Cannonball Read IV: Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lyndsy Sands
I'm only an occasional commenter on Pajiba, but I love to read, so into the breach I go! Setting the tone for my Cannonball Read is a romance novel one of my roommates bought on a cruise. And as you may be able to read on that tiny red banner, it's the "Taller, Darker and Hungrier" edition. Hot! [Image shown on group blog post.]
When I picked this book up, there were certain expectations I had based on the cover and the title. I figured it was going to be a silly vampire romance, like Twilight for 30somethings. I wasn't entirely wrong, but I wasn't really right either.
Tall, Dark & Hungry is about Terri, a professor from England, who has come to New York to help her cousin Kate plan Kate's wedding to her fiance Lucern. Lucern's brother Bastien has agreed to put Terri up in his penthouse and the books makes a big point of how obscenely wealthy Bastien and the rest of the Argeneau clan are. It's obvious from the jump that Bastien and Terri are absolutely going to end up together. It's not even a spoiler as it's telegraphed almost immediately. The story is mainly concerned with the two of them falling in love amid a series of hi-jinks and episodic incidents.
The aspect that threw me for a loop was how much the plot revolved around the wedding. Oops, the flowers for the centerpieces died in an early frost! Ack, the caterer committed suicide! Blerg, the tissue flowers (is this a thing?) got wet! Bastien and Terri fall in love working through Kate's wedding woes and it felt initially weird, but then began to make sense. It's a part of the larger goal of the book: wish fulfillment. Terri is written to be like an every-woman who Bastien fawns all over for not being a stick, being nice to people, and not being afraid to eat in front of him. Bastien himself lavishes gifts on her, praises her every aspect, and just wants to cuddle up to watch movies with Terri. I'm not saying that any of these things are bad; it's just that you can feel yourself being whacked in the face with it.
This isn't to say that I didn't thoroughly enjoy the book. The names are fantastic. Bastien! Lucern! They have a cousin named Vincent who's playing Dracula in a musical! They have a sister named Lucianna! It's appropriately soapy and fun. Apparently this is the second book in a series; Lucern and Kate's story was told in the first one, but they make maybe one reference that isn't explained, so nothing's lost there. It's a great frothy read and enjoyable in a Flash Gordon so-bad-it's-good kind of way.
This review is part of Cannonball Read IV. You too can delurk and sign up at the group blog (yes you can still sign up!)