Will the world end if a prudish Quaker starts writing about sex? I do not know, but we can give it a shot. What is the worst that could happen? 😉
I like the idea behind BookBub. Really I do. You submit your e-mail address to them, pick your eReader platform of choice, and then you are off to the races. Every day I get an e-mail with about a dozen books to download from categories I have selected. Not too surprisingly, a large number of these are romantic books. That is, if we accept a sliding scale for “romance”.
For one thing, apparently the standards have changed. It is no longer cool to be wooed by a hot millionaire. No no, they must now be billionaires. (You have not really found “the one” unless he can buy a group of tropical islands and build private resorts for your puppies.)
Then there is the desire to cash in on the adventure or superhero books. Everybody wants to be the next Twilight, Hunger Games, or Divergent. A teenage girl cannot be a goth, she has to be, “a girl with a family secret”. Oh, sorry. “A dark family secret”. “With her mysterious power, only she can prevent the end of all she knows.” Give ‘em a power. Give them a destiny. Make them the one the fates have chosen. But make sure it involves a spiffy combat scene or fighting ability that will seem cinematic.
Rest assured though, there are some trends that have stuck around. The males are:
- Professional racers/ skiers/ ultimate fighters/ daredevils
- Some cool-level of law enforcement (so they can protect the damsel in distress), no traffic cops allowed. Sorry.
- Burdened with a dark secret, a past love, a seedy background, or D: all of the above
- Tall, extra-buff, and with a sensitive side that they are too proud to reveal except to that one character in the book… the female lead! Aww, I ruined the surprise.
About a third of the Bookbub offerings are free. I peruse, I shrug, and I go about my day. Every once in a while there will be a bargain (if you can get a Dick Van Dyke autobiography for two bucks, you take it!), but it is more or less what I consider disposable reading. That is how I ended up with a silly book on my Kindle.
I do not know the title. For one thing, I erased it off of my device as opposed to actually finishing it (we will get to that reasoning). Also, the title was rather forgettable (clearly). Third, the beauty of BookBub is that they send you eBooks, which you have to really scour to find a cover.
Oh man. The covers. My “favorite” is this one.
(I did not read that book. But let us imagine…)
“Don’t worry my true love who I only met two days ago. I would gladly take a bullet for you.”
“It’s nuthin’ babe. Besides, my pecs are so ripped that the bullets would merely bounce off of my manly, yet stylishly manicured chest.”
“Oh Dagger! You’re so manly!”
“Nah. Even if they find armor piercing rounds, my muscles are well-oiled with sweaty testosterone. They would slide right off. But stay behind me, so they don’t hit you.”
“Oh Dagger. Your chest. Your shoulders! If only there were some purple neon lights in the background so that it would set the mood for a torrid night of danger and passion!”
“Got ya covered, babe. Like a street lit by rave-lights. The night belongs to us. And your hot bod belongs to me.”
“Oh Dagger! I’m swooning already!”
The title makes me chuckle and the picture makes me guffaw. That is just me; to each their own. After all, I read comic books and some folks think those are pretty silly too.
Where was I… oh yeah, the book I actually read. Okay, technically I read “most” of it. I could not take any more. Follow along. Girl helps out at a farm. Five or six strapping eligible brothers. Young girl falls for eldest brother. Brother has had time accepting this gal. Finally cannot help it anymore. Grabs her in a parking lot and… um… well, he makes an example of her.
Without going into details, they express their passion in a way that had me shaking my head the whole time. Why would you do that in a parking lot? Not really feeling the need to protect privacy or anything?
Then you find out afterwards that three of his brothers were watching the whole thing.
Ew. Eww eww ewww.
There are many sights I would like these tired old eyes to see before I kick the bucket. Watching my brother perform or receive sexual act? Not what I want to see! EVER.
“But he must have had a good reason? Right?”
Oh, yeah. That. To paraphrase,
“She turned and saw three brothers staring at them. As she looked back to him, he said, ‘I wanted them to know; right here and right now, that you were mine’.”
Wow. Sensitive cowboy fellow is a complete pig. Why not just brand her like cattle? Yikes. Engaging in caveman behavior and making a woman his sexual conquest for all to see is supposed to be romantic? Huh.
It seemed to work for them. In three months they were engaged. And pregnant. (Too many bedroom visits and “holding hands” in the fields) Guy works fast, I will give him that. Or the writer got bored.
The further into the book I got, the more time they were spending having sex around every part of the farm they could. It was just too much. I am sure they found a way to make a thresher sexy. (It tears off all their clothes? Shaves off her leg hair for her? Cuts the weeds into bouquets?) I simply flipped and flipped until I got to a chapter that seemed safe. Mainly, the last one; where they are engaged and pregnant after dating maybe a dozen weeks. Sigh. (That is a sigh of frustration, not of romantic contentment.)
Now, as if this was not lengthy and sexy enough, let us talk about Fifty Shades of Grey.
As you might have guessed from the above, I have not read the fan-fiction turned newest craze. It does not appeal to me. You want to have “interesting” sex? None of my business. Live and let live, just do not hurt your significant other. I will be over here reading about Superman saving the world.
I have not seen any of the official ads. I watched the LEGO trailer, and that was more than enough. I think the plastic faced leer conveyed plenty of the movie’s intent.
And it is doing well. It is the R-rated movie with the highest advance ticket sales. The book outsold Harry Potter. (I argue the eBook sales are so strong because people want to hide what they are reading. Not really a conversation you want to have with fellow bus riders.) My favorite part, though? The movie was written by the gal who last wrote Saving Mr. Banks. Quite the genre shift there.
The advance reviews are actually not all that terrible. Sixty-one percent on RottenTomatoes as of this writing. (Which beats the thirteen percent some movies have. Oh, J-Lo.) IMDb is a little harsher, but I still thought it would be worse. Also amusing? One reviewer asked, “Where’s all the tawdry sex?”
The MPAA created a new label. “Some unusual behavior and graphic nudity.” Unusual that a sex movie is not NC-17?
The sex books (and their film adaptations) are simply not for me. They do not meet my version of romantic. Should that sort of book make you and your spouse more amorous; neat-o. I hope you find some tips for when you get home after the movie. (Note 1: Unless you are my upstairs neighbors. You kids are loud enough already.) (Note 2: Please wait until you get home to practice. The ushers do not need that kind of grief. Keep your clothes one while the movie is playing, darn it.)
Wake me when Avengers 2 comes out. In the meantime, I think I will look for some books to read. I just might judge them by their covers, too. Perhaps it is time for a nice mystery by Agatha Christie, full of wholesome murder and deceit?