The one where I start over-analysing things

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.

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3 thoughts on “The one where I start over-analysing things

  1. I’m still wary of Driven. May be one that I just pass on. As I’m not keen on Linnea Sinclair or Liz Maverick I’m probably not the best person to give suggestions.

    I like the Vorkosigan books, and the Anne Bishop Black Jewels stories (though not her other stuff).

    Have you read the Stardoc series by S.L.Viehl. That’s more space opera I guess than anything – more along the lines of the Vorkosigan books. But there is a main romantic relationship that goes through all the books. She also writes the Darkyn books as Lynn Viehl.

    If you can read fantasy romance, I like the Warplains trilogy (starting with Warprize) by Elizabeth Vaughn. I very much liked her world building. But it’s one that people seem to either like or not.

  2. I’ve read the first couple of Stardoc books – I really liked her voice, but didn’t think the romance/relationship was convincing. I did like the SF aspect though. And then (IIRC, as it’s been a while now), there were a couple of disturbing scenes that put me off – I like my books happy 🙂

    I’ve read the first Darkyn book as well, again I didn’t “feel” the relationship. Heh. If the worldbuilding works for me, the romance doesn’t – gosh, I’m picky!

    Elizabeth Vaughn – I really liked the first book. Second and third were good as well, but I think the first was best. Hmm… I might have a look and see what her next book is.

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