It must be a trend in me, but I really love books that take me by surprise.
Take, The Pride of the Peacock
. I have never heard of Victoria Holt before. I was 11, and desperate to read a book. So I found this book, and reading the synopsis, I was like, love story? *shrug* Okay, I'll read it.
I didn't even know I liked dark, somehow Gothic settings, which is what this book appeared to my eleven year old mind. It has suicide, dark secrets, mysterious deaths, and a girl falling for a man old enough to be her grandfather (!) What compelled me to read it was the mystery behind the opal ring. I had a heck of a time learning about opals, and in a way, I related to Jessica.
But what I really liked about this book was how much I enjoyed the love story. Jessica is set up by the man she loves to marry his son, and then is whisked away to Australia, the land of opals. Jessica is a headstrong girl, but feels out of place in this land, and what makes it worse is the air of hostility that seems to come from her strange husband. And yet, Jessica begins to fall for this man. We later find out that this aloof man is a just and well-respected boss of the opal mine, and, to my shock - and pleasure - was actually in love with the heroine all along!
I later found out about the romance suspense genre, which turned out to be not my cup of tea. I may not want to read more romance suspense, but The Pride of the Peacock
will be one of my favorites.