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.
U.S. Airways and American Airlines, two crappy airlines, are merging to form one mega airline — the biggest in the world — with a $11 billion deal agreed Thursday. According to the AP, the airline, which will keep the “American” title, expects to have $40 billion in annual revenue and offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.
“The deal also caps turbulent half-decade of bankruptcies and consolidation for the U.S. airline industry,” the AP noted, and according to reports, it also ushers in a new era of higher fares and service glitches.
Charlie Leocha, director of the Consumer Travel Alliance, told The Dallas Morning News, “Consumer harm is the norm with recent mergers… While the airline management rakes in merger bonuses, consumers are the ones who bear the brunt of post-merger integration service problems. With prior mergers, these issues have created major problems for passengers.”
The Guardian reported that nonprofit group American Antitrust Institute (AAI) has called for an investigation of the merger, “arguing it will substantially reduce competition on a number of routes, create regional strongholds at key airports driving traffic to their hubs and depriving smaller communities of air service. It published a study with the Business Travel Coalition that concluded ticket prices rose 20 percent on some key Delta routes and 30 percent on several United-Continental routes after their mergers.”
As far as airline workers go, the U.S. Airline Pilots Association, which represents 5,200 US Airways pilots, said Friday that its members approved a provisional labor agreement, which will smooth the transition, the Wall Street Journal reported. The American flight attendants and a large union the represents ground workers at that carrier also have agreed to basic labor terms for the merger.
The merger is likely to become final by midsummer.
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email email@example.com.More Natasha Lennard.
"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.