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REVIEW: CB – Twenty Hours in Boston by Priscilla Darcy

Edited to add: Since Scheherazade Tales is no longer in business, this ebook is currently not being offered for sale anywhere.

Dear Ms Darcy,

Twenty Hours in BostonI love the opening of your book “Twenty Hours in Boston.” The meeting of these two diehard Red Sox fans in a bar watching a baseball game is so believable. You’ve got the setting, emotions and atmosphere so real I can see them. The scene back in Aubrey’s hotel room, after Gray injures his foot kicking a brick wall in frustration over the loss to the Yankees is great. Gray’s responses to her statements, actions and questions about Vegas showgirls’ breast size are so Real Man. “Hey, if this woman strips off and offers me sex, I’ll try and be a gentleman but if she persists, I’ll go for it.” Very guy.

It’s too bad that soon Gray turns back into a Romance Man for most of the rest of the book. We do get flashes of Real Man thinking and action but not as much as I’d hoped for. Now, about Aubrey. That girl can be exasperating. First she doesn’t care that Gray left after their night of hawt sex in Boston, then when fate throws them together again, she gets all mad at him. Then denies being mad. Then sets “ground rules” for their non-relationship, then breaks them herself, which is OK but he can’t break them. Then she insists to herself that this wealthy business CEO can’t, won’t, hasn’t fallen in love with her so she’s not even going to try and give them a chance. Sigh. Very Romance Heroine. Very much behavior I’ve read in too many books over the years.

You also have quite a few plot balls up in the air as well. Maybe too many? There’s Gray’s overprotective relationship with his siblings, Gray’s mother’s history, Gray’s sister’s problems, Gray’s relationship with his best friend, Gray’s hotel casino problems. All of this on top of the romance relationship with Aubrey. You juggled them well but they took so much time away from the romance that I got frustrated. However, when you had Gray go into denial over a situation and make a decision that was so stupid, so idiotic, so unbelievable that I wanted to hurl my IPAQ at the wall, well, you lost points there. And then I’m supposed to believe the quick HEA after the major breakdown in their relationship? I’m sorry but I just can’t. The cute ending and your obvious love of and knowledge about the Red Sox redeemed a little bit of this but still, B- for you.

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

9 Comments

  1. Shannon
    Jun 07, 2006 @ 15:01:49

    OMG, a Red Sox lover and it’s not available now? Ack! I hope she can place it someplace else soon, because I’d love to read it!

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  2. Jayne
    Jun 07, 2006 @ 18:51:15

    Shannon, I’ve been googling Darcy and using the Wayback site as well as yahoo’s cached pages for Scheherazade to try and find an email adress for her. Is anyone in the publishing industry in contact with Ms. Darcy? Can we find out if she has alternate means to sell this ebook?

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  3. Jayne
    Jun 07, 2006 @ 19:00:16

    Here’s a short excerpt from how Aubrey and Gray met in a bar watching the 2003 Sox/Yankees game.

    Aubrey drank Sam Adams and talked baseball with anyone and everyone around her. So good to talk baseball with Bostonians, people who knew baseball, who breathed it, lived it, year-round.

    She could say names like Pedro and Nomar and Manny and Trot and not have to explain which Pedro, Nomar, Manny, Trot. Were there any others?

    She could say they had no running game, and the constant backfiring of the hit-and-runs should be getting through to Grady by now. And the people in the bar nodded their heads and then brought up Johnny Damon, their only running game, and, gosh, did you see him collide with Walker in that Oakland game? Did you see him send the thumb’s up to the crowd?

    “When you watched him go down, did you think, well, here we go. Luck’s held far too long." The man next to her wasn’t really asking the question. He was stating the fact. Naturally she had thought that. She was a Red Sox fan. They had all been thinking that.

    So she didn’t bother to answer that particular question. “But then you’ve got to think," she remarked philosophically, rolling the Sam Adams bottle in her hands, “why? Why all this luck, if we aren’t meant for it this year? I mean, look at the way this team’s been winning games!”

    “They’ve been doing it all year," the friendly stranger pointed out.

    “Right. I keep writing them off and writing them off. For the first time since I became a Red Sox fan, I think I’m actually selling them short.”

    He chuckled. “When did you become a Red Sox fan?”

    “When I was conceived.”

    “Ah. You’ve never been happy in your life, then.”

    “Not truly, no," she agreed. “I’m a fourth-generation Red Sox fan. You’re not?”

    “No. But I came to it as a boy. My stepfather indoctrinated me.”

    “Ah." Her gaze flickered up to his cap, faded almost into gray. If she didn’t know the font of the Boston Red Sox “B," she might not have known it was a Red Sox cap. “And did he give you that cap?”

    “As a matter of fact, it was his. He’s dead now. I thought he’d want his cap to be there the day the Red Sox get back into the World Series.”

