Romance novels need a canon
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
WASHINGTON (AP) — To hear Vice President Joe Biden tell it, the flap over President Barack Obama’s prediction of postelection “flexibility” with Russia says more about the inexperience and slipperiness of Republican candidate Mitt Romney than it does about the commander in chief.
Biden tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” in an interview broadcast Sunday that Obama was merely “stating the obvious” when he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more latitude on missile defense after the November general election. The two presidents did not realize the exchange, during a meeting in Seoul, South Korea last weekend, was being picked up by a broadcast microphone.
GOP front-runner Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, called it “alarming” and part of a pattern of “breathtaking weakness” with America’s foes. He asked what else Obama would be flexible on if he were to win a second term.
“Speaking of flexible, Gov. Romney’s a pretty flexible guy on his positions,” Biden said in the interview, taped Thursday from Milwaukee.
Biden also pointed to Romney’s comment that Russia is America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe,” calling that description “incredibly revealing.”
“He just seems to be uninformed or stuck in a Cold War mentality,” Biden said. “It exposes how little the governor knows about foreign policy.”
The interview reflected the increasingly sharp attacks that Obama’s re-election team has been aiming at Romney, and its belief that Romney will be Obama’s challenger in November.
Biden said he would be surprised if Romney weren’t the nominee, though he added, “I’ve been surprised by this whole Republican primary process.”
He also used Obama’s open-mike incident to poke fun at himself. “I know a little bit about unguarded moments with microphones,” Biden said, remembering his off-color whispered observation to Obama that his health care overhaul was a really “big … deal.”
"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.