Blessed be! For this week, I wanted to look back at Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmeyer. I had to let the book percolate for a bit so I could come back to it and dig into my thoughts. In large part because I don’t read romances in general, I wanted to be sure I gave this book the time it needed to stand on its own. It feels like today is the right time to delve in deep!
Most of my issues with the book could have been solved by starting me just a scene or two earlier, a chapter at the absolute most. Conventional wisdom is to begin as close to the inciting incident as possible and right in the thick of the action, which I usually agree with. For this one, though, I wished that I’d had a little more time to get used to the main before being thrown into the shipwreck that sets events in action. While I clicked immediately with Ben, the problem was that I didn’t feel anything for his crew or his ship or the life he was giving up to try to survive as a smuggler. So, when the inevitable happened, I wasn’t saddened by the wreck or the loss of his men, which I really needed to be for some of the events that come later in the book.
After that first chapter, I found my footing. Ben’s relationship with Sun and the way it progresses feels really natural to me, so I loved that. I ripped through the rest of the first half of the book, eager to see them get their happy ending.
Just after halfway, though, I hit another stumbling block. The novel changes direction, not in a bad way, just in one that I wasn’t expecting. I think, again, taking a little longer at the start to lay out some of the politics at play in the early 19th century Caribbean would have made the transition a little smoother for me, and I wouldn’t have been so disoriented by the sudden switch.
I lost a little precious time adjusting to the new path that the plot takes, but I was very satisfied with the way the novel ends. It’s sweet without being saccarine, and it rings true to the characters. At the end of the day, it’s exactly what I want from a romance!