And the Bodice Ripped.

For those that don’t personally know me, I’ll reveal that I am what I have dubbed a book-a-holic. Yep, hopelessly addicted to the written word is what I am. I started ruining my eyesight by reading in the dark before going to sleep, not long after I learned to read at age five. My personal  poison is eclectic in format as I like a variety of genres and topics. History, biography, poetry, theology, philosophy, humor, adventure, mystery, fantasy, and any combination of that list are going to keep me oblivious of the world around me as I race to the next chapter.

I enjoy characters I can relate to, whom are believable, and I can either cheer them on or gleefully anticipate their demise. I enjoy plots that I don’t easily guess how its going to turn out. In other words, if you surprise me, I’m sure to read the next book that author has written. I like well written setting, with the writer giving me just enough for my adept imagination to fill in the blanks. I am thankful that there are loads of books, fiction and non-fiction that fill that bill.

I got a kindle for my birthday. For a book addict like me, it simply means that I just added greater portability and access to get my fix. I discovered free books to download from Amazon, and tried several titles. The classic ones are better, but I have found a couple recent titles that were fun. I also learned I can borrow books from the library and download them right to the Kindle. I’ve found some great books that others have recommended and am working my way through them.

Sometimes however, I deviate from my usual fare and try a romance, also known as the good ole bodice ripper. I suspect the books are named thus, because the girl on the cover is almost minus a top. Whether or not the man is wearing one is optional, but you can guess where he’s looking. There are so many and as a rule I find them dreadful. I keep trying them from time to time, usually after a couple of books that are deep and thought provoking in content, to decompress mentally. They are so damned predictable, and utterly unrealistic.

Take the one I’m halfway through now. This formula has worked for the last 10 romances I’ve read. Those of who are huge romance fans, skip to the end.

He’s tall, dark and perfectly muscled. He’s the typical warrior type but has a softer side that he doesn’t really let anyone know about.

She’s shorter, has that “perfect” figure, with the D cup bra size, the itty bitty waist and a perky butt. She’s innocent and in obvious peril, or will be at some part of the book.

They meet and instantly he’s in serious, danger of splitting his trousers from the sudden onset of lust. All he can think of is getting her naked, but he doesn’t because he’s also noble and has to get her out of her predicament  so he can shelter and protect her, hovering over her like a mother hen or a real close stalker.

She’s attracted to him too, very much so and can’t resist covertly checking out his physical attributes. She insists she can take care of herself, which is ridiculous, considering her dire need for rescue/assistance/help with her really big problem.

Finally they are alone, and he is able to keep his pants safe to wear another day. Its the first big sex scene. There will be one more near the end of the book. The first one will last at least 12 pages, involve most orifices, and appendages. They’ll thrash around for what seems an eternity, till all the fireworks is over and the chapter ends.

I always skip that part. I know, but I’ve read one or two sex scenes and they just don’t deviate all that much. I know what’s going to happen, so I am moving on. To me the sex scene is the annoying informercial part.

And most typical romances have at least two.

Eventually more danger occurs, more rescuing needs to be done by the man, who isn’t as good as hover stalking/protecting her as he lets on. Thankfully he vanquishes the villain who’s been the cause of the trouble, finally having played his hand somewhere during chapter 12, getting us to the climax of the story. Something that has already occurred at least once during the informercial, and will happen again before you finally get to the end. Ah, but I meant the literary climax. The other type occurs in the upcoming chapter, where the two lovers try things they hadn’t yet thought of during the marathon session in chapter 8. I flip right through to the point where body parts are in sedate positions, and the throbbing and thrusting has stopped.

The end of the book finds the couple planning a wedding or where to put the bassinet, because there is no such thing as birth control in these books, no matter how modern the setting. She will, of course give up everything to follow him, because someone has to keep the crotch in his slacks from ripping out completely, and her former life just has no meaning in comparison.

Some people read those books voraciously. I read them, in hopes that someone will finally manage to surprise me in that genre. But all the heaving, sighing, throbbing and breasts in full headlight mode just is not my style. Well it would be, if I thought the characters were believable and the plots weren’t transparent variations of a very consistent theme. In my defense though, there are other books I loath like Dostoevsky. I tried one of his books once, and gave up after the third chapter which was the continuation of a conversation that occurred in someone’s bedroom begun in chapter one. I don’t like fiction where the theme is overtly religious in nature, Westerns or books written by someone who has spent time as a televangelist, a politician or an overly paid political pundit. That still gives me loads of things to read. I’ll even give Dostoevsky another try, if there is a book that moves along somewhat faster.

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8 Replies to “And the Bodice Ripped.”

  1. great post! I am also a bookaholic – but trashy romance novels are my weakness. the sex scenes can seem very perfunctory and why-are-they-there, but great authors integrate the development of feelings into those scenes (the earlier cynster novels by stephanie laurens do this). I hope you find a better one to read!

    the plot may always be the same, so the surprise doesn’t lie in there – I suppose perhaps the genre is more about superficial enjoyment really too many twists? I rather like how it’s not too surprising – sometimes I’m tired and like to curl up for a bit of reading without too much of thinking/suspense!

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    1. Thanks for the comment and the author suggestion. Like I said I’m always looking for a new book to feed my addiction. When I find an author I like, all their books will get read

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  2. I’m surprised they are allowed to have sex now in bodice rippers. The last time I read one, in about 1981, there were a few clinches, but sex was a no no until the wedding night. I am currently reading the game of thrones series. Not usually a genre I like, but can highly recommend them.

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    1. Oh it depends on the story. Some wait (or are married early in ) some don’t.

      As for Game of Thrones, I love the series because of the complexity the fact you find yourself emotionally involved in then characters. You like them, hate them, want to throttle them. I can’t wait for the next book.

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  3. I enjoyed this post a lot. You are a good writer. Though I’ve tried to get through romance novels, I have never been able to complete one due to the predictability. One could always tell what was going to happen next… I haven’t read any Dostoevsky, but I did read Anna Karenina all the way through. Tolstoy really is very good. (Mostly, I tilt to the non-fiction, or at least somewhat historical fiction. Ah, re: tilting and Don Quixote, I am half way through Cervantes’ book, which is also deep and funny and certainly unpredictable, but now I am sort of stuck at page 400…)

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