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Sunday, August 20, 2006


***** River of Eden by Glenna McReynolds. Romantic suspense.









Wow! I know somebody either recommended this book to me or gave it to me, but I can't remember who. Whoever it was, thank-you!

River of Eden is a romantic suspense story with a touch of the mystical, but that doesn't do it justice. It's a lush, intense story that transports you into the jungle, makes you believe that anything might be true, and gets your heart pounding. Heh. Wonder if reading it could substitute for a workout?

Dr. Annie Parish has returned to Brazil after being kicked out of the country the year before. She's risking everything to return for the rare, bio-luminescent (and sentient?) orchids she'd had to leave behind. She needs transportation up the river, and her best bet is Will Travers.

Dr. Will Travers, a world-respected botanist from Harvard, had disappeared into the jungle for a year, and now appears to be nothing more than a drunken river rat. He's obviously full of secrets, but Annie has secrets of her own, starting with the crates of weapons she loads onto his boat.

The two of them find themselves on a collision course, with both of them trying to get to the same place for different reasons. They're racing against time, and running from a fat gangster and directly toward an evil madman, and the shaman and his mystical snakes may or may not be on their side.

Along the way, they reluctantly fall in love, but this isn't the main focus of the story, which is possibly one reason why River of Eden stood out so strongly for me. Normally, in a romantic suspense book, you'll have the suspense plot, but every time the characters look at each other, there'll be romantic sparks, they can't think about each other without rhapsodizing over body parts, can't talk to each other without imagining their mouths doing other things. I hadn't realized how pervasive this was until I read River of Eden. I still believed, definitely, that Annie and Will fell in love, but it was accomplished without the... sugar coating. I think the difference is that River of Eden takes the suspense story seriously. It's not just a setting for the romance. Likewise, the romance isn't just tacked on as an afterthought.

Whoops. Getting perilously close to gushing there.

It's not easy to describe the feel of this book, but I'll try. Take the movie Romancing the Stone and slide it to the left a bit, make it a little more serious, a little more real, and a little more dream-like. Cover everything with a jungle mist, and add an ominous soundtrack of jungle drums.

Outside the story world, it's hard to accept risking everything Annie went through just for a couple of flowers, even if they would make her career, and the evil madman is too much The Evil Madman, but even that adds to the atmosphere, which demands you accept it all as real.

...

Ah-ha. For a year or so now, I've been listening to people rave about Tara Janzen's romantic suspense books. I guess I'll take them more seriously now.


...more

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Comments:
Darla -

I belive it was our Antje who recommended it to you. Because Glenna McReynolds is the same author who wrote under another pen name "Tara Janzen". The group have been bragging about it. I read Tara Janzen "Crazy" series and they are good. I love them. But our Antje like Glenna McReynolds books better than Tara Janzen ;) :)

But since you highly like "River of Eden" then I read that one too. Antej rec's this to me too

Julia
 
Was it Antje? Thanks for letting me know. I'll definitely have to thank her. And yeah, I'll have to listen to all y'all about Tara Janzen. Like I need a bigger TBR pile.
 
I believe it was Antje - I remember how she was telling us she like the books under Glenna McReynolds much better then Tara Janzen. So...at this point, am even afraid to hear what you gotta say once you start on Tara Janzen LOL....but am happy to hear you might try her :)
 
Ah, well, at least I'm planning on trying her now--I wasn't going to before. You should see my TBR pile. It's out of control again. *sigh*
 
You know, I really want to see your TBR pile, LOL!I'm facinated with your comments.(grin)
 
No, you don't. It's scary. All those books--they're taking over the house! :)
 
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