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.
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