28 September, 2015

November of the Heart by LaVyrle Spencer

Pages: 432
Publisher: Jove (March 1, 1994)
Language: English
Amazon: Buy Link
Genre: Historical/America
Sexual Content: 3/5


When a high society "good girl" falls for a servant, she must find a way to make a stand for the man she loves, and defy the society in which she lives.


Lorna is a well-bred lady whose family summers on a lake somewhere in Minnesota, and Jens is a hired kitchen helper with big dreams of building boats and owning his own boatworks.

Her parents are uppity and hell-bent on running Lorna's life start to finish. They've huge plans for her to marry a dashing fella also in money, and the two are starting to make headway when Lorna starts to fancy Jens -- the kitchen helper who spirits into a dinner party with ice cream that he's tucked a note into for her father to read about how to win the regatta.

Eventually, Lorna's father caves and sets Jens up in an abandoned barn, gives him carte blanche at the lumber mill and hardware stores, and so Jens spends that summer building the boat of his dreams.

Lorna spends her days sneaking into that barn to watch, to talk, and to flirt with the handsome, Norse blond with glowing blue eyes, a nice body, and fascinating dreams of his own.

The two fall in love, and knowing it isn't wise, fall headlong into a compromising situation anyway, and to say it ends in disaster is putting it mildly.

The relationship is destroyed along with Lorna's hopes and dreams while Jens figures out a way to survive on his own again and ends up building another better, faster model of the original Lorna D.

When Lorna returns to the lake the following summer, she's a woman now and beyond repair while Jens works harder than ever to get over his loss and prove her father wrong in more ways than one.

My Take

This is my introduction to LaVyrle Spencer, and I'm glad I chose this novel first, even if it did start out rather slow and then became a bit bogged down with excessive detail.

I also get, now, why some readers complain about this aspect of a romance novel when it never made much sense before and I never saw it as being excessive -- until now.

It must be a sign of the times, and I could be wrong, but this could have been an easier read had it not entailed so much thought, pause, happenstance, and turmoil to ALMOST take me out of the story and into college-style essay reading.

Yes, I care, and no, I can do without . . . which is strange, I'm sure.

It took me a long time to read, and despite my consternation at the author's inability to just give me the goods and skip the pretty and sometimes interesting details, I still wasn't able to skim through a single chapter.

I was truly interested in Lorna and Jens romance, and I wanted to walk beside them on their journey to happiness, but there were also times when I heard myself saying, "Can we please just get to the good stuff already?"

There was sex involved, and it was the romantic and beautiful kind that didn't make me blush or have to read any excessive, graphic words or gesture phrases to make it come across as anything other than what it was -- beautiful in its simplicity and honesty.

It does have a happy ending!

I would also recommend this to anyone wanting a good, old-style romance filled with expectations, dreams, passion, and hope.

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