Ramblings

Saturday, April 14, 2007

1. I'm having a love/hate relationship with my contractors. Kitchen is almost done. Going to change the carpeting in the basement next and fix up the bathroom down there. Still waiting for my front door and the lighting fixture for the foyer to be delivered. Toying with the idea of changing the door down to the basement to a french-door.

2. I've read a couple of really good books in the last month - Where Dreams Begin,

Kitty and the Midnight Hour,

Blind Night,

Behind Closed Doors,

You Can't Hide,

Games of Command,
.

I think there were a couple more that aren't springing to mind.

Karen Rose is my newest autobuy. Love her voice and her blend of romance/suspense. Great characterization and she depicts the h/H with fully rounded lives surrounded by friends, family, pets, but without the secondary support characters taking over the story. The development of the H/h's relation is believable and HAWT. The suspense component is okay-- enough to keep me interested, but not on par with say, Karen Slaughter's in terms of, erm, complexity(?) Not saying Ms. Rose's stuff is lame, just that in giving more attention to the romance, there's less given to the suspense. And I have NO Problem with this. (Obviously, because while I enjoy Slaughter's work, she's not an auto-buy.) btw, I'm making it sound like Karen writes mostly romance with suspense subplot. It's the reverse, the the developement of the romance, sexual tension is really well done.

I also really, really, love Carrie Vaughan's voice. I don't really go out of my way to buy/read paranormal at the mo', but I think Carrie's stuff really works for me. I picked up the next book in the series.

On the flipside, I've given up on more duds than I can list here. :-/ Erotic Romantic/Suspenses that were mostly filled with lust-think and the writing just wasn't there. I'm tempted to say "amateur" (in one instance, at least), but really, they wouldn't have been published if that were the case. coughcough. The author's voices just didn't work for me. No judgment on the suspense aspect since I didn't get that far into the books. And really, I don't care how hot/good looking a character is, or what body parts are hardening/lengthening or moistening/creaming or tingling/heating up.... if I don't give a shit about the characters.

Really.

And while I'm kvetching about the sexier reads, can I just say that if I never, never, ever read: his cock twitched ever again, that will be fine with me. 'His balls swirled'. 'Her nipples tittered'. 'His buttocks cavorted'. 'Her labia susurrated'. (Yes, I realize that my examples are ludicrous, but do you see where I'm going with this?)

Please, find another phrase.

Really.

Oh, and why, oh why, must the 'kick-ass' heroine be paired with the pussified hero? You tell me he's Alpha, dangerous, brilliant and tough. The best at whatever he does, etc., Then you go and give him the literary equivalent of a Brazilian. You have your heroine *always* out-smarting, out-shooting, out-fighting, out-everything-ing him. Please don't neuter the hero you pair up with your kick-ass heroine. I lose respect for him and/or end up hating the heroine for making him seem like a fool time and again. Given the fact that you've probably written her to be tough (ie, and made the mistake of equating that to = not very sympathetic) well... there goes the whole 'romance' part of your romance-slash-fill in the subgenre as far as I'm concerned.

And now that I've gotten that all off my chest, time to do my taxes. *sob*
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16 comments:

Jordan Summers said...

I love Carrie's and Lisa's stuff. I recently read my first Karen Rose story in a novella and loved it. She's very good. I haven't been reading much in the way of romance as of late. I'm on an urban fantasy and sci-fi kick. Quite enjoying all the books. :)

Jorrie Spencer said...

I loved Kitty and the Midnight Hour, too, although my favorite character…well, I better not say more and spoil it. It's taken me a while to pick up the second book, but it's on my shelf now.

I think if you liked the above you might like Patricia Briggs's Moon Called which blew me away.

Lust-think—I'll have to remember that.

And, interesting about the alpha heroine. I could swear I just read someone complaining how whenever there's an alpha/kickass heroine, she always has to outdone by the alpha hero! So you guys must be reading different books!

Oh, now I remember, it was Rosario's Romancing the Blog post. I think one can at least conclude that it's tricky to write alpha heroines.

Jaye said...

Jordan, I was trolling for another *urban fantasy* (as opposed to para-wolfie-vamp) book when I came across Carrie's. The cover art and title caught my eye, then when I started to browse the pages to get a feel for her voice/the story and I got totally caught up. At this point, I'll be following this series through to the end.

Karen rocks. I'd buy her books blind, and I've almost collected her entire backlist.

Jaye said...

Jorrie, I keep hearing wonderful things about Briggs' work. And I do (normally) love werewolf stories, and yet.... I feel a little resistant to picking this one out. Just a little burnt out on paras at the moment.

I'll have to check out Rosario's post. To be honest, I don't think I've ever read a book where we're told the heroine is *kick-ass* and then she gets "saved" by the hero at every turn. But I have read ones where we're told she's intelligent, the best in her field, and she proceeds to do TSTL things in the name of forwarding the plot.

Full disclosure here, I'm a BIG fan of the Alpha here, so seeing him neutered in the name of a mostly unsympathetic heroine pisses me off FAR more than the reverse.

Jorrie Spencer said...

Oh, I can understand avoiding a subgenre you've had enough of.

I love certain alpha heroes and hate others. But I'm also a fan of betas.

Jaye said...

I love all Alpha. Even the jerks that make my head explode, *g*, like Rome from LH's Sarah's Child.

