Winner of the 2012 RITA for Best Contemporary Romance.
Which really makes me curious about the health of the contemporary romance genre.
Not that this is a bad book. Far from it. It's charming and fun. I might've even had a tear or two in my eye at the big confrontation scene. Matilda is a terrific heroine, full of chutzpah and wit. As a former expat myself, I enjoyed Matilda's cultural confusion. Marc is appealing and very sexy. The small Wisconsin town setting is beautifully drawn, and the secondary romance is sweet and full of heartfelt emotion.
But the writing was interrupted by huge chunks of expository telling that made my eyes glaze over, and Matilda called Marc "Blondie" or referred to him as "Viking" when it is was in her POV waaaaay too many times for me to keep my eyes from rolling. Marc comes to his realization about Matilda in a rushed, bolt-of-lightning way, as if the author realized this was a romance so hey, time to wrap it up. And the overly sugary epilogue wiped the tears from my eyes and practically sent me into a diabetic coma.
So a really fun book, definitely deserving of four stars, but best in show? Hence my curiously about the health of the genre. Or maybe the more established contemporary romance authors didn't feel the need to enter their books in the RITAs.