Now I’m not your romantic type. Honest, I’m not. I still stifle the urge to correct people when they refer to my work as romance novels. Not that I’ve got anything against romance novels (as this post is shortly about to explain) but I never set out to write something “romantic”, I just want to write something ‘real’. But some writers elevate the romance novel to a form that makes you eschew gritty reality in favor of something so much sweeter . . .
On Monday, I had the honor of being interviewed on Delaney Diamond’s blog; and because I anticipated the post, I went there to check it out. If you read my blog, you’re used to me spilling my guts, but if you want, you can read the interview here. And when you get there, explore a little bit. I did. I read all of Delaney’s free reads and bought yet another one of her books. Having already read ‘Second Chances‘, ‘The Arrangement‘ and ‘The Ultimate Merger‘, but written reviews for only one of the three, I wasn’t planning to read or buy anything more for now.
But I couldn’t help it. I immediately left her site and bought ‘Here Comes Trouble‘ and when I got home, read the already-purchased ‘A Hard Man to Love‘. Now I can’t afford to be reading anything, being behind (again) on a writing deadline, but my appetite was whetted and had to be satisfied.
Delaney’s reads are quick, and in many ways the antithesis of mine. She writes briskly, in crisp, clever prose that tells you a great deal in very few words. There is an underpinning to each and every character, the hint of so much more than is told. But what she does tell is all you need to know to be intrigued. And here’s another thing: Delaney Diamond writes pure romance. The sweep-you-off-your-feet, swooning, bite-your-knuckles kind where painfully handsome dark-haired men-of-means sweep women away to nights of untold pleasure. Her worlds are those where money is no object for the male protagonist and the women are often relatively ill-matched, at least financially. Her stories are those where money and power are their own aphrodisiacs. For the reader at least, but hardly ever for the female protagonist.
Rather, Delaney takes us through a maddening mating dance where men who have everything are befuddled by their desire for the one thing they cannot summon: the heart of a woman. In her books, women are driven to irrational behavior by love. This is the kind of stuff you tell yourself could be corny, but when Delaney writes it, for some reason, it just isn’t. You feel the mutual push and pull of lust and love, the angst, the longing, the ache of wanting someone so badly it would crush you to learn that they don’t want you.
As I sat down to write my reviews, I decided that a review of each book would not be enough. What readers need to get a sense of is the body of her work. This stuff is what you should read when you’ve had a crappy day at work, when your mate pissed you off so much you could scream, when your car got a flat tire as you drove home in the rain and the tow-truck took 45 minutes showing up while you sweated it out inside without air-conditioning. Delaney’s work is escapism of the most satisfying kind. And what’s best about it is that it has no pretensions whatsoever. Great writing, great books that are intensely, unapologetically, unbridled romance.
Oh, and I’m not a Nookie, but if you are, it’s not your fault and you can still get Delaney’s books, here.