Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review: Deception

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again in the interest of transparency, I will note that I know the author. I will also say that Romance is something I tend to avoid because it all runs more or less the same. Man sees woman. Woman sees man. For some reason (be it mutual loathing, social systems, or some other equally dull reason) they cannot be together. Love eventually wins out and they marry. The end.

This book was, very happily, nothing like that. Despite being labelled a Historical Romance, I found it more of an Adventure story. Certainly, there is the usual guy meets girl element, which forms a large part of the book, the larger part is the heroine's past and the result of that. Marriage does not happily end the book as it tends to with Romance novels (the majority that I've read, in any case).

For this reason, and others, I really loved this book.

It might have something to do with the historical setting of the book, which, of course, I adore. I have to confess my greatest delight in the language of the book (yes, I'm a language geek), most specifically the first correct spelling and use of the word 'arse' I've seen in a long, long time.

I have a pet peeve. The use of the word 'ass' to mean bottom. It doesn't mean bottom at all. It's a short form of the word 'jackass' which is, of course, a donkey. Every time someone say 'asshole,' what they're really saying is 'donkey hole.' 'Arse,' on the other hand, does mean bottom.

It's silly thing, and I know I'm being oddly pedantic, since I realise language changes, but the whole 'ass' vs. 'arse' thing really does bother me. I don't quite know why. Seeing 'arse' in proper form made me smile.

I also read a number of time-specific words which, thanks to my very handy Christmas present of a Forgotten English calendar I actually knew. I didn't struggle with the language at all. It would probably be helpful for the average reader to Google the words they don't understand, or else put them in context as demeaning descriptives no longer used today.

As I said before, what I genuinely adore about this book is that marriage and 'happily ever after' (I think I'm going to be ill) is not the end of the story. There's a whole of exciting stuff that happens after the wedding, which I'm not going to give away here. You'll have to buy the book.

At first I was a little confused by the plethora of names and titles to which the reader is hurriedly introduced (established readers of Jaimey Grant may already be familiar with the characters), but it didn't take long to sort this all out and it certainly didn't detract from the story.

The couple in question are Levi and Aurora, but I find myself much more enchanted by the dark, belligerent, outwardly hostile character of Derringer. I fear that says a little too much about myself, but there you go. As a character, Derringer was by far the most intriguing.

In short, a very plump four stars. Jaimey Grant did a fabulous job with this story, and I'll definitely be looking into getting more of her books in the near future ... especially the ones that have Derringer in them ...

And today's Forgotten English:

Medicinal Days:

The sixth, eighth, twelfth, sixteenth, eighteenth, etc. days of a disease, so called because, according to Hippocrates, no crisis occurs on these days and medicine may be safely administered.
- Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898


Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

This sounds like a book I'd enjoy. I've fallen into writing historical fantasy, when I used to stick to pure fantasy. I love having a setting that informs my plot.

And thank you for the clarification of ass vs. arse. I had never thought it through, and you're quite right. Thanks for being a word geek!


S.M. Carrière said...

I'd certainly get yourself a copy. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it (it being labelled a Romance and all).

You know, the use of arse has fallen so far that it comes up as a spelling error in Microsoft Word?

I was appalled!

I am a word geek (and you're most welcome)!