Mix of Genres

Use this forum to discuss the June 2018 Book of the Month"The Girl Who Knew da Vinci" by Belle Ami
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Re: Mix of Genres

Post by bclayton13 » 23 Jun 2018, 23:44

I definitely felt like this was a romance. It was more like romance, etc. But definitely romance with other things thrown in to make it more interesting. I liked that the book was so well researched when it came to the historical aspect, but that made it a historical romance at most.

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Post by bookowlie » 24 Jun 2018, 15:48

When I first read this book, I thought it was mostly a mystery with touches of history, romance, and paranormal elements. Now I feel it is mainly a paranormal story with touches of the other genres. In my opinion, it would have worked better if it was heavier on the mystery and the paranormal aspects were lighter.
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Post by dgallois » 24 Jun 2018, 17:06

I think for this book the different genres works. I like a little thriller or mystery in a good romance novel. I can see why some readers say the romance was a little much later in the book but wouldn't that be how a romance should progress? I really enjoyed the book so I don't see any negatives, but I still can see how others
Could feel differently.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 24 Jun 2018, 17:54

Zain A Blade wrote:
08 Jun 2018, 15:00
I like your analysis. True for me too, the mystery was overshadowed by the excessive focus on romance - cheesy romance at that. I guess the romance/erotic genre may not be the author's strength. The historical aspect was certainly a plus, it's the winning part of the book. The paranormal almost screwed it up - a big minus for the book. Perhaps paranormal in the sense of psychic intuition could have succeeded, but I think past life regression was just too much.
I completely agree with this assessment. Alex and Angela having a relationship didn't bother me, but I don't think it should have been so heavily emphasized. They spent way too much time in Alex's bedrooms and not enough time researching. I expected the mystery genre to be the focal points but it fell a little short of my expectations.
I think visions rather than connections to past lives would have been preferable.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 24 Jun 2018, 17:57

dgallois wrote:
24 Jun 2018, 17:06
I think for this book the different genres works. I like a little thriller or mystery in a good romance novel. I can see why some readers say the romance was a little much later in the book but wouldn't that be how a romance should progress? I really enjoyed the book so I don't see any negatives, but I still can see how others
Could feel differently.
I really enjoy when at least some romance is thrown into a story. I think it was more the excessive number of sexual scenes within a one week relationship that was a bit much for a lot of readers. If there had been more focus on relationship building versus sex scenes, I think it would have gone over better. I've read so many books where the author seamlessly integrated romance and it was clearly not the primary focus of the book. There is room for improvement in Ami's writing.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 24 Jun 2018, 18:00

Bonnie Shelby wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 10:00
I liked the blend of genres, but because it seemed to be classified primarily as a romantic suspense novel, I would've appreciated more suspense. The mystery wasn't quite complex enough to keep up with the romance, which was a little disappointing.
The only mystery was where the painting was to be found. The suspense was definitely lacking. The bad guys barely had any page space. I too wish there had been more complexity to the search for the painting.

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Post by bookowlie » 25 Jun 2018, 13:20

Bonnie Shelby wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 10:00
I liked the blend of genres, but because it seemed to be classified primarily as a romantic suspense novel, I would've appreciated more suspense. The mystery wasn't quite complex enough to keep up with the romance, which was a little disappointing.
I agree the mystery could have been more in-depth. It would have been more interesting to have Angela and Alex track down subtle clues while the reader could have had more detailed info from the flashbacks to the earlier time periods.
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Post by bookowlie » 25 Jun 2018, 13:22

kfwilson6 wrote:
24 Jun 2018, 18:00
Bonnie Shelby wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 10:00
I liked the blend of genres, but because it seemed to be classified primarily as a romantic suspense novel, I would've appreciated more suspense. The mystery wasn't quite complex enough to keep up with the romance, which was a little disappointing.
The only mystery was where the painting was to be found. The suspense was definitely lacking. The bad guys barely had any page space. I too wish there had been more complexity to the search for the painting.
It's true that Scardato and his cousin almost disappeared during long chunks of the story. I didn't feel there was much suspense until the final scenes.
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Post by bookowlie » 25 Jun 2018, 13:29

