Friday, June 20, 2008

Spring Fancy by LaVyrle Spencer ***

Spring Fancy comes across as an exercise in writing - an study in the (over)use of adjectives, adverbs and various phrases as though testing how they would look or sound.

It's an ok story, but it was contrived, or maybe forced is what I mean. The heroine, Winn, is maid of honor at her best friend's wedding when she meets the hero, Joseph - best man at same wedding. Winn is engaged to Paul, a man her mother introduced her to and that her mother thinks is the perfect match. There's some mother issues here but they're not very convincing, something about mother got pregnant at 19 then dumped by her boyfriend, raised Winn as a single parent and wants better for her daughter. Mother is interested in computers, and Paul is interested in computers. Somehow that translated into an engagement - I didn't exactly follow this train of thought.

It is a romance so needless to say, there's instant chemistry between Winn and Joseph, and since they have to be together at the wedding and dance (and Paul leaves the wedding to go play with his computers), they are given an opportunity to act on it. But she stops it - she has obligations, a fiancé, a wedding to plan, whatever.

Winn is a physical therapist - and there's something in the story about not getting emotionally involved with clients, and Spencer manages to describe a lot of equipment and stuff. There's a plot line where Winn has a young client, severely burned, and she is immediately emotionally involved. She needs to talk to someone about it, and neither Paul nor her mother will listen.

There's a part where Winn and Joseph play racquetball and we hear a lot about racquetball courts and the game (I almost wrote "learn" but I didn't follow much of it, and began to skim).

Eventually Winn and Joseph act on their desires, and Winn is faced with the fact that she has betrayed Paul and must make a choice: her own happiness, or her mother's? Oh yeah another facet of her mother is the snob thing - Joseph is a car mechanic so he isn't good enough for her.

I didn't hate this story but it was really more like paint-by-numbers than a well written, well developed plot with 3 dimensional characters. It really did feel like maybe Ms Spencer had to write this using certain guidelines instead of writing from her heart - or wherever she got the inspiration for better stories like Morning Glory and That Camden Summer. My review isn't any better than the story. There ya go. 3 stars.

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