At the Waters Edge by Sara GruenThe theme this month was to read a “new to you” author. I love this cover, and I’d meant to read Water for Elephants when it came out but never got around to it, so I figured it was time.

This was a perfectly decent romance novel, but I resent the fact that it was sold as more than a genre novel.There’s nothing particularly special about it. The language is direct and simple, the tropes are familiar to any genre romance reader, and there are no real twists.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like a good romance. But I wouldn’t pay nearly this much for one. Between the cover, the price, and the “A Novel” on the cover, I expected a much more absorbing read. On the other hand, the fact that I knew at the outset that there was going to be romance was the only thing that kept me reading for the first section during which I hated, hated, hated ALL the characters.

I am a huge fan of mainstream (or even literary) fiction novels that have a romance in them. For example, almost any of the books in this post fall into such a category. That’s what I expected from At The Water’s Edge. But what I got was a straightforward historical romance (set during WW II) with a bit of a twist in the form of the Loch Ness monster. And a bunch of grim trimmings I felt were thrown in because the author wanted to give the book heft, as if she were deliberately trying to avoid having her book referred to as a romance.

My recommendation? If you’re looking for a WW II-set romance with a good period feel, take this one out of the library. But don’t pay full price for it or expect too much.