Thursday, November 8, 2007

Things to know about me

Huh. So this is a blog. OK.

I could write about a lot of stuff. I have a husband and kids-- an endless source of amusement and other assorted emotions. Or my job-- project manager at an up-and-coming tech co in Seattle (I like it, but my objective is not to bore the internet to death). There's always my own navel; there's a blogger's favorite. But then there's that whole death-by-boredom thing again.

So what I'm going to blog about is romantic fiction. Reviews, and probably the occasional dissertation on the state of the genre. I have a few reviews up on Goodreads here. But that's kind of limiting-- so much of current romance is in short series, trilogies or what have you; it makes sense to review by author or group, I think.

Why should you care what I think about romance? Well, I guess you'll have to read a few reviews to see if I have anything to offer you. I'm a pretty die-hard fan. I read several hundred romances a year; I'm sure if I could remember all the titles going back to the early 80s when I got started on Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers and Bertrice Small, we'd be into the 5-digits.

I like regencies, medivals, contemporaries. I held out against the vampire/were genre for ages but have recently been sucked in (hah! get it?). JR Ward rocks my world.

I used to be very into the civil war era, looking to recapture the magic of Gone With the Wind, but that is an obsession that has faded. I am not such a fan of romantic suspense, especially the psycho-serial-killer flavor. (Karen Robards, I'm lookin' at you.) I almost never read westerns. I think the last time I read a straight-up category romance was 1989-- I need a longer read. Although being une dame d'une age certain, I am fond of the new Harlequin Next line. Although quick reads, they're fun and they're not about 19 year old virgins, so that's a good thing.

So, I read what I like. I'm loyal to my favorite authors to a fault-- you can figure that if I'm already a fan, my review of any individual book in the author's list might be a little skewed-- I will likely be kinder to the occasional clinker from a tried-and-true author than I would for an unknown.

What I look for in a great romance is character. Character, chemistry, character, and a reasonably interesting setting. I pretty much already know how it's going to end, so I'm not such a stickler for plotting, and our options are a bit limited these days with respect to eras and settings, so, as long as it's not out and out annoying on those fronts, it's not going to matter to me much. I want two real live, interesting characters who can't keep their hands and hearts off each other. I want to feel that moment of connection, when their eyes meet and they can't look away. I want them to be smart and brave and admirable and flawed, and I want their happy ending. I don't want the conflict between them to be contrived and to hinge upon stupidity or "but if I tell him/her about X in my past, s/he'll drop me like a hot potato!" Ugghh.

Also--just so you know-- I use a lot of dashes. If that annoys you, you probably want to move on. Buh-bye.

You won't see synopses from me. Go to Amazon or B&N and read the back cover. Anybody can give you that. I'll do my best to keep it spoiler-free so you can enjoy the same books I do. I'm just going to let you know what I thought of it.


Meera Hyphenated said...

Welcome to the blog world! I have bookmarked this, and look forward to your installments!

You have read Gabaldon's Outlander series, right?

Puzzled said...

Meera and I have just embarked upon the new translation of War and Peace. Does that count? Pretty heady romance stuff interwoven with all that philosophizing and battle dancing.

I've been reading it to Meera while she knits. We got off to a rough start, though; it's hard to read aloud because of all the French Tolstoy used in the soiré dialogue. The English translation of the French is footnoted, so the reader has to glance down and up frequently, and try to make it sound continuous. Previous English translations translated the French along with the Russian in the body of the text, or just retained a few token French phrases to get the diglottal point across.

Fortunately, the French-peppered dialogue seems to have tapered off now that we're a few chapters into it.

Oh, and welcome to the Blogosphere! I'm delighted to add you to my blog reading.

platitudinal said...

I have a great time perusing your blog, Nicola. Thank you for taking the time writing about your love of romance fiction.

*You love your dashes as much as I love my dots (...)

Anonymous said...

I think this blog is a great idea!
I've found that if you write about things that mean a lot to you, you find yourself saying things that reveal truth to yourself and that is an amazing feeling!

*lurks quietly*

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog through J.Kaye and love it - it is in my Google reader so that I can follow along with your posts.

I am a diehard fan of romances and look forward to reading your views about the books in this genre!!


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