Ohgod, overcooked jalapeño poppers are the bane of my existence. On the one hand, they’re burnt and taste horrible. On the other hand, they’re jalapeño poppers, and I can’t help but take another bite just in case they’re not ruined all the way through.
Alas, they are. It’s like a deliciously-smelling Light Grenade.
Such is the case with this book. While I cannot handle more than a small amount at a time, I keep coming back to it, and regretting it each time.
Diabolical. Sandra Hill, you magnificent bastard.
Welcome to another edition of “You guys will have my fiancée pick books forever”!
From now on, I’m going to start speeding up the chapters. I’ve been averaging about two or three per post, but I’ve read ahead a bit again, and they’re starting to get very uneventful. As in, nothing happens. It’s like how in The Princess Bride, where the narrator comments on how certain skipped sections of the “real” book were about forty pages of packing and unpacking and repacking? It’s like that.
What we’ve got so far is a book that’s about 90% refusing to accept what’s in front of them, and 10% trying to take what isn’t. The amount of incredulity is staggering, but that’s not my complaint – it’s rather the tacit acceptance of some pretty unbelievable things. If it were me, I’d freak out when I found out I had been flung a thousand years in the future. At the very least, I may have a bit of a “Everyone I know is dead” fugue state. Magnus? Marvel at how it works, then go traipsing out to find if he can still have sex.
You have to admit, the guy is dedicated.
(Again, NSFW tag on this from now on.)
Okay, I think I can comfortably continue this. Thank you for being patient with me during my ethical crisis, but after a bit of rest and exciting personal developments, I feel I can continue this.
A few things to point out here before we get to the next couple chapters:
- Apparently, all you need to do to change a girl’s mind is to grab her and kiss her. MEN, WE’VE BEEN DOING IT WRONG THIS ENTIRE TIME.
- Vineyards are sexy places? It makes sense, I guess. Trekkiegirl and I have a few choices for honeymoon ideas.
- Johnny Cash’s cover of Personal Jesus is probably the best thing ever. This has nothing to do with the review, I just wanted to mention it.
- We miss you, Johnny.
- What I’m upset at most about the whole rageout incident last post is that I wasted a Chewbacca Defense. Those things don’t grow on trees!
I’d also like to mention that from here on out, it gets a bit Not Safe For Work. Which, for erotic fiction, is a bit of a given, but a disclaimer is a disclaimer.
Rape Forceful Seduction Culture And You: A Post By Someone Who Didn’t Know Much About It Before Now
Alright, Internets. Let’s chat. I want to get back into The Funny – and I read ahead a little bit, there’s definitely The Funny to get back into – but I really need to get this out of my system first.
Gather ’round, and get something to snack on, ’cause I’ve needed to work something out for myself.
Got it? Good.
I had a minor rageout on the last installment of Very Virile Viking: A Voracious and Vivid Viewing of, to use the Vernacular, a Veritable Volume of the Vocation of a Venerated Vocabularian. (Damnit, I know that last one isn’t a word but I’m doing this off the top of my head and can’t think of a proper V-synonym for writer.)
It occurs to me (read: it has been pointed out to me) that the subject matter – that of the dividing line between forceful seduction and rape fantasy – has been a staple of romance novels for a long time. This is, of course, news to me, seeing as this is the first romance novel I’ve ever seriously read, and I had always assumed the term “Bodice Rippers” meant simply that the lovemaking was so passionate that there was collateral damage to various bits of clothing.
Learn anything about the future you are in! Just watch television!
So, it looks like I’m breaking even at about two chapters a post. Maybe I’ll push faster with this, maybe not; I’m really doing this on a “what can I handle at any given time” basis. Given that I’m told this is more on the “Erotic Fiction” side of things, there may be a whole lot in the middle that I can compress for time. Unless, of course, there are things that need to be brought to the attention of the whole.
Most likely in the form of a “Dayna Signal” section, as I did in the first part.
Anyway, this book so far has been an exercise in “WOW LOOK AT HOW CONVENIENT EVERYTHING IS”. I mean, we have:
- The fact that Magnus gets summoned (through prayer) to the precise time and place where there is a woman.
- Said woman HAS A FARM.
- Said woman also has a grandmother who is all “I WANT THERE TO BE BABIES LOTS OF BABIES” which is especially funny considering:
- He is the Very Virile Viking and can’t walk two steps without making a baby.
- BABIES EVERYWHERE.
- And by the way, he now has to live with her.
- Oh, and he’s freakin’ rich.
