Tears in Unexpected Places

shopholic I’m not an easy crier. So, I never saw a Hallmark ad that made me weep, I am completely dry-eyed at weddings, the only time I cry with joy is when I’m laughing so hard that the pain in my stomach muscles eke out a few tears, and I didn’t so much as sniffle when Rose hogged the plank and Jack died. Also, since I read more than my fair share of light-hearted romance novels, crying doesn’t feature into my reading habits.

Until Becky Brandon née Bloomwood walked into my life for the fifth time. Yes, the Shopaholic, that Becky Brandon.

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Enjoying the Spoils

skip_to_end I flip to the end of books all the time but especially when things are getting exciting. It’s counter-intuitive I’ve been told, to leave the action and head straight for the denouement but I do this all the time, almost every time. Fight scene in progress? Lemme quickly flip a couple pages on to see who dies. Love triangle developing? The last page should clear things up. Who the heck dunit? Be spoiled my friend, and let that last page reveal all.

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Let Cheaters Prosper?

broken-heart On Tuesday, Lynn wrote about some of her favourite romance plots. Among them was “Second Chances” where the hero and heroine get another look at love after something happens to part them. Lynn said that she didn’t care how the couple separated and that got me thinking. I like second chance romance plots as well, but I’ve got three conditions.

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The Need for Recognition

mirror This past week, I read The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston. About halfway through the book I realised the heroine’s best friend was black and though she had previously struck me as slightly annoying, I finished the book eagerly anticipating a sequel with a romance story for her.

Why was I all of a sudden so interested in this character? The long and short answer: it’s because she was black. A slightly annoying white best friend would have garnered no more than cursory interest for me, but once I learned that Blayne – in the most superficial of ways – “resembled” me, I was invested in her story.

I have existed for most of my literate life on a steady diet of romance novels and ninety-nine percent of the characters in these novels are Caucasian – and American. I expect that for the rest of my literate life, my diet will remain pretty much unchanged. African-American romance novels are hard to come by in my neck of the woods and because I don’t read with race in the forefront of my mind, it is very easy to accept the status quo. That said, my reaction to Blayne (with whom I had absolutely nothing else in common apart from skin colour) highlighted for me a subtle but present undercurrent of need for recognition in my romance.

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Bad Boys – How Bad is too Bad?

badboys So, apparently Chris Brown has a new album out.

What?

The fact that he isn’t in jail somewhere is hard enough to reconcile, but that his career is still viable? I’m truly shocked. Worse yet, prior to his assaulting Rihanna, he was a “good boy” in the music industry and now it appears he’s being marketed as a “bad (but sexy and non-threatening) boy”.

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The Heavy Hero (or Heroine)

hero I’m nattering on about Drop Dead Diva and romance again. That show is my drug.

In this past Sunday’s episode, Jane goes on her first date with a fellow lawyer, Tony. He is really cute, as you can see from the picture of him here. This is your Fat Hero.

He shows up at home to pick up Jane for their date but Jane’s mother has dropped by and he decides to stay for a home-cooked meal. I heart Tony. When he leaves, Jane’s mother tells her that he’s a keeper, and describes him as a guy who likes (I paraphrase) “women like us”. ‘Women like us’ being plus-size characters, or, Your Heavy Heroine.

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The Tale of the Friendless Heroine

who are you jane - picture[1] (2) Drop Dead Diva is a new series on Lifetime which follows the life of an aspiring model called Deb who is killed in an accident but comes back in the body of a successful lawyer called Jane. In episode 1, Jane is shot and is close to death. The audience knows that Jane did actually pass away in the end and Deb has taken her place but the people in the show’s reality do not. That said, this past Sunday marked the show’s 10th episode, and we have yet to see Jane receive a visit from any close friend or family. It appears Jane was a workaholic with no friends and not much of a life.

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