Sunday, August 22, 2010
You must be thinking I am crazy reviewing one of Barbara Cartland's seven hundred+ books. This one is one of the best ones from her that I have read. I will obviously not review all her books but I'll be reviewing some.
Well, the story is a little different from her other books.
Canuela lives with her poor, sick mother and has no money to pay her mother's hospital bills. She is the beautiful daughter of an Argentine aristocrat who was banished from his country because of rumours that he had betrayed his own country. Her father died soon after the unfortunate incident and her mother fell sick. Canuela is forced to take on the job of a secretary to pay her mother's hospital bills. She hides her beautiful eyes under tight fitting black glasses.
She obtains the post of secretary to the famous Ramon de Lopez, one of the famous argentine busniessmen who abandoned her father in his hour of need. She hates him and makes it very clear that she is working for him only because of the unfavourable financial circumstances. She is always hostile towards him.
Ramon de Lopez finds her a very efficient secretary because she is well versed in many languages and produces instant and amazing results. He requests her to accompany him to Buenos Aires and she refuses directly. However, her mother needs to go to Switzerland for medical treatment and she is forced to take on the job.
Throughout the journey, there is a clash of egos and unfortunately, Ramon de Lopez sees her beautiful eyes without glasses once. He then requests her to not hide them at least in front of him.
On reaching Buenos Aires, Ramon de Lopez has a grand party to which Canuela is invited but she refuses directly saying that she is only a superior servant and his esteemed guests would not want to mingle with the likes of her. However, she secretly attends the ball.
The next day, he is abducted and she saves him from guerillas. She later decides to flee to England but he finds her, clears misunderstandings, and as ever, love conquers all. Happy ending.
What is different about this book is that the heroine is strong. This is something that is rare for Barbara Cartland. More importantly she is constantly strong. Some heroines become weak as soon as they find love, but Canuela always stays strong and egoistic. The mind duels between her and Ramon de Lopez and their clash of egos is quite amusing.
This is a classic novel of the hatred-turned-love type. I enjoyed it very much mainly because of the passionate hero, strong heroine and plenty of conflict. Even though I knew from the beginning that love would conquer all, I found it a good and memorable read. This is rare for Barbara Cartland novels. Her novels are too short to be memorable but I enjoyed this one so much that I read it four times and I can still read it more.
This kind of book will appeal to Hana Yori Dango fans and those who like happy ending romance books with a strong heroine.
The novel, like most of Barbara Cartland's works, had plenty of emotion and love is not forced or fake. It is every bit emotional, true and fulfilling. It is one of the very good romance novels.
The cover art was not very good. Barbara Cartland books usually have good covers but this was rather generic. Also, there was a little political talk which is not very romantic or appealing but it is minimal and never gets in the way of the story. In fact, that's one of the good things about Barbara Cartland- she doesn't give too much importance to historical setting and detail and her books can be understood by everyone.
Overall, a great book to enjoy. It is only around 188 pages, still, it is wonderful.
Cover art (what was the artist thinking?)
As for best bargains, most of Barbara Cartland's books are out of print (it is not easy keeping 700+ books in print). You can find it on ebay or flipkart.com since the indian publisher Rupa is reprinting the books. Here's a site that gives information on all her books.