Thursday, May 27, 2010
The Woman Who Knew Too Much
So I am reading This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa James after reading The Bad Baron's Daughter and I think I am suffering from a bit a whiplash. One could not imagine two more different heroines. Is there anything Jemma doesn't know about the world, from scandal, to flirting, to double entrendes? Since I have not finished the book, I can't say for sure how much of it is an act and how much of her knowledge is based on experience. It is rather nice to see such a clever, intelligent woman who is nobody's fool and her sparring with both husband and Villiers is a joyful exercise in wit. I much prefer this heroine. But....
It's a little depressing as well. It occurs to me all this wit and sparring and flirting are the tools of jaded people. People for whom life hold no true happiness or real joy. And if Jemma was this jaded and cynical, I would have put the book down long ago. But because this is a romance, you just know there is some hope for her. For after all this knowledge, she's come to the conclusion she really does love her husband. And its this, and not the constant wit on display, that keeps me reading this book.
Its all about the saving power of true love, isn't it? But are there romance heroines who are too jaded, too cynical or too worldly? Heroines for whom it is simply unrealistic to expect love to save? I know traditionally romances have all been about love's ability to save bad (or pretend bad) heroes but I think I have noticed a trend in more complicated, darker heroines lately. (I am thinking books by Meredith Duran here.) I don't think Jemma is one of them but can you think of others?