This Ain't Your Grandma's Romance

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A couple of days ago I posted bits on an NAL spotlight at Nationals this past summer. One of the topics touched upon was the the lack of editorial interest in romances that took place during the early part of the 1900s.

Well, for those of you who *are* interested in these romances, check this y'all:



Is the EVERLASTING LOVE imprint a romance line? This is the first one that I've picked up, but I'm kinda thinking, not...in the strictest sense of the word.

I'll throw out some spoilers just to get your attention (this is nothing that's not hinted at in the back blurb, and plainly stated by page 3):

The story seems to involve two stories, the current couple in trouble and the hero's grandparents who counsel the youngsters by reminiscing about their own romance trials during the ends days of the Depression. The problems with the current couple stems from the fact that the heroine was an escort during her college years.

Yeah, you read that right. An. Escort.

Now given this is Romancelandia, she could be one of those virgin escorts who never gave it up.

But back in the day, granny did.

Yeah, you read that right. Grams spread the gams. She made ends meet, by making ends meet, if you get my drift. And I think you do.

The more conventional synopsis is here.

Ken Casper is aka K.N. Casper and he's written about a dozen titles for Harl/Sil. So, while I haven't gotten more than 3 pages into the book, I'd say just from the set up of the story, this is definately outside of the ordinary.
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13 comments:

Lynn Viehl said...

Everlasting was a line that HQ debuted back in Feb. Unsubstantiated rumor has it that it's due to be or has been scuttled.

Generational hookers, hmmm. Not a story premise I can recall ever seeing done by a series line. I'll have to read this one.

Shesawriter said...

You know, I don't know who told NY we didn't want to read that era. 1900-1960s....I would scarf those book up toot sweet. There's not enough of them.

raine said...

Let me know how that plays out, 'kay? I might want to pick it up. ;-)

vanessa jaye said...

That's right Lynn, there were two lines in peril, one was going to cancelled outright, and the other was going to be folded into another imprint as special releases. But since they were both lines I didn't read --(just remember NEXT was the other imprint) -- I didn't really retain the info.

I just add that with the younger couple the husband knew his wife had been an escort before he married her. But now there's some blackmailing threats.

vanessa jaye said...

Tanya, I think there's a lot of us who are interesting in this era, and realize that the HEAs would not/could not be the usual sugar-coated ones.

vanessa jaye said...

Raine, I'll be honest the author's voice (in this book) isn't quite for me. If it wasn't for the subject matter I'd probably dnf this one. But every time I skim ahead I see another delicious moment/bit of dialogue. It's a short book, I should finish it soon.

Gennita said...

in the early-90s, when I asked the question about why there weren't any more romance in the WWII-60s time period (there were a few), I was told that for historicals, the pub houses didn't want the time period set when the majority of that generation is still alive. Honest, that was what I was told.

Gramma--a hooker?! (((shockedface))) Yikes. Gramma, you brought shame to the family name! :D Heh. I've always wanted to say that to gramma. Funny how, in this century, we grandkids would think gramma is cool that way.

vanessa jaye said...

I was told that for historicals, the pub houses didn't want the time period set when the majority of that generation is still alive.

This sounds like a job for marketing. Instead of calling these books Historicals, they could call them Vintaged Contemporaries. heh.

Seriously, though, realistic romances that acknowledge the times, yet celebrate the love, books that bordered woman's fic I think would sell great.

So far this book is good. Has a folksy down to earth tone, that didn't quite work for me at the begining of the book, particularly when we were in the younger h/H's pov (it felt a little too golly-gosh idealistically unreal). Now that the elder h/H's pov are being used for flashback, it's working much better.

vanessa jaye said...

The sense of time/place, even without a lot of details feels authentic. There's one place where grandma talks about how poor her family was when she was younger and how one of the inventive ways her mom used to cook potatoes was to cut them in wedges, douse them with diluted ketchup and bake them. That little detail jwas unusual enough (compared to the ubiquitous boiled potatoes)to ring true to me.

vanessa jaye said...

I'm just going to do these hit and run miny reviews as I read along. No spoilers. I'm still charmed by the past stuff, but when we're in the current day and the younger h/H's pov, there's something that rings false. They don't quite sound real, in the way that a modern character of their age and backgrounds would sound. Small niggle. The story is in the past, more than makes up for it.

Anonymous said...

Vanessa wrote: This sounds like a job for marketing. Instead of calling these books Historicals, they could call them Vintaged Contemporaries. heh.

Antique romance. :) Or how about Shabby Chick-Lit?

vanessa jaye said...

"Shabby Chick-Lit"

cute. :D

vanessa jaye said...

I'm not zipping through this book as fast as I should. I think I know why-- it feels like there's a lot of telling and no sense of impending crisis. The tension is missing.

Having said that I skimmed ahead again, and came across a surprising scene. A murder! Done by one of the main protagonists! lol. This little book sure is full of surprises. I think I'll keep on slogging through this one, but it'll be my commute book for reading on the train.

Still has it's charm, though.

On the off-topic of DNFs I tried to read an erotic romance novella today. It sounded like an interesting premise, and the excerpt (from the first page) certainly appealed. Then it all went to hell. I didn't buy the instant lush crap between the H/h, the sexy talk/mental lust stuff just seem ramped up from 0 to 60 in no time at all, (ie forced) and then there were the random secondaries and a subplot that just seemed to drop into the story from nowhere. But it's a novella for eff's sake. Youhave a limited number of pages to tell the story. Random shit just underlines the weaknesses of the plot. I didn't even make it to the first love scene. Okay, I did, but skimmed over the usual 4 letter labels/explicit choreographic details, and decided to give it a pass. No interest whatsoever. Porn=Boring. Seriously.

Rant over.

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