The only betas I can recall liking enough to make an impression is Julian from Madeline Hunter's The Romantic (swooon) and Mr. Darcy from P&P-- as shown in the movies with no particular preference re actor. I read the book and loved it, but can't say I fell for the "character" Darcy within the pages, the same way I loved him on the big/small screens.

With few exceptions I'm just not a beta hero fan. Don't hate'em, they just don't ring my chimes.

Jaye said...

Oh, and that post with Rosario? We're definitely not reading the same books featuring kick-ass heroines. :-P

But I do remember reading on some blog (could have been hers) where the blogger complained that M/M romances fell into the same M/F genre roles. One partner would be Alpha/big/strong/aggressive, etc, in other words the traditionally *male* role, while and the other partner would be smaller, more delicate, more emotional, etc. In other words pigeon-holed into the female role.

I think my complaint with some of the kick-ass heroine/ so-called-Alpha hero pair-ups is that they don't fulfill that promise, instead they fall into the same weak/strong roles. But in this case instead of getting a TSTL heroine, you get an emusculated hero. I can understand the ying-yang thing, but really, characters are complex, one character can be strong in areas where the other is weaker, etc.

I think that's why JAK's H/h match-ups work so well. The characters compliment each other's strengths/weaknesses. One of the best examples of a kick-ass heroine/Alpha hero pair up is Eve Dallas & Rouke. Neither character suffers becauses of the strengths of the other.

Anne said...

Total snicker at the cock twitch. I see that a lot lately. What IS with that.

I read Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind by Karen Kelley... great book. I've been reading Carla Cassidy's romantic suspense books and thoroughly enjoying them.

I read a Silhouette Desire book last week or so called Seven-Year Seduction by Heidi Betts... one of THE best category books I've ever read. And not typical stuff. Nicely done.

Jaye said...

Anne, I know what the writers are trying to convey with the cock twitch (stab of desire/arousal so strong that it causes involuntary contraction of muscle, etc) but every time I read it now I see an idependently animated apendage. Not sexy. lol. It never used to bug me, but I've been seeing it too much, it's become lazy/cliched writing and zipping up the manroot charts at a fast clip. ;-)

Thanks for some of those suggestions. Carla Cassidy in particular looks like she has a very interesting backlist.

Amie Stuart said...

*cock twitch*

Shit.......I need a new phrase.

Amie Stuart said...

Somehow *his cock jerked* just doesn't have the same ring.

Jaye said...

Amie, it's just me who has a problem with this phrase (at this point and time, probably because I attempted to read a bunch of erotic romances back to back). I haven't seen anyone else comment on it, but it just bugs me. It's not hot. It's not sexy. I literally/immediately get a vision of a cock twitching. *g*. Cocks jerk and bob and pulse and grow and lengthen and harden. Eyes (or eyelids) twitch. Cocks don't.

Or, at least I don't think they do, since I've never owned one.....

....that didn't vibrate. *veg* (j/k)

More to the point, I don't think the hero would feel a twitch if he wasn't at least semi-erect. But the phrase tends to pop up when there's no idication that the manroot (heh) is hard. In fact, it's almost always used to indicate that he instantaneously became hard. Just 'twitched' on, if you will. *gg*

You're right, though, it does sound better than *jerked* but I think this "short hand" needs some reworking or retiring.

btw, I don't recall ever reading that phrase in your work.

Amie Stuart said...

LOL I"m totally teasing you hon. BTW it totally gets used in Hands On *blush* that's why I even said anything. Maybe that's the *showing* way of saying "His cock sprang to life* *ggg*

BTW I know I read that alpha heroine/hero blog post too. I'm not reading a lot of urban fantasy (is The Scent of Shadows UF? Jordan? Anyone?) so I guess I'm missing it? I seem to have drifted away from suspense for now to paranormal though KMM's Darkfever is probably UF?--just call me late to the party LOL

Dee said...

Dammit Jaye, like I needed another interesting paranormal series to read! *grumble* Now I know exactly what to buy when I go to the bookstore, dangit. :)

Dee

Jaye said...

'K, thanks for the heads up, Amie. I'll keep that in mind before I crack open Hands On. ;-) lol.

I usually don't make a big deal about 'rolling eyes' or 'wandering hands' or any of those other independently moving body parts that some peeps rant about. (Unless the use caused confusion or unintentional humor.) I know what the authors are trying to convey, so, no biggie.

Like I said, it was probably that the phrase just kept cropping up over and over through several erotic romances and I kinda got 'sensitized' to it. Although to be honest I always kinda thought it was a bit lame, but not lame enough to bug me or draw me out of the story.


I never really got into the romantic-suspense thing when it was all the rage, just read a book here and there, so you could say I'm late for the party there in terms of actively seeking it out now. :-P

Jordan would have to answer your question there, hon. I'm interested in 'different' reads at the moment, but can't say I quantify/categorize them while I'm looking. It's only after I've read them that I assign a subgenre. I do know that unless there's something particularly unique about a vampire/werewolf story or the author's voice captivates me, I tend to give them a pass.

Jaye said...

Dee, the Kitty books are so worth getting. And they're not big honking 400 page books either, I think they're comparable to a Blaze in length, so nice fast pace reading.

Glad to see you're gettig online. I know you have your hands full. ;-)

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