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.
According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young people ages 15 – 24 account for half of the 19.7 million sexually transmitted infections that occur annually. The CDC reported data on eight sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, herpes and HPV.
So, you know, happy Valentine’s Day or whatever.
Lack of insurance and an inability to access sexual health services (I’m looking at you here, Texas) were major factors in the disproportionate representation of young people in the findings, said Catherine Satterwhite, an author of one of the reports and a CDC epidemiologist. Young women stand a greater risk of infection than men, she added.
“We’ve seen a disproportionate burden for quite a while,” Satterwhite said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “Young women in particular are at greater risk.”
High on the list of infections that will make you want to run out and buy a chastity belt? Drug-resistant gonorrhea. The agency reported in a separate study published Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that the threat of the drug-resistant strain is a result of too few antibiotics in development and a lack of alternative therapies, according to the agency.
And these diseases aren’t cheap to treat, either: The U.S. spends $16 billion each year doing just that.
Satterwhite’s advice? (For those who haven’t been newly inspired to take a vow of celibacy, that is.) Use condoms and dental dams consistently or keep your sexin’ to mutually monogamous relationships.
"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.