Jun. 18th, 2017

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I had a cold for a couple days, and have been rereading some books I first read about 20 years ago. I reread _Say No to Joe_ (just about the only Foster I reread any more, altho sometimes I reread _Jamie_ after rereading this one) every year or so. It's difficult to explain why. The book is by no means perfect -- there are a bunch of sections I desperately want to edit. It's the first in the Visitation series and it crosses two characters -- Joe and Luna -- over from the Winston brothers series. Obviously, I love the sense of humor. Foster's humor can be somewhat erratic, but it feels exactly right to me in this book. But I think the real reason I love this book is because it feels a lot like a Heyer novel: a heroine with some dependents who are not her biological children, the man she asks to help her out, and the relationship they all build together.

Thinking about other books I liked a lot from this point in my reading history, I decided I'd take another look at Dara Joy, but not the Matrix of Destiny books (and not _Ritual of Proof_. Or at least, not just yet.). _High Energy_ is very much _not_ a Heyer like novel; it turns out to be a really weird take on a JAK novel. Heroine is a journalist for a small paper (screams JAK, doesn't it?) run by a family member (grandfather, here; in JAK it would be a non-biological relative who takes on a familial/mentor like role for the heroine) who is trying to keep the kooky heroine out of trouble that the heroine is determined to dig into. There's a meet-cute (that's not very JAK like), and then the hero uses We're Working On This Project Together as an excuse to accelerate the relationship while the heroine persists in deluding herself that it isn't really a relationship. Basically, he enables her denial for his own purposes.

Like a JAK novel, they share a bunch of interests/preferences. Unlike a JAK novel, those preferences include terrible old horror/sf movies.

Not sure what I'll be reading next. _High Energy_ is set in Western Massachusetts, which let me tell you is a drastically different experience after living out here for a decade plus. I hadn't moved here yet when I read it the first time, and none of the place names meant much to me then.

ETA: I got _High Energy_ through kindleUnlimited; I may poke around and see what other blasts from the past I might find there. I forgot to mention. There's an interesting thread going on over at Dear Author about romance novels and security, as an explanation for numerous trends in romance novels but especially tycoon/millionaire/billionaire novels over the years. Argument comes down to, it's over the top rich now maybe as a result of income inequality increasing, but romance novels have always offered security in one form or another, it's just that the more middle class manifestations aren't very compelling any more. _High Energy_ is a really good example of Wealthy Hero offering security in numerous forms to the heroine: financial security, physical security, emotional security. He's depicted as nurturing her while she is ill, giving her orgasms for the first time in her life (yeah, this was a Thing back in the day. Also showed up in some JAK -- fortunately, this is a much more rare Thing in romance now), and then the climax of the book is him protecting her against the con artist they've been investigating. Sort of.

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