    She uttered a cautionary squeak. “You’re jinxing things.”

    “Sorry. I’ve been doing it all night. It’s my fault if Pedro self-destructs out there.”

    She leaned forward, intent on this question, because she’d been wanting to ask it all night. “Do you trust Pedro?”

    He snorted. “Not as far as I can throw him.”

    She held out her hand in approval. “I’m Aubrey.”

    He smiled. “Gray," he said, shaking her hand.

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  4. Shannon
    Jun 07, 2006 @ 19:32:10

    We need an APB.

    *cough–Samhain has a few books on its list which were previously published elsewhere–cough*

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  5. Priscilla
    Jun 13, 2006 @ 07:29:00

    Dear all,

    Found this site completely by accident, and thought I would leave a quick note to you. First, thank you, Jayne, for the comments on the novel. I agree with almost everything you said. The fact was that I made a conscious decision, when writing Gray, to make him more Romance Man than Real Man. I get enough Real Man in my everyday life, believe me. I think people read romance novels for different reasons. Some people want to believe this could happen in real life; other people, like me, read them as fairy tales. Yeah, you’re never going to meet a guy like Gray. But, to me, that’s the whole point.

    As for Aubrey, she can be exasperating, but I don’t find her that bad. Aubrey had just been through a bad divorce. I have a hard time believing when my crush likes me back, and my crush is never a guy of Gray’s calibre, and I haven’t had my self-esteem stomped all over by a failed marriage. So I didn’t have so much of a problem with Aubrey’s indecision over what to do…but then, I wrote her, so I guess it’s predictable that I’m okay with her!

    I also agree that I had too many plot balls up in the air. I wrote the novel completely as a lark (literally, it began right after the Red Sox lost in 2003 as a cathartic exercise, and most of Gray and Aubrey’s conversation at the Cask ‘n’ Flagon is filled with inside shout-outs to my friends), and then, when I decided to publish it, both my editor and I tried to cut it back. The problem was, we couldn’t decide what and where to cut. There need to be a ton of plot balls, because Gray turned out to be such a capable person that it didn’t seem realistic he would turn to Aubrey unless a ridiculous amount of things were falling apart all at once.

    So, anyhow, there’s the reasoning, straigh from the horse’s mouth, as it were.

    As for alternative means of publication, I’m looking into them, so hang in there!

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  6. Jayne
    Jun 13, 2006 @ 08:11:10

    Priscilla, girl we’ve been searching for you or your email address for a week now. Thanks for stopping by and letting poor Shannon know that she might be able to get her hands on a copy of the book! I didn’t realize your publisher had pulled the plug until the night before we posted the review. Jane said, “At least readers can still buy it at Fictionwise.” “Oh great,” I said. Then I went there to get the new link and got a page saying they weren’t selling it anymore. “Uh-oh,” I emailed Jane. “But it was just there last night!” she replied. “Not anymore,” I told her. “&^%$#@!,” we both said.

    OK, now that you’ve explained your reasoning behind Aubrey’s actions, I can see them a little better. And the thoughts behind the number of plot points. That makes sense too.

    Your book was actually first mentioned to me by a dear friend of mine who was born and raised in Methuen, MA. She’s a third generation Red Sox fan. Her father and a younger brother were the most ardent fans in the family and sadly both passed away in the summer of 2004. But she’s sure that both were watching the season and cheering the whole way. ;)

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  7. Priscilla
    Jun 13, 2006 @ 20:04:47

    Well, I’ll keep you updated on the quest to re-publish the book.

    Also, much like your friend in Methuen, my grandfather took me to my first game at Fenway when I was a little girl and passed away in 2002, never having seen them win. When we finally won it, my family and I did exactly what Gray does: We went to my grandfather’s grave to celebrate with him.

    I like to think that they finally won because God finally got sick of all the Red Sox fans up in heaven complaining about it!

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  8. Kate
    Jan 05, 2007 @ 20:08:18

    Dear Ms Darcy,

    I loved Twenty Hours in Boston and believe that you are an exceptionally talented romance writer. I’ve been looking on all the obvious sites but cannnot find another book by you. Please keep writing!

    Kate

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  9. Priscilla
    Mar 30, 2007 @ 14:09:56

    Dear Kate,

    I tried to leave this comment before but I think the Internet conspired against me, so I’ll give it another go. Thank you so much for your kind words. I was out of the loop for a bit, organizing a move back to Boston from the D.C. area, but I am still writing. I’m actually giving something new a try and have started posting a new novel, chapter by chapter, at Booksie.com. The novel is finished, but I think this is a fun opportunity to give readers a chance to provide constructive criticism, and tell me what they love and don’t love, before the novel is really polished. So go read! Leave comments! (And, for those waiting on “Twenty Hours,” I am still working on it; don’t despair.)

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