luxken27: (Inu WUT)
LuxKen27 ([personal profile] luxken27) wrote2010-07-17 04:29 pm

Revenge of the Romance Novel

Read it at: LJ | | | dA

Pairing: None (ensemble cast)
Rating: T
Based upon: The Cobra and the Concubine by Bonnie Vanak, © 2005 Leisure Books
Inspiration: Snarky reviews of terrible romance novels

Watch out, I'm unleashing my horrible sense of humor o.O

One of the ways I like to amuse myself online is by reading snarky reviews of romance novels. The definitive, go-to place for reviews of any romance novels (be they awesome or tragically awful) is All About Romance, which is one of the oldest romance-related sites on the web, and one of the few with a large, dedicated staff of reviewers. There's one for any taste, really, and its rather notoriously hard to receive a straight up failing grade from any of them. So when a book does, its usually so bad you wonder how it was printed in the first place.

(I mean, COME ON - even Twilight received strong grades from them!)

Anyway, I was reading through the Fs and D-s (because I have no life, okay) and one thing that struck me was when they would quote actual passages from the books in their reviews. The dialogue especially seemed horribly stilted. I know not everyone has a natural ear for dialogue, but how hard is it to read things out loud to make sure they don't sound like they came straight off a soap opera? Just...ugh. But I found some pretty choice quotes, and an idea was born:

What if Miroku somehow got ahold of one of these, read it, and decided it was the most awesome thing ever? And that he *must* try some of these lines out to see if they actually worked?

Hilarity ensues! Or, at least, what passes for it in my pathetic hand.

I kinda like the idea of a secret-romance-novel-reading Miroku. It would totally fit his personality, I think, especially if he found himself getting all analytical about them. What better way to figure out what "women really want" than by reading the very by-product of their hand? The cheesier, the better - that's what makes it a guilty pleasure, after all :P

The particular lines he lifted and quoted at Sango are from the novel The Cobra and the Concubine, which actually has a fairly interesting premise and a nifty setting (1890s Egypt - definitely different from the usual glut of Regency romances!). However, the author completely squanders her capital by writing the classic, textbook sort of cardboard characters with pasted-on conflict and oodles of purple-prose sex. Now, I haven't actually read this book myself, but the review was too funny not to inspire me to write something. The AAR ladies rarely get their snark on, but it is a sight to behold when they do.

The cover illustration noted in the piece is from the German edition of the book. As clenches go, it's not a bad one, but still, its not something I suspect any fifteen-year-old girl would like to be seen reading, much less owning.

*sigh* Maybe now I can get back to writing what I write best: angst. I have a few other stories I'd like to commit to paper before this weekend is over...

Fan Fiction

(Anonymous) 2010-07-18 04:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi there! Thanks for quoting from my book. I'm glad the review provided you with some entertainment. That's the main reason I write romance novels, to give readers an escape. And a laugh, even if the writing wasn't intended to make them laugh! ;-)

If you'd like a copy to read for yourself and judge for yourself if you like it or not, let me know. Good luck with your fan fiction! I'm a fan of fan fiction myself.

Bonnie Vanak