Title: Stay (Book 2, Tales of Dunham)
Author: Moriah Jovan
Enjoyment Rating: 6/10
Source: Kindle for iPad
Referral: the only book in this series I hadn't read yet
Books I've read in 2011: 112
In Stay, Jovan tackles the love story of Vanessa Whittaker and Eric Cipriani, the two wards of Knox Hilliard. Since people seem a little bit more comfortable with the idea of keeping love in the family in Western Missouri (at least according to The Proviso, where two sets of first cousins hook up), I guess that readers of Jovan's novels shouldn't be surprised, and honestly, while Knox took care of both Vanessa and Eric during their teen years, they didn't grow up together.
While The Proviso and Magdalene have a strong Mormon core to their stories (although Jovan's Mormons are larger, hotter, cooler and less orthodox than the ones I see in my ward) the Mormon theme in Stay isn't as strong because neither Vanessa nor Eric is a Mormon (Eric did attend BYU and BYU Law as a nonmember but he graduated without taking the plunge). As a result, the story feels less shocking and a little less jarring when the characters start getting it on and talking dirty to each other (I use shocking and jarring as positive adjectives here, don't worry). It also felt a little more like a straightforward romance novel with the guy and the girl trying to get together throughout the book. In Magdalene, the main couple marries in the middle of the book which changes the dynamic, and the three romances in series in The Proviso also change the pace.
I thought this book was an interesting escapist read. I'm not sad that I read it, and I appreciated how Jovan, once again, used another literary figure (this time Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose) as an extended literary metaphor in the book. Who knew that they were some of the major players in the libertarian movement? Not me. While I see the four couples in the other books having the potential to reappear in successive Jovan novels, I'm not sure if Eric and Vanessa will come up again-- and it feels okay to have this book be a little bit more stand-alone.