I went to the local library on 17 April 2010 and borrowed Ain’t She Sweet (Romance 383 pages) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. As I had nothing else to do in my new condo with no furnishings, I started and finished the book within a couple hours. There are a lot of reasons I don’t read romance, but this is the required text for the SHU residency in June.
One of the primary reasons I don’t read romance is because everyone seems to think that in order to have a happy ending, the main characters have to get married and have kids. I don’t mind the marriage part, but I do mind the part where the kids have to be there in order for everyone to be happy. I know that the requirement in order for the book to be considered romance is to have a happy ending, but it makes the story all the more predictable when you absolutely know that the female main lead will wind up with the darkly attractive former teacher and current writer. Since I already have patience issues, this made it even more annoying for me because I didn’t really care what else was going on. I just wanted the book to be over. Granted, this was not nearly as painful of a reading as In the Woods by Tana French which was my first required text for SHU in January 2009.
The part that I found the most amusing was that the story required the intervention of a 13 year old girl in order for all the adults to start talking. This is actually fairly true. Sometimes, we as the adults, are fairly stupid and a lot more immature than the next generation that we are supposed to be teaching.
I will say that I liked that this romance book was not as graphically heavy with the intimate scenes as a lot of the other romance style books. And I liked that Sugar Beth was willing to do so much to help Delilah with her situation. Sugar Beth went through a lot and I did like that she was a strong character who was willing to do whatever it took to take care of someone she easily could have brushed off. It felt a lot like Sugar Beth might have actually been a little too predictable. I knew she was going to reform and everyone was going to forgive her and then they would all be the very bestest of best friends.
I’m not sure if I think the characters really would or really would not talk like they did in the book. I thought all of the names were really funny. I’m not usually one of those people who will go through a book and do a validity check on absolutely everything. I don’t know if the location was real, or if it was made up, as well as the names and the general atmospherics. Having only briefly travelled through the south occasionally, I couldn’t really get a good mental image in my mind of the area, or the decorations, or kind of anything.
Overall, I wish I could ban having to read romance from my itinerary, but then I wouldn’t be very well rounded. The book wasn’t terrible, it really isn’t my style, though.