Thursday, March 10, 2011

Home Sick - Day Two

The view from my bed is pretty. Those green 'berries' hanging from the palm tree out there are the food source for quite a few squirrels, rats and birds. And the orchids on my desk are one of my hobbies. I've been reading a lot about orchids lately. I'll post something later when my brain is working in a more linear manner.

Continuing to read. I've read several Lisa Gardner books lately. I just finished The Perfect Husband which seems kind of her typical theme. Abusive men, abused but courageous women. Children threatened. There are romantic elements to the stories, but I wouldn't call them romances. Very strongly written tales, so it's hard to put the book down, even if you know how it's going to end. The pov shifts carry the story forward quickly and keep the reader freaked out, because we see the bad guy at the end of the block just a chapter before he intersects with our heroine.

I recognize the same 'trope' as in m/m romances. Big strong manly men who are protective and almost superhuman in their abilities. Sex that is totally penis based and, of course, dramatically repeatedly orgasmic. You know. We read it all the time and it's super hot. Not realistic but super hot, perhaps because it's not realistic.

Pleasure is easy in romances. Our heroes don't retain water or feel fat and ugly at inconvenient times. The gorgeous hunk or hunkette turns out to be good in bed, too, with an almost psychic ability to know what is needed and wanted. Great sex means love. Just like we all wish it would. This happens as much, or more, in m/m romance. I'm not a gay man but I know a few. It just isn't that easy. For anybody.

Maybe that's why I'm getting tired of the romance genre right now. I want to read about people who manage despite the difficulties. I want to read about love that isn't easy. Sex that people make work because they care enough about each other to do so.

I loved Crazy Love because it was that sort of romance. So I've been picking my way through books by David Lozell Martin. He's really not a romance writer but he does have emotional depth and realism. Maybe that's what I want to head towards.

Meanwhile, I have soup and Switch. A weirdly magical lesbian story.


  1. Are you feeling any better?

    So, more toward fiction with romantic elements? I can see you sort of leaning that way already, really - your stories have strong plots beyond the romance. Probably what makes them so good. :)

  2. I was just wondering if I'm going to be able to prop myself up and go in to work tomorrow. Two days is bad, I don't think I can do three days without a lot of anxiety.

    Oh, thank you. I like strong plots and always want mine to be better. Yes, I suppose the romance means more to me when it is woven into a story that is interesting in its own right. And I'm pretty much done with books that seem to be nothing more than one sex scene after another.

  3. Hope you're feeling at least a little better. March is a bad time to get colds because of allergy season and winter-to-spring change.

    Orchids ... I've heard orchids are easier to grow than most people think!

    Romance ... I'm with Chris. I think your fiction has great appeal for the fact that there's so much more going on than just romance. Very strong mystery elements. Also your fiction first reeled me in because of the vivid setting and multicultural elements!

    I want to read about people who manage despite the difficulties. I want to read about love that isn't easy.

    Have you ever tried the Moe Prager mysteries by Reed Farrel Coleman? They're dark, no question. But the whole thing centers on this one guy and these mysteries that involve his wife and inlaws. Gritty Brooklyn setting.