Not An Actual Love Square, But A Solid Romance. I’m a math oriented dude. The imprecision of “love triangle” has always bothered me. For those, assuming both sexes are involved, you need two bi people and a straight person, at minimum. (There *are* possible variations, but a true love triangle would have Person A in love with Person B and Person C – *and* Person B and Person C in love with both Person A *and each other*.) “Love Triangles”, in the common parlance, are actually Love *Angles*, such that two points are connected at a common third point. Similarly, for this Love Square to work, it would really need 2 couples such that each couple is in love with each other *as well as* exactly one person in the other couple. Here, we get two side by side Love Angles such that *three* points are connected at a common *fourth* point.
Math technicalities and English imprecision aside, however, this was actually a solid romance tale of finding oneself and what one really wants that put an interesting spin on the colloquial “Love Triangle” by introducing a *third* man that the common woman falls in love with. And in some fairly direct ways, it actually parallels a lot of what Padma Lakshmi said about her own “love triangle” in her memoir Love, Loss, and What We Ate. You’ve got the guy that our female lead – Penny – has an instant connection with. Then you’ve got the guy that actively pursues her and they wind up together almost via fluke. Then you’ve got the guy Penny is introduced to and has a fun time with, but who isn’t interested in long term or commitment generally. And along the way, Penny gets thrust into situations she doesn’t always have complete control of, all while still trying to discover herself after having survived cancer at a fairly early age – mid 20s. The characters are all solid and interesting, and each of the guys makes very strong points about love and what matters. In the end, if you like romance novels at all, you’re probably going to enjoy this one. And if you don’t, give this one a chance – at least it has a few more-interesting-than-normal wrinkles. 🙂 Very much recommended.
This review of The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams was originally written on December 18, 2020.
This week we’re looking at a strong British courtroom thriller that seems to set up a new series. This week we’re looking at Take It Back by Kia Abdullah.
Writer’s block still plagues me, but here’s the Goodreads/ BookBub review:
Nuanced Courtroom Thriller. This is an interesting one. One with a main protagonist that… has several rough edges, at least a couple of which come back to bite her. One with a strong commentary about the role of Muslims in British (and by slight extension, Western) society, at many different levels. One with a strong discussion of what it means to be the “other”… in so many different ways. And one with secrets almost literally to the last word. Tremendous book, and very much recommended.
Solid British Police Procedural. This was my second British police procedural in the same month, and this one was a much easier read than the other. The mystery is gripping and compelling – 6 women are found dead after a fire rages through an abandoned hospital on the same night that two other people are stabbed to death in a home. Touching on several issues in the public arena even in America, Hodge manages to deftly tie together several different ideas into a truly fantastic work. Very much recommended.
This review of Their Last Breath by Sibel Hodge was originally written on October 6, 2019.
Solid British Police Procedural. This was an excellent book for fans of any combination of mystery, British fiction, or police procedurals. And generally, I’m a fan of all three. But for some reason this book was a bit slower of a read than most books of its size, and I’m struggling to figure out why. MAYBE because it used *several* more British terms that I’m less familiar with, despite reading more and more British fiction these days? (Full disclosure: I’m an American who has lived nearly all of my days in its southeastern corner.) Regardless, truly a solid book and very much recommended, despite my personal difficulties with reading it.
This review of The Long Call by Ann Cleeves was originally written on September 5, 2019.
Carpet Diem! This was an interesting look at what happens when two broken people get thrown together for a blind date that keeps getting extended for various reasons both of their own choosing and not. Fairly Hallmark Movie-ish, if one of the ones with a bit more drama to it. Funny without necessarily being gut-bustingly so, it works well for a tight yet plausible romantic dramedy. (The entirety of the actual story of the book takes place over just about 27 hrs or so.) A great palate cleanser after a dark book, this one is very much recommended.
This review of Then I Met You by Matt Dunn was originally written on August 5, 2019.