Thursday, August 11, 2011
Writing My Love by Claire McNab
Publisher: Bella Books
Claire McNab is known as a mystery writer, not for romances, which may be why she chose to make Writing My Love a spoof of the romance genre. McNab demonstrates a sense of humor in this book that does not appear in her earlier works, but has begun to show up in her Kylie Kendall series. Romance authors should get a chuckle at themselves when they read this book.
Vonny Smith writes the equivalent of lesbian "bodice rippers" (think Harlequin romances) under the name of Victoria Vanderveer. Although her public life is very successful, Vonny has not found the romantic success that her own heroines experience. The answer to that problem may be her editor Diana Broswell. Vonny has fallen totally in love with the always professional Diana who is friendly, but cool to any other type of relationship. Vonny is convinced that, if she can just make Diana see how great they would be together, then they definitely have a future; however, Diana is not the type of person you simply state your desires to, especially when you're not sure she's a lesbian. Vonny decides the way to win Diana is to write a thinly disguised novel that is about them. As Diana edits the book she will slowly, but surely, come to realize how perfectly they fit together and will return Vonny's feelings. What ensues is a hilarious use of every exaggerated or bad practice used in romance novels. There are, of course, the obligatory ex-lovers of both women who show up to complicate Vonny's scheme, and until the last pages, the reader doesn't know if Vonny's strategy will work or not.
McNab shows the maturity of someone who has published many books and realizes she doesn't have to take herself or her craft so seriously. That doesn't mean that she's lazy at her craft, far from it. Her use of scenes and characters shows that she knows what she is doing. The fact that she feels comfortable in poking fun at the best-selling genre in any type of fiction demonstrates the confidence she feels as a writer.
It's also just a good romp. The reader can't help but feel for Vonny as she tries desperately to win the woman of her dreams while being unable to simply tell her how she feels. Diana, at times, seems totally obtuse, but then the question arises, is she really that unaware or does she know exactly what is going on and is leading Vonny where she wants her? Romance fans, if they have an ounce of humor, should enjoy this book and the gentle way it lampoons their favorite type of story.