I finished reading “Driven” by Eve Kenin the other day. I think I got my expectations wrong with this one. It’s very much a romance set in a post-apocalyptic world, as opposed to a SF book with a romance. Does that make sense?
I don’t think I’ve ever read a SF/F romance that I’ve whole-heartedly loved. Sure, I’ve liked many – Nalini Singh’s “Caressed by Ice” being the most recent – but I don’t spend much time thinking about the characters and their world once I’ve finished the book.
But I’ve read many SF/F books with a strong romance thread which have captured my imagination – Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Korval series, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series, practically all of Sharon Shinn’s books… I could go on and on.
Hmm… it’s the same with the mystery books I’ve loved – I was obsessed with Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series earlier on in the year, and they were made extra-special by the romance subplots.
Maybe if it’s a book where the romance is the main focus, I start getting bored. Maybe the conflict between the hero and heroine isn’t enough to keep me interested. But that would mean I wouldn’t like pure romance, and that’s not true – I love Julia Quinn and Eloisa James. I adore Georgette Heyer’s books.
Maybe it’s because if it’s an SF/F book, I have different expectations. Maybe I get frustrated if there’s not enough detail in the world-building because there’s too much focus on the h/h’s relationship. Maybe that’s why SF/F romances seem weak to me.
Lots of maybe’s and no conclusions. I’m going to have to think about this a bit more. Feel free to rec SF/F romance authors if you think I just haven’t been reading the “right” ones – I’ve read Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, Liz Maverick… and a few more I’m sure.
PS: As for those who have been asking about “Driven”, I liked it, but once Wizard’s “secret” was revealed, I sort of lost interest in the story. I did finish the book, but really wasn’t that interested in how it would end. Oh, and I seem to be in the minority here, judging by the good reviews it’s had elsewhere.