Monday again. Ho hum. Beth has rung the bell on SBD. She’s reading more of the Twilight series. After her post last week, I went hunting for my copy of Twilight and pulled it out for this month’s TBR Challenge. Sadly, I haven’t cracked the book open yet. Instead, I’ve read other stuff. Such as…
I read Erin McCarthy’s Hard and Fast last week. It wasn’t bad. The pacing was a little uneven if you compare the first half and second halves, but still, not bad at all. The hero and heroine had great chemistry, and their dialogue sparkled. (It’s such a cliché, but it really did. They clearly enjoyed talking to each other and listening to each other, and playing some word games.) The Big Conflict was not a huge surprise, but I though the heroine really stuck her foot in her mouth. In fact, I thought she needed to grovel, and that never really happened. SPOILER: see, the hero is dyslexic and she’s Smart and Educated, and when he reveals his disability, she immediately announces how she’s going to help him. What the hell? He’s been successful at helping himself; frankly, the way she wanted to “help” him (fix him, really) struck me as a little patronizing and judgmental, and outright ignorant in terms of the treatment, if that’s the right word, of dyslexia. Still, they apologized to each other and went off to live happily ever after.
As I read, I spent an inordinate amount of time wondering what the heroine was doing as an academic, and what she did, if anything, before becoming at teaching assistant in North Carolina. She works for another character, who was an instructor of some sort at the local university. I say instructor because the other character has “only” a Master’s Degree, and I believe “professor” is reserved for those with Ph.D.’s, no? There’s such a variety of labels in academia: lecturer, instructor, adjunct, assistant, professor. I know there’s a hierarchy applied to them, but I’m not entirely sure how both education, longevity, employer/employee relationship with the university, etc., apply. Anyhow, the heroine is an assistant to this instructor. She talks about her thesis project, but her work is also referred to as a dissertation project and/or doctoral research. I thought thesis = Masters, dissertation = Ph.D. Yes? No? Despite the confusion in terminology, it becomes clear that the heroine is working on her M.A. in Sociology. Which leads back to my original question: she’s twenty eight years old and has been presented as a career academic, studying in New York; what has she been doing for 6 years that she is only working on her thesis now? That seems like an awfully long time for a dedicated student to still be M.A.-less. Was she working, and this is a return to academia? Was she working on a degree in some other field of study? Inquiring minds want to know.
It sounds like I didn’t enjoy this book; really I did. I’m just distracted by a detail.
Unrelated sidenote: my copy of Joseph McAleer’s Passion’s Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon has arrived at last – only took a month and a half! The cover is gorgeous, composed of the cover art of old M&B books. I’m going to have to look for copies to read, based entirely on the art and titles. There’s even another book cover on the back cover, Roberta Leigh’s Too Young To Love.
And the back cover copy:
The fascinating story behind Mills & Boon, the household name for romantic fiction, and twentieth century cultural phenomenon.
An animated account of the establishment and development of the company, exposing the personalities who played a part in Mills & Boon’s often dramatic past.
Draws upon a long-lost archive of over 50,000 remarkable letters to reveal the intimate relationship between editorial policy, sales and morality.
An entertaining look at the famous Mills & Boon ‘formula’, and a lively investigation into the ingredients which make the novels so addictive.
Right now I’m reading L. Jon Wertheim’s Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played, but Passion’s Fortune is next on the TBR, along with Dru Pagliassotti’s Clockwork Heart.