Sunday, May 2, 2010

A little more action, please

Summer by the Sea
Susan Wiggs

Rosa Capoletti is an Italian American who runs a popular restaurant on Rhode Island's South Shore - she is a local in a land of Summer People. She met Alex, one of the Summer People, when they were 9 years old and when Rosa's life takes a drastic turn at the age of 18, she found she couldn't even count on the man she loved to be there for her. Now 30 and still stinging from Alex's rejection over a decade ago, she has steeled herself ever since against being hurt again. But, when he whirls into her restaurant he stirs something inside her that she thought was over.

There are certain aspects I don't expect from a good romance novel: I don't expect great character development (who wants a complex male lead?), a surprising twist in the plot (they better end up together), or believable romantic situations (female fantasties are usually unrealistic). I am okay with these things; if I want those aspects, I'll pick up something literary and not smutty. However, if I am forgoing all of those aspects, I darn well expect a couple of pages packed full of sizzling sex! There are times when "and he led her to the bedroom" is just not going to cut it.

Not only was Wiggs a little light on the smut (read: non-existent), she packed in an unbelievable number of coincidences...seriously, it was completely unbelievable. The characters seemed to spend 15/16ths of the book determined to piss each other off and then suddenly BOOM, they were back together. Come on now, a little literary foreplay is always good. Also, she alternated telling the story between the characters lives at 9, 18, and 30, which could have been okay but it was SO poorly executed. She spent so long building up to a big revelation and then would switch to another year for the next 75 one likes a tease. I did really like that this book was set EXACTLY where I live and they talked about places that actually exist (she mentions the restaurant Aunt Carries - Best. Pie. EVER.). There were also Italian recipes included, which could be fun but seemed out of place because there wasn't a whole lot of focus on the food.

All in all, I don't like cozy mysteries, I don't like cozy romances, and I will be skipping Ms. Wiggs in the future. Now I'm off to read Nora Roberts...she always delivers!

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