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Isn’t It Romantic? by Ronda Thompson

Posted by Mistress on February 17, 2009

With Mistress tackling Historical Romance and Wanderer doing Time Travel Romance for their Pilates of the Page I decided to give Contemporary Romance one more go. I was never that big on the genre and I confess Becky Bloomwood finished me off. I’ve been putting off finding the right book for this exercise for a while now and would have continued to do so had I not encountered Ronda Thompson’s Isn’t It Romantic at a garage sale today. I started reading the book as soon as I got home lest I lose my nerve and let it get buried under my mountainous TBR pile in the study. Isn’t It Romantic? Isn’t the first R. Thompson book I own, that privilege belongs to her most recent novel Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel, but it is the first one I actually got around to reading. So let’s get down to business shall we. First, the blurb:

They’ve never met, but Katrine Summerville and Trey Westmoreland are sworn enemies. Katrine is a romance writer who, after being abandoned at the age of five, and widowed and pregnant at eighteen, doesn’t believe in happily-ever-after.

Trey is a hard-nosed newspaper literary review columnist who carries the bitter taste of a failed marriage around with him along with a resentment toward romance novels, which he believes give women a warped expectation of love.

A case of mistaken identity, a night of ill-fated attraction, and their steamy moment captured on film catapults them into four weeks of nationally publicized Hell.

Kat is a likable heroine. She isn’t annoying, whiny, or in constant need of rescue. She doesn’t bumble around like an idiot nor does she dwell on her past like it’s the present. She isn’t perfection personified either and has enough self-awareness to recognize when she is in the wrong. Trey doesn’t stand out as much as Kat does but successfully holds his own in their interactions. Unlike many other books, the secondary characters do not detract from the story nor did they annoy me. I even enjoyed the interaction the characters have with Kat’s daughter and Lord knows how I feel about children in romances.

Within the first chapter I suspected that I was going to enjoy this book very much. Initially I was worried that it would have a strong start but would have no follow through but I couldn’t be more wrong. The plot isn’t that much different from the movie “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” but I enjoyed reading Isn’t It Romantic? significantly more. The dialogue between the characters sparkles. The tongue in cheek allusions that skewer fun at the romance genre – especially the historical kind – sets this book apart from similar novels. Heck, I lost myself enough to laugh out loud several times. I startled my sleeping dog awake which I never ever do for the peace I get from him are few and far in between. This book isn’t only a straight up love story but a wildly entertaining comedy as well. It’s probably one of the funniest books I’ve read in years, if not ever. I’ve been reading romance since, well, I grew out of my beloved Archie Comics (ok, I haven’t quite grown out of them yet) and of the many different reactions I have when reading these books, this one evoked the best of them all, my laughter.

Grade: A-

Reader

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6 Responses to “Isn’t It Romantic? by Ronda Thompson”

  1. Wanderer said

    Sounds like one to add to the TBR file for me. Love when I find a book who can make me laugh with the characters and story and not at them.

  2. Reader said

    Me too. Not very easy to find.

  3. Anonymous said

    Becky Bloomwood is the “shopaholic” books, no? Not fair to blame contempory romance for them, they’re chicklit! 😉 — willaful

  4. Katie said

    well, i may actually read this one. 🙂 (fwiw, i think it’s totally fair to call the shopaholic books romances. that’s exactly how they read, and 99% of all chicklit is really just romance with a “respectable” (read easier to sell) label slapped on it.)

  5. Mistress said

    Good points Katie and Willa. The shopaholic books are definitely chick lit; but C.L. is the inbred spawn of the contemporary genre (well the cliches at least). IMO chicklit always has this pretentious “sassy” literary pms feel to it ,lol. But it can be fun for small ventures. I was enjoying the Para chick Lit titles coming out….now meh, not so much.Katie: interesting concept re: chick lit vs romance. I auto wanted to proclaim “nuh uh” in response to your comment. But after some thought, you may be on to something.I tend to snub my nose at the chick lit only readers. Yeah it’s funny ,but essentially the same jokes: “ha ha ha aren’t I flighty, neurotic, and woefully unprepared to survive the most mundane aspects of life. At least I always have fashionable spontaneous wordy come backs/commentary/internal monologue about the havoc I bring on myself. Where the man of my dreams to take care of damage control.”or” Now I’ll never aced this job interview; because I spilled hot chocolate on my pants and was mugged by shit flinging gorilla” Lmao = ) ok maybe not quite the second example but close.Back to my point. So I have a feeling I’m not alone in my Chick Lit prejudice. That many bookish (even those who read it) consider it slumming. But to the Romancelandia outsider chick lit might win the high brow thumb wrestling match. To the average romance adverse person, it’s all dress ripping cavemen and the swooning hussies who lurve them. where they probably see chick Lit as modern funny novels from a female perspective…and all the cool kids are doing it. = / makes you go hmm, doesn’t it, that one may leave the shopaholic crap on the coffee table but hide their Eloisa James = /.disclaimer: This comment is chock full of misspellings, grammatical errors, and vulgarity/slang. Life happens, and it’s messy = )

  6. Mistress said

    I so get the award for longest, not quite post related comment ever. ; )Reader:Sounds lovely, I dig books that are beyond smile funny. I didn’t even know R.T. penned contemp, though I did enjoy her Wild Wulfs of London series (Para historical). I’ll add it to my feel good tbr…and er yes I sort my tbr list by reason for reading then genre lmao. I’m a freak.* If you’re curious the usual reason suspects are:– feel good– follow up ( series reading)– getting my nerd on ( newly released/interesting non fiction)– bragging rights ( seeing what all the fuss is about with NYT bestsellers vs classic works for edjumacation)-recommendations ( from friends and blogs)– WTF ( books that aren’t my cup of tea to streach my reading muscles)– so bad, they’re good (I indulge in quite a few sucky books for lulz)After that they’re sorted by genre. And I just pick by a combo of mood and access. though I often disregard the list and pick up something else, but isn’t list making cathartic in and of it self?

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