Tag Archives: ilona andrews

Bridgerton, Romancelandia, and the Masses

Can we talk abut Bridgerton on Netflix for a moment?

Some of the criticism coming about season 2 is that there isn’t enough sex. Not enough graphic, raunchy sex scenes to satisfy all the new people who have discovered Romancelandia (a term coined by those people who religiously read romance novels). Or that those not affiliated or tuned into the romance domain don’t understand why there are new people in season 2. These clearly come from people who don’t read a lot of romance, especially not the Julia Quinn novels these are based on. Let’s take these criticisms one at a time. We’ll start with the second since this is pretty easy to address.

The reason that there are new people, is because that’s the way Romance novels/series are set up. Each book has it’s own HEA (happily ever after) and their story is done. Oh sure, you might see them pop up in a future book in the series as a check in to remind people of their favorite characters, but for the most part their story is done. The series moves on to a different person in the family, a friend, etc. These new characters are always laid out in previous books, dangling them before you like a carrot. That’s how you get sucked in to the next book. I, personally, always wait for the broken ones. I’m a sucker for some hero/heroine that doesn’t think their good enough and those are always my favorites. Hence the reason i’m waiting patiently for Eloise and Penny’s seasons on Netflix.

Yes, I already know they’re going to get their guy but the journey is part of the fun.

You don’t normally see a series of books with the same main character in Romance. That happens in Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, or those types of books where the Romance is NOT the main element in the book. These can follow the same couple over many books and may end with a HFN (happy for now) situation but the character, plot, and romantic arcs are much bigger than your typical romance. In these books the plot and character arcs are the main focus but these can be some of the most rewarding. Ilona Andrews does this in her Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy books, as well as Kim Harrison in the Hollows books. My own books are tailored after this model. The Blushing Death Series and the Blood and Bone Legacy are definitely a HFN series.

However, Kresley Cole (whose books are legitimately like crack) is a master of the paranormal romance where each book is a different couple and has an HEA for each but the larger arc is also in play. In the IAD-Immortals After Dark-books, the HEA is the most important and the larger arc is just cake.

Let’s take the first criticism now, the lack of sex. I think we need to talk about a few things first.

In Romance books, there are quite a few classic tropes that can be the basis for the plot and everyone has their favorite. There are more but these are the most common:

  1. Friends to lovers – this is where people have been friends for a very long time and somthing changes and they discover they want to bone. Penny/Colin.
  2. Second Chances – think divorced couples or reuniting lost loves
  3. Pretend Relationships – First half of Season 1 of Bridgerton
  4. Forced Proximity – Second half of Season 1 of Bridgerton
  5. Destined to be together – this takes place in paranormal alot with fated mates. This is manifested with a lot of Alpha males yelling MINE
  6. Forbidden love – you all know what this means although don’t get gross with it. More like outside your social strata, your race, your religion, etc.
  7. Love Triangles – 3’s a crowd. Think Twilight
  8. Enemies to lovers – This is what we have in Season 2 of Bridgerton.

So, the enemies to lovers thing is all about the steam, the anticipation, the rising passion as they get over their initial dislike of each other and get down to the animal attraction and passion underneath. You’re not going to spend the entire show banging somone you hate. That’s revenge sex and that’s completely different. So, instead, we have a lot of fighting, misunderstandings, heat, and sexual tension.

Now, it’s my understanding that the book makes a shift from Friends to Lovers to Forced Proximity with the bee incident about half way through (I can not verify this since I haven’t read this particular series. I don’t like to mix book and tv/movie if I like one. I’m always disapointed in something). However, I could see where the show runners sat back and said, that’s too close to season 1, let’s draw this out a bit.

I don’t mind the anticipation and the build up, but the payoff better be worth it. I think where they went wrong was in season 1 and laying the ground work for the Viscount’s story. They set up the vicount as in love with the opera singer and ready to run away with her, thereby shirking his duty as the heir. So, the dramatic turn around of him ready to fulfill his duty and get married, produce an heir, etc seemed a bit forced. We needed a bit more ground work to make that believable. A conversation could have done that for us or maybe the opera singer’s death, marraige, etc. Something to take this other woman out of the picture permanently and his realization that that dream was now over and he had to move on. There was some resignation evident but, I was left wanting. That’s my own personal preference.

Audiobooks

I listen to quite a few audiobooks. In fact, I might listen to more books per year than I actually read. Mostly, because I can listen to them in the car and at work which makes my work day much more enjoyable. I can’t listen to music at work. I have a tendency to sing along and no one wants that. Really, no one wants that. It’s weird. Plus, I was never really into music. I like music. I could never just sit and listen to it. I always had to be doing something else. That’s why audiobooks makes so much sense. And with the ability to download the content to my phone (instead of the bulky CD’s pack you would need in years past) it’s so much easier. My Audible library is ridiculous and quite frankly Amazon has too much of my money. Actually, there are a couple of authors that have all my money because I own their books in three formats (physical books, ebooks, and audiobooks). Thanks Kresley Cole and Ilona Andrews! No really. Thanks! I want to be you when I grow up some day. I’m 38, by the way.

