“I don’t notice point of view or historical anachronisms. I just like to read a good book.”
It’s not that I don’t envy my mother that. I do. It would be nice to just be able to sit down, read a book, and not notice repetitive words, anachronisms, or if the book was written in present tense. Then again, Mom notices more than she lets on. Like British spelling. Drives her CRAZY that those Englishers can’t spell English correctly. I still snicker at that one. And in a recent book, she had a few words to say about the convenient landing of a head blown off a body. Apparently, it ends up on a pillow. When I asked what kind of metaphor she thought the author was going for, Mom said, “Quit while you’re ahead, I imagine.”
But Mom knows me well. I do notice those things. Real or imagined–in other authors’ works or my own, when I catch something off, I can’t ignore it. But sometimes an author makes me not care. Like that time I read this new book from this new series…
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Was This Book Really the Best I’ve Read by This Author?
Yes. Definitely. To Steal a Heart did something fabulous for me. This book made me a Jen Turano fan. Look, I’ve enjoyed other books by her, but I’ve never loved a book like this one. And when you consider a few quibbles that I should have with it, that’s pretty impressive.
Laugh-out-loud funny (no, really. I cracked up all night long while I read it. No joke), the story kicks off as many of Turano’s do… at a party. And what a party it was!
In Turano’s classic style, she’s created some amazing characters. Gabby–brilliant. Look, this author took one of my pet peeves and thumbed her nose at it. I hate it when authors turn all the girls in historical novels into strong, independent women who don’t care about conventions. But Jen Turano did it again, and again, she made me love what she did with it. She made the reasons believable even in their wacky improbability.
Did I roll my eyes at a guy from the 1880s telling a young lady to use “pirate speech” with his dog? Yeah! It felt insanely modern. Did I care? Nope. I was too busy cracking up at the whole scene (and taking a picture of the page and sharing with another author) to bother caring.
And that’s what I’m talking about.
Sometimes, an author is just so good that she can break rules and blow raspberries at all my pet peeves and I don’t even care. Because see, when you write such a great story with engaging characters and a sweet and subtle message woven in and left unstated in all the subtext, you can get away with that.
When you write a book that readers can’t put down and with characters they can’t wait to see again, you’ve done it. You’ve succeeded at your job. To Steal a Heart is recommended for anyone needing a good laugh, anyone who loves a fun mystery, and everyone who likes their fiction sprinkled with faith that sparks life in their hearts instead of choking the life out of the story. Not recommended for folks who like to be miserable. It’s impossible to be miserable while reading To Steal a Heart.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say To Steal a Heart will steal your heart, but come on. That’s about as cliche as you can get. (Psst… it will, though!)