Thursday, 2 September 2010

An Irresistible Impulse - Barbara Delinsky

 Sitting in a Vermont jury room, Abby Barnes finds herself actually hoping to be chosen. The trial is sensational - a real headline-grabber - and the thought of being occupied for a few weeks is appealing. The time away from a relationship that is no longer exciting will give her a chance to think...

Then she meets fellow juror Ben Wyeth, a witty and charming college professor who shows Abby just what's been missing from her life. But although they share gruelling days of grisly testimony and long nights of passion, there is a part of Ben that he can never share with her - or any other woman.

This book started out as a 7 but dropped to a 5 by the time I was finished with it. I didn't exactly have high expectations, being fully aware that this was one of Barbara Delinsky's earliest novels (1983) and a category romance at that. But the story started off nicely, keeping my interest with the background of a woman needing a break from life getting jury duty and meeting an intriguing stranger. The jury is situated in a remote cabin for three weeks so that no outside influence can affect their vote and Delinsky painted the setting and the secondary characters quite well considering how short this novel was. Unfortunately, once the two characters got to know each other better my hopes of this being a "sweet, light romance" were shattered. I was under the impression that the Silhouette Special Edition line featured love and meaningful relationships, not sex and alpha males. I didn't really warm up to the character of Ben - while he was kind to Abby, he admitted that he didn't love her and was just attracted to her. That alone is enough to put me off a man! And while Abby worried about this, she ended up happily going along with the no-love-just-attraction relationship, enough that she made a rash decision near the end of the book which could have had a rather negative outcome. Ben was a bit forceful, too, and not in what I saw as a romantic way, which really made me wonder what Abby saw in him. And the way their relationship progressed...I know it's a romance novel, but I'm not terribly fond of the "sex first, love later" storyline. Plus, this book was very heavy on the sex, and not in a tasteful way. Cheesy and awkward descriptions abounded! 

All in all, this novel started out promising but went downhill about halfway through because of the sex scenes and the lack of a believable, loving relationship between the hero and heroine. I admire Delinsky's ability to create an interesting situation and setting and likeable secondary characters, especially in such a short novel. I just don't think the passion-fueled, let's-fall-in-love-later romances do much for me. 5/10

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