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.
BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil rose Thursday on expectations the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus campaign will stay in place despite a vow to being scaling it back.
The official estimate of U.S. economic growth was Wednesday lowered to an annual rate of 1.8 percent for the January-March quarter, sharply down from a previous estimate of 2.4 percent. That raised hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep in place its bond buying program, which has been a boon to stock and commodity markets by lowering interest rates and weakening the dollar.
The Fed has said its $85 billion a month of government bond purchases could be scaled back starting later this year if the economy keeps improving.
Benchmark oil for August delivery was up 40 cents to $95.90 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 18 cents Wednesday to close at $95.50 per barrel.
Analysts said confidence indicators in Europe as well as speeches by Fed officials expected later in the day would provide further encouragement to markets.
“We expect more soothing comments from Fed speakers while Eurozone data will point to gradual improvement,” Anthony Lam of Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said in a commentary.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices for oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, rose 66 cents to $102.32 a barrel.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Natural gas rose 0.4 cent to $3.741 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil rose 1.2 cents to $2.867 a gallon.
— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.8 cent to $2.725 a gallon.
"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.