26 August 2010

Review: Hope's Folly, by Linnea Sinclair

I read Hope's Folly as part of the on-going SFR challenge and really enjoyed it. The book is a fast-moving military SF romance featuring an older hero/younger heroine. Virtually all of the action takes place aboard a military heavy cruiser commanded by the hero. Although I classify it as a romance, a ship sabotage plot and interactions between the officers are front and center for most of the book. In the mean time, the hero and heroine are doing lots of mental lusting, all the while attempting to talk themselves out of love.

Heroine is a kick-ass security officer and there is a lot of dialogue revolving around weapons, so extra bonus if you enjoy fondling firearms--the heroine certainly does. The hero is an alpha male, but in a noble, sacrificial "women and children into the lifeboats first" kind of way. I especially enjoyed his internal monologues in which he struggles between his physical desire for the heroine and his concern that he's too old to be attractive any more.

Sinclair really nails the insecurities that the H/H have--the hero regarding his age and infirmity (he smashed his leg and hip in a previous book and uses a cane throughout this one) and the heroine regarding her weight and height. Very believable, and an effective way to soften characters who could, in the wrong author's hands, come across as autocratic and inflexible.

If you've read David Weber's Honor Harrington series and like a bit of romance, Hope's Folly is a great choice. Although there are references to events that occurred earlier in the series (Hope's is book 3), you don't need to have read the first two books to fully appreciate this one.

A minor quibble--this book came out in 2009 and is set in the future (I was thinking four or five hundred years out), but the hero calls the heroine "Mrs. Guthrie" after they marry (she takes his last name) and the heroine waxes poetic about receiving her MRS degree.

Are you kidding me?

I have a hard time believing that the independent heroine, who is also head of security on the ship, would do such a thing. I had to resist the desire to smack her and say "Give your husband's name back to him. He might need it, but you certainly don't!"

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