Desert Isle Keeper
Lightning that Lingers
There are many reasons to celebrate the resurrected Loveswept line, but the republishing of classic romances is certainly one of the biggest. I’d somehow missed this Sharon and Tom Curtis classic when it was first published and I’m delighted I had the chance to read it without paying an exorbitant price for an out of print copy.
First things first: The book, originally published in 1983, does feel a bit dated, primarily in the extreme innocence of the librarian heroine and her “Dorothy Hamill” haircut. But, when a romance is as engrossing as this one, who the heck cares?
The heroine (make that, the sweet, innocent heroine) meets hero Philip Brooks at a strip club. Where he strips. All the way. For a living. Of course, since there has to be more to the guy, he is also a biologist who lives in the decaying family mansion in the small Wisconsin town where the story takes place. Anyhoo, Philip first spots heroine Jennifer in the club where she’s come with friends and is unable to overcome her embarrassment to the point where the stripper actually notices her. Awk-ward.
They meet again and soon enough the two are kind of unofficially dating, including visits to his old family home where Jennifer makes the acquaintance of two baby owls that Philip has taken under his wing. Metaphorically speaking, of course. But not before charming Phillip must overcome much reticence on the part of our innocent heroine.
This book is very much a story of redemption. Cynical, beautiful Phillip is a fallen angel who strips for the money he needs to maintain his crumbling home. Jennifer is a virgin and a nice girl who seems to be afraid of everything. (Door knobs, trees, open spaces, confined spaces – okay, just kidding, but only just.) To be honest, Jennifer doesn’t feel much like a contemporary heroine.
But what works here is the romance. While Jennifer was probably dated back in 1983 and Philip is just too-too perfect, their love story works. Analyzing what made Sharon and Tom Curtis so astounding is almost an impossible task, but there is a lyrical quality to their writing that elevates it far above the usual – even considering a hopelessly out of date heroine and a hero too perfect to be real.
It’s easy to make fun of the characters here as I’ve done, because in 2011 they are kind of laughable. But beyond the stereotypes, both Jennifer and Philip are real characters and if you surrender to the authors and let them carry you away, you won’t laugh at the story, I promise you.
If you’ve never read this classic, treat yourself. One of the best things about eBooks is the new life that many classics such as this one can have. Here’s hoping that older readers can rediscover an old favorite and that new audiences will come to appreciate the magic of Sharon and Tom Curtis. And make no mistake about it, magic it is.