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Posted December 20, 2013
Posted July 25, 2013
This is the first Carla Kelly book I've ever read, and it definitely makes me want to read more. It's so darn charming. In list form, here's what I loved about the book:
1. The chapter subtitles: Hilarious.
2. The writing style: The humorous chapter subtitles cue readers in to the sly humor that pervades this book. While the subject matter is often dark, the writing is just light enough to ensure a pleasant read and to highlight, by contrast, the darker themes discussed. The book reminded me of Voltaire's <i>Candide</i>
. It's funny, smart, and sharp.
3. The setting: This story takes place in 1780s New Mexico. The historical details of the setting are beautifully incorporated into the story. I never felt like I was reading Kelly's research notes.
4. Adorable animal antics: I'm a sucker for animal cuteness in books, and Trece, the yellow dog, filled my heart with happy.
In the interest of honesty, there were a few things that I didn't like so much. The language is occasionally jarringly modern. On one occasion, one of the characters thinks, "Meh." On another, a character refers to herself as a freak of nature. Those are, I think, rather modern expressions. But though they didn't fit with the 1780s setting, they fit the overall voice of the book. (Also, anachronisms don't bother me much.) This book did seem to be more like historical fiction than romance, though. The story is focused on Don Marco and his adventures, one of which is falling in love with and marrying Paloma Vega, but the story arc is not about the romance. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, even though it's not precisely a romance.
The bottom line, though, is that this book is a delightful read. Lovers of historical romance who are jonesing for interesting new settings should be all over this book. Lovers of historical fiction or any folk who read and liked <i>Candide</i>
should pick it up, too.
My thanks to the publisher for sending me my review copy.