I've hardly slept the past two weeks, so I'm stumbling around with a low grade headache, scratchy eyes, and a very low tolerance for bad drivers and sad books. I don't want to know about the pesticides in my lettuce or just what the "broth" that my chicken comes pre-soaked in contains. I don't want a tragic love story or a gritty tale set in the slums.
In a mood like this, there's only one kind of book to read: a romance. And of all romance writers, the best of them all is Lisa Kleypas. After years and years of writing Regency romances, she recently started writing some contemporary fiction set in Houston, Texas. Now I lived in Texas for three years. It has a very fond place in my heart and I have to admit that it makes a fine setting for a romance novel. There's just this feeling that hangs in the air there that anything, anything at all is possible. And in the hands of a talented writer like Kleypas, this setting just enhances every interaction her charming, funny, and sexy as hell characters have.
The book I just read is Smooth Talking Stranger. I'm not even going to tell you what it's about because that's besides the point. The dialogue just zings, the descriptions of high society are vibrate and original, and reading the book helped me forget the cranky tiredness and kept the headache at bay. That's a lot of powerful good from one little novel.