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.
The US has not yet confirmed that toxic gases were employed in Syria, as Syrian activists have claimed, but Obama had previously warned that such actions would cross a “red line.”
“Has that red line now been crossed?” BBC News asked on Thursday, referring to accusations that Assad’s forces used chemical weapons to kill over 1,100 people in a poison gas attack earlier this week.
Syria is in the midst of a brutal war pitting Assad against an armed rebellion in violence believed to have killed over 100,000 people in the past several years.
This is not the first time chemical warfare has been reported in Syria, but Obama said the latest developments could prove “very troublesome” and “require America’s attention,” according to the Associated Press.
A top US official told The Wall Street Journal on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday that Washington is inclined to believe chemical weapons were indeed used recently in Syria.
“There are strong indications there was a chemical weapons attack—clearly by the government,” the official said.
Obama told CNN that the Syrian government is not likely to be forthcoming on the issue, despite prodding by Russia, a close ally of Assad.
“We don’t expect cooperation [from the Syrian government], given their past history,” Obama told CNN’s “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo in an exclusive interview released on Friday.
But now, the US leader said “core national interests” are at play in the Syrian conflict, “both in terms of us making sure that weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating, as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region,” he said, according to CNN.
Obama also addressed recent developments in Egypt. Watch his interview here:
"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.