My guilty pleasure is romance. Straight romance where boy and girl meet, something keeps them apart and in the end it all turns out fine. No real drama, not much, if any, death doom and gloom. Light and fluffy stories where the biggest problem the characters face is that someone overheard a conversation they weren’t supposed to and took it the wrong way.
Today’s post title is also the title of the first book that ever caught my eye regarding romance. I pretty much have blinkers on when I go into a book shop. It is one of those essential things that if I don’t have them on, I’d never have any money at all. Pretty book covers are a weakness, and though not judging a book by its cover is a great adage, sometimes it’s the cover that draws us in. So I head for the horror section, then the dark fantasy, as it’s called now, and then to the tills and out. I don’t stray, I don’t browse, and I try not to come out with enough books to start a library.
But sometimes the blinkers come off, and when they do I see a whole load of utter tripe, like books by famous people whose imagination is limited to what new make up to try and how orange it will make them look. Not all of it is tripe, however, and one day, many years ago now, a book stood out and demanded my attention.
It’s called Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Ghurke. And it’s a romance novel. The price was right, I needed a book, and so I picked it up. But it was none of those things that made me fall in love with it.
Those who know me know that I outsource most of my historical research to my fantastic friend Alice. Because she is a history nut, and I hate sitting and reading through dry text after dry text looking for that one piece of information that I need. When Alice already knows the answer, it is a lot more pleasant an experience to talk to her about it. Having said that, there are certain points in history that I love. The Romans, the Greeks, the Victorians (purely for the dresses and corsets!).
Guilty Pleasures is set in the 1800s, and is set on the grounds of an estate that happens to have a Roman dig happening right there. Daphne, the lead female, works there restoring artefacts and knows pretty much everything there is to know about the Romans. Anthony, the Duke who owns the land, is very much hands on in the excavation.
The combination of the setting, the clothes, and the subject had me turning page after page after page. Until I got to the end, turned the book over and started again. For me, it is one of those five star reads that I’d like to give more than five stars. It ranks up there with the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and Richard Laymon.
Since first reading Guilty Pleasures I have hardly touched a romance novel. I will keep coming back to Guilty Pleasures every so often, and it is currently sitting on top of one of my bookshelves tempting me to read it again, but other romance I have hardly touched.
So if your guilty pleasure is romance, I highly recommend this book. And if you’ve never read a romance novel, then maybe give it a try anyway. If you don’t enjoy it, then at least you’ll know. And if you do, then you’ll have opened the door to one of the biggest selling genres the book world has to offer.
Click the picture to be taken to Amazon.