I’m hosting a guest post for the book tour for contemporary romance novel, “Hello, Love!” I’ll leave the word to author EJourney now!
On Broad Shoulders and Heaving Bosoms
I once tallied how many times the term “wide/broad shoulders,” in reference to the hero, appears in a romance-genre novel I was reading. I have to admit I did that because I got tired reading that phrase over and over. How often, after all, does a reader have to be reminded of the attributes of a hero who we know can rarely be less than uncommonly masculine (and usually handsome) with passion, power (or, perhaps, rage), and a magnetic personality to boot?
In the case of this traditionally published Regency romance, the term comes up about 30 times. Whether that’s too much or not probably depends on our individual tolerance for such things. Romance readers come in so many guises, after all. For me, it is at least 25 times too many so that my impulse was to delete the book from my iPad kindle right there and then.
But I have this habit of finishing what I’ve started and I do love love stories and happy endings. So, I read on and gritted my teeth every time I came across phrases repeated umpteen times that describe the hero and heroine’s sexy attributes or the passion they are trying to rein in every time they are in each other’s presence.
Life does go on in so many other ways apart from passion that could also be wonderful and consuming.
But, then, I told myself, romance genre novels—whether historical or contemporary—do count as escapist fare. That when you get down to it, they are a form of fantasy, and that we generally read them in this vein—as fairy tales which can make our lives a teensy bit more bearable or more titillating because of their preoccupation with throbbing parts and heaving bosoms.
If such novels do not tell us 30 times or so that the beautiful emerald-eyed heroine with abundant red tresses wants to or does, in fact, melt on the broad shoulders of the chiseled, muscled hero, would we still enjoy reading them? Would we feel cheated? Do some of us actually skip other parts to get back to such passages?
The language of romance novels, according to Jayne Ann Krentz, is “coded language” full of “allusions and resonances that are unrecognizable to outsiders” (Barlow and Krentz, pp. 15-30). This means, to some romance writers such as Kaye Dacus, that throughout their stories eyes sparkle, pulses race, hearts thunder, toes curl, and cheeks burn .
But what of novels by Jane Austen, perhaps, the lady who started it all for most of us? To me, her romances are of the first magnitude and, yet, Elizabeth Bennet is hardly a breathless heroine and Mr. Darcy rarely seethes with passion. Even so, theirs—to a good number of us—is one of the most compelling love stories ever written.
About Hello, Love!
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heartache and the specter of revenge follow when sparring partners spend the night together two days before he weds someone else.
A deliciously romantic romp with a good dose of realism and a twist of mystery.
A clash of wits, more than of wills, drives the love story in this modern-day pastiche of 19th-century romance novels by Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South) and Jane Austen. The main protagonists deal with messy feelings and events that could happen to any of us: The heroine, a bright young lawyer, confronts choices about career, abortion, and reactions of parents, friends, and men; while he, an alpha male, is haunted by past relationships, but with a sensitive, caring side that emerges as he woos the heroine.
EJourney is a flaneuse (an observer/wanderer) who writes about, and illustrates (oils, pastels, digital) what she sees and loves. In a past life, with a now-dormant Ph.D., (University of Illinois), she researched, evaluated and developed mental health programs.
Writing was her first love and she wanted to be a journalist but her parents balked at that. She was 15, malleable, and dependent on them for support, so she went into the social sciences, actually a compromise and preferable to chemistry, her parents’ choice.
EJourney’s first novel, Margaret of the North, is illustrated with digital “paintings” done on an iPad.
Her book website is: www.margaretofthenorth.wordpress.com for articles on books and writing, some reviews, and interviews.
For her take on art, travel (mostly Paris where she has stayed for months), eating, and state of being as well as some of her paintings, her website is Journey on a Limb at http://eveonalimb.com .
book website: http://margaretofthenorth.wordpress.com/