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What Book First Led You To Romance?

Yesterday, myself, Maili, DA Jane, and a few others were having a debate about iconic romance books. The books that formed the basis of the romance that we read today, for example Anne Rice’s vampire books, Linda Howard’s Mackenzie’s Mountain, (love, love, LOVE that book) Katherine Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower, Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm etc, etc.

Dear Author is going to be doing a series where canonical romance books are celebrated, but that’s not what I really wanted to talk about. Maili and I went back and forth on whether or not the books that started you off down the romance path was integral to the evolution of the romance book. I said it was, but I guess as there are several paths that led us to our love of romance today, including films like Gone with the Wind, I guess she was right:)

Anyway, I want to know what book or film led you down the romance path. I’m assuming that we all didn’t just grab a Mills & Book or a Silhouette Desire straight away?

Well mine was Anne of Green Gables. Yeah, yeah, I know it wasn’t a romance in the traditional sense, but I loved the connection between Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley, although their romantic relationship didn’t truly begin until Anne of The Island.

I think I mostly enjoyed the unrequited love aspect of it. We all knew that Anne must have secretly liked Gilbert or she wouldn’t have been so mad at him when he made fun of her hair, but my little feminist heart secretly enjoyed Anne turning her nose up at Gilbert every time he made an effort to make up with her.

Anyway, enough of me prattling on, what book or indeed film, led you to appreciate the romance novel?

This is a really interesting interview featuring Roger Sanderson aka Gill Sanderson, and Penny Jordan, both of them, Mills and Boon authors.

I was quite surprised to learn that Gill Sanderson is actually a man. Apparently, the only man who writes for Mills and Boon. He specialises in medical romance. Go Roger.

It was also interesting to learn that despite selling well over 85 million books world-wide, Penny has never actually seen anybody reading her books in public.

Who says that shame in romance-reading is a thing of the past?

Sarah over at Monkey Bear Reviews has a great post up called Falling Out Of Love With Romance. It really resonated with me.

She writes:

I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to read a romance these days, even those I’m sure I’ll enjoy when I get around to them. I’ve always read widely, but romance is the one genre to which I turn when I’m looking for a relaxing, uplifting story…

I’m experiencing the exact the same thing.

Despite the large number of romances published each month, I noticed I have just one on my list of six April releases which I’d like to read. With a couple of notable exceptions, I’m just not that enthused about romances featuring Navy SEALs, werewolves, vampires, shifters, etc.

Ditto. I think I hate most Navy SEAL books with a passion, and longtime readers will know how I feel about vamps and wolfie books.

I remember a recent conversation with Keishon (Avid Book Reader) on Twitter. She said that some of the most compelling love stories she’s read recently were not in romance novels, but in mystery series. I agree with her.

And I have to agree with Sarah, agreeing with Keishon. When I think back to some of my favourite romance couples, quite a few of them are featured in books that actually aren’t just about them and their romantic entanglements. I love the subtlety of a burgeoning relationship in the midst of murder and mayhem. Karin Slaughter (Pox on her for killing off Jeffrey), JD Robb, Julia Spencer Fleming, Patricia Cornwell (pox on her for losing her ever-loving mind and trying to kill off Benton) to name but a few.

The last book that I read was actually a Young Adult book by an author called Jay Asher, prior to that, it was Dorothy Koomson’s The Ice Cream Girls, which is as far from a romance as you can get. Coupled with the fact that lots of books that are being published by the bigger houses are also hystericals, my romance reading options, seem to be getting less, and less. Big. Effing. Sigh.

AND ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING PARANORMALS/URBAN FANTASY ALREADY!!! BO-RING!!!

For the full post, pop over to Monkey Bear Reviews.

Make a splashWhy the hell do so many romance ex-spouses have to be either wife-beaters, or cheating sluts?

Why does the current squeeze have to be so much better in bed than the ex-spouse?

Why do the heroes always have to be better endowed than the ex?

Questions that I find myself asking time and time again.

It would be lovely if I could read more books where the heroine and her ex had a great, loving, sexual relationship. After all, don’t most people have great sex with the people they choose to marry/date, at some point, regardless of whether they eventually split up?

