August 22, 2012
A self-published gem!
This book was recommended to me and I immediately shivered with dread. I'm always leery of other people's recommendations. There's always that little nagging voice that asks, what if I don't like it? Then the person doing the recommending will hate my liver - and never speak to me again. So, there is a great quandary when I read books that someone else "just loved." In the case of The Duke's Tattoo, I'm glad I picked it up, because I really enjoyed it.
The Duke's Tattoo is Miranda Davis' debut novel and it appears to be in electronic format only. Incidentally, I couldn't seem to find a website for Ms. Davis; however, she seems to have a place to hang out at Goodreads.
As I stated earlier in my meanderings, this is a self-published book, which could be good...could be bad. I'm finding the whole publishing world to be pretty interesting at this point. All the changes that are happening and what was once considered a "no one else will publish me" venue, is now becoming more accepted as a means for authors to share their voices. And in this particular case Ms. Davis' voice is one which should be heard.
I did not see any typos, but to be perfectly honest, I wasn't really looking for any. Do you know why? Well, because I was enjoying reading this story so much, I just didn't have the time to check. Besides that, I've found typos in books printed by publishers who have a gazillion editors roaming their hallways. I'm not saying there weren't any, I'm just saying I didn't look, nor did I care.
I hear another question drifting my way. You know, some of us have been in Romanceland w-a-y too long and we have become historically accurate elitist, shall I say, snobs. I often hear, "well the author should have done some research." In fact, I bet those words have even dropped from my mouth. But, I have to ask, how much research is one supposed to do? How many language, fashion, history books must one read? And are all of those research books accurate? If a fashion in a book doesn't exactly match what was supposed to be worn in that time period is that due to the author's lack of knowledge...or is it actually possible that a woman could be ten years behind the time in her clothing? Could a woman actually still be wearing something from ten years ago? OMG, the shame. In real life we are not all fashionistas who are able to keep up with the latest frou-frou. This is a romance book for Pete's sake not a master's thesis on history. And, I have digressed.
Back to The Duke's Tattoo. I was impressed with Ms. Davis' debut novel. Anyone that can write humor and write it so it's actually funny shows some real talent. I loved the way the story was organized and how it moved through time. This is also one of the few times I didn't skip over those little annoying chapter headings. These little one liners were very clever and gave me a forewarning of what was to come in each chapter. Loved them.
The banter between the hero (Jem) and the heroine (Prudence) was intelligent and witty. The plotline may have been a tad bit silly, but I didn't mind. The front of the book may have moved faster than the last section, but that's just a minor quibble. And, while revenge isn't one of my favorite things, in this case I found the kerfuffled revenge tattoo to be highly amusing. Bottom line - this book is fun.
Now, I do have a couple of quibbles. Authors, tie your loose ends - if you have creepy characters, make sure they all get their comeuppance.
Now for a lesson in anatomy. When we have a Hilary Hymen, she will always be an external character. There will be no "inching" in by any Timothy Toad, no matter how small or large he may be. And, as we all know the Mr. Toads on our heroes in romance books are always humongous, but even so, there is no dark tunnel to travel down in Hilary Hymen's world. If you are interested in reading more articles on The HMS: Hymen Mislocation Syndrome check out Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog. They have a number of articles on the Hymen mystery.
After all that - I hardily recommend this book and am definitely looking forward to the sequels. We have another author to keep our eyes on.
Time/Place: Regency England