Sunday, March 8, 2009
A Candle in the Dark
Don't let the painfully ugly bodice ripper cover on A Candle in the Dark (Megan Chance, 1993) fool you. This book breaks almost all the unwritten rules of the romance genre. Hero and heroine are down on their luck--he's an alcoholic doctor who refuses to practice medicine and she's a whore who needs to get out of town after killing a violent client. "Town" is New York in 1849, so the heroine pays the hero to pose as her husband on a steamer trip to Panama, with the ultimate destination of San Francisco. They're terribly broken people, and the hero in particular shows a degree of weakness that you rarely see in romance. It wasn't an easy read because, I admit, I'm used to at least one of the protagonists in a romance being nice and therefore easy to root for, and this wasn't the case here. But it was different, and it held my interest.