So one night the other week I was kind of sad and needed to escape into something, so I poked around my very messy bookshelf until I found this little gem, the final of my four books from the sweet ladies at the church basement sale. I was about 80 pages in when Joe came over and said, “Love Me With Furry? What the hell are you reading?” That’s a subset of the romance genre I hadn’t thought about before. I know there’s fantasy romance and Christian romance and LGBT romance and BDSM romance (and so much more!), but furry romance? Does it exist? This bears (HAHA PUNS) some looking into! As a resident of Pittsburgh, which as we all know hosts the furries’ annual convention, it seems only right.
Also: this book is dramatically improved if you think about Alex and Spencer as fluffy, anthropomorphized animals. I picture Alex as a raccoon with huuuuuuuge boobs and Spencer as a skunk. Or maybe a weasel. Like, a weasel with rabies and also venereal disease. Your thoughts?
This is the third of my four rummage sale romance novels (previously and previously) and my winning (losing?) streak is continuing! I mean, of course we all expected this, because most of what was written before 1990 is just dreadful. And Beloved Scoundrel is no exception! You can tell just from the title that it’s going to be ridiculous. Scoundrel? Scoundrel?! A scoundrel is, like, a little Scotty dog in a jaunty cap. A scoundrel is a chipmunk that you shake your fist at after it steals your nut. A scoundrel is NOT a hot dude you want to bonk. Come on! I can’t even think about that word without giggling, and you know how romance heroes hate to be giggled at, so it just stands to reason that Captain James would be a total douchenugget. I caused this. I’m sorry.
(As an aside, while I was searching for a cover image – and couldn’t find a big one, which is why this post is preceded by such a teensy tiny image; also because I am too lazy to take a picture of the cover of my book – I discovered that “scoundrel” is a VERY popular word in romance novel titles. Seriously! SCOUNDRELS, the lot of them!)
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?
I’m beginning to wonder: do I have some knack for selecting truly horrific romance novels to read or have the majority of romance novels jumped off the deep end? Am I just paying more attention to the infuriating plots and characters than I used to? Is my critical eye more attuned, less forgiving? Or do these books have some kind of psychic pull over me that leaves me helpless, unable to resist? Am I being punished?
Also, food for thought: “pirate’s” is an anagram for “rape-ist.”
Love is complicated. You know what else is complicated? Complications. I finished this doozy of a romance novel more than a week ago and it’s taken me until now to recover. I think Patricia Hagan had an idea for five or six novels and then decided just to shove them all into one. Her publisher made the brilliant decision to con people like me into buying this twisty turn maze of sex and violence with this seemly innocuous blurb:
After her father’s death, Julie Marshal vowed to save the family plantation, even if it meant marrying a man she knew she could never love. But duty would soon give way to desire in the arms of Derek Arnhardt, a rugged ship’s captain whose mistress was the sea – until he saw the green-eyed beauty. Then, nothing could come between him and his ultimate goal – to possess Julie body and soul.
Pirate romance! Sounds hot, right? Sounds totally normal, right? Pirate! Romance! Innocuous! Sexy! Holy canola, it took a hard left, like, right away.