This week I am reading Revenge Wears Rubies by Renee Bernard. I believe this is the first of her books that I have read and I am finding it pleasantly more complex than I expected!
I like popcorn romances sometimes (especially when I am traveling) because they tend not to ask anything of the reader – you know going in what to expect. And I like knowing there’s going to be a happily ever after at the end of a book sometimes. So when I started this, that’s all I was expecting or wanting – a popcorn romance like the many others I have read. This book surprised me with the complexity and darkness of the plot.
It does have the requisite misunderstandings and instant attraction and all those things, but the plot hinges on a very hurt man whose best friend died in his arms. The friend had a fiance he was clearly head over heels in love with and whose virtue and loyalty he never questioned. When Galen meets her, though, she’s not loyally mourning her lost love, she is announcing a new engagement. He’s enraged by this and determines to “ruin” her in revenge. Of course he almost instantly starts falling in love with her himself, which complicates his plan.
What I find especially fascinating about this book is that despite the switching perspectives, we really don’t know the girl’s side of the story yet (just over halfway through). She doesn’t seem like she would simply forget a lover callously, but she has yet to mention him at all. It’s curious.
This is the first in a series that seems to be about a group of very different men who all have a traumatic shared experience and have thus formed a sort of social support group among them. The other men in the group have made interesting cameos in this one and I am intrigued to see what their stories will be like.
But first I need to find out what happens with Galen and if Haley has indeed forgotten her first love or something else is going on!