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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

One Summer

***** One Summer by Nora Roberts. Contemporary romance. Re-read.

One Summer is loosely connected to Second Nature. That is, the heroines of both are friends, and both worked for Celebrity magazine.

Bryan Mitchell and Shade Colby.... okay, let me just get this out of the way here--these names drive me insane. Not only do we have complete ambiguity as to which is which (maybe it's a gay romance?), but the last names could be first names as well. This was, apparently, the thing to do in the mid-80s when this was written, but... ARGH! Luckily, I've read this before, and Bryan shows up in a few other books, so I didn't have any trouble this time. The first time I read it, I missed half the story trying to figure out who was who.

Obviously, I got over it, as you see by the 5 stars. Yep. 5. I Lurrrrvvvve this book.

Bryan Mitchell is a celebrity photographer. Shade Colby is a serious journalistic photographer. Somebody (I'm not clear who) decided it would make a nice book to have both their perspectives on one American summer. Their different approaches to photography naturally follow from their personalities--Bryan is the cheerful optimist, Shade is uncomfortable with emotions.

The book follows them as they travel cross-country in a van, taking photographs, getting on each other's nerves, slowly getting to know each other, building respect, becoming a team, and eventually falling in love.

It's a quintessential romance, really. Nothing extraneous to get in the way, just two people falling in love. And what's guaranteed to grab me: they develop respect and friendship first.

The absolutely beautiful thing about One Summer is the photography scenes. Shade and Bryan make a lot of stops, (there's a map in the front of the book) and at each stop, each scene, there are slight differences in how they approach the subjects they're photographing and each other. You're not whacked over the head with it--it's just there, subtly showing how they're changing during the trip. Just lovely. When I finished reading, I wanted to start reading it all over again just to see how it was done.

All right, I do have another quibble--it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the book, but Bryan and Shade completely ignored the entire northern half of the country, except for NYC. As a Michigan native, I was a little insulted.

By the way, yes, there is headhopping in this book. It's a Nora Roberts book. But it also didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story, and I think I figured out why headhopping--at least Nora's headhopping--doesn't bother me. I think it's because I'm not reading the hero's story or the heroine's story, but the couple's story, so getting both their POVs in the same scene doesn't throw me out because I'm thinking of them together. Hmmm... Yeah, I need to think about this a little more, clarify it a bit. Maybe I'll write a theory about it.


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So, just out of curiosity: who's the man and who's the woman? It really seems like a gay romance in your description/review ;-)

Doris in Munich
Whooops. I didn't say which was which, did I? Bryan is the heroine, Shade is the hero. Not remotely obvious, is it?
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