Rameau’s Review Archive: What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss

Originally posted on Goodreads December 13th 2012.

Synopsis:
Is Rachel Robinson the only one on campus who doesn’t know who Devin Freedman is? No big deal except that the bad-boy rock star gets a kick out of Rachel’s refusal to worship at his feet. And that seems to have provoked his undivided attention. Devin, the guy who gave new meaning to the phrase “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” Devin, the guy who somehow becomes wedged between her and the past she’s kept hidden for years. 

It’s up to this librarian to find out firsthand just how “bad” he really is. Because her secret–and her growing feelings for a man who claims he’s bent on redemption–depend on his turning out to be as good as he seems. Which is really, really good.

What the Librarian DidWhat the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss

This review can also be found on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog.

I may or may not have found my new favourite author.

There’s a reason Harlequin Superromances sell so well in Finland, better than Blaze or any other kinky ultra hot sex series or imprint. The impact of naked skin kind of evens out when you get used to seeing it regularly in the sauna. And we have those long winter nights and comfy blankets in our beds… anyway, it’s all about the story.

Here, two adults in their thirties meet at a point in their lives that isn’t particularly auspicious for romantic entanglements. One desperately wants a family but isn’t ready to commit to a man to have it, and another is trying to build a new start for his life. It’s a good thing then that they don’t know anything about each other and can discover together what the future holds for them. But as I said, the timing isn’t the best possible and their past mistakes are about to catch up with them.

I made a list of all the things I loved about this book and it’s as disorganised as are my thoughts, still. I loved the wit and humour Bliss infuses her text with. Jokes are a delicate thing to write especially when the audience doesn’t necessarily share the cultural context with the author, but here:

”It wasn’t that he had a five o’clock shadow at nine-thirty in the morning that screamed ‘bad boy.’ To Rachel’s eyes, that simply made him scruffy.”

“Anyone could see she had a conscience. That must be painful for her.”

”’I’m not offended. You’re not my type, either.’
Perversely, he was piqued. ‘Not a nerd, you mean?’
Her eyes narrowed. ‘Not housebroken.’”

Look at that and tell me it’s not funny even without the context. I dare you.

I loved the fact that Rachel and Devin didn’t succumb to the insta-lust/love/attraction that’s a plague in modern romances. They were actually slightly antagonistic before building a tentative friendship with the option for more. Their romance was the slow burn kind with push and pull to keep them balanced. One gave the other took, and then they switched places. Truths were shared and actual smarts were displayed. I loved that both Rachel and Devin acted like adults. They weren’t perfect but they owned up to their mistakes and were determined to face the consequences.

One thing I absolutely hate in romance novels is the plot twist involving an artificial, prolonged misunderstanding. It was delightfully absent from this book and it all comes back to characters acting like real adults. Even in their most idiotic moments, they remained true to their characterisations instead of changing to fit the whims of the plot.

As for the reason why I now have a “can-I-has-a-Devin” shelf, let’s just say—without spoiling the book for everyone else—that the man knows the right things to say. (Yes, I’m aware that a woman wrote him.) He has brilliant scenes with Rachel and another character where he expresses his unwavering love, devotion, and trust in her. Once he’s in, he’s in. He’s made up his mind and he won’t let her insecurities drive him away, and he trusts her to figure it out eventually.

I’ll need to read that other book by Bliss I bought on the Harlequin Christmas sale. Then I’ll know if I’ll be adding another author on my list of favourites.

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6 Responses to Rameau’s Review Archive: What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss

  1. can-I-has-a-DevinIs the mistake deliberate or not?Is this book really so brilliant?A freaking Harlequin? Really?

  2. Blodeuedd says:

    I dare you to read it

  3. Only if you accept a dare from me as well.

  4. Blodeuedd says:

    eeeek…ok dare me away

  5. will think about it *evil grin*

  6. Pingback: Rise by Karina Bliss | portable pieces of thoughts

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