Also, I'm about three sheets to the wind. Wow - I forgot how different a $10 bottle of wine was from a $4 one! So I'm blogging tipsy. Probably not a good thing. In fact, I'm guaranteed to mouth off - but at least I can blame it on alcohol consumption. Consider that my warning.
I wrapped up Tease by Suzanne Forster this past week. Review posted - and I think it's one of my better ones if I do say so myself. This is of course one of the launch books for the Harlequin Spice line, and I've already seen bitching (um, concerns) online about how, "OMG - NOT ROMANCES!!!! THE HORROR, THE HORROR!"
OK, let's state the obvious here. Harlequin isn't marketing these books as romances. Tease says right on the front cover "an erotic novel." The word romance was nowhere to be found anywhere on the ARC I had - so I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, "Gee, it must not be a romance." Nobody pitches a fit about Luna titles not being romances or Red Dress Ink not being romances - but something about the Spice line has everybody's panties in a wad.
Let's be frank here - romance as we traditionally know it has become stagnant. Exhibit A - I stood in Borders yesterday tearing my hair out to find something to buy with my $15 in gift certificates. In the old days this wouldn't have been an issue. But given my current reading slump, and my disillusionment with my favorite sub genre (historical) - pickins were mighty slim.
The rebirth of paranormal and erotica hitting mainstream has blurred the lines considerably. Paranormals are bringing in a new group of readers (the non-romance reader) and erotica....well, I think there is a lot of confusion on what erotica is.
Erotica is not the same thing as erotic romance/romantica. Erotica does not require a happy ending. In fact, the only things I expect from erotica are:
- lots o' naughty bits
- a heroine who changes/grows/awakens over the course of the story
- a heroine who is "better off" at the end of the story
But I suspect I'm a freak. I also suspect I'm this way because I've only been reading romance since 1999 and didn't cut my teeth on it. Blurring lines is alright by me. Blur away.
But a lot of romance readers tend to freak out when the lines get blurred. It goes outside their comfort level. It sends them into a tail-spin if it's too different. Which is why we're stuck with the crud that is being passed off as historical romance these days. Take a look at the June RT if you don't believe me. How many times can a girl be expected to read the words "Regency England" before she runs out in the middle of traffic?
So we have one camp digging in their heels resisting change and the other camp (OK, me) ramming their heads into the wall.
And for the record - I bought the My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys anthology because I like Teresa and Heath has finally written another western. Also The I Hate To Date Club a May Harlequin Next title by Elda Minger.