Monthly Archives: September 2011


Romance novel covers are an endless fascination of mine. Sometimes there’s just a lady, looking helpless or pouty or tousled. Sometimes there’s just a dude, looking swarthy and tough and menacing. Sometimes it’s a totally innocuous image and then you flip the page and – hey there! – sexytimes are unfolding. But sometimes, like with Chieftain – or maybe chiefTain or ChiefTain, it’s hard to tell from the font – the image is just…like…you know? I mean, WHAT is happening here? Is he unconscious? Has he been bludgeoned? The bulging muscles make him look very unrelaxed, like he’s waiting for something bad to happen.

…Which basically sums up this entire novel. Every page I turned was like, what kind of horror is going to pop up next? Look, I don’t think Nan Ryan is a racist person. I just think she probably did her research by watching Disney’s Pocahontas and prefers to rely on race-based stereotypes. But hey, let’s not let all those icky issues get in the way of a love story! It’s just fluff! It doesn’t have to be accurate! Haven’t white people suffered enough?

Continue reading


Wicked Intentions

This week to spice things up I thought I’d read a romance novel about a young, beautiful woman and the older, muscular, very handsome, extremely damaged man that she falls in love with. You know, something a little different. Some uncharted territory. Something to keep me guessing every step of the way, something exciting and new…

Continue reading

I Kissed An Earl

I think everybody has a friend who or knows a woman (or is the woman) who gets involved with really crappy men because she feels like she can “fix” their massive issues. It’s stupid in real life and it’s stupid in rom-com movies and it’s stupid in romance novels but of course it’s in like 110% of them, because hey why not, right? But here’s a novel that’s so damn SPECIAL and UNIQUE that it makes not only the hero a gigantic asshole in desperate need of fixing, but a heroine who is similarly assholish! It’s like an asshole match made in asshole heaven! Pretty much by p. 2 I stopped caring about either of them, though as the asshole-fest progressed I started to feel a little bad for the lady Violet (which, ps, is the name of my car – true story) because the earl was SUCH an assclown. Anyway…uh…enjoy?

Continue reading

The Runaway McBride

I have to admit, I sort of like romance novels that deal with Issues, instead of just the usual issue of what to wear and when and how much much to fuck. In The Runaway McBride, Elizabeth Thornton’s characters are all dealing with the changing place of women in society – women with educations, women with aspirations beyond marriage, motherhood, etc. Thornton doesn’t really come to a conclusion one way or the other – the problem with Issues and taking a stance is you risk upsetting your readers, which is less profitable than side-stepping – and I guess we’re supposed to imagine that her hero isn’t one of those boorish hero-types, he’s a guy who’s going to let his lady grow into a complex human being. Or something. Seriously, lady, I ain’t buying it.

Continue reading