Character Chemistry: Nora and Cyrus have good banter. And Nora and Søren have some beautiful moments.
Plot: A priest has committed suicide; right before he killed himself, he tried to call Nora. She had never met the man, so when Cyrus the private detective starts investigating, she helps him crack the case.
Overall: Some aspects of this book are really excellent, but I would not recommend The Priest to anyone who was not already well-versed in the Original Sinners universe.
When I wrote about licking sweat and how it wasn’t sexy, Silver Button Books (whose blog you can check out here) brought up another ubiquitous romance phrase: “he slanted his mouth across hers,” noting that it was weird and always made her think of toddlers smearing their faces across a glass window.
If you think about it, this is kind of a weird way to describe kissing. All we really have in this description is an angle – the “slant.”
And if we go to my trusty Merriam-Webster, the predominant synonym is “slope.” Unless we’re talking about “slant” in a metaphorical sense, in which case synonymous words distort, falsify, pervert, etc. I think it’s safe to assume that romance writers who use this phrase are talking about a literal slant, not a metaphorical one.
I decided some further investigating was in order.
This phrase most commonly appears in historical romance, so I turn to some classic (and maybe less classic) clinch covers to help illuminate exactly what kind of kisses are happening here. Also, this is an excellent excuse to look at romance novel covers because they are an art form that deserve to be talked about all the time.
Have you ever wanted to lick someone’s sweat? Because I haven’t.
Yet this image is something that appears quite frequently in romances. Specifically, the heroine sees the hero all sweaty from doing a Manly Thing (laying pipe, making a soufflé, playing sportsball, etc) and is like: “I want to lick that sweat.”
Time for a poll!
Unlike my previous discussions of things that are not sexy (smirking, moist apertures), I can kind of see the logical progression of this one.
Step 1: Man doing Many Things is attractive.
Step 2: Man sweat – when it’s the Right Man – smells so delicious.
Step 3: I want to put my mouth on Delicious Man.
It’s the final step that loses me – the move from salivating over someone to wanting to lick their arm or whatever. I suspect that the desire to lick sweat is generally concentrated on, say, the chest, neck, and back, but if that’s the case, maybe we should be a little more specific, eh? Also, I’m not a germaphobe, but if I’m attracted to someone, I feel like it’s a bit more sanitary to touch them with my hands rather than my mouth. Until the right moment, obviously, but you’ve got to build up to it! That’s what foreplay is all about.
Maybe it’s because I live with a toddler who licks my arm on the regular and…it is not pleasant. Just the feeling of someone’s tongue suddenly running over your skin is…well, just typing that sentence was a little bit shudder-inducing. Unsolicited licking in general: not sexy.
This has been a Hot Take by Holly, brought to you by every single contemporary romance ever written.