James, Eloisa: (01) Much Ado About You

Eloisa James’ Much Ado About You was mentioned favorably by Rachel Brown recently, and I picked it up as a lunchtime book while I was getting the new Diana Gabaldon (because I am not hauling a 980 page book back and forth to work). As light lunchtime reading, I have no complaints.

This is the first in a Regency romance series about four sisters; those sibling relationships are the distinguishing characteristic of the book. The romance moves a touch faster than I’d like, but has its good points; the overall plot also had a few elements that didn’t go as I’d expected, which is particularly a plus in the romance genre. A number of the secondary characters are also very interesting and I look forward to seeing more of them, though I suspect that a couple of them are going to be taken in a direction that strikes me as awfully tricky (I’ll still read the story even if I’m right; James seems a lot less frothy than Regency authors can be—and while frothy is all well and good for certain moods, it’s not what would be called for in that case). I’ll be checking out James’ backlist from the library.


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  1. I read Much Ado last spring and enjoyed it as well, though not yet to the point of picking up any of James’ other books. She’s faculty in my department and I got the book when she came out as a romance writer at a faculty meeting. One of the things that she said then is that she enjoys exploring female communities in her stories, which is part of what underlies the sister network in Much Ado–although it strikes me as a convenient device for setting up sequels.

  2. Heather, sequels yes, and I am getting a bit tired of this trend in romance novels–while it lets authors set up things like Imogen, it also makes it harder for the reader; it was mildly annoying to feel the absence of backstory for two of the male characters in this book.
    It’s pretty cool that she came out as a romance writer at a faculty meeting, though.

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