Ruby dreams of Hollywood. A chance encounter with The Harmoneers, an all-female jazz group, offers the opportunity of a lifetime. Follow the gang as they scheme and double-cross. And love? Well, it don’t mean a thing. (goodreads.com)
I went into this expecting porn and I got very light romance. Not necessarily a bad thing but I did find myself having to re-read SilkWords’ information to remember that they’re erotica AND romance. Okay, fine. Threw the book for me a little bit but once I removed the expectation of porn I adjusted fine.
My digital copy was only 81 pages and the actual story pages are reduced even more since it’s a choose your own adventure and hops around, leaving out sections of the book since they’re irrelevant to the path you’ve chosen. Because of that there isn’t room for depth here. I’d be fine with it in a porn situation because at least there’s that but with romance I’m going to need a little more.
Like with the other SilkWords books I’ve read I did two read-throughs to see what came of it. The first one I focused on Ruby, who’s a rather crappy, selfish character that doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot going for her. She’s not all that great to people and while I’d totally support her when it came to not marrying that guy who was basically walking around assuming they were just going to get hitched after he wore her down enough she didn’t do a whole lot to dissuade the guy. When they kiss she talks about how good he makes her feel and how she basically swoons so when she says things to him about not wanting to get married it really made it look like she was doing it in a teasing manner. No wonder he didn’t believe her when she said it because she was still for kissing him. A lot of contradictory messages there.
I’m not too sure what I would make of the end of the particular story. Ruby and Maud end up traveling together but it’s unclear whether Ruby comes around to Maud’s sexual orientation or she’s just in it for the friendship. I have no idea. There wasn’t a lot going on and it seemed like the real story started as the story as ending so I didn’t get a ton out of it.
Maud’s story was the other one I followed and I felt hers was a little more well-rounded. In both stories Maud confesses her feelings about Ruby to Ruby and Ruby, rather nastily, brushes her off. While in Ruby’s story they end up friends again, here they end up parting ways and Maud decides to travel with the band and sees what comes of it. It also actually explores a more real beginning of a relationship between Maud and one of the women in the traveling act that roots it a little more in romance. It’s a more cohesive string that’s strung from one end of the story to another instead of a few jerky pieces fit together.
I understand that due to the length there isn’t going to be a ton of depth but that’s to say nothing of the myriad of short stories that exist where a lot is said using few words. I can handle skimming the surface when porn is involved but if we’re going to focus on the romance I need characters I can like and invest in and stories that I care about. Here it was much more about the character. It didn’t help Ruby any that a lot of her story was told away from her. It kept refocusing on the band of women while Maud’s story largely stuck to her and fleshed her out a little more. So while Ruby is this stock character that wants to get away from a dead-end marriage and only thinks of herself Maud gets history and feelings and depth compared to her friend.
Not the best romance in any regard and it’s a very light book but if I had to choose one path to take I’d say go with Maud’s. It’s a better story. Ruby just kind of sucks as a character and I can do without her.
I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.