From This Day, by Nora Roberts

>> Monday, March 19, 2007

From This Day is a very early book from one of my favourite authors, Nora Roberts. It's from 1983, and the "Other books by this author" page has only 6 other titles, so she must have been a real newbie back then!

An Unexpected Dilemma

When B.J. Clark, the young and pretty manager of the Lakeside Inn, met the new owner, Taylor Reynolds, she was fully prepared to dislike him. For she feared -with good reason- that he planned to transform her sleepy old hotel into a resort for jet-setters.

That sparks should fly between them was inevitable. But that these should be fanned by a mutual passion was not in her plans. Against all reason, B.J. found herself torn between her professional antagonistm and her growing attraction to the man she had sworn to despise.
It's been a while since I've done one of these, so follow me as I read From This Day....

pg 27 - This is one of those "heroine against modernity" books. BJ is the manager of the old-fashioned Lakeside Inn, in Vermont, and Taylor Reynolds is the new owner, who wants to modernize it. Conflicts ensue (how's that for a concise summary? I'm getting better!)

It's been only a few pages, and BJ is already driving me crazy. It's been a while since I've seen a more childish, narrow-minded, judgemental, unprofessional heroine. One of her arguments not to make a few changes to the inn? "I don't want any plastic surgery on my inn". And her retort to Taylor's reminder that he is the owner, so he does have the right to make those changes, and as the manager, the final decision is not hers? Does she make a calm argument about why as the manager, she's the one who knows the inn best and so he should listen to her thoughts? Nope, when told that her position as manager does not entitle her to a vote, she cries "Your position as owner doesn't entitle you to brains!" Real professional, that.

Fortunately for the idiot woman, Taylor is a smart guy and recognizes that she might have something valuable to say, so he ignores the little temper tantrum.

pg 36 - Oh, give me a break! She's watching a horror movie, Taylor shows up, and the twit literally throws herself into his arms in fright at the monster... twice! Mindbending. He's your boss, you idiot! And of course, here we start with the inappropriate kisses.

pg 45 - Finally, finally, BJ starts behaving a little more professionally and giving some real arguments against turning the inn into a resort. About time!

BTW, so far, no hero's POV. Do we get any? I don't want to spend all the book in BJ's mind!

pg 61 - This is the kind of book where the heroine's mind turns to putty the minute the hero puts his hands on her, no matter how much she tells herself she despises him. Sigh.

pg 91 - Half the book is over, and all I know about Taylor is that he owns the inn, drives a Mercedes, is a bit imperious and is attracted to BJ (for some unfathomable reason). Oh, and he kisses well, though BJ is (of course!) a virgin, and doesn't really have much basis for comparison. Nothing else. Pretty flat characterization, so far.

pg 93 - Oh, fuck it. Just what was missing, the evil other woman, miles more sophisticated than BJ. Ah, and she behaves towards Taylor, her boss, in a way that obviously suggests that there's more than business between them... not that Taylor seems to notice, of course. These old-style heroes always were pretty oblivious to the Evil Other Women's machinations. I'm so looking forward to see BJ feel jealous and make even more of an ass of herself... not!

pg 106 - Ahh, now she cries. I knew she'd do so at some point.

pg 140 - We're now in Palm Beach, where Taylor has taken BJ with him to show her how his other hotels are run. Blah. And I still know nothing about Taylor other than what I mentioned already.

p 180 - "We're getting married, we will live in this house here, your mother is sending me your birth certificate so that you can get a passport, so we can fly to Rome in a couple of weeks." Whaaa?? Out of the blue, much? Yeah, imperious is an understatement for this guy (who I still don't know, BTW).

p 186 - The end. This was BAD. Stupid conflict, a twit of a heroine, a cardboard hero and no chemistry whatsoever. Nora Roberts has really come an incredibly long way from this. Unfortunately, this early effort rates only a D+.


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