The critical space between what one reads and likes and what one actually does is something that critics of the genre must remember, especially because their own policing of women’s desires is the product of the patriarchal system they are trying to criticize. MacLean argues that “we have to give ourselves permission as women to have fantasies. We aren’t saying that men should threaten sexual dominance or harassment or abuse. But it’s okay if we, at some point, find the idea of that threat hot.” In a society that often wants to boil women’s sexual experiences into the polar opposites of purity or sluttiness, romance novels, even when we may as individuals judge their plots to be problematic, are the largest cultural space available for women to read about and imagine their own sexual fantasies.
Romance Novels and Naughty Bits

You see, two weeks ago, the New York Times Book Review published a “Sex Issue” which included, as far as I can tell, no reviews of romance novels or erotica. On top of it, the Book Review of Record interviewed 15 authors about writing sex scenes. Get this: Not one of those writers is a romance novelist.
The closest they got to a romance novelist was Jackie Collins.
I know. Right?

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Romance Novels and Naughty Bits

You see, two weeks ago, the New York Times Book Review published a “Sex Issue” which included, as far as I can tell, no reviews of romance novels or erotica. On top of it, the Book Review of Record interviewed 15 authors about writing sex scenes. Get this: Not one of those writers is a romance novelist.

The closest they got to a romance novelist was Jackie Collins.

I know. Right?

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crumblingpages

crumblingpages:

image

"Novel Reading. - A whole family brought to destitution in England, has had all its misfortunes clearly traced by the authorities to an ungovernable passion for novel reading entertained by the wife and mother. - The husband was sober and industrious, but his wife was indolent and addicted to…

wordbookstores

wordbookstores:

Me: Thanks for sitting down with me today!

Myself: My pleasure, really. It’s hard to get me to shut up about this.

Me:
Tell us what “this” is.

Myself:
This, meaning, our romance of the month book club.

Me:
And how does that work?

Myself:
The wonderful genius Sarah MacLean, author…

Is it any wonder why WORD is my favorite bookstore of all time?

bookrageous

bookrageous:

What We’re Reading This Week!

Rebecca says: Every couple years, I get the itch to try reading romance again. The last time around (with Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie), I basically learned that what I’m really after is erotica. (Why does it take 200 pages before they have sex? Why are there so many euphemisms?) But when Jenn started talking about Sarah MacLean’s books—about how there are no silly names for body parts and how the sex scenes are good and steamy—I couldn’t resist. This weekend, I devoured the first two books in MacLean’s Rule of Scoundrels series, A Rogue by Any Other Name and One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, and I’m here to tell you that Jenn was right. Also, Stephanie (@bookavore) mentioned that the sex scenes are so good you might feel uncomfortable reading them in public. I can understand that, but personally, I found it sort of thrilling. 

Thanks, Rebecca! So happy you enjoyed…and that you’re not afraid to read them in public!