I must admit I’ve never been a Harlequin reader. I’ve tried a few of them in the past (yes, okay, in the 80s) and just couldn’t see the attraction. (Harlequin Historicals excepted.) But lately, I’ve come across some contemporaries that make me go “Wow.” Molly O’Keefe‘s Mitchell’s Series, CJ Carmichael‘s Star Crossed Parents to name two authors who I look for now.
After yesterday, I’m adding Maya Banks to the list. Oh, I was already a Maya fan. I loved her Colters’ Woman one of the first Samhain books I’d read. And the first to make a polyamorous relationship work IMHO. Her CW inspired me to take a chance on writing the menage in Private Property. The other day I was lucky enough to win one of Maya’s books on a Twitter contest. I had to chuckle at the title, The Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress and was surprised to discover it wasn’t a Harlequin Presents as the title suggests but a Silhouette Desire. (To make it perfect, it should have been The Greek Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress. Maybe that would have tipped it into the Presents line.) It has everything: the rich billionaire tycoon uber-alpha hero, the assistant who had become the mistress (though she hadn’t realized that’s what she was) who gets *gasp* amnesia. Oh, all right, I admit it. I love a good amnesia story. They have to be well done though. To add to the perfection, the heroine’s name is …. wait for it …. Marley! Yes, the name of my critique partner who adores amnesia stories and has one of her own in the works. It was just too perfect.
The timing of its arrival was extrenely fortuitous too. You see, I had a really bad day yesterday. Apart from Yahoo and Microsoft giving me some major headaches yesterday, I’ve been having some health issues and finally gave in and went to the doctor. Though it came as no surprise that he’s recommending I see a specialist, he mentioned a specific test I’d have to have. That’s when I discovered the downsides of the internet and the danger that comes from google searches. Sometimes a little ignorance is bliss. I am NOT looking forward to one of the tests I’m going to have to have. So I decided to pretend they weren’t in my future and buried myself in Maya’s book.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Maybe it was my mood, but Maya created a depth of despair in Marley that just sucked me right in. There were times when I wanted to sock the hero, Chrysander, in the jaw (oh, all right, to be truthful I would have socked him about three foot lower. Several times. With a pointed toed boot. A pointed toed IRON boot.) While I predicted exactly who did what and how they’d done it, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that Marley was vindicated. That she discovered what had happened, the unvarnished truth. And boy, did she ever.
I LOVE stories that can make me cry, that can fill me with the emotions the heroine is feeling. Maya has a golden touch when it comes to writing emotion.
Well done, Maya. And thank you.