Thursday, 20 November 2014

Book review - Trial Run, by Ella Medler

The opening of Trial Run led me to expect a standard romance in the vein of Mills and Boon. The strong, clever, resourceful hero with his high-handed, masterful attitude, the ditzy heroine who needs to be 'saved' - and I might almost have stopped there, as I'm not a fan of the genre, only for the fact that the young woman had been portrayed as fundamentally of sound character. A woman who spends all her time acquiring skills such as plumbing and car maintenance, in order always to maintain complete independence, can hardly be the fainting heroine of a 1950's style bodice-ripper.

The central character, Amelie, was surprisingly complex for a work of this type, with a tension between her tough-minded independence and business acumen and the emotional immaturity of a spoiled schoolgirl. This tension fleshed her out into three dimensions, saving her from the flat banality of the traditional romance heroine.

I therefore continued with the book, enjoying along the way its pleasant, easy style and the drama of the action sequences which are a particular strength of Medler's, and was rewarded for my perseverance about halfway through, when the hero, in a surprising plot twist, re-examined his life and actions and experienced a change of heart, rejecting his high-handed and arrogant behaviour and emerging as a decent and rational man. This metanoia really defines Trial Run, lifting it from the mere romance into a really satisfying read.

There was rather more graphic sex than I like to see in a novel, however it was well enough executed and my distaste for scenes of this kind is one of personal preference. I feel sure that afficionados of the modern romance genre will enjoy this book.

Trial Run, with Medler's other work, is available from AMAZON.

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