I received an email from Cordy, who is looking for some recommendations:
Hello there! Once upon a time, I read your review of Laura Kinsale's Midsummer Moon and I am finally getting around to actually buying and reading the book. And it turns out that I have a never-before suspected intense love for books about weird creative-genius ladies and the suave-but-befuddled dudes who can't help themselves around them.
Okay, this book veers, sometimes, toward The Twee and also the “…what is happening?” (I am developing a theory that Laura Kinsale writes the parts she is most interested in during some kind of magnificent oracular trance, and then later, at the insistence of her editors, drops in some connecting bits) but I really, really love that Ransom is so smitten by Merlin, and that Merlin is SO TOTALLY WEIRD (okay, yes, there is some “Watch me interpret a metaphor literally, again”, and some pretty unlikely not-grokking of contemporary mores that one assumes even a Merlin would have been aware of, but there's a real driven weirdness underneath it) and not really necessarily as into Ransom as Ransom is into her.
And I LOVE that she is a weird genius, and that Ransom understands that she is a genius, and that her genius must be protected (I haven't finished the book yet, but am going to go out on a limb and assume that Merlin achieves some kind of inventing triumph and that Ransom is delighted… don't tell me if I'm wrong, because the fantasy is v. enjoyable.)
“Midsummer Moon” strikes me as a book about a “Literary Husband” finding the genius with whom he'll end up playing baffled-but-loving helpmeet to for the rest of his life. And it's great.
Are there more books like this? Any romance genre is fine, I just want to read more about genius ladies (any type of science or art would work – I am less interested in Tough Businesswomen and more interested in compulsively-creative oddballs) and the men who fall head over heels for them. And the ladies don't need to be AS strange as Merlin, but I would love reading about driven women who are more interested in their own work than in anything else.
My only caveat is that I'm really only interested in stories where the female genius triumphs in some way – not in anything where she winds up happily giving up her research to get married to the dreamy viscount/billionaire. Any tips? Thank you so much!
Genius, “compulsively creative” oddball heroines? Yeah, we've got a few of those! Off the top of my head:
Carrie reviewed Girl Least Likely to Marry by Amy Andrews, and really enjoyed it, particularly because the heroine was an unabashed science geek:
The Girl Least Likely to Marry is a delightfully lighthearted, funny contemporary romance with a heroine who is a socially inept nerdy scientist. Think ‘Sheldon’, from “The Big Bang Theory”, but not as inconsiderate or mean – just someone who learns social rules by rote memory instead of intuition. Even though this book had some tropes I normally disliked, they were all played for such light-hearted comedy that I was completely charmed.
Another book that might appeal is A Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan.
The heroine is a mathematical genius, and while I struggled with some parts of the story, enough readers other than me loved this book that I want to make sure I mention it.
What other books would you recommend for Cordy?