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.
NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo pulled an online ad for Mountain Dew that was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women.
In the 60-second spot developed by African-American rapper Tyler, The Creator, a battered white woman on crutches is urged by an officer to identify a suspect out of a lineup of black men. A goat character known as Felicia is included in the lineup.
The goat makes threatening remarks to the woman such as “Ya better not snitch on a player” and “Keep ya mouth shut.” She eventually screams “I can’t do this, no no no!” and runs away.
The word “do” is in apparent reference to the soft drink’s “Dew It” slogan.
PepsiCo Inc., based in Purchase, N.Y., apologized in a statement and said it understood how the ad could be offensive.
Jen Ryan, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, said the company was alerted on Tuesday by its consumer relations team that some people found the ad offensive. The company immediately decided to take down the spot and was told by Tyler that he would remove it from his YouTube channel as well, she said.
The ad was never intended to air on TV, Ryan said.
A publicist for Tyler, the Creator did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. His raps have been criticized for being misogynistic and homophobic at times but he has also expressed support for the singer Frank Ocean when he revealed he was bisexual.
Mountain Dew, known for its neon yellow color and higher caffeine content, is marketed toward younger men.
"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.