It’s Can’t Buy Me Love release week and I was thinking about what I wanted to write about because anything I say is probably going to be interpreted as … oh she’s Molly’s friend and she’s just supporting her.
And while that’s true – I think it’s important to look at this book and talk about the change I believe it’s going to have on contemporary romance. One of the things I love about the DBSA podcasts with Sarah Wendell and Jane Litte is that they are two intelligent women talking about romance books intelligently. In a genre that is much maligned this was a huge deal for me because finally I could relate to people who were taking what I did and more importantly what I read seriously. I feel like Can’t Buy Me Love falls into that category of books that says to the world, yes this is a romance novel, it’s smart and damn good, so stick it.
These characters are real and engaging and flawed. Many reviewers have commented on how difficult it is to like them right away until they fall under their spell. I think Molly’s effortless voice makes that easy. But it also made me realize how accustomed we are to “likeable” and “easy” characters.
That goofy heroine with the crazy wide smile who trips over her own feet but is so deserving of love… and look she’s finally found it!
And yes sometimes you want a light read and that’s all good. But sometimes I want a little meat to go with my potatoes and Molly does that. She brings the meat. She challenges the reader and she makes us think and feel and laugh and cry. That’s what a good book is supposed to do.
Making everything so darn easy… well it’s like vanilla ice-cream. Sure vanilla ice-cream tastes good. But when you get super rich deep dark chocolate you realize that the vanilla just isn’t as satisfying. So are we clear? Molly is meat and super rich deep dark chocolate ice-cream.
I think historicals went through this transition in the last few years with authors like Bourne, and Thomas and Milan. These are smart women writing at the top of their game. And suddenly the expectation of what constitutes a “good” historical has changed for me. Enter Cecilia Grant. To the point where there are authors I won’t read anymore. Not worth the calories for plain old vanilla.
I think – completely objectively – Molly’s books are going to be game changers. The bar has been raised and I think it’s going to make readers think about what they should expect from a really good contemporary romance going forward.