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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Considering Kate

**** Considering Kate by Nora Roberts. Contemporary romance.

This is the 6th and last of the Stanislaski series. Which is a shame, because there are family members who have yet to be paired off.

Dancer Kate Kimball, the daughter of Natasha and Spence from Taming Natasha, has come back home to West Virginia to open a dance school. She buys the building for it, and hires contractor Brody O'Connell to renovate it along with an apartment above the school for her.

Brody is a single father to Jack, and he's determined to be a better father than his own dad, who's full of criticism.

Their beginning isn't exactly auspicious: Kate offers a strong and direct sexual come-on, which Brody backs away from, then Kate sees him with his son and assumes he's married and is angry with him for that.

Which is my biggest, and really only complaint about the book. I had a hard time warming up to Kate in the beginning. I know she was supposed to be up-front, honest and open, but she just seemed crude. I wouldn't have liked a male character talking like that, either, so I don't think I'm being sexist. And while the parallels with Natasha's story were cute, they were annoying. At least Natasha had a good reason to think Spence was married (a man and a woman in a toy store with a little boy--it's a natural assumption they're a couple), but Brody was by himself. It's not like single parents are a rarity.

So it was really an uphill battle for me. If I were capable of not finishing a book, this one would have gone to the UBS mostly unread.

One thing I always enjoy about Nora's Silhouettes is that it's so much fun when characters from one series pop up in another series. Loved the cameo of Ruth & Davidov from Dance of Dreams in this one.

I generally dislike children in romances, but Jack was really the star of the show here. He stole all the scenes he was in, and ****spoiler****his proposal to Kate was priceless.****

My complaints aside, for a thin category romance, it's nicely written. The conflict between Brody and his dad, and his relationship with his son, is dramatic and realistic, and convincingly resolved. Even Kate's seeming crudeness becomes more understandable once I saw her in the context of the dance world. And the obstacles to the romance grow naturally from character--Brody's father's criticism making Brody believe that someone from a privileged background couldn't be serious about him, for example.

It's really unfortunate that Nora severed ties with Silhouette, because it seems that the foundation was laid for the next book in the Stanislaski series--featuring Kate's baseball player brother Brandon. I'm picturing the knee(?) injury in this book sidelining him for more than just a few months, & he'll come home to recuperate---it'll drive him crazy to live with his parents, wonderful though Natasha & Spence may be, and he'll move into the apartment over the dance school. Or maybe a single woman rents the apartment from Kate and falls for Brandon. And Parks Jones from Rules of the Game could show up... Hmmm. Maybe Nora doesn't have to write the story after all.

One little thing I did appreciate, is the realism in the descriptions. One example: Brody's looking at Kate, and notices that her hair's pulled up in a complicated knot on the back of her head, instead of looking at her French twist or something. Brody doesn't know the name of the hairstyle, so it doesn't show up in his thinking. And there are other examples of that when Kate's looking at the building. It's one of my pet peeves, so I notice when it doesn't happen, and it gives me nice little warm fuzzies.


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