Every romance novel needs an obstacle. The idea is that the characters are perfectly suited for each other but there is something that is stopping them from being together - some misunderstanding or some dark secret for example.
The first thing to do if you want to write a romance novel is to come up with that obstacle. Sherry Thomas came up with this: let's make the male lead really smart and handsome but let's make him pretend he is dumbshit because he is a secret agent and 'dumbshit' is his cover. Now the female lead is a clever girl so she is appalled by the fact that Lord Vere is as dumb as a box of rocks but also weirdly attracted to him because he has a six pack and a very big you know what (which she discovered when she accidentally sat on his lap). This is the situation I quite often found myself in so I could emphatise. I usually gave those guys the benefit of doubt, because, you know, it might just be that they were undercover secret agents. Sadly each time it turned out that they were bona fide idiots.
I can't give this book five stars because that's just embarrassing.
Here is what happened. Karen started a Readers Advisory group on goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/4351...) and I wanted to be nice and posted a thread there asking for a romance novel that would fill all my requirements.
Mariel kindly provided recommendations..... Anyway, long story short - I woke up on Saturday morning and started reading it. Before I knew it was 4pm, I still hadn't taken a shower or eaten anything other than chocolate.
This is precisely the reason I don't read romance novels too often because I can't be trusted with them. I mean, thank God it was Saturday. Otherwise I would've probably called in sick or something.