Saturday, January 17, 2009

Really Adult Books!

I do enjoy a good romance novel. I used to read a lot more of them in high school and college (for when my brain was too fried to do anything that required a lot of thought) My all time favorites are still the Beloved series by Mallory Burgess. I hadn't picked up a romance novel in years, but, in 2007, (yes we're still catching up on reviews!) I read 4.

Let me warn you, these are NOT clean romances. These are bodice-ripping ones. Complete with ripped bodices.

Also, I did read these 1.5 years ago, so details are a little sketchy in my mind.

My favorite of the group is

Bad Boys Ahoy! Sylvia Day

This is less of a novel, and rather three loosely related novellas. Lots of pirates, gamblers, and all around rogues having hot sex and finding true love in the process. We have strong men, stronger women, and of course they hate each other but can't help the sexual tension and end up in bed and eventually fall in love and live happily ever after.

They all take place in the early 1800s, in England or the high seas on the way to England. Upper class stuff, so lots of fun gowns and layers of old fashioned undergarments to rip through.

My one complaint is a word choice one. Day uses the word "cream" in relation to female secretions on a regular basis. Like, almost every time she needs to refer to it. Ew. Ew. Ew. If it's actually creamy, she has a yeast infection!

I read another by Sylvia Day,

Ask For It

I didn't like this one nearly as much, and not just because of the "cream" thing, which is a word used way too often here as well.

This is another historical romance set in England, this time in the 1770s.

Once upon a time, Elizabeth and Marcus were engaged. But Marcus made Elizabeth too hot, so she fled and married a much safer, more boring man. And then he was murdered and has a diary full of secrets that people want to kill Elizabeth for.

Marcus is assigned to protect her. We have murder! plot! intrigue! spies! but...

Romance novels all tend to have a rogueish hero is bossy. Even the super literary ones, like Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights or his many later imitators, such as Edward Cullen. And there's usually some watered down rape fantasy of a man demanding sex, the woman saying no, and then the guy making a move, and then the girl giving in and then pages of orgasms. I'm not going to comment on whether or not this is seriously messed up, but I will say that Marcus takes this to the extreme to where it's no longer hot in a slightly messed up sense, but just plain messed up.

Champagne Rules Susan Lyons

This is one of those books that enjoyed while reading it, and then it promptly faded from my mind. You know what I mean?

I think this is because it lacks the love/hate sexual tension of most romance novels. Basically, quiet, mousy vet, who lives in the shed apartment of her parents house (BORING) once had a super hot one night stand while vacationing in Greece.

Lately, she's been thinking about that guy again. A little google-stalking later and she's found him, emails him, and they plan on meeting up, even though they live no where near each other (IIRC, Suzanne lives in Canada and Jaxon is in California, but both on the West Coast).

Lots of hot sex with no strings, but then they start to fall for each other.

This has the extra dimension of the fact that Suzanne is white and Jaxon is black.

Like, I said, I liked it when I read it, but eh.

The Embroidered Couch Lu Tiancheng, translated by Lenny Hu

I have to say I was suprised when I read this. I knew it was an erotic novel, but it also dates from the 1600s, so I thought it would be erotic in the same way that The Arabian Nights is erotic. No actual graphic descriptions of sex.

Oh, this has them, and not in a romance-novel erotic way, but in a sterile porn way that has an odd habit of listing how many times they thrust into each other.

The basic premise is that Easterngate and his teacher Dali decide to get into a contest to see who's the best lover. Lots of sex, trickery, and raping the unwilling servants ensues.

As if the basic plot weren't bad enough, this is the worst translation of anything I've ever read. There is WAY TOO MUCH modern slang--"blew his wad" "pussy" "johnson" and something Hu translates as a vibrator, but how that works in the seventeenth century is anyone's guess. The original wasn't set in the Ming dynasty, it was WRITTEN in the Ming dynasty--the translation needs to reflect that.

The translation is so bad that I can't tell if most of my complaints are with the book or the translation.

Don't waste your time.

Back for Weekly Geeks 12, people asked questions about unreviewed books.

Imani asked:

Hello :) I have one about the Sylvia Day. How did you like it? Are all the heroes those uber-alpha toughies with muscles as big as heads, that kind of thing? Are the heroines strong and smart or more typical?

In both Sylvia Day books, the we're dealing with 4 heroes and 4 heroines. I'd say that 2 of the guys are the "uber-alpha toughies" and the other 2 are still mentally uber-masculine stereotypes. All of the heroines are strong and smart, and end up making good partners for these uber-males--good at keeping their egos in check!

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Blogger Bookphilia said...

I just read The Embroidered Couch and totally agree with you. I'll never get those hours back!

5:25 PM  

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