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Racism In Romance: "I hate to say it, but I think AA romance is niche reading."

December Quinn has a racism in romance post over on her blog, which I found interesting, if not earth shattering.

That is until I came across this comment by an anonymous poster:

I know that AA romance is out there, but I just don’t have an interest. It’s too far outside my cultural comfort zone. I’m a white person, so in my head I visualize hot white guy. So why would I go purchase an AA romance? I wouldn’t.

It’s a bit of a “No she didn’t!” comment, but at least she was honest.

She also says that she has a black friend who prefers AA romance to be shelved separately.

I’m not so sure if I believe she has a black friend.

Her comments about AA romance being outside her cultural comfort zone is very revealing methinks. (I guess being friends with a black person allegedly doesn’t count) Basically, she thinks that black people in love are different to white people in love, a theory which is strengthened with this comment:

You are assuming that shelving is what is causing AA romance to have less sales. I don’t think that is the case. I hate to say it, but I think AA romance is niche reading. Seems ridiculous, but it’s true.

She seriously wrote that.

I suspect that her feelings on the subject aren’t a one-off. I suspect that lots of romance readers feel exactly like she does, they just wouldn’t ever admit it in public.

Sad isn’t it?

Bewitched, by Sandra Schwab

This is the second book by Ms Schwab that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It most definitely won’t be the last.

Like Castle of the Wolf, Bewitched is very much a romance. Like Castle of the Wolf, it is also something more, something else, something different. We could, perhaps, paraphrase a reader’s expression *waving to Bev(QB)*, and say that this book is historical urban fantasy, for, while it is set in 1820, and respects all the historical conventions of the time as well as those of historical romance, it also invites the reader to suspend her disbelief and believe in magic, both white and black.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Sweet passion…
After a magical mishap that turned her uncle’s house blue, Miss Amelia Bourne was stripped of her powers and sent to London in order to be introduced into polite society—and to find a suitable husband. Handsome, rakish Sebastian “Fox” Stapleton was all that and more. He was her true love.
Wasn’t he?
… or the bitter taste of deceit
At Rawdon Park, the country estate of the Stapletons, Amy began to wonder. Several inexplicable events suggested that one sip of punch had changed her life forever—that this love, this lust, was nothing but an illusion. She and Fox were pawns in some mysterious game, and black magic had followed them out of Town. Without her powers, would she be strong enough to battle those dark forces and win? And would she be able to claim her heart’s true desire? Magic potion or no, what she felt for Fox was a spell that could never be broken.

When Fox and Amy first meet, there are no fireworks—unless a certain distaste for each other’s company can be called that. They don’t see anything redeeming in each other, and as far as it goes, they don’t seem to have any commonality in conversation, upbringing, or interests. If left to their own devices, it’s unlikely two such personalities would have seen beyond the masks to the people inside.

But they are not left to their own devices, for vengeance and magic conspire to bind them together, and reason threatens to tear them apart. From a relatively slow start, the story picks up, and I was left racing ahead, anxious to know what would happen, what comes next. (more…)

I got this from Ellen Ashe’s blog:

“Subject: [flirtingwithpassionnewsletter] Important Notice!!!!!

New Concepts Publishing has recently released a story that has my name on it. I did not finish writing HOWL FOR ME. I have no idea who the two other authors are on the cover on what their involvement in this project is. It was not an anthology. I wrote three chapters of a proposal for a full length novel a year and a half ago and that was ALL that NCP ever received from me. HOWL FROM ME as it is being released from NCP is not a story that I wrote and completed and I encourage my readers not to purchase the book expecting this to be a release from me. I’ll have more details on this frustrating situation in my next newsletter. If you have already purchased the book under the assumption it was a complete story from me, I encourage you to complain to NCP.


Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up.