The bastard ex-hubby and bitchy ex-wife story gets so effing old, especially when it does nothing to further the plot.

The pic has nothing to do with this post at all, I just liked it

marriage-trouble

Am I the only person who finds romance novels where the heroine and the hero are already married to each other mind-numbingly boring?

I’m not talking about H&Hs who get married early on in the book either, I mean the ones that when you open up the first page, they’re already married, and probably having marital problems.

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Romance Novel, Youtube Stylie…

Saturday, June 9, 2007
Posted in: romance, Youtube

OK, I had to steal this from Renee It’s absolutely frickin hilarious.

I realise that I haven’t done a book review for a while, so I thought I’d address that by posting this review today. The rest of the Racism in Romance responses will continue tomorrow.

Without further ado, here’s my blurb for Midnight Temptation:


My Verdict

Dee, I simply love the way you write.

I’m always impressed with a book that hooks me in within the first few pages. I love the anticipatory feelings that rush through me, when I get through an amazing first chapter, happy in the knowledge that I’m in for a treat.

I’m sure every author knows that first chapters are very important to a reader, but as we all know, they don’t always deliver within that brief time-frame.

Well, Tenorio delivered, and how.

From the first scene, I knew that I was going to like Raven and Vanessa.

I loved the chemistry between these two characters, and every time they were together in a scene, the pages fairly sizzled.

I couldn’t get enough of them together.

Raven was a loner who was at odds with his family, after taking over the family business.

His relationship with his brother is stilted at best, and although it’s obvious the love is there, the gulf between the two of them seems insurmountable.

Raven’s relationship with his mother can be best described as prickly. Distrust and suspicion mar their mother-son relationship.

Raven’s past actions have been the cause of the current disconnect between him and his family, and now he’s struggling to make things right with them.

What I liked about Raven was his tenacity. He wanted Vanessa, and he wasn’t going to let her self-doubts and secrets come between him and his desire. He didn’t always play fair, but I think this was one of the characteristics that made me take to him straight away.

I love imperfect heroes, and Raven was as imperfect as they come.

What I liked about Vanessa, was her strength when it came to dealing with Raven. She didn’t let him ride roughshod over her, as he was used to doing with other people. I liked that she was able to stand up to him as an equal. Although it has to be said, if a man offered to buy me a Mercedes so that I could get to work safely, my principles would go straight outta the window, and my legs would have been open without a second thought.

Unfortunately, Vanessa was far too honourable for such skanky behaviour. Damn her anyway.

What struck me about Midnight Temptation was that it wasn’t just a romance. It was essentially, a story about family values. You know, the ties that bind and all that.

Half-way through the book, the mood seemed to shift, and Tenorio started to further explore the different relationships, and the dynamics between Raven’s and Vanessa’s loved ones, to a greater degree, than she had previously.

Unfortunately, at times the familial element took over the book somewhat, and made me yearn for further interaction between Vanessa and Raven. I got a little annoyed at the number of times I had to wade through scenes with secondary characters, when all I was basically interested in was the hero and the heroine.

Having said that though, there were several scenes with Vanessa and her sister that were fairly humorous, as well as heart-breaking. The same could be said about Raven and his brother, or should I say Raven, and his brother’s children. This is where I see shades of the Tenorio humour that was so prevalent in Betting Hearts come to the fore.

I totally loved the class and body in Tenorio’s prose. She really was able to draw me into the story by the time I’d read the second paragraph. I love it when an author is able to display such talent. Talent that leaves the reader wanting more.

Midnight Temptation was a beautiful story, and whilst it didn’t blow me away in the same way that Betting Hearts did, it still had the soul and the emotions that made BH such a fun read.

Had I had more Vanessa and Raven time, I think this book would have been flipping amazing, however I still loved it, and this is a testament to Tenorio’s ability as a writer.

If I had to sum up this book, I’d probably use one word to describe it. Poignant.

If you want to pick up a copy of Midnight Temptation, it’s currently available at Samhain Publishing, in both print, and e-book format.

Dee Tenorio’s website can be found, here.

Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful new babies Dee!