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 Tuesday report from the Wall Street Journal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a public appearance in early September with the Port Authority official who ordered the creation of a major traffic jam in Fort Lee.
While it’s not known whether Christie and the official, David Wildstein, discussed the traffic situation in Fort Lee, the revelation casts doubt on Christie’s earlier claim that his relationship with Wildstein was minimal and that he hadn’t seen the now-resigned Port Authority official “in a long time.”
Christie and Wildstein were together on Sept. 11 for a commemoration on the 12th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Joining them was also Bill Baroni, another former official at the Port Authority who, along with Wildstein, resigned his position once state Democrats began to investigate the lane closures and the ensuing traffic fiasco.
Mr. Christie addressed Mr. Wildstein in a news conference last week, saying he had not encountered him “in a long time.”
“I have had no contact with David Wildstein in a long time, a long time, well before the election,” which was held Nov. 5, Mr. Christie said last week. “You know, I could probably count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve had with David since he worked at the Port Authority. I did not interact with David.”
When exactly Mr. Christie learned of the traffic problems is an unsettled question likely to figure in investigations of the matter. Mr. Christie said in December that he learned only after the Journal published an internal email from the Port Authority’s top New York official reversing the closures. That email and the accompanying news article appeared Oct. 1.
But Mr. Christie said last week he had learned of the matter earlier, from unspecified news reports about the traffic the closures had caused in Fort Lee.
"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.