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A Series of Trashy Romance Novels

By Marra Alane | Books | August 11, 2009 |

By Marra Alane | Books | August 11, 2009 |

When I was 10 or 11, I remember riding down the library on my bike during the summer break and spending days in the library. It had air-conditioning, which was a plus, but it also had books, which were like, my favorite thing in the world. I think I read pretty much every book in the young adult section the summer before seventh grade; so I went looking for new shit to read. I spent some time in the conference room, where they housed the older, classic books: Shakespeare, Hemingway, Austen; it took me a few days before I admitted to myself that I was way too young for these and moved on. And what took the place of the greatest classics the English language has to offer? Romance novels, my friends. Romance novels. And I’m not talking about historical novels or stories about a great love; I’m talking porn-for-housewives trash. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have been reading that when I was 11, but whatever. This shit is gold. The library housed them in little Lazy Susans on top of the cases that held the real books; and while I was pretending to browse the actual literature, I’d sneak a peek at the front covers and surreptitiously bring them over to the reading section, curl up in a chair, and read about Lord MacKenzie’s throbbing member.

My point is this: it’s finally, actually summertime in New England, which means only one thing: Super Shiny Ridiculously Trashy Romance Novel Season. Summer is the time when I borrow/buy the trashiest crap I can find and suck it down like a cokefiend. I feel like these books are the Black Eyed Peas CDs of my music collection; yes, they’re completely terrible, manufactured, wholly unoriginal crap; but damn, they’re fun to dance to. My selection criteria: They must either have a ridiculous, clunky plot that makes me cringe when I read the back, or a cover so embarrassing that I can’t look the librarian/cashier in the eye when I bring it to the front desk. So far this summer, I have consumed 5 of these mighty works; they all sucked and therefore are all being lumped together in the Cannonball review.

From what I understand, there’s basically three types of romance novels: sci-fi/fantasy, historical, and contemporary. I tend to not really like contemporary because if I wanted to fuck some 21st century dude, I’d go down to the local bar and pick him up myself. That’s not want I’m reading this shit for. These first five are all in the ‘supernatural lover’ genre of shit romance; which means they all have a few things in common. They rely heavily on fate; so the characters are often destined to be with each other and therefore there’s none of that pesky character development to get in the way. And because they’re cosmically destined to be together, there’s obviously going to be some bad guy trying to keep them apart, which usually ends up involving some mystic forces or other ridiculousness that’s fun to laugh at. So without further ado; here are the basic plots of the most ridiculous books I’ve read since last summer.

Immortal Hunter by Lynsay Sands

So, there’s this doctor who gets kidnapped by a bunch of baddies who want to cut her up and enjoy her pain and suffering, and then she gets saved by an ‘enforcer’ whose job it is to track down rogue baddies, but one of the baddies got away with her sister so they go on an epic quest in western Canada to find her, and then it turns out that they’re life mates or something and every time they do it they literally pass out from pleasure, and also don’t call him a vampire because he’s not, it’s just that his blood is infected with nanos that keep him perfectly healthy and young forever and ever, but the nanos need blood to keep working which is why his family owns a blood bank and the oh yeah the nano technology comes from FUCKING ATLANTIS. Seriously.

On a Scale from One to Five:

Awesomeness of Title: 3
Shame from showing the Librarian/Cashier the Front Cover: 1
Hotness of Sex Scenes: 3 - The foreplay was decent, but having your characters pass out in awkward positions sort of ruins the moment
‘Tardness of Plot: 5 Atlantis? Are you fucking kidding me?

Scent of Darkness by Christina Dodd (416)

Generic Sweet/Virginal Assistant hatches plan to seduce Generic Hot/Dominant Boss at his vacation home in Washington; but then she sees him shift from his wolf-form back to human form, freaks the spork out and runs into the woods where she takes shelter under a tree that gets hit by lightning, which unearths one fourth of a sacred Madonna icon that was flung to the four corners of the earth by the devil himself as part of a family curse that GHDB and his brothers can break only by marrying the women who find the madonnas. Then the Ukranians come and try to kill them.

Awesomeness of Title: 2
Shame from Showing the Librarian/Cashier the Front Cover: 3 The creepy eyes indicate that something in this book is going to be retarded; but having the type block out what could possibly be some pretty sweet abs somewhat diminishes what could have been a truly rediculous cover
Hotness of Sex Scenes: 1. You know what I hate? Sword and sheath metaphors. That shit needs to stop.
‘Tardness of Plot: 4

Into The Shadow by Christina Dodd (400)

Same curse as Scent of Darkness, only it’s about the brother of Generic Hot/Dominant Boss, who has flung himself headfirst into a life of rape and pillage in the Himalayas. Some chick building a hotel on a scary mountain finds the Madonna icon, so brother of GHDB kidnaps her and holds her hostage in his mountaintop tent, but then the Ukranians come and he sets her free, only to meet up later at a spa in the desert in Arizona after being tortured in a mine of some sort but they’re still pursued by those scrappy Ukrainians, and they crash their plane in mountain and then have an epic fight scene on the edge of a cliff. Then they do it.

On A Scale from One to Five:

Awesomeness of Title: 2
Shame from Showing the Librarian/Cashier the Front Cover: 4. Wicked muscly guy + grr face + purple wash = shame.
Hotness of Sex Scenes: 2. A little rapey for my tastes.
‘Tardness of Plot: 2. I mean, damned-to-eternity-in-hell shapeshifting family curse is a big pill to swallow, but the action scenes are pretty fun.

I Thirst For You by Susan Sizemore

Jo Elliot is off licking her wounds in the desert because she killed a bunch of people when the plane she was flying flew into a mountain; she’s kidnapped by Marc Cage, who’s her soulmate/crazy vampire person on the run from a crazy old fucker who’s trying to find the secret to immortality by doing weird tests on him; then there are wildfires designed to heard them back to where his captors want him; but he loves her so he lets her go and she immediately turns him into the cops; who turn him over to said crazy old fucker and now they’re both trapped and their only chance to escape is to fuck like crazy.

Awesomeness of Title: 4
Shame from Showing Librarian/Cashier the Front Cover: 4. Who knew lipstick comes in orange?
Hotness of Sex Scenes: 3.
‘Tardness of Plot: 4

Desire Untamed by Pamela Palmer

Kara’s some supernatural savior, but she was separated from her people for no reason whatsoever and then found again by a lion man, brought back to the frat house where all the other shapeshifter magical people live and is taught how to be magic or some shit; then there’s evil wizards that plant a circle of magic in her butt which makes the frat boy shifters want to kill her because they think she’s betrayed them, when really they’ve been betrayed by some slut who fucks everyone in the house and steals their souls, but then they kill her so it’s all good.

Awesomeness of Title: 4
Shame of showing Librarian/Cashier front cover: 5 ++++. Super-muscly guy? Check. Long, flowing hair? Check. Shadow drawing of what he shifts into? Check. Greased up muscles? Check. Clothes? NO CHECK! HE’S BUCK ASS NAKED!
Hotness of Sex Scenes: 3.
‘Tardness of Plot: 5. Seriously, I can’t even explain to you how retarded this book is. There were times when it wasn’t even schadenfraude enjoyable; it was just awful.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. For more of Marra Alane’s reviews, check her blog.

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