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Friday, May 25, 2007

Taming Natasha

**** Taming Natasha by Nora Roberts. Contemporary romance. Re-read.

This is the first in the Stanislaski series about a family of Ukranian immigrants.

Natasha Stanislaski owns a toy store. She meets Spencer Kimball, composer and professor of music at the local college, when he brings his daughter Freddie into the store. Then they're thrown together again when Natasha takes a music appreciation course and discovers that Spence is the instructor.

Since this is a re-read, I tried to separate my remembered impressions of the book from my current reading. Initially, Natasha believes that Spence is married, and so she's angry and disgusted with him when he asks her out. I remembered being annoyed with her for jumping to the conclusion that a man with a child must perforce be married, but I must have read more quickly the last time, because it's quite clear that he and Freddie were with his sister, and seeing a man, woman, and child obviously together, it would be natural to think that the adults were the child's parents.

What was annoying was that Natasha continued being angry even after she learned the truth. It was realistic--residual first impression, embarrassment at being wrong--but it wasn't very appealing. And later on, when they develop a relationship, Natasha refuses to commit to it, for reasons I won't spoil. Again, it was realistic, but not admirable, and basing present day decisions on a tenuous resemblance to a past trauma is something that pushes my buttons. The heroine who distrusts all men because her junior high school sweetheart done her wrong is one of my least favorite romance heroines. It doesn't make it any better that I know people like this in real life. Granted, Natasha's past is a little more traumatic than this, but we don't learn that until near the end of the book.

Spence, on the other hand, I really liked. A single father, he had past traumas of his own with his ex-wife. But where Natasha's past made her want to avoid relationships to prevent future sadness, Spence's past made him want to do better at relationships in the future. That difference actually made them a good match, and the contrast between the way they dealt with their pasts made it an interesting story. I think it was easier for Spence to try again because he hadn't tried very hard the first time, so he still felt he could succeed, while Natasha had given her all before and failed.

Normally, I dislike children in romance novels. Freddie was okay. She was pretty age-appropriate, and her presence was a major part of the plot.

Best line in the book, that still makes me smile: Spence, referring to Natasha's accent: "Say 'get moose and squirrel.'"


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*gasp!*This is this Nora week book discussion? Hmmm I'm always way behind...but then again...I haven't been keeping up with our book discussion lately....*sigh*

Great review, always look forward to your daily reviews :)
Haha. No, this was two weeks ago. Or was it 3? This week is Luring a Lady. Last week was Second Nature. This was for the week before that.
You waited two-three weeks to write review on this? Oh yeah...I have forgotten, you did mention once that there were other books that you've already finish reading but just need to write reviews for it..this must be one of them..hehe.

Guess I better read Luring a Lady then....*grin*
:-P I didn't wait 2- 3 weeks, I'm that far behind. Sheesh.

Yes, you should read Luring a Lady. Slacker. ;-)
LOL Darla! *smooches* ;) :)
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