I walk in and do a quick scan. I see a flash of pink and tartan to my left. Ahh, there it is. I start to walk over, not too fast; don’t want to give away my direction. And then I am there. I don’t look up. I don’t acknowledge the woman to my right. I grab anything with a highlander on it or something that starts with “Prince of this…” or “Lord of that.” and make my way quickly to the check out. The gods are on my side because I get the middle-aged woman clerk and she scans the books for the barcode not caring about the blonde pressed up against the Scottish warrior on the cover of my first choice.
As I leave the bookstore I wonder why I should be so ashamed to peruse the Romance section? What’s wrong reading a book that makes my heart beat faster and teaches me about the Jacobite uprising in the process? And yes there is SEX! good sex, goofy sex, and my most hated “And you know what happens next…” sex. No I don’t know. That is why I am reading this book, so that you can tell me in explicit, erotic detail, you bobo.
There are good and bad romances. Some make you sigh and dream of the hero, with his amazing feminine insight and ability to hold back till his woman was sa-tis-fied. Conversely, there are some that try to make you believe that a man sticking his tongue INTO THE EAR CANAL is sexy. Blech. I mean, it must have been what Chekov heard when he gets an eel put into his ear by Khan.
And then there are the heroines. Some are smart and funny and make you want to yell out “You go girl!” on the subway as you flip the page to see what she will tell the arrogant Lord Darkforth of Somethingshireham when he tries to buy her ancestral home out from under her. Let’s talk precious gem/ metal combos. They have hair like spun gold and eyes like emeralds. Or amethyst eyes and burnished copper hair that falls past their perfect bosoms to their tiny waist. They volunteer at the local hospitals, and read to the blind while knitting booties for underprivileged newborns.
Oh, and did I mention they are all virgins? Oh yes, they could have been married for 2 months, be 28 years old (which by most historicals makes you an old maid) and working in a whore house, yet the hymen is still intact. Well, the marriage was never consummated because she married her friend who was dying and she just wanted to make his last days happier. In the whorehouse she disguised herself as a boy and cleaned the rooms for the hard-shelled, softhearted madam. Lastly, she has never given into temptation in her 28 years because she knew that her dream man would come along and patiently, lovingly bring her to a pain-free orgasm when she finally gave him her “flower”.
Through all the eye rolling and bursts of incredulous laughter I keep turning the pages. Why? The same reason I watch Bring It On or Overboard when it comes on cable (even though I own the DVDs), because it entertains me. It entertains the idea that life could be full of moments. Passionate moments, funny moments, moments of fear and uncertainty. And in the end I get my happy ending. I get my happy ending because I’m reading my hot pink, busty, kilt wearing romance novel. And no it doesn’t have an Oprah Book Club sticker on it. Don’t even get me started on those.
Coming soon, Ms. Persnickety's current subway romance reading selection... meh, huh? or wow!