Having read this book at the end of July, I was happy to remember that I had written a couple sentences about it to my fiancee, because I was having fun. In looking back, it was more than a few. Here’s the initial raw impression:
“I was completely delighted to go to NetGalley (on the Lesbrary login, because I don’t know my own) and to see, on the ‘you are preapproved for anything by this publisher [Bold Strokes Books]’ page, a plain old romance. A 250-page bag of Doritos for the mind, actually edited and written in English, all mainstream and s!@t, but with lesbians. It asked me to download it and read about a third, right there. So I did. I am submissive to books. It’s a fault. This lovely wellspring of Yay bubbled up…I can read trashy romances again! Well, it’s not that trashy. Really pretty vanilla. Which is fine. Because while it is okay to realize that Some Things You Can’t Unknow, it is astonishingly annoying to realize that Some Things You Can’t Unknow, and That’s Going to Ruin an Entire Summer Genre of Books for You, Have a Nice Life, No Really, You Can Try to Read Them, But Trust Me, the Romance Genre is Dead to You Now, Even Jenny Crusie, Oh God.
So I can’t remember what this book is called. Or who wrote it. I could come up with the characters’ names if I thought about it…maybe. Carson! And…Emma. No. Bree. Bree. Right. Bree and Carson. Guess which one has the motorcycle. Book is hitting stereotypes and placeholders correctly; meet cute was okay; all is as one would expect. Cruisin’ through on autopilot. Maybe will read some more tonight. Hopefully will pick up where left off. Probably won’t be able to tell. This means success! Da-da, back to the genre. Although I seriously wonder about naming characters after cheese. It could be kind of meta, but probably not.”
Maybe there’s a whole bunch of stuff I’m overlooking, but plain old romances, the stuff you buy in bags at yard sales, the stuff consumed in bunches rather than in ones and twos; the genre Scribd is limiting, because of its readers’ consumption habits–where are those, for gay girls? I am not being snarky, I would really love some direction, if this stuff is out there, because this is the first one I’ve found that hit all the regular genre notes but didn’t have boys in it. And I miss romances. But I have tried. I have tried and failed. And even, seriously, even Jennifer Crusie books, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips (these are not plain old romance authors!) aren’t nearly as fun as they used to be. This is a small price to pay for getting one’s life in order, but still.
If you are also lamenting a lack of this stuff, In Every Cloud is definitely for you! Is it brilliant? No. Are the characters full of depth? Absolutely not. Are they supposed to be? No! This is lovely wish fulfillment with a good best friend figure, supportive relatives, a dastardly ex, a nice subplot with a kindly father figure, and a gorgeous setting. It is absolutely wonderfully enjoyable. It’s not Tina Michele’s only book, and it’s not Bold Strokes’ only book that looks like it will send me into happy beach reading land, although it was the first I’ve tried from this publisher. I’m going to try another one now.