Romance Novels and Scottish Guys

7 Feb

Disclaimer:  We’re not trying to dis the genre we discuss below.  Just as there are good spy novels and bad spy novels,  good sci-fi and hackneyed sci-fi, we’re sure that there is good romance and (sorry Lady Gaga) bad romance.

Years ago while in a book store, we pitched an idea to a friend of ours;  we’d go into into business writing romance novels.  We’d never read one, but we’d heard they were popular, and most likely formulaic.  We’d read one or two to get the feel of the genre, and then proceed to crank out our own.  It was a great idea.  How could it miss?  We’d be rich.

Needless to say, nothing ever came of this money-making scheme.  We proceeded to get real jobs and forgot the whole thing.  Years later, several women we know started reading romances.  We read one too.  If the one we read is typical of the genre, we were right about the formulaic thing.  (We’re deliberately not going to reveal the title of the book we read.  In the unlikely event that the author of the book in question reads this entry and recognizes her work, she just might sue us or something.)

The book begins as Lord Luvaduck (we can’t remember the character’s name) hires a woman to manage things on his estate.  There is a class difference between the two of them, and he treats her lousily.  Suffice it to say that by the end of the book, the rake leaves his wicked, wicked ways behind as the love of this good woman reforms him.  (We’ve since learned that the rake-gets-reformed-by-love theme is a popular one.)  We don’t remember much else about the story, but we do remember that at one point,  Lord Luvaduck tells the lady that she has a ‘sexy’ smile.  We didn’t think that adjective was in the English language during the Regency period.  Subsequent research proved this to be true – the term came into use circa the 1930s.

The covers of these novels (as least the paperbacks) are something else again.  We thought that the covers would depict some charming Italian guy, maybe a Spanish or Portuguese noble,  or even a debonair French guy.   They’re the countries with the Romance languages, right?   Nope.  Lots of times, the Fabio-like guy on the cover is a Scottish guy in a kilt.  Who knew?

scottish guy

Who knew?

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