Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: "Danger, Sweetheart" by MaryJanice Davidson

Danger, Sweetheart MaryJanice Davidson
Published: May 10, 2016
ISBN: 9781250053152
Genre: Romance (Contemporary)
Source: Netgalley

You might enjoy this book if you like: Romance novels, books that poke fun at genres

Blake Tarbell has a town to save. Rich, carefree, and used to the Vegas party lifestyle, Blake is thrown for a curve when his former cocktail-waitress mother pleads he go back to her roots to save the town she grew up in. Blake's used to using money to solve his problems, but when he arrives in Sweetheart, North Dakota, this city boy has to trade in his high-priced shoes for a pair of cowboy boots...and he's about to get a little help from the loveliest lady in town...

Natalie Lane's got no time for newbies. The prettiest gal to ever put on a pair of work gloves, there's nothing she can't do to keep a farm up and running. But when a handsome city-slicker rolls into town with nothing but bad farmer's instincts and good intentions, Natalie's heartstrings are pulled. She's about to teach him a thing or two about how to survive in Sweetheart. And he's about to teach her a thing or two about love... 

My Thoughts:
This was one of the more interesting reads I've come across lately.  If you read this book, you absolutely MUST read the author note at the beginning, or else the book just won't make sense.  Davidson decided to write a book that used as many romance tropes as possible (you can try to keep count if you want, or just check out the list of tropes she includes at the end).  Because of this, there are two ways you can read this book: as a slightly satirical study of the romance genre or as a straight genre.

On the first count, that of a satire of the romance genre, this book hits the mark.  Davidson does an admirable job of weaving in the different tropes, but not in a way that the reader would immediately recognize it.  She also includes asides and notes to the reader, in her own voice, which actually go along quite well with this story.

There is a very wry sense of humor that floats through this book--and I believe that is a necessary ingredient to make Davidson's vision work.  This is the first book by this author I've read, so I don't know if that is a common feature in Davidson's book, but it was definitely welcome here.

Now, what about if you read this as a straight romance?  I'm not going to say it doesn't work, because I was pulled in by the end.  However, it took me quite a long time to be engaged by the story.  Honestly, I'm not sure if that was because I was more amused by the tropes and satire or if the tropes and satire got in the way of the plot.  I spent most of the book feeling a bit distant from the action of the book, which was unfortunate.

In the end, this is a book that I would recommend to the right reader.  I really think that perfect audience for this book is someone who is very familiar with the romance genre and someone who has the sense of humor that is tickled by pokes and prods.  If that is you, this might be just the thing for your next read.

I was given an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review.  I received no other compensation for this post.

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