I’m just glad that she can’t stand him and hopefully that will forever be the case. I NEED TO BELIEVE THIS.
“I’m kind of disappointed she didn’t go for broke and name him Magnus Longspear or something.” ~ Trekkiegirl
Well, I’m pretty gobsmacked. I had to end the last section at page 42, at the end of Chapter Two. I still don’t know what’s going to happen next; as I said, I’m going into this completely blind, so I’m not reading ahead. You guys get my honest reactions right as I read them, since I’m writing this as I go.
Seriously, I’m only two chapters in, and I’ve already learned the following things:
- Apparently, the power of a single prayer from an old woman to the Virgin Mary is enough to COUNTERACT THE LAWS OF PHYSICS. Don’t be stingy, Grandma Rose; where’s my break in radio? You pulled twelve people through time and across the freakin’ world, you can get me a simple internship at Q101.
- Whales can sense temporal disturbances, but they still need a stolen Klingon ship to travel through time. Some help they are.
- I was going to nitpick about how a wooden ship survived an overnight trip from “The Norselands” all the way through North America to get to the West Coast, but it also was propelled 1,003 years into the future so I can forgive a little lateral movement on the space/time axis.
- Clichés apparently don’t matter if you use enough of them. This book is in a whole line of (apparently) successful Viking Romance novels from the same author.
Also, I want to point out how transparent the plot is so far. First off, we have Magnus, who loves to farm, has a lot of children, and has trouble finding a woman who is accepting of both. On the other hand is Angela, who is trying to save her farm, her grandmother wants children running about the place, and has trouble dealing with men of a modern mentality. HMMMMMMMMMMM.
They come from different eras but hey here’s a temporal instability (THAT THE WHALES ARE TRYING TO WARN YOU ABOUT, MAGNUS) that throws them together.
All this in less than fifty pages. Seeing as this is the first romance novel I’ve ever read, I want you guys to assure me that the plots aren’t as telegraphed as this one is. They get better, right guys?
Or, How I learned that European men can apparently impregnate a woman at ten paces.
Let me start out by saying that the copy I received did not have the chestacular cover you see to the right. The bookstores nearby were out of this book. Amazon didn’t have it at the time that Trekkiegirl tried to order it for me. We ended up having to trawl the local libraries’ web catalog and see who had it in stock, and then go through the spinners of their romance sections to find it and then suffer the amused looks of all the librarians at the front desk when we checked it out.
On a completely unrelated note, it’s amazing how many covers of romance novels have a top-heavy man who seems to have trouble finding buttons for his shirts and a woman about half his size. Apparently the female body needs to be completely dwarfed to be fully satisfied? I’m just saying, if I was a woman, I wouldn’t want a slab of muscle like that on top of me for fear of being crushed to death.
(Also, what is that? Is he attacking the reader? Seriously what kind of pose is that I can’t even.)
According to the back of the book, this promises a lot of anachronistic wackiness in addition to many romantic interludes, so let’s flip on the Flux Capacitor and take this Nordic nonsense out for a spin!
Please note: I am going into this COMPLETELY BLIND and am, in fact, writing this post as I read it.
Sorry about the month-long quiet. Things have been hectic, and there have been issues in finding the copy of the book that Trekkiegirl has selected for the first review. She very specifically wants one book in particular, and now has it on order for this purpose.
I do want to reveal the first book reviewed, though, in anticipation of its arrival. Thus, the first book that will be done here on Straight Guy Reviews of Bad Romance Novels will be…
The Very Virile Viking by Sandra Hill.
Ladies and gentlemen, let it be known that I have absolutely no foreknowledge about this book, save that it apparently is about a viking who is good at having sex and/or siring children. All I really do know is that Trekkiegirl has been foaming at the mouth for me to cover this.
I hope you guys enjoy it. I’ll have more news when it arrives!
First off, I’d like to thank Trekkiegirl for winning the auction that starts this project. As many of you know, Trekkiegirl is my girlfriend, and the original inspiration for this project. The concept started out as a donation incentive for Made of Fail – and may become so in the near future – but it was shelved while I had other projects to begin and maintain. Then Emily needed money for her eyes, and a fandom auction was set up to help, and I realized that this was the perfect thing to auction to help.
Trekkiegirl placed the top bid and won it on her own merit. This also solves the problem of finding the chosen book for the review, as she collects the damn things for fun.
As of this moment, I am awaiting her choice. She is taking her time, making sure that the first Bad Romance Novel I am subjected to is a memorable one. Once she does, I’ll make the announcement and begin the review.
I highly doubt my sanity will remain intact.