for Allen & Unwin.
"How Do I Love Thee?"
With these words from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous romantic sonnet to
them, twelve wonderful writers offer new and tantalising views on love and
which will make your heart beat faster.
This collection on is like a box of chocolates - there’s something delicious
Never Too Late, featuring the gorgeously rugged Cade Thatcher,
wickedly funny Killer Smile, and
tale A Much-Needed Wife, these stories and others by ...
These unique love stories are brought to you by some of Australia’s top-selling
award-winning authors with international sales in the millions.
How Do I Love Thee?
appeals to that little bit of the romantic in us all.
This collection on is like a box of chocolates - there’s something delicious for everyone. From Valerie Parv’s Never Too Late, featuring the gorgeously rugged Cade Thatcher, to Anita Bell’s wickedly funny Killer Smile, and Anna Jacobs’ poignant soldier-settler’s tale A Much-Needed Wife, these stories and others by ...
These unique love stories are brought to you by some of Australia’s top-selling and award-winning authors with international sales in the millions.
How Do I Love Thee? appeals to that little bit of the romantic in us all.
It's hard to beat a brilliant
collection of short stories,
especially when they're
romantic tales penned by a
super-talented bunch of
top-selling and award-winning
Aussie writers -
inspired by Elizabeth
Barrett Browning's famous sonnet and edited by
Australias queen of romance Valerie Parv, this
delicious assortment of 12 love tales includes stories
by Anita Bell, Anna Jacobs and Alan Gold, and really
does have something to please everyone. The stories
range from wickedly funny to excitingly erotic, and
cover everything from a tale of classic suspense to a
story about time travel, plus a paranormal romance
involving a vampire! The collection is for anyone who
enjoys a good story and likes romance. Its the type of
book you can read in bed, on the beach or on your
lunch break. Sexy, intelligent and fun -you'll love it.
[Family Circle, December 1, 2009]
That's not to say there isn't a smattering of the swashbuckling male and damsel-in-distress genre within, particularly from Parv herself, whose story, Never Too Late , includes the old chestnut "I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man in the world..." But there is a surprising amount of variety within, and some of the strongest stories are those that stretch the genre. From old-fashioned Mills & Boon to erotic romance, science fiction, vampire stories, chick-lit and historical fiction-most readers are bound to find at least one tale that suits their taste.
The theme of the anthology is that each author has been inspired by a line from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous sonnet, How Do I Love Thee? The sonnet seems more an afterthought in many of the stories, but Parv makes an interesting connection between Browning and modern-day romance authors in her introduction: "As in the conventions of romance novels, the sonnet form she uses is subservient to the emotions she pours out. The words scan effortlessly, so we notice first the power of her sentiments, and the discipline of the poetic form secondarily.
Romance writers are often accused of writing to a mythical formula, but there also the form is secondary to the emotions we share with readers."
So simply because we know how the story is going to end doesn't mean we can't enjoy the journey. This is certainly the case with a few of the inclusions. Daphne Clair's Violet's Gift and Anna Jacobs' A Much Needed Wife don't stray from the conventions of the romance but are still well written and thoroughly enjoyable stories: Clair's because its portrait of a woman who finds love very late in life is both unusual and touching, and Jacobs' because it is based on the compelling history of group settlers from England in Western Australia.
The standouts in the collection are those stories that present a surprising take on romance and love, such as Craig Cormick's Why Fiji , a tale of a young man on holiday with his new partner. Very little actually happens, but the observations and the silences between the narrator and his girlfriend are eloquent. My personal favourite was Anne-Maree Britton's Some Kind of Happiness , a love story that describes what happens when a woman loses sight of herself in an imperfect, but still compelling, relationship.
The sonnet, after all, has many forms. The trick is to find the correct balance of expressing something new while staying within the rules. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of many great sonneteers who made the strict structure serve the purpose of her art. If only more romance authors dared to do the same. [Sun Herald Extra, February 14, 2010]