(I know, it’s been nearly six months since I last posted on here and I come back with a book review? What’s up with that?)
I’m going to go right out and say it. Teach a Teacher a Lesson by Cat Nicolaou is a romance novel. But…then again…is it? I’ll admit that I don’t read many romance novels, and I’m not even completely certain what caused me to decide to read this one, but this just doesn’t quite read like what I would expect.
Mainly, because…well, no one really seems completely happy about any of the romance. And maybe that’s normal…or maybe it should be. But, ultimately, there’s a bit more excitement here in that you don’t really know where the story is going. You have some ideas as the story begins, and also, maybe, some fears, but Nicolaou twists your expectations to bring this story in a realm I’m happy to admit I haven’t seen much in the realm of the romance novel. Suspense.
Now, I’ll admit…I didn’t really find myself liking any of the characters…well, not the primary characters anyway. There are some secondary ones whom I felt need their own spinoff book where they slap protagonists of other romance novels around and force them to get their heads on straight.
But my dislike of those main characters actually didn’t manage to detract me from the story at all. I found myself rooting for the two lovebirds not to get together, which, I really don’t believe they should.
Which brings me to my realization of the subtext of this story. Nicolaou manages to tell a love story about two people who really shouldn’t be together, where, as opposed to feeling like we are that main character being swept away by the Fabio from the cover, we feel a lot more like the friend on the sidelines who just wants to run in there and rip them off each other.
Of course, I know I’m reading into this much more than I should. It’s still a romance novel after all. And, for those who read this style of fiction, I’m sure it still works as others in the genre do. After all, this is also a story of passion, a story of undying love, a story of a man (a much younger man at that) who, no matter how hard he tries, just can’t stay mad at the woman who continues to spurn his advances.
All this goes to show that although this may, at its heart, still be a romance novel, it does cause one to consider, is the romance enough? Is there an opportunity for there to be too much passion? And, ultimately, does love always win? Or, more importantly, should it?