I read a LOT of romance novels. Between blogging about them, sharing in online communities that revolve around them, and desiring a break from the general decrepitude of the world around us, I sort of swim amongst them daily, letting their completely improbable plots wash away the stain of political rhetoric and real-life tediums that typically blanket my skin in a tight, itchy wool. They’re an escape. They’re candy and Ativan. They’re a warm bagel with dripping butter.
And sometimes, they’re a confetti cream cheese filled tie-dye bagel that looks like a good idea at the time, but something you immediately regret after the first bite.
Lately, there has been a rash of whatthefuck? romance sub-genres to pop-up and confuse the ever-loving fuck out of readers, and inexplicably titillate others.
Some of them seem tame-ish. Some of them? Well, some of them make my eyes cry tears of no.
“I’m in love with a ghost!!”
Spoiler! The answer is NO! *at least in this movie.
This is a tame trope. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy dies tragically. Girl gets to bone ghost…or something similar. The ending…there’s the mess. It’s not like a vamp novel where THEY ARE QUITE LITERALLY UNDEAD. Sure, it’s kinda messy with all the biting and the sunburns, but it’s not like they’re DEAD dead. They’re lowercase dead. Diet dead, if you will. But screwing a specter for all of forever? tricky. Very tricky. TRICKY OR TREATY, AMIRITE? wait. treaty sounds very political. Meh. I’m going with it.
I’ve liked some of these. They really require the author to think outside the box. HP Mallory, JR Ward, and Kresley Cole have all done it with a fair amount of success. It can be really interesting or fun depending on how it’s written. But sometimes? It’s a real head-scratcher.
This one is also pretty tame as far as “offensive or weird” goes, but it’s irritating all the same.
These books are ALL ABOUT GETTING PREGNANT OR GETTING SOMEONE PREGNANT JUST AFTER MEETING THEM ON-PURPOSE. Gah, I am shouting a LOT. I don’t get it. It’s all “I am gonna put my baby in her.” Or, “I’m going to totally fuck him while I’m fertile even though I just met him 49 seconds ago. I’m just a GREAT judge of biker character.” OR, “I’m going to war, I’m going to coat her womb with my baby batter.”–that one is an actual line I pulled from a book. The amount of why, or the amount of “HEARD OF PLAN B, LADIES??!!” Is strong. Plan B. It’s a thing. Walgreens sells it w/o a prescription. Planned Parenthood has it. Get it. Use it. Jumping up and down and a thorough cleaning won’t cut it. PLAN.FUCKING.B.
Banging things that are never fully human. Weres and Vamps, fae and whatnot aside. They might have strange features or whatnot, but they’re HUMANOID. Not weird DNA experiments gone wrong, or you know, GIANT TERRESTRIAL OR EQUINE EXINCT CREATURES, or part-bull all the time. They’re not cavemen or sasquatch or Donald Trump. AND ALL OF THOSE THINGS HAVE BEEN IN A ROMANCE NOVEL. *ok, maybe not Trump, because even head in the clouds/gutter romance novelists know when they’re pushing too far.
If it’s on American Horror Story, it SHOULD NOT BE IN A ROMANCE NOVEL.
YET, IT IS.
I feel like being mounted by a minotaur means that your head is on his wall.
That doesn’t even look like a real T-Rex.
That doesn’t even look like a real unicorn.
Unicorns only ride OTHER UNICORNS. And, judging by this book cover, they ride on the horn. *just for my PSM.
I don’t understand this subgenre at all. I will admit to reading and LIKING Laurann Dohner’s New Species series. I only stopped buying them because I refuse to give one more dollar to Ellora’s Cave publishing company. But those LIs, even though they have somewhat different facial features, they.are.people. PEOPLE.
THE NEXT TROPE IS JUST AS BAD.
Let’s talk about MPREG, shall we? What is MPREG, you ask? Oh, that would be MALE PREGNANCY. And not trans-man pregnancy. A genetically male dude with a dick getting knocked up by another genetically male dude with a dick.
They give birth, and it’s as horrifying as you think. They BREASTFEED. THIS ALL HAPPENS OMYGAH IS THIS REAL LIFE PEOPLE WRITING THIS SHIT?! This trope bothers me for a few reasons, 1.) It’s primarily written by and for women, yet comes across very anti-woman. Like Michelle Malkin level women hating women. 2.) HOW DO YOU TELL?! If you don’t get a period, what goes awry? This part is never explained particularly well. 3.)This is a romance, fine. Do an M/M, M/F, MMF, MMM, FFF, TFM, basically anything you want. I’ll read and probably enjoy it. But here’s the thing, for all of history women have had essentially one card they can play, and this strips that of any importance whatsoever. It makes women meaningless. Unimportant. It makes us exactly what men have been trying to paint us as for centuries. FUCK THAT. 3.) It trivializes and makes so twee and trite what a FUCKING GATDAM AMAZING MIRACLE PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH AND FEEDING A HUMAN FROM YOUR BODY is. And there is SCORES of this shit. Scores. I read one in anticipation of this post, and I almost threw my ipad. GAH! But I made you a graphic. Just for you. Yes, you, you scamp.
Now Vampy McPreggleston exists in the world. You may thank me later. I know you’re blown away with my photoshop skills.
The next sub-genre is so fucking annoying I have a difficult time expressing my feelings about how annoying they are because I start to sound like a republican candidate for president. I just feel a lot about them, ok?
This is a sub-genre of a sub-genre. I will call it “I was hired to kill her, but I decided to fuck her instead, but I still plan on killing her, and I think I’m in love with her! OH THE RESPONSIBILITY!” That is a very bad name for a genre. It’s mostly to do with a hitman or a navy seal or a vampire hunter or something. Either way, there’s suspense, there’s sex, and someone is definitely screwing and falling for someone they are definitely still supposed to kill or incarcerate forever. I’ll admit, I’ve liked a few of these as well. Mostly the supernatural ones. “I’m a demon, she’s an angel” or “I’m a vampire, and she’s Buffy..” Those sorts. But the “I’m a Navy Seal and he’s a Caribbean drug lord with a really decent heart?” Not into it. nope. not buying it.
The next one is way out of left field, but makes me smile.
Of course, it’s Amish erotica. Because I’m hot for buttons?
Ok, more likely I am all for subverting oppressively patriarchal and insular religious sects with lax forms of punishment issued internally within the community.
They can raise a barn, and they can also pitch a tent in man’s trousers. HEY-O!
OK! I’m over 10000000 words. (or just 1k, but, close enough.) ON TO!!!!
You need booze after reading this post.
The Tamarind Grapefruit Fizz.
Tamarind Grapefruit Fizz
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Ingredients (2 cocktails)
- 4 oz good tequila
- 1 oz citron liqueur (grand marnier or the like)
- 3 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
- 3 oz tamarind soda (Jarritos)
- lemon twist
- candied ginger sprinkle (really finely chopped candied ginger)
shake all of the ingredients save the soda with ice
strain over 2 rocks glasses filled with ice
top with soda, ginger, and a lime or lemon wheel/wedge.
(do it at home so no one notices when you take your bra off at the table.)