Moon Over the Alps by Essie Summers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This cover is pure glorious retro!
Such a shame my copy is in very poor condition as Summers books are mildly collectable in New Zealand now.
I’ve read articles that Summers often heavily revised her first 80 pages and this really shows as this part was really well written with glorious descriptions of the South Island scenery, a persuasive romance & fun descriptions of the clothing of the day.
No wonder the New Zealand Tourism Board loved Summers!
I was totally engaged until Charles re entered the story at around page 46 and I was reminded why I generally don’t enjoy pre 1980s Mills & Boons. Without sex the middles of these older romances often feel a bit of squishy with a lot of misunderstanding over trivia – why do they always want to think so badly about those they love. This always comes across as filler. And somehow our Cinderella heroine (view spoiler)[became the South Island Skiing Champ? Where did she find the time to put in the effort & fitness training (even in the 60s Penny would have had to do something!) The book mentions her loving the outdoor lifestyle, but doesn’t have her doing much in it after she arrives at the station other than gardening until Everything Goes Wrong. (hide spoiler)]
But towards the end Penny shows her true steel and why Summers romantic heroines are usually regarded as strong, independent women. This part was really exciting. Reminded me that pre 1965 New Zealand was still a tough rugged country with many people living in isolation.
The ending felt a bit rushed but M&B did always have page limits. Maybe Summers had to pare it down. Charles (the hero) didn’t have much personality towards the end.
I’m not sure if I will read another Summers romance, but I am very glad to have read this one! And I own a copy of
Summers is one of the authors featured in this book. I’m helping with the clean up of Harlequin Mills & Boon titles in the Librarians’ Group. I need to slot this one in for a reread.