Kudos to the Smart Bitches

Who make the point I was trying to make about reviewing, only in a funnier way and without being too worried if anyone thinks they’re being rude.

heavingbosoms

I was reading their book, “Beyond Heaving Bosoms” this week, which is wonderful, and very funny, though not directly relevant to the m/m part of the genre.  But it struck me as very timely indeed when I came across this:

Camp Number One consists of those who Just Don’t Get It.  They’ve either never read a romance novel before, or they picked one up, discovered it was awful, experienced permanent retinal scarring from the terrible cover and wrote the entire genre off…

Camp Number Two is the cheerleader camp…. Their attitude seems to boil down to: “Romance is awesome, and if you don’t have a nice word to say then you should just shut up.  Bless your heart.” … On one hand, they would have made Rodney Dangerfield proud with the way they growl about how romance novels get no respect… On the other hand, when reviewers point out some romance novels are about as substantial as a house built entirely of meringue… these people are often the same ones who claim that romance novels are escapist fun, and somehow exempt from rigorous literary examination.

…heads up and break out your red pen and your English degree!  While it’s undeniable that romance novels are great fun, they should absolutely be subject to rigourous examination.  We lit nerds say so.

Moreover, and worst of all, some romances are utter fucking crap.  Complete, utter shittastic fuckcakes of crap with a side order of “How in the world did I pay actual money for this?”

LOL!  I feel an attack of fangirling coming on 🙂

Quite aside from the scarily well timed remarks about criticism, this is a great book, with a choose your own romance at the back, a flow chart with which you can easily separate Old Skool and New Skool romances, a heroic name generator (my next hero will be called Lord Hawkhollowfire, a werewolf billionaire secret agent.)  A chapter on cover art with a colour by numbers activity and a “Spot the Bullshit Regency Term” game.  And lots of other fun stuff, combined with some fascinating analysis that helped me to understand some of the themes of Romance which have always seemed so massively screwed up to me.  (Summed up in the handy phrase “The Irresistible Woman’s Magic Hoo Hoo Tames the Untamable Mighty Wang.)

LOL!  I think it would be fair to say that the status of m/f romance has definitely gone up in my estimation as a result of reading this.  *And* I sat in public with the clinch cover proudly displayed and chortled so much that the entire cafe ended up giving me funny looks.  Very funny and well worth reading.

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