Hey, Wendy. Read any good books lately?
Why, yes, Hypothetical Person Who Has the Same Taste in Books as Me, I have! Thanks for asking! Have you read the author Madeline Hunter?
No, is she good?
Yes, I have really been enjoying her books. You should check them out!
I will, thanks!
…Is the conversation I have been having with myself lately. I don’t have many friends that enjoy reading the same kinda romance novels as I do, so I have a hard time biting back my mirth when I find a particularly enjoyable book or author. Let me tell ya, not everyone is receptive to the “latest greatest Regency Romance Novel I’m reading” rant.
There seem to be three different types of recommendations I give when it comes to books and movies.
The Overexcited Recommendation
I try to be cognizant of the differing interests, temperaments, and tastes of my friends. I really do. As much as I love Jane Austen, I would be the last person to put down a statement like “everyone has to read Pride and Prejudice and love it.” Buuuuut sometimes I’m just so damn excited about a book or movie. I read/watch it multiple times; I think about it all the time; I rave about it to anyone around me. I somehow manage to convince myself that other people I know would like it if they give it a chance! I just can’t control my mirth and I want to share it with the WORLD.
Sorry, guys, for those times. The Overexcited Recommendation often goes awry, and I end up feeling a little embarrassed whenever someone actually listens to me and finds it lacking. Or ridiculous. I kind of love ridiculous things, and I’m always a little surprised that other people don’t.
The Recommendation… I Guess…
So, knowing that I get overexcited about stuff I like, and that very few people have the same taste as me, I end up doing The Rant to get out my excitement. People hear how excited I am and want to get excited about it too. “What’s the name of that again?” they ask, with some vague interest. That triggers the I Guess Recommendation. I know you will hate it. You know you probably won’t look it up. But I’m excited! So I tell you. I mean, maybe there is a slight chance that you would actually look it up and you would actually like it.
This recommendation is full of disclaimers. “If you want to read it…” “If you’re interested…” To be clear, you were the one that asked for the recommendation. I was just ranting, minding my own business. It’s not my fault if the recommendation goes awry.
The “Actual” Recommendation
If I say “I think you might actually like this,” hooray! You’ve unlocked an actual recommendation! Somewhere in my mass of recently consumed media, I have found something that might actually be palatable to people other than me, which might actually fit your personality in a way that you might actually enjoy. Hooray for you! Now that you have a real recommendation, I know that there is a 5% chance you will actually read/watch it. If you do, yay! If not, it’s all good.
Did I mention that I’m really liking her? So far I’ve read:
- His Wicked Reputation
- Tall, Dark, and Wicked
- The Wicked Duke
- The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne
I’m not exactly sure why I get the feeling that she is different than other Regency Romance authors. I think it might be that the characters seem so.. adult. At least the women do. 3 of the 4 female protagonists so far had jobs, were supporting themselves. All of them are spinsters making the most of their situation. I love me a good book about a spinster getting shit done.
These women don’t take shit from anyone. I love Miss Fairbourne in particular. Her dad dies and she takes over the family business of an auction house without letting anyone know about the fact that it’s being run by a *gasp!* woman. She’s so forthright and no nonsense, she is constantly befuddling the male protagonist: a normally smooth and controlled Earl. He keeps on thinking that he’s going to talk her out of something, and leaves each time thinking, “dammit! What just happened??”
Also there is a pretty great scene at the beginning where he mistakes an advertisement she made for a position at her auction house as an advertisement for a “male companion.” He offers himself as a candidate and everyone involved is SO CONFUSED.
I like how the women approach their relationships, too. They are very realistic about their expectations. As they should be, since ain’t no merchant class spinster gonna land a duke by sleeping with him before the banns are read. SERIOUSLY. Luckily, for all involved, the men fall in love with them, so the realistic expectations are all for naught.
Tall, Dark, and Wicked is also pretty great. He’s an exacting lawyer, she’s a extra smart bluestocking. They go toe-to-toe. It’s marvelous.
You know what I love about the Wicked Trilogy? They’re brothers! *in a gushing tone* The three brothers have a witty repartee that is just so brotherly. It’s great to watch.
Ah, well, this wasn’t very organized. But I love it! Watch out for those Overexcited Recommendations, y’all.