Friday, July 14, 2006

Title: Midsummer Moon
Author: Laura Kinsale
Published: 1987, Avon
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 6/10

I picked up this book because everyone is always talking about Laura Kinsale like she's the most wonderful romance writer ever. I read Flowers from the Storm a while ago and had very conflicted feelings about it. It's beautifully written, but somehow I just didn't like it all that much. I'm still trying to figure out why. Anyway, I wanted to give her another shot, so I read this one.

And I'm kind of conflicted about this one, too.

Ransom Falconer, Duke of Damerell, travels to meet a man named Merlin Lambourne who is the inventor of a telephone-like device, which Ransom thinks could be used to help the British defeat Napoleon. Turns out that Merlin Lambourne is a woman, a beautiful young woman who is a genius. She's also very absent-minded professor-ish and naive. Ransom stays for dinner as he tries to talk Merlin into making some refinements to the speaking box, and accidently gets drugged with some kind of hallucinogen/aphrodisiac. He loses control and proceeds to seduce her into bed. And she's so naive that she's all, "Oh, what are you doing? Oh, what's that? Oh well, okay that feels good."

My favorite line:
"Oh, my," she said to the depths of his coat. "I do believe there was something in the salt."

It's certainly an original version of the innocent girl gets ravished scenario.

When Ransom comes back to sanity, he realizes that he's ruined the girl. So he takes her home with him and tries to talk her into marrying him. She, however, is working on inventing a flying machine and Ransom has this mortal fear of heights. This creates much tension as he tries to get her to give up the project as a lost cause.

It's got some really funny parts and I do think Kinsale's writing is very good. But somehow it was just okay for me. Like in Flowers from the Storm, the characters are interesting and complex, but sometimes really annoying. Merlin's naivete gets old pretty fast. And Ransom can be incredibly bossy and manipulative. Also like FftS, it's a story of two incredibly different people who fall in love. I think that's part of my problem with these books. I just don't see why these two people who have nothing at all in common fall so passionately in love. But it is waaaaay less angsty than FftS, which is a good thing in my opinion.

Anyone have any other Kinsale suggestions? Otherwise I might have to give her up as not my cup of tea.

BTW, isn't that cover classic?


Mailyn said...

I LOVED FFTS but solely based on Kinsale's writing and the hero, which I LOVE. The heroine almost ruined the book. She made me want to scream and tear my hair out. So that's my issue with FFTS. But it's still, IMO, awesome based on the two things I mentioned. The heroine has GOT to go. Ugh.

Haven't read this or any other by Kinsale.

Have to say that cover is BEAUTIFUL!

ames said...

Hmm...I'm almost afraid to suggest For My Lady's Heart and Shadowheart. FMLH was the first Laura Kinsale book I ever read and it made me cry. So I don't know what that says about me. I also enjoyed Shadowheart - but no crying. :P

Kristie (J) said...

I really like her but I know she's not for everyone. My favourite one is Shadow and the Star. I've tried a number of times to get into For My Lady's Heart but just can't so while I've enjoyed most of her other books, I can relate to the mixed feelings on her.

Marmee said...

C'mon -- it's the red dress, isn't it?
And of course the pirate shirt....

Jennie said...

Yeah, I think I'm going to give up on Kinsale. I'll just accept the fact that she's a good writer whose books just don't appeal to me.

Mama--The dress is actually hot pink! Even better. :)

Samantha said...

Okay, now maybe I'm seeing things, but... is that a giant ear on the guys hip on the cover? Or does he have a really strange sword hilt? I'm so confused.

Anyway, the Kinsale that got highly recommended to me was The Shadow and the Star. I haven't read it yet. Do you want to be my guinea pig?

Jennie said...

LOLOLOL, Samantha! It does look like an ear. But I think it's the small size, because on the real cover, full-size it does look like a sword hilt.

I don't know about The Shadow and the Star. I kind of afraid to give Kinsale any more of my reading time. Maybe you should read it and let me know. ;)

Estelle said...

I was going to give up on Kinsale after reading the Shadow and the Star and The Dream Hunter.

Like you I find her writing excellent but I can't understand how the hero and heroine could have fallen in love.

One of her 'worst' books romance-wise is The Shadow and The Star in my opinion. It's apparently her most popular book but I just wished Leda, the heroine, had left the hero to find herself someone better. Gosh, I wanted to hit Samuel on Leda's behalf so many times!

My favorite books by Kinsale are: The Hidden Heart, Uncertain Magic, For My Lady's Heart and Shadow Heart.

I think it would be very worth it to try a couple more books from her