I’ve been out of sorts for a day or two, but during Friday night I hatched out the mother of all colds. I’m not properly ill, just the usual—head full of cotton wool, sandpaper throat, sneezing the house down—and feeling very sorry for myself.
I had a couple of possible posts in mind for today.
My first topic was the preponderance of gratuitous sex scenes in the mainstream romantic fiction I’ve been reading lately. I love a well-written sex scene, but I expect it to follow the same rules as any other scene–it should be particular to the characters and it has to move the story. Two people repeatedly having a good time together, however inventive they may be, does not of itself move the story forward. It takes up pages of real estate that could better have been used to make the relationship and eventual HEA between the H&H unique and unforgettable.
The alternative was to discuss a romance I just started. It’s standard paranormal romance, not erotica. I’ve only read a chapter or two, but it’s a continuation of a series so I’m already familiar with the characters. I’m reading on, because I like the author, but I’m filled with trepidation because there’s a huge gap in age, experience and status between the H&H. He’s mid-forties, a good guy in a dominant leadership position. He’s freaked out to find himself head over heels in lust with a nineteen year-old girl who’s part of his community. She’s smart, strong and uniquely talented. She totally has the hots for him. He’s determined not to act on his feelings, though clearly that will change. The whole community sees what’s going on and the general vibe seems to be that she’s an adult and capable of making her own choices and that makes it okay. I find that I’m not comfortable with the setup, but I can’t pinpoint exactly what is squicking me out. It’s not as though he’s a slimeball who abuses his position of dominance. I know very happy couples in real life who met and married in similar circumstances. I bet I’ve read similar stories in the past, maybe without even noticing. I love Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades, and that seems like a pretty direct parallel. Plenty to think about and discuss.
That was my plan, but honestly, my brain is so fogged I can’t begin to write a sensible post on either of those topics. Sorry, though if you have thoughts based on the ramblings above I’d be interested to hear ’em. There’s a good chance I might return to either or both of these topics in the next week or two. Today, all I want to do is curl up under the quilt with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book.
When I’m feeling this sorry for myself I usually default to Ilona Andrews’ Kinsman books, especially Silver Shark, or a Georgette Heyer or Loretta Chase (probably one of the Carsington series). I want something kind, with humor, community and a satisfying ending.
I’d love to find a recommendation or two to add to my Cold Comfort reading list. Do you have any suggestions?