Contemplating Harlequin romances, as I turn speculatively to
my shelf and crack my knuckles. Here's some mini-smut-reviews:
Girl in a Golden Bed by Anne Weale - He's an artist. She's an
artist. They're in Portofino. There's a bed with a bronze mirror. Beautifully
Enchanted in Venice by Lucy Gordon/Silhouette - blah, blah, blah
romance in Venice, but before we get to Venice we have my favorite makeover
scene in a book. Hair, face, clothes, the works.
The Lonely Season by Susan Napier - The lonely season in lonely
lands, when fled/And half the birds, and mists lie low, and the sun/Is
rarely seen, nor strayeth far from his bed;/the short days pass unwelcomed
one by one. - Robert Bridges. Like that.
Foolish Deceiver by Sandra Rhoades - She's a genius, who can
never get a date. She pretends to be a bleached blond idiot with mixed
Unfinished Rhapsody by Gina Caimi/Silhouette - Best backrub scene
Tainted Love by Alison Fraser - Damn. The pain. The angst. The
Just Good Friends by Lucy Gordon/Silhouette - Since I've just
listed seven Harlequin romances, I must redeem my cred by saying, one of
the best explanations of Benedict and Beatrice from Much Ado about Nothing
that I've ever read. Plus, it's really funny, because he's Doyle only not
And now, I contemplate the romance. The idea of genre, that like horror
(it's opposite?) is intended to engender a specific
emotion in a specific audience. Admittedly, there are different types
of romances. Funny. Angsty. Karen likes the
humor. I want my heart ripped out and stomped on. However, the essential
premise is same. Formulaic. Boy meets girl.
Conflict. Resolution. In Harlequins I even know the page when things
will happen. The plot is almost beside the point. It is the
form of the dance, rather than the dance itself that pleasure lends.