Daddy's Little Cowgirl

by Charlotte Maclay | Romance |
ISBN: 0373167660 Global Overview for this book
Registered by futurecat of Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on 5/8/2006
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Monday, May 08, 2006
At our last meetup of the Christchurch Bookcrossers, someone came up with the bright idea of a reading challenge: before the next meetup, we'd all try and read a book from a genre we wouldn't normally touch with a bargepole, promising to read it with an open mind and trying to see what it is that other people see in the genre. My obvious choice of genre to read for the challenge was a Mills & Boon style romance, a type of book I've only read a few times in the past, always as a joke (like this one).

I'd better be honest and admit that I chose this particular book to read purely on the silliness factor of the cover (a hunky cowboy, shirt open to the waist, cuddling a baby), so I failed at the first hurdle, that of approaching the book with an open mind. But I did try to read the book as objectively as I could.

Daddy's Little Cowgirl is, as you might guess from the title and cover picture (and the fact that it's in the "Sexy Single Dads" series), about a cowboy who is left looking after a baby girl on his own. In order to keep the baby, he has to arrange a marriage of convenience with a local maths teacher. Of course, each of them has secretly fallen in love with the other, but because it's supposed to be just a marriage of convenience, neither realises that their affection is returned, leading to all sorts of terrible misunderstandings. Plus there's a mysterious case of mistaken identity that could mean the cowboy will lose the baby.

I'm afraid, much as I tried, I couldn't find any literary value in this book. The plot was terribly contrived (and highly unlikely), the characters two-dimensional (at best), the solution to the "mystery" was immediately obvious, and I knew almost from page one exactly what was going to happen in the rest of the book. But I suppose that's what a lot of the appeal of these books is to their readers: they like the fact that the plots are formulaic and totally predictable. In these books, you know from the start that any problem, no matter how big, will have a solution and that everything will work out happily ever after in the end, so I can see why for some people these books could be a tempting escape from a life where problems aren't easily solved and there never seems to be a happy ending.

One thing that did interest me about the book (other than musing on the psychology of its readers) was that there seems to be a rule in these more raunchy romances that although the characters seem to act totally promiscuously, leaping into bed with each other at the first opportunity, the sex is always "justified" by the fact that they're either secretly in love, or they haven't realised yet that they're in love (although it's obvious to the reader they are). The old "no sex before marriage" rule (I read an article by a Mills & Boon writer once where she explained the house rules were that there must be no sex until the last page, when (after marrying, of course) the couple could retire to the bridal chamber where the book would end just as they were sinking into each others arms and leaving the rest to the reader's imagination) seems to have been replaced by a new morality of "no sex without love". I suppose that's what classifies them as romance rather than erotica.

Anyway, final conclusion: I definitely won't be rushing to read another romance, but it was an interesting experiment.

And I know a maths teacher who I just have to pass this book on to... :-p

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Journal Entry 2 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Given to Awhina at tonight's meetup.

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Journal Entry 3 by awhina from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Monday, May 15, 2006
I was given this at the last meetup. Its a romance novel and Futurecat thought it reminded her of me. Oh! how could she! ... Perhaps it was just that Futurecat was reliving her moments of joy as a maths teacher in a semi-rural area???...

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