Awhile back, in 2009, DocTurtle, a professor of mathematics, was a guest reviewer here as we schooled him on the best of romance. You can see the complete DocTurtle archive to see his serial reviews of An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer, Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase, and Sex Straight Up by Kathleen O'Riley. He didn't finish Dark Lover by JR Ward, but he gave it his best effort. Something about “tenure” and a “packet.” And things that were due.
Every now and again, DocTurtle and I would exchange an email, but he was buried with work and reviewing was put on hiatus – until I received an email from him a few weeks ago, and he agreed to read and review another novel – though he did ask for not Dark Lover.
So here's DocTurtle, for those of you who haven't met him yet:
The other day I was walking past my colleague Corinne’s office and one of her students flagged me down with dirt he deemed too juicy to keep to himself: “Corinne [not her real name] has read all of the Twilight series!” Corinne then made just about every excuse in the book (“My friends made me do it…,” “They really got weak by the end of the third one…,” “it was a slow news week…,” etc.), turning redder with each line.
“Twilight, schmilight,” I told her. “You ain’t seen nothin’ if you’ve not read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series.” As I unburdened myself, retelling the awfulness of that saga, I thought wistfully of my days reading and writing for the Smart Bitchery (yes, really!) and a tear rolled down my eye (not really). I thought to myself, “what a wonderful and welcoming community! How lovely it was working with Sarah and her friends! I really ought to see how they’re doing.”
I got back to my office and wrote to Sarah at once. “How’s shakes?” or something like that. We exchanged a few emails, and by the end I’d volunteered to take up the cause again, providing whatever perspective (outsider? male? mathematical?) I can on a title of Sarah’s choosing.
Her choosing: The Iron Duke, by Meljean Brook. From the back-cover blurb it looks chock-full of steampunkery: airships! cyborg-like body enhancements! London! A soundtrack by Thomas Dolby! Okay, so I made the last one up, but wouldn’t that be cool?
For the next few weeks (I promise not to get behind, Sarah!) I’ll be your guide, providing a chapter-by-chapter account of my reading of The Iron Duke. I hope you’ll consider reading along with me, even if you’ve read the book before, and sharing your insights with me as I share my own. Please keep in mind that I can still count the romance novels I’ve read with both shoes on, so any slack you’d like to cut me is appreciated.
So fire up those dirigibles, and let’s take to the air!
Yay! As in the past, DocTurtle will send in chapter-by-chapter reviews as he reads and reviews, and I'll post them as they come in. I am betting he'll be as charmed by this book as he was by other books he read with us.