Friday, February 18, 2011


I found out today that one of my colleagues reads romance and has never read Laura Kinsale. I am to loan her a book so she can try out the Kinsale awesomeness. Oh holy fuck! I don't know that I can handle this! How do I choose? In my hands is the opportunity to be responsible for someone's first moment of Kinsale Joy and I just don't know where to start.

Is it with The Shadow and the Star over which I have been obsessing all week? Is it The Dream Hunter which I have recently re-read to try to make my peace with Zenia? Is it Flowers From the Storm, my own first foray into Kinsale's backlist? And what about For My Lady's Heart with its Middle English and Ruck and one of the most intricate heroines of all time? Or shall I start her off with something lighter like Lessons in French?

Do you see??? How is a person to handle this situation? Kinsale fans, Help! Which title do you suggest for someone's first time?

(It should be noted that, contrary to how it must appear, sgwordy receives absolutely no royalties from the sale of Laura Kinsale's books. This is just straight-up, hard-core admiration.)

(Poss is only fair to also mention that some term it obsession but, really, enthusiasm in the modern, digital age is so misunderstood.)

ETA  24 Feb:

Ok, folks, I made my decision. (Speaking of, when I told Dr M about this request he said, "Does she realize how paralyzing this decision will be for you?" ha! I am so transparent.)  I handed over Midsummer Moon and Flowers From the Storm. Yes, I know, these were not recommended so what the shit was I asking for recommendations for if I wasn't even going to take them? Looks like The Shadow and the Star and Lessons in French were winning the rec race but, as I commented, I wasn't ready to let TSATS out of the house just now and we deal with livestock related issues so much at work that I wasn't sure my co-worker was quite in a place to laugh over bulls in the kitchen, etc. BUT I did want to let her choose between a lighter or heavier book. She loves math so that made me lean towards FFTS. And with no LiF, only MM was left for the lighter side. I saw her well into FFTS at lunch today so we'll see how it goes. Thanks again to everyone who left their feedback. I'll definitely be using it again because another co-worker came by and said, "Whatcha reading?" and then I had to go all gushy over Kinsale again and she requested a book to read. Oh, the magic, it is spreading!


  1. This may seem whacked for such a fellow Kinsale worshipper, but I don't actually have a standard "YOU MUST TRY THIS" Kinsale novel. It really all depends on the person, and I'm usually trying to convert non-romance readers to her. For a regular romance reader, I guess I'd recommend The Shadow And The Star, because SERIOUSLY: how can anyone not love that damn book?

    I would rule out For My Lady's Heart because of the language challenges - not everyone has the patience for something so different from the norm. I'd also rule out Flowers From the Storm as an introductory book because some people just honestly can't give the mental energy to staying with Christian's twisted-up mind in that first half. Also, many people have serious problems with Maddy, like they can't stand how religious and prim she is. (Note that in both these examples, the hypothetical people referred to are fools who are not worthy of Kinsale anyway, FOOLS I TELL YOU.)

    So yeah, stick with Shadow and the Star. Man, I love that book. Unless she prefers something light and isn't into the whole tortured/angst thing, in which case totally hand over Lessons In French.

  2. In case this is not too late:

    I haven't read SATS though not for lack of trying: couldn't find it, still out of print. So you may to include a backup rec that is more readily available.

    And as you know, I loved both 'My Sweet Folly' and 'Lessons in French'.

  3. I vote for SATS. Leda is one of my all time favorite heroines and Samuel is simply "a slightly wind blown Gabriel come to earth minus nothing but the wings". God, I love that book.

  4. i never can do these posts correctly from my phone. Sorry, the above post is from me SandyO.

  5. Actualy, M., there was a reprint a few years ago:

  6. Thanks all so much for the inputs. Have edited original post with my choices if you care to see how it all came out. :)

    Beth - I'm relieved to hear this since it's so weird to me that I lurv her yet do not have a "go to" book. And, hell yeah, to TSATS love. My gosh that book is just so freaking awesome. Then, so many of hers are. This week I'm all about the UNCERTAIN MAGIC. I do not obsess over it like I do TSATS but I think the passion of Faelan and Roddy is my favorite of all her h/h pairs. Actually, I decided neither of those two could be lent out because I couldn't handle them being out of the house just at this moment.

    M - If you don't come by TSATS do let me know. I can send you one. Actually, I am contemplating getting a different copy for my own reading pleasure as I just can't take the cover I have. I think it's Fabio and it so does not reflect the book and just sort of annoys me so much that I want a different copy. However, since I read it so often my husband has studied the cover with the diligence of an art history student and we recently had a most hilarious conversation contemplating the motives of Fabio - that makes it worth it I guess.

    SandyO - Not sure why your comments aren't showing (they made it to my inbox) but thanks for TSATS advice. You may have noticed from my comment to Beth that I just couldn't part with it right now. :) Maybe in a week or so. And I completely agree re Leda. I just plain like her a lot but as an example of characterization she blows me away. What a wonderfully depicted individual. I often read her parts just admiring the craft of it all. (aha! I found them! you got spammed so I unspammed you. yay!)