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.
This is the bar a Republican has to clear these days to appear like a mature statesman: Refrain from calling for the impeachment of a president who hasn’t committed an impeachable offenses. The Salt lake Tribune reports that by this criteria Sen. Mike Lee R-Utah, excelled when he was speaking to some less-measured constituents recently:
Lee carefully explained that while he didn’t agree with the outcome of the 2012 election, Obama won. He said no matter how much conservatives disagree with his policies, it isn’t evident he has committed any “high crimes and misdemeanors” at this point.
The senator, who prides himself on being a constitutional scholar, also repeatedly told the crowd that any impeachment proceedings, no matter how unlikely at this point, would begin in the House. The Senate’s job is to sit in judgment of any articles of impeachment.
“We’re stuck with him,” Lee said.
Fortunately for Lee, looking like the adult in the room doesn’t force him to abandon his quest to defund Obamacare, a law passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court. He just has to appear more reasonable than Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who’ve both batted their eyes at impeachment recently.
Lee’s approach to governance is like someone who buys the second cheapest wine on the menu. It may get the job done but only a fool thinks it makes him a connoisseur.
Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.More Alex Halperin.
"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.