Zain A Blade wrote:
08 Jun 2018, 15:00
I like your analysis. True for me too, the mystery was overshadowed by the excessive focus on romance - cheesy romance at that. I guess the romance/erotic genre may not be the author's strength. The historical aspect was certainly a plus, it's the winning part of the book. The paranormal almost screwed it up - a big minus for the book. Perhaps paranormal in the sense of psychic intuition could have succeeded, but I think past life regression was just too much.
I don't think the past-life regression concept was that bad; it was more that it was overdone with two sets of past lives for both main characters in two different time periods. I agree that the Angela and Alex romance was a little cheesy. It would have been better if they had a simmering attraction that wasn't acted on. This way their romance could have developed slowly in future installments of the series. After all the sex in this book, there is nothing romantic to build on in future books. It reminds me of TV shows where it's more interesting if the main characters have a harmless flirtation rather than jump into bed right away.
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Post by bookowlie » 25 Jun 2018, 13:50

Kmykel wrote:
23 Jun 2018, 20:27
I felt that the genre blending gave the book more of a unique flavor. I very rarely pick up a book that appears to be a straightforward romance, or whatever the case may be. I really like it when stories combine different elements, or they deconstruct the genre they happen to be in. I rather liked the fusion of romance and history with this one.
I agree the mix of so many genres is what made the story more unique. It was the first book I ever read that had a bit of so many different genres. Although I think the romance and paranormal elements were overdone, I have to say the author did a decent job with such an ambitious undertaking. It will be interesting to see how she mingles the different elements in the next book in the series. Since Alex and Angela are already a couple, maybe the romance aspect will be toned down a bit.
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 27 Jun 2018, 12:24

I'm with you ... I don't at all mind a mixing of genres! That makes a book much more interesting, in general. However, to me, the romance overshadowed the deeper elements (mystery, thriller, action, historical fiction...). The overemphasis on romance made me like the book less.
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Post by ccrews0408 » 27 Jun 2018, 15:11

I definitely agree that the romance genre overwhelmed much of the story. If the connection seemed to be based on love more so than lust, it may have come across better. However, in my opinion, the relationship between Alex and Angela was off-putting.

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Post by Yolimari » 27 Jun 2018, 15:50

I love when authors mix genres, particularly historical fiction with romance. I really enjoyed how Belle Ami mixed romance, mystery, and historical fiction. Definitely, she is good at mixing genres. I also loved the whole storyline about the lost da Vinci painting. It reminded me of The Gravity of Birds, which I loved reading and is about forbidden romances and a missing portrait.

However, I think the book could have done with less of Angela’s visions. I did not mind about the steamy relationship between Angela and Alex. The point of it was to demonstrate its intensity through time. Although I admit a few scenes went into the real of erotica.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 27 Jun 2018, 16:06

Yolimari wrote:
27 Jun 2018, 15:50
I love when authors mix genres, particularly historical fiction with romance. I really enjoyed how Belle Ami mixed romance, mystery, and historical fiction. Definitely, she is good at mixing genres. I also loved the whole storyline about the lost da Vinci painting. It reminded me of The Gravity of Birds, which I loved reading and is about forbidden romances and a missing portrait.

However, I think the book could have done with less of Angela’s visions. I did not mind about the steamy relationship between Angela and Alex. The point of it was to demonstrate its intensity through time. Although I admit a few scenes went into the real of erotica.
That's a very positive way to look at their relationship. I personally thought that unless you can actually, on demand, remember your past life and therefore past relationship with someone that you shouldn't use that as a way to judge or move forward in a current (new) relationship. I thought they were a little too lustful for strangers, but I do like your take on it.

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Post by bookowlie » 27 Jun 2018, 16:41

greenstripedgiraffe wrote:
27 Jun 2018, 12:24
I'm with you ... I don't at all mind a mixing of genres! That makes a book much more interesting, in general. However, to me, the romance overshadowed the deeper elements (mystery, thriller, action, historical fiction...). The overemphasis on romance made me like the book less.
I also think the story focused too much on Alex and Angela's romance and erotic scenes. It often dragged the story off track just when I was expected the missing painting mystery plot to move forward. In contrast, the historical aspects added depth to the story and made it clear what the meaning of the painting was and why it was eventually hidden.
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