It’s not every day I’m confused by a romance novel. Well actually, it is. Who is Slane working for? Taylor’s father? His own brother? One minute it was one and then it was the other which is terribly irritating. He’s a knight. SHe knows who he is, but hang on, she doesn’t know. This is no extravagent plot device, it’s merely confusing. Trying to figure out what on earth his motivation is and why it seems to have changed in merely a few pages has me quite annoyed and distracted from the Serious Business of enjoying my romance novel. This ladies, is the importance of having an improbably, yet mostly believable plot which Actually Makes Sense.
I’m sure all will be revealed in the fullness of time through some lazy and convenient plot device obscured by a bit of hot sex and a few lines explaining things in a shorthand “she woke up and it was all a dream” kind of way, but right now I’ve had to put the book down and then re-read the boring bits, wondering what it is I might have missed in between lingering glances and hot manflesh. I’ve read Ulysses for god’s sake. Twice. I LOVE historical romance novels (as do a billion people all over the world – better selling than literature, horror, true crime and any other genre you can think of, so don’t dismiss the genre out of hand) but for god’s sake, please don’t invade my escapism with questions about the boring details of how things came to pass.
Also, Taylor is not a name that would be used in the 1300s. I’m trying to get over that. I know historical romance novels have improbably awesome characters called Ranulph de Saint Briac and Adeline Le Fevre but Taylor? For a noble? In the 1300s?
Secondly, it’s all a bit like when ladies watch porn that is made for men. Sure, the impossibly hot refridgerator repair man has arrived, but what LEAD to his arrival? IS the female porn star a frustrated young woman trapped in a loveless and presumably robotic sex(less) marriage with a balding older man? Did the fridge explode? Was it a twist of fate that brought THIS particular fridge repair man to answer the call, rather than Roger, the old goofy guy?
We need plots, subtext, anticipation. A set of seemingly slightly believable circumstances that invariably lead to Hot Sex. A backstory. This is the women-have-sex-alot-with-their-brain-thing. A few moments spent developing a decent reason for the Hot Sex that will eventually come (ha!) is worth two in the bush. (double ha!) or something.
But now I’m worried that I’m more worried about the plot devices I have so lovingly crafted in my own Rom-Hist-Novel have usurped the sex scenes, which so far have consisted of a bit of “gazing”, “raking eyes”, “powerful thighs”and “punishing kisses” followed by “insert sex scene here” So I cannot talk because I’m kinda struggling with the bread and butter of Romance Novels. WHich may prove to be a problem.
But we all have something to learn here, don’t we? Like NOT calling your 12th century heroine Taylor. Ruins the magic. Still I consume them all the same. Never has Suspend Your Disbelief been a more important ability than with these darling, treasured books.