Roanna Davenport was raised a wealthy orphan on her grandmother’s magnificent Alabama estate, Davencourt, where she developed a genius for trouble and a deep love for her cousin Webb. But everyone expects Webb to marry the ravishing Jessie, and he does. Then Jessie is found bludgeoned to death, and Webb leaves for Arizona, abandoning his legacy. Years later, an all-grown-up Roanna walks into a dingy bar in Nogales and Webb is drawn back to Davencourt, to Roanna — whose ice melts under his touch — and to the killer who once destroyed his life and waits only for the chance to finish the job…
Linda Howard is the maven of modern romance. There is nothing as dark and emotional as a Howard story, but there are also moments of wit and sass — usually from the heroine — that add a splash of brightness to all that angst. This book happens to be my favorite of hers. Originally published in the late 1990s, I feel this book stands the test of time. What did you think?
I’ve included a few questions to get us started. Remember, comment with your opinion and you’ll be entered for a chance to win this month’s Reading Club prize, an e-book copy of my second favorite Linda Howard novel, After the Night! Comment with a suggestion for a future Reading Club book selection and you’ll be entered into the drawing twice!
Last month’s selection did catch a little tweak from me due to the whole Southern names and stereotypes issue. This book is much more like what I’ve encountered growing up in the South. (Minus the incest; no matter the jokes, incest is not any more common in the South than anywhere else.) Of course, this book deals with the upper-class, whereas last month’s did not. What were your thoughts on how the South was portrayed in Shades of Twilight?
One of Howard’s signature traits is, shall we say, a**hole heroes. Webb is not your average nice guy. He’s downright ugly to Roanna when she comes back into his life. Did he redeem himself in the end, or did you feel he didn’t deserve Roanna?
In the last couple of years, one trend in romance has been the retelling of a novel from the point of view of the other character (i.e. a book originally told in the heroine’s point of view has a sequel in which the same story is told by the hero). The first love scene between Webb and Roanna uses a similar technique: we first experience the moment in Roanna’s pov, an important aspect since we, the audience, feel she has the most emotional investment in the act. The next chapter gives us Webb’s thoughts on their lovemaking and the conclusions he drew from it. Did this technique work for you? How did reading Webb’s thoughts change your view of his actions when he took Roanna?
How does this romance, twenty years later, hold up against today’s new romances? What worked or did not work for you, the reader?
Let’s discuss! Remember, one commenter will win a copy of Linda Howard’s After the Night. Tell us what you thought of Shades of Twilight, or give us a suggestion for a future Nice & Naughty Reading Club selection. I’ll announce the winner — and our (legitimate) MAY Reading Club selection — on Monday.
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