I read and write romance. Those two statements do not contradict one another. But much of what comes before had me wondering. Nina has spent much of her teen and adult life taking care of her family.
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I read and write romance. Those two statements do not contradict one another. But much of what comes before had me wondering. Nina has spent much of her teen and adult life taking care of her family. Her needy, attention-seeking, flighty mother has always refused to take adult responsibility for either her children or her business an antique store , and Nina, who had once had aspirations of becoming a doctor, has had to act as the grownup of the family for as long as she can remember.
But now that she has not one but possibly two men interested in her, her feelings are far different: "How just like a man to make her worry about her appearance," she thinks, as if it is the man, rather than her own thoughts about how to make herself attractive to a guy, that are causing her to worry. If only she could use a better body to get there. You are what you are. Who cares about the number? Or are we supposed to agree with Nina, and buy into the norms, and the insecurities and self-denigration to which they inevitably lead?
Both Nina and the narrative itself often casts other women as competition for male attention for example, when former year-old crush but now-hunky fighter pilot Kyle takes Nina out to dinner and whispers in her ear, "The hostess shot her a death stare" , not the most feminist of moves.
She had to find her own happiness. Her partner, Bertie, is presented in largely positive ways. A clear step forward, to have a lesbian couple in a mainstream romance, and to depict them in nuanced, rather than essentialized, ways.
And Nina does get to engage in fun, no-strings-tied sex without being punished or slut-shamed although she does end up feeling guilty when her partner ends up developing feelings for her that she cannot reciprocate. So—definite mixed feelings, here.
Evening Stars (Blackberry Island Series #3)
Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages. Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery. She pulled the short-sleeved scrub shirt over her head and was already moving toward the bathroom before the fabric settled over her hips. The shirt settled as it should, with a couple of inches to spare. Nina breathed a sigh of relief.