Romance novels need a canon
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats. Read the whole essay.
Marco Rubio was supposed to beat Charlie Crist in the Florida Republican primary by being the tea-partying real conservative. But then Crist took his ball and left the Republican party completely. And so Rubio naturally shifted to general election mode, which, for all Tea Party candidates, means not acting like a crazy tea partier anymore.
Florida, like all our states, has its share of nuts and xenophobes, but it is a good deal more moderate than Rand Paul’s Kentucky. And a GOPer, even in a three-way race for 34% of the vote, will have to win over some folks who may think that the president is a Muslim, but don’t necessarily mind. But is Rubio going too far in his quest for moderate votes? Listen to him, he doesn’t even seem to think that the federal government should be prevented, by any means necessary, from functioning:
Mr. Rubio spends less and less time trying to tap into the discontent that has been at the forefront of the midterm elections. A wiser course for Republicans, he said, is offering an alternative, not simply being the angry opposition.
“The solution isn’t just to paralyze government,” Mr. Rubio said in an interview as he traveled the state last week from here in the Panhandle to Miami. “Vote for us because you couldn’t possibly vote for them? That’s not enough. It may win some seats, but it won’t take you where you want to be.”
This is apparently the work of “close adviser” Jeb Bush, who is helping to package Rubio as “an optimistic conservative,” and not a fiery Know-Nothing anti-Washington goldbug zealot. Rubio even told a voter, “I am not running for the United States Senate because I want to be the opposition to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid,” which is basically tantamount to treason.
The local Tea Party organizations, though, still support RINO Rubio, because, you know, they’re just Republicans in stupid hats.
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @pareeneMore Alex Pareene.
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
"Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie
Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower. Read the whole essay.
"A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant
A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex. Read the whole essay.
"Black Silk" by Judith Ivory
A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say. Read the whole essay.
"For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale
A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society. Read the whole essay.
"Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner
A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ... Read the whole essay.
"Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen
Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight. Read the whole essay.
"The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal
A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency. Read the whole essay.
"Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time. Read the whole essay.