Sunday, June 01, 2008

Diana Palmer's Lawman

Note to self: Alison's book recommendation score is 0-1. 

First off, I want to say that I hate the term "cheesy romance novel." I have read a lot of romance novels that had no cheese in them whatsoever. It's a preconceived notion uttered by those who have never read a romance novel before or have only read a few pretty bad ones. 

It's like saying all literary fiction is good. It's not. Sure, Oprah has a pretty good track record when it comes to picking out great works of literary fiction, but for every Oprah hit, there's a Da Vinci Code miss. And no, I don't want to here about how riveting that book was, because it wasn't for me. That book is more under the lines of popular fiction. 

But I digress. The book at hand is Diana Palmer's The Lawman, a contemporary romance set in small-town Texas. The two main characters are Garon Grier (with only the name "Colby" sounding more ridiculous, with my apologies going out to all Colbys.) and Grace Carver. Garon works for the FBI, and Grace is a small-town girl with a shadowy past. The case he is currently working on involves Grace, though he doesn't realize that at first. 

The main characters are, unfortunately, the "typical" romance novel stereotypes: he's the alpha-male lawman, and she's the meek, quiet dishrag. While I had no doubt of Grace's love for Garon by the end of the book, I was not so sure of his. Garon was the typical FBI agent, nearly emotionless and preoccupied with work. I understand part of Grace's dishrag persona and distrust of men was due to her past, but by the time she was comfortable enough with Garon, she should've shown some spunk! Apart from that, she seemed perfect: a card-carrying member of MENSA, she sewed and had business skills, she cooked, she was thrifty, and she could plant roses. What man wouldn't want her? I'm more confused as to why she would want Garon. Sure, he's good-looking, but he's an absolute brute to her when they've broken up, accusing her of stalking him in a town of 2000: 
His dark eyes seemed to explode in rage. "Good God, not again!" he raged. "Do you have radar? Every damned place I go, you turn up! How did you know I was coming here? Do you have someone spying on me, to make sure you don't waste an opportunity to ruin my day?" he demanded. 

There were also continuity issues in the book. At one point Garon is talking to a doctor, and six pages later, he is introduced to that doctor as if they had never met. If this was overlooked by the author, then the copy editor should have picked up on it. Then there was the constant head-hopping, to the point where I was unsure whose head I was in, not to mention the incredible amounts of info-dump.  

Overall, a disappointing read. Perhaps one of Palmer's earlier books are better, but this one is a solid D+. 

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