Review

Review: A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian (2019)

A Turner Series Novella

Heat Factor: Marshmallow toasting levels

Character Chemistry: Molly is just what Alice needs

Plot: Disgraced vicar’s daughter grows spine, learns art of blackmail

Overall: Good build up, abrupt resolution

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (2020)

Heat Factor: It’s a slow and scorching burn

Character Chemistry: It comes on slow and then BAM

Plot: Megan and Scarlett were BEST friends but had a falling out. When their old friend begs them to attend her wedding in Quebec, they agree to pool resources in order to roadtrip there. And boom goes the dynamite.

Overall: This book had me up until 2 am and I wasn’t even mad about it.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite (2020)

Feminine Pursuits, Book 2

Review of Feminine Pursuits, Book 1

Heat Factor: Slow, steady, burn.

Character Chemistry: So much pining! But also, believable BFFs. And they do that thing where they call each other by last name and I swoon every time. 

Plot: A year in the life of Flood and Griffin. 

Overall: The plot meanders but sometimes a book (even a romance) is more than a tight plot. I recommend reading this one.

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Review

Review: Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi (2013)

Heat Factor: Mostly pining

Character Chemistry: Alana has a major boner for the ship, and a minor boner for the captain

Plot: Alana stows away on a ship whose crew is searching for her sister; many adventures ensue

Overall: This book was really slow and also really trippy

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Smut Reporting

Some Reasons I Love F/F Romance

A million years ago, I read Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance, and something Jayne Ann Krentz wrote really stuck with me: that readers of romance identify with the hero and project their emotions onto him as he goes through his journey to love (I paraphrase). And I was like: “Huh. That is not my experience at all. I am not that interested in the interior life of the hero, except perhaps as a projection of exploring the desires of the women who read and write about them.” I have always been more interested in the journey of the heroine. 

Imagine my joy, then, when I started reading F/F romance. Here were stories that focused exclusively on female desire, without the distraction of alpha males, opaque males, emotionally constipated males, constipated opaque alpha males, etc etc etc. 

Erin wrote a great post last week that talked about her love for M/M romances, and some of that’s true for F/F romances as well: characters tend to not fall into (or focus exclusively breaking out of) traditional gender roles, and some of the tropey behavior that you see in M/F romance falls by the wayside. 

Here are some other reasons I love F/F romance:

  1. I will never come across the phrase “steel wrapped in velvet.”
    See: every M/F historical romance ever written. 
  2. The power dynamics between the protagonists is more fluid – especially in historical romances, where, to maintain any semblance of historical accuracy, the characters have to grapple with the fact that a married woman, by law, is under the control of her husband.
    See: The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure, She Whom I Love
  3. There are twice as many opportunities for fabulous outfits. I hate shopping, but love reading about clothes. Romance authors rarely give their heroes interesting outfits. Which is sad, because we can learn a lot about a character by how they present themselves to the world.
    See: Once Ghosted, Twice Shy
  4. I might be falling into stereotypes here (I totally am), but when characters talk about their conflict and emotions in open and honest ways, I don’t have to be all shocked about a dude processing his feelings like an adult.
    See: Being Hospitable
  5. Sexuality is a spectrum. I am mostly heterosexual, but I would not put myself at 100% all penis all the time. So reading F/F romance gives me a safe space to explore other fantasies. (Sorry, Mom, if that was Too Much Information. That’s what you get for reading my smut blog so faithfully!)