MINI-REVIEW: Joan Kilby’s MAD ABOUT YOU, Friends To Lovers

Mad About YouMiss Bates felt sorry for Joan Kilby’s innocuous little romance novel, Mad About You. Wait, wasn’t that the sentimental TV series that celebrated marriage and went head-to-head with Seinfeld for popularity? Miss Bates watched one episode of Mad About You and can recite reams of Seinfeld dialogue … hence, the spinsterhood. As went Mad About You, thus went Kilby’s Mad About You, Miss Bates’ read immediately after Lin’s sublime Jade Temptress. It just couldn’t win. It was a pleasant enough read, but derivative: plot points and characterization identifiable from the get-go. Moreover, Kilby’s friends-to-lovers trope choice is Miss Bates’ least favourite, though she admits when it’s done well by masters of the genre, it’s fabulous. She’s read Mayberry, O’Keefe, Alward and Bliss’s use and admits they’re some of her favourites (Anything For You, His Wife For One Night, How A Cowboy Stole Her Heart, and Here Comes the Groom, respectively. If you haven’t read them, do). But it takes great subtlety to convince a reader how two people who’ve been friends for years suddenly develop the hots for each other. Kilby doesn’t quite accomplish this: falls back on the gorgeous hero’s obliviousness and heroine’s lack of, and this is a most unlikeable character trait, confidence in her appearance. Despite this, there’s nicely humorous touches in the novel and some clever dialogue. But it’s pat and Miss Bates’ reading mood was less than tolerant after being blown away by Lin’s novel. Continue reading