Nora Roberts - Two Of A Kind

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Product Details
Series: Mira Hardbacks
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Silhouette; First Edition edition (May 1, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373285159
ISBN-13: 978-0373285150
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches

Review from Amazon

Oldies still classics, May 9, 2006
By Himura Seraphina "Literary Sorceress" (Edmonton, AB Canada)

When reading Nora's first books compared to her newest, there is a tremendous difference that some readers my not like. The old stories are shorter, purely romance-driven, often single-point-of-views by young, sheltered virgins--not much like the savvy, worldly, women of the newer books, whose plots are tense, full of twists and turns, unexpected villians and surprising developments.

But if you take Nora's early work in the proper context--that of the mid- to late-eighties romance genre, you see something else--the pure, focused talent of a woman who would become a driving force in the industry--not just in romance novels, but in woman's fiction, suspense, and futuristic novels.

Read the Nora books being reissued--and then read two or three other romance novels published in the same year as Nora's book. See the difference? Non-romance readers may not see it, as the differences are a bit subtle, but they are there. Nora and a handful of other female writers from the same period--many of whom, like Jayne Ann Krentz and contemporaries, still write and recieve almost the same fame as Nora--redefined the romance industry and novel, taking the guidelines established by publishers and male editors about romance and working around, under, or right over top of those rules.

Eventually, they were able to through those guidelines in the trash where they belonged, paving the way for the diverse romance industry we know today. Nora and those like her refused to be ashamed of writing romance, using their own names instead of pen names-virtually a requirement at the time. They made their heroines strong and clever and not to be manipulated by their older, worldlier male suitors. They gave those same males a voice, becoming the first writers to present fully-formed, human male protaganists whose point-of-view came across--hard to imagine your favorite romance written from only the ladies' point-of-view, isn't it? Men, even written ones, cannot be understood unless you can read minds, as we do now in stories told from multiple perspectives. These were the writers that began blending romance and suspense, adding fantasy and the supernatural to their stories. Some took their characters to other worlds (Jayne Ann Krentz as Jayne Castle); some to the future (Nora as JD Robb) and some into the past in a way only Austen and the Brontes every came close to managing (Stephanie Laurens, Mary Jo Putney).

Those of you who love romance, do not read these reissues books as relics, or scorn them as weak predecesors of the suspenseful romance we all love--read them with thanks and appreciation for their place in the development of the female-driven industry that we may not realize we should be grateful for. Enjoy them, look for Nora's phenomenal talent developing as she and her stories test their wings. Love these well-written early stories for what they are--the first lines in a lifelong achievement of storytelling and authorship.
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