Tuesday, October 09, 2007

thoughts after a couple glasses of wine

I've been reading regency era romance novels lately. Light, fluffy things, wiht romance, sex and mystery in them. Real mysteries - murder, embezzlement, nefarious schemes, spies, not romantic 'does she like me' mysteries, though you can't have a romance novel without those mysteries. I suppose it says something about me that I am mostly reading these books for the actual mysteries, not the romance, certainly not for the sex. I skip over the sex. Simply cannot cope with reading it.
Some things strike me about the romance novels, and i know some of it is publisher dictated. The hero must always be masterful, dashing, over protective and reluctant to admit he loves the heroine. The heroine must always be strong willed and sexually inexperienced. Even widows. Judging by the romance industry there were a hell of a lot of virgin widows of much older men in the 1820's. Or widows of men who simply didn't care enough to bring them to orgasm. Is it so terrible to have had a fulfilling sex life within a marriage before meeting 'the man of your dreams'? Can't you love more than one person in your life? Only one book in the literally hundreds of romance novels I have read in my life featured a fully pleasured widow as the heroine. One. 10 years ago I found that only mildly, very mildly annoying. Now I'm just irritated by it. and by the masterful men. Seriously, I'd bitch slap half of them if they treated me the way they treated these women. Oh it's all explainable & understandable in context but it still pisses me off. But my favorite author Stephanie Laurens writes really good plots with engaging characters, which is why I care enough about them to be pissed off & irritated, so I read anyway.

The other thing is more of a an adjective problem. Heroines almost always have 'heart shaped faces' and several times during the course of the book, when they set eyes on the hero their 'lungs seize'. So I am left imaging that to be a true romantic heroine you have to be an asthmatic with a really wide forehead.


loonyhiker said...

The double standard is alive and well in today's society! But I do love romance novels!