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Former Trashy Historical Romance Fan

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jadedheart posted 7/29/2011 12:47 PM

Hello everyone! I used to love to read trashy historical romance novels. My fave authors are Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Stephanie Laurens. Since the A I can't read these books without getting angry or crying. Anyone else experience this and how did you work your way through it? Any book recommendations for this bitter BW?

NewAttitude posted 7/29/2011 12:50 PM

It will pass.
Books are my business and one of the things that I was so angry about was my inability to enjoy fiction any longer.
I was that way for about a year but I found that my reading enjoyment was hinged to my healing level.

The better I felt the easier it was for me to begin to look forward to books like that again.

Not going to lie, it took me over a year.

jadedheart posted 7/29/2011 15:48 PM

Thanks for the words of wisdom. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one who had the dark funk of infidelity invade every part of their life...including their reading habits. I have found myself browsing the local libraries for fiction books about A's and how a middle aged woman finds happiness after an A. I haven't found anything that has spoken to my heart yet, though.

NewAttitude posted 7/29/2011 16:51 PM

Try Jennifer Cruisie. (Fast Women, I think)

ladyvorkosigan posted 8/1/2011 05:12 AM

What are your favorites by Kleypas and Quinn? I can't diagnose using Laurens because all the Cynsters had fine first names yet she forced all of England to use those damn try-hard nicknames.

You want funny or three hanky reads? You want to commit to a series? You want more or less dialogue? How much sex is too much/little? Do you think cocks should be called cocks or something else? You want to stay historical or would you read modern or paranormal? You have an ebook reader?

Do you want to avoid things about reuniting couples, troubled marriages that work out, etc? Want to go with the assumption that the woman is starting over midlife? Must she have been divorced, or could she just have broken up with a boyfriend and never married? Or not breaking up at all, just midlife transitions?

For Crusie, try Anyone But You.

Tell us your favorite heroes/ couples, and also what you've read from this list:

Oh NA, you want to play which ones on that list we've read? Let's do! I'm missing 17.5 of them. Basically take out all the modern Kleypas, several of the SEP, all the Nora Roberts, and all the Howard except Mackenzie's Mountain, and half of To Have and to Hold because it felt rapey, and this isn't the 1970s, people, stop being rapey.

I read romance when I was younger, then stopped when I was 27 or so and read other genres with only sporadic romance reading like Crusie and Kleypas, then started romance again heavily this past year (I am 41 now). Have you lost interest in reading, period, or just this genre? If you've lost interest in several things you used to love you're probably depressed. You could also be cocooning and saving your mental and emotional reserves. Reading should add to those reserves, not steal from them, kwim? There was a period of time during R when lots of reading would've been draining. Now it's energizing to me.

Another thought is a lot of e-books, moderns, particularly in stuff that might be called erotic romances, are about heroines who are late 30s, early 40s. There's just more freedom in publishing that way, so you find that kind of diversity there.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 5:31 AM, August 1st (Monday)]

NewAttitude posted 8/1/2011 06:23 AM

All of them except for seven. The Sherry Thomas, the Judith Ivory, one Kinsale and a couple of Baloghs and Ivorys.

ladyvorkosigan posted 8/1/2011 08:30 AM

Both those Ivorys are good, but there can be only ONE RATCATCHER HERO EVAR.

Private Arrangements was *amazing*. Everybody says Not Quite a Husband is better but...both are great, and Private Arrangements had a conflict at the center (the why of the breakup and separation) that was just...original, very true, the whole process was fantastically done.

Balogh, Slightly see, that's how you make me...

...(wait for it)...

*wait for it*. The little lessons Wulfric learned in each of his siblings' books was so well done and elegant, with no inner monologue from him, just the observations of others that you just knew you shouldn't take at face value...the only other one of the Bedwyns I liked was Freyja's, but they were all stellar when considered as background for Wulf.

I have never in my entire life read a Nora Roberts book. Saying that is to romance like saying you've never watched an episode of The Simpsons -- also true for me, fwiw.

StillGoing posted 8/1/2011 10:07 AM

there can be only ONE RATCATCHER HERO EVAR.

Keith, the teenage piper?

greenmoose posted 8/1/2011 11:31 AM

I have not been able to read a novel since this affair. I've always loved reading. Now my mind wonders too much. I never contributed it to the affair until I see on SI that apparently this happens pretty frequently

ladyvorkosigan posted 8/1/2011 11:38 AM

Keith, the teenage piper?
Wrong genre, dear.

jadedheart posted 8/1/2011 13:31 PM


I will check out the list tomorrow on my day off. I loved all kinds of historical romance as a younger woman, but as I got older I chose mainly the erotic and trashy (aka lots of sex where a cock is called a cock)books!

One of my favorite books is Devil in Winter...asshole husband becomes loving devoted husband. I don't know what I am looking to read now...I just know that when I get to the part about how the hero wants to pour out his heart it just makes me want to roll my eyes and say "yeah right! that kind of crap just doesn't exist". Just something I have to work through I guess. Maybe I will believe in happy endings and love again someday.

Now if only there was an romance book about a 40something BW who is an overweight mother that is sick of working night shift! In the book she would get lots of money, a full staff of servants, a devoted hot and extremely wealthy husband, AND a slamming body because she would have time to take care of herself for once! That is a book I would buy for sure!

NewAttitude posted 8/1/2011 13:33 PM

I swear to God I read a book like that once... now if I can only remember what it was.

jadedheart posted 8/1/2011 13:49 PM

ok ok ok I couldn't resist. I went to the list...looks like I too have read most(excluding the contemporary ones), except who is this Judith Ivory? lol never heard of her so I am going on ebay right now to purchase some of her books from the list. Maybe I will be able to read those without tears or getting pissed off!

Thanks for helping me find a new author. There is so much wisdom here on SI I knew there had to be some other historical romance fans out there that could offer suggestions on books!

ladyvorkosigan posted 8/1/2011 15:37 PM

Judith Ivory is kind of...well, litfic compared to most romance. I don't really *like* much of her stuff - and she is not prolific - but The Proposition is terrific. Reverse Pygmalion with the Ratcatcher! And being a ratcatcher isn't even his most off-putting quality. That honor belongs to his *mustache*. Yes, a romance novel hero with a mustache. Of course he shaves it off, but he *starts with it*. It's like she sets herself little challenges to see if she can write herself out of holes. I mean, you'd think she'd give herself the easy way out and just not *show* him catching rats, but oh no! He is proud of his work, is very accomplished and good at it, and charmingly and somewhat naively expects to be appreciated for it by his uptown girl! And he's *still adorable*!

If you're just trying to escape I don't know that I'd pick her. Currently my husband is on the ladyvorkosigan re-education program and has just completed Kresley Cole's Immortals series. That's a lot of fun. Now he's reading Lord of Scoundrels!

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 3:38 PM, August 1st (Monday)]

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