Dueling Review, Rant, Recommended Read, Review

Dueling Review: Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas (2016)

If Erin were to review this book, she would call it a Recommended Read. If Holly were to review this book, she would write a Rant. Clearly, we needed to review this book together.

Welcome to Dueling Reviews.

Moderated by Ingrid, the Voice of Reason.

Holly’s Take 

Heat Factor: If you’re into the whole dynamic where a shy virgin teaches a sexually experienced hero how to “make love” with her magical vagina, then it’s pretty sexy

Character Chemistry: Please ignore Helen’s personality transplant

Plot: High melodrama thanks to a ridiculous and honestly unnecessary plot device

Overall: SO DISAPPOINTING. This is the book that made me give up on Lisa Kleypas

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: There are a couple of sex scenes, but it’s mostly angsty pining

Character Chemistry: They don’t spend a great deal of time together, but somehow I still felt they had great chemistry

Plot: Angsty unworthiness and unsolicited advice all around!

Overall: LOVED IT. Kleypas heroes are basically my kryptonite, and Winterborne was no exception.

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Smut Reporting

Reading Realism in Romance: The Question of Genre

This post has been percolating in my mind for months now, ever since this year’s RITAs were announced, and there was tremendous backlash about the lack of recognition for authors of color (for a good overview about the controversy, see Jessica Pryde’s write up for Book Riot). In response to list of winners (and the fact that many romances by authors of color were docked points for being “unrealistic”), author Courtney Milan tweeted the following:

If you’ve been following The Duke Project, then you’re probably aware that we’re trying to figure out that whole Duke obsession that Romancelandia has. Why ARE there 20,000 dukes in romance novels? But to the broader point of what is “realistic” in fiction, I figured I’d dust off my academic hat and talk about defining “realism” more specifically. What does it actually mean to say that something is realistic?

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My First Smut

Movie Announcer Voice: “The Coooooooooove”

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, we tell Kaitlyn’s story.

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Smut Reporting, The Duke Project

Dukes and Their Moms; Or, What the Romantic Heroine Will Become in Forty Years

A few weeks ago, we talked a little bit about Dukes’ Dads, and how a duke’s relationship with his father could potentially be a source of angst, as the young duke assumes the mantle of responsibility that comes with the title.

However, while the Senior Duke may cast a long shadow, he rarely appears as a walking, talking character. The Dowager Duchess, on the other hand, frequently appears in Duke stories, ready to meddle in his love life, for good or, more commonly, for ill.

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