The flip side is that audiobooks can also be very very bad, independent of the book itself depending on the narrator. This is a performance and quite frankly, if you can’t do an accent, don’t try. I’m listening to something now that just delivers everything in a monotone and has the worst Irish accent I’ve ever heard. Lucky Charms Leprechaun type accent. It’s horrendous and I’m not sure I want to listen to it. I’m in it to win it though. I’ve listened to two hours and it’s only eight hours long. I might as well finish.

As we’ve said before, I have a problem with books. Is there a BA (books anonymous) group I can join? Do I even want to?

Nope! And I have zero shame about that.

 

Violet Abyss Snippet

I’ve got nothing today. So, instead, I thought I’d give you a little snippet from Violet Abyss coming in May. I’m working on the 1st round edits now.

This is the lazy way out…I know.

“As much as I appreciate the distraction, we need to talk about this.” I sighed, still feeling the endorphins coast through my system and unable to keep the grin from my face.

“Do we?” Dean growled.

“Yes.” I grabbed my T-shirt and slung it over my head, tossing it across the room. It was covered in sweat and sex. I couldn’t wear it downstairs in a house filled with shifters that would smell it a mile away. “You know it’s a trap, right?”

“Yes,” Dean growled beside me, sliding his hand across the lace of my bra.

My nipple puckered again under the warm caress of his hand.

“And yet, the only way to curry favor with the other Territorial Lieges is to attend.” Patrick stretched out beside me, lithe and lean like a satisfied cat.

“When was the last time a gathering of this type happened?” I asked Patrick, watching the muscles ripple beneath his alabaster skin, still marred by the scars caused by silver spikes when he’d been tortured in Faerie. I was getting used to them, almost not even seeing them anymore but when I did notice, a pang of guilt always twisted my stomach into knots. It wasn’t my fault, but I hadn’t saved him in time to stop it. For that, I would never forgive myself.

“Never.”

“Well, hell,” I snorted. “That can’t be good.”

“You said it,” Dean added, his voice a deep rumble in his chest.

“So, what’s our plan?” I asked, feeling the endorphins wearing off and the edge of anxiety making my blood pressure rise.

“Stay alive,” Dean snorted.

“We must demonstrate our power, our self-reliance, and resources to the Territorial Lieges. We must also show our superiority over the Lebensblut board. We must give the Territorial Lieges a reason to side with us or this entire endeavor will be fruitless. A rebellion of sorts is in order and this conclave is our best chance to gain support,” Patrick said, his voice harsh but firm. A sexy, gruff tone I recognized from that night in Crimson when he’d shoved me up against a wall, not knowing if he was going to kill me or kiss me. He’d kissed me and it had been one hell of a kiss.

“What you’re saying is that I shouldn’t hide who and what I am . . .”

“No, baby, no hiding this time,” Dean grumbled.

“Correct. No hiding. We want them to fear us. We want each of them to weigh their options and find Konyam and the board lacking.” Patrick brushed a strand of my long, blond hair from my face. His cool fingers brushed across my forehead and I shivered in the humid New Orleans air.

RT2013

Am I the only one not concerned with fame?

I don’t care that you’re famous.

If you’re an ass, you’re just a famous ass and I don’t have time to deal with that.

If you have fans (and don’t get me wrong, I’m totally jealous), but at least pay attention to them and don’t treat them like their shit. If they want to take a picture with you, smile and say “sure, that would be great!” Also, don’t hide who you are. If you started out as self-published, acknowledge it and embrace it. Be proud of where you came from. Yes, now you have a very VERY lucrative publishing contract but own up. You started out as fan-fiction, stole someone else’s characters and wrote a very subpar set of novels that the general masses adore. Own it!

Maybe its me but I can’t respect a person who doesn’t acknowledge who and what they are, the work they’ve done, and tries to be something they’re not.

As an author, I strive to be better every day, to make my characters as real for my readers as I can. I’m not going to lie. I’ve written some shit in my day, unabashed shit but I know that and acknowledge it. I learn from it and and develop not only as an author but as a person taking the good with the bad. I feel that most of us who are in the business for a while want to be proud of our work and we understand that rejection, development, and tears are all part of the process. If you catapult to stardom without the benefit of failure, you lose something. You lose the ability to be humble, thankful, and grow.

I realize this is a little late considering that RT was in April but better late than never…right?