Days of Thunder and Roses

Sarah: Have you read Putney’s “Thunder and Roses?”

Candy: I read Thunder and Roses ages ago. I remember the following really random things about it:

  1. The hero was Welsh. Or at least, the book was set in Wales.
  2. The heroine was Methodist.
  3. The hero collected mechanical figurines. At least, I THINK he’s the Fallen Angel who collects mechanical figurines.
  4. There’s a pretty hot sex scene on a billiard table.
  5. It’s the first in the Fallen Angels series.

Other than that, I can’t recall anything about the plot, or how the hero and heroine met, or anything else.

Sarah: I am liking it so far, though the idea of the heroine being forced to stay with the hero to exchange her reputation for his help in saving the town he’s the freaking Lord of was just this side of unbelievable. But there was some great chemistry right off the bat.

Candy: Yeah, even for a romance novel the way Nicholas and whatserface are forced to spend time together seems pretty contrived. Why can’t heroines tell heroes who insist on doing assheaded things to just fuck off? Oh, wait, then there’d be No Conflict. And thus, No Story.

Sarah: Did you like it, though? And how did that title come to be birthed?!

Candy:  I liked it, but I didn’t like it enough to put it on my keeper shelf, either. I don’t know about the title. Maybe Mary Jo Putney was thinking “Days of Wine and Roses” but the huge pot of chili she ate the night before inspired the “thunder” bit? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a metaphor for Nicholas’s rampaging, Zeus-like masculinity stampeding through Clare’s fragrant femininity?

Sarah: PAH! Fragrant femininity! Clare’s fragrant anything, coupled with the chili thunder, is not something I can bear to contemplate right now, I tell you.

Candy: That’s OK. Clare’s thunder smells like roses, doncha know?

OK, that was a TERRIBLE joke, but I had to make it all the same. I was compelled.

Hey, I don’t know if you noticed this, but Putney came up with two very cheesy devices for the Fallen Angels series:

  • The characters are named after archangels (Rafael, Michael), saints (Nicholas) or angels (Lucien, which is obviously a reference to Lucifer, who’s the only actual fallen angel in the whole lot)
  • All the book titles for the main Angels have weather themes: Thunder and Roses, Petals in the Storm, Dancing on the Wind, Shattered Rainbows.

Sarah: I didn’t notice that the Fallen Angels have meterological titles, but it makes sense. I mean, that falling part might have been influenced by a low pressure system, or something. Like the one is dumping snow on me right now.

Seriously, it is pouring snow.

The whole “we must form a society club or reason for all being the best of friends” device is ridiculous. Why they couldn’t just play on the same rugby team or just room together at Eton is beyond me. They have to be Bound by Tragedy. And with titles that imply the hearts of gold and strong moral fiber lurking beneath their rakish exteriors.

Metamucil: for your moral fiber needs.

Candy: I’m not sure what exactly was running through Putney’s mind while she devised the names and titles of the Fallen Angels series, but I bet she was all “Hmmmm, gotta make this as celestial and heavenly as possible without turning off anyone who’s not religious… Hey, weather is safe and is associated with the heavens….”

And she can even use the same theme if she decides to continue the series in a contemporary setting. Nicholas’s great-great-great-great granddaughter and Lucien’s great-great-great-great grandson can get together in a fiery romance about love in Tornado Alley, called “Twisters and Trailer Parks.” See, the title is also alliterative. Sorta. The hero could be named Zavael (who is allegedly the angel in charge of whirlwinds) and the heroine could be named Sangrariel, who guards the gates of heaven and lets only the worthy in (the gates of heaven being analogous to her heavenly portal, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink).

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Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Rene says:

    I’ve only read a couple of Putney’s books.  Someone really recommended her because her heroes were flawed and interesting. Hmmm….

    I read Wild Child and its sequel China Bride.  The hero didn’t seem partuclarly damaged.  I guess he suffered from Napoleonic Wars Traumatic Stress Syndrome or whatever the hell it is.  I just know many a Regency buck seems to suffer from it.  I thought the heroine was kind of dopey.  Putney was going for “fae” I think.  Fae = dopey in my book.  But it wasn’t a wallbanger.  The sequel I liked better.  The heroine was half Chinese and half Scottish.  Cool, I thought, not your typical bland heroine.  The parts that took place in China were great.  The internal battles within the heroine were interesting.  The hero’s big issue seemed to be the death of his hooker girlfriend from Romance Novel Wasting Disease and issues with his overbearing father.  BFD, he’s rich and handsome, get over it. 

    The book disappointed me when it moved to Europe.  She was like any other romance heroine.  Even her features were downplayed.  I wonder if this was Putney’s doing or some stupid editor telling her the heroine was bit too “ethnic” for her taste.  Also, the final resolution was so cliched and trite, I felt cheated. 

    Putney is a good writer, but like so many authors today, she won’t push the envelope.  Lisa Kleypas is another good writer but she seems to step back before pushing her characters and her plots to a more intense level. 

    I think that is why I don’t read much of the historical genre anymore and tend towards the paranormal.  There seems to be more freedom for the writers.

  2. 2
    Candy says:

    Y’know, I much preferred The Wild Child over The China Bride. Dunno why, but Troth made me grit my teeth. I’m Chinese (Malaysian by nationality), and she didn’t sound or act like any Chinese woman I knew, and her huge list of accomplishments (she knows wing chun! And feng shui! And is appropriately modest! And instead of exclaiming “Wah!” like a real Chinese woman would when startled, she says “My Gods!”) got be be a bit much. There’s a review for that book on this site, actually, and I nitpick the poor book apart. But Mrs. Giggles, who’s also Malaysian (well, she was originally Singaporean) and who may or may not be Chinese didn’t seem to mind Troth and her uber-Chineseness too much at all.

    I never know what awakens the nitpicking monster in me. Dara Joy novels I can accept without a blink. But God forbid Mary Jo Putney get little details about Chinese culture wrong, ha!

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