and to me as a 21st century reader.

I shouldn't give away too much of the story. If you want to read the book yourself you can download it from Amazon at this link. It's only like $5, so you really can't lose. If you don't have an e-reader device like a Kindle then you can do like I did and download Adobe Digital Editions (for free) so you can read it on your computer.

PS- Here's the novelist paddleboarding at Nahant last week. (Swoon!)


Kevin said...

Dude, Have you tried skinamax? It's even better and takes less time!! :) Sorry, couldn't resist the comment. Enjoy your blog (when it's about windsurfing or marine biology that is. Glad you're getting to know your feminine side....

James Douglass said...

Kevin- LOL. Never hurts to expand your horizons. :)

Johnny Douglass said...

I'll applaud the variety. Doesn't your blog not only promise 100% windsurfing and 100% science, but also 100% what-have-you?!

Morley said...

OK, I've a Kindle and I checked it out. I expect she might get royalties from another 15 or 20 sales from readers of this blog. Enjoy the bottle of beer she might be able to part pay for as a result! ;-)

Seriously, you should worry about who BRIAN is.

I just heard a news story of how many authors are loosing the traditional publisher and going straight to the electronic book companies; they get a better deal apparently.

James Douglass said...

Dad- Yep, I'm delivering "what-have-you," as promised.

Morley- Fantastic! I hope you enjoy it. I'll cherish the bottle of beer that she buys for me with the royalties. :)
Brian from the book's dedication is a football jock Taekwondo master ex-boyfriend, but he was relegated to just-friend status a few years ago, so I don't reckon I need to worry about him.

Lady Notorious said...

James -- You make me laugh and embarrass me at the same time. ;-) But thank you for the kind post about the book, that was very nice of you.

Morley, as far as the Brian thing goes...whew! Always embarrassing to have one's past dredged up, especially when it's in print for all to see! *blush* Ignore that part of the dedication... ;-)

Catherine said...

The book is loaded on our Nook. I can't wait to read it, especially because the only romance novels I ever read were in the young adult section of the library. They too crossed into the territory of historical fiction, my favorite genre. As to your review, your honesty is dependable so I know I am headed for a good read.