When I read Mary Balogh’s Only Beloved, the seventh and final book in Mary Balogh’s Survivor’s Club series which took as its heroine Dora Debbins, a thirty-nine-year-old spinster, who had “lost all hope of marriage,” I thought good on Balogh, venturing into rather virgin territory where women of a certain age, cherished within their family, unexpectedly find beloved themselves. But it seems Mary Balogh has a few more tricks up her sleeve and now I’m “Anticipating Matilda.” […]
Jenna’s recent Laminate Freebie List post started a fair bit of discussion on the site and behind the scenes at AAR, and we began to discuss the possibility of making some other lists, and talking about what we’d do if we did. In the end, we’ve rolled two of our most popular suggestions into one, and have nominated the female characters we’d either most like to be or most like to be friends with.
Who I’d like to be:
CJ Cregg, The West Wing. When the series started, CJ was the press secretary and was eventually promoted to Chief of Staff. Poised, sarcastic, and powerful, CJ navigates a world designed by men with aplomb. I never fully bought that she was a disaster in her private life the way Sorkin wanted me too, more like she understood there were seasons of life and this season was about public service and that […]
So, I’m reading a book that’s pretty decent (my review is either forthcoming or already posted, depending on when this blog post goes live), but there is simply one aspect that I cannot get past.
The hero’s name is Laird.
When my eye catches it, I want to read “Lard” but then I think harder, and still all I can come up with is that Laird is the title used when referring to Scottish lords in historical romances. Except the story I’m reading is a new adult set in modern USA. Aye, it’s verra strange, dinna ye think, lassie?
Suzanne Brockmann’s Prince Joe was published in 1996, not exactly what we think of as the Dark Ages of feminism. But when I pulled it off my keeper shelf for a reread the other day, I noticed something that drove me absolutely bonkers: nicknaming.
The hero, Joe Catalanotto, is a Navy SEAL who grew up poor in New Jersey but happens to be a dead ringer for the prince of Ustanzia. When a wanted terrorist group tries to assassinate the prince, Joe steps in to impersonate him as bait. Veronica St. John’s job is to teach Joe how to pass as the prince. With just 48 hours until the tour resumes, and with admirals and senators involved and the economy of the prince’s country and the fate of one of America’s Most Wanted on the line, […]
In another of our occasional series in which we discuss the merits – or lack thereof – of fictional heroes and heroines, AAR staffers turn their attention to Alex Markov of Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
The book taps into the classic “arranged marriage” trope. The two protagonists, Daisy and Alex, are blackmailed into marriage by a third party: Daisy’s dad. Daisy agrees in order to avert legal trouble and avoid prison. For Alex Markov, this was his year for paying off big debts, first with his deathbed promise to Owen Quest to take the circus out for its last season under the Quest name, and then by agreeing to marry Max’s daughter. In all these years Max had never asked one thing of him as repayment for having saved Alex’s life, but when he’d finally gotten around to it, he’d asked for a doozy. […]
Has anyone here not read the Mary Russell series yet? If so, stop now and go find yourself a copy of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and meet young Mary Russell, 15 years old and orphaned, and snarking at a much older Sherlock Holmes who has retired to Sussex and beekeeping. Pulling heavily from Doyle’s representation of Sherlock Holmes (and still acknowledging both Doyle and Watson as fiction writers and creators of the world’s view of Sherlock Holmes), Laurie R. King has given us a new character, and a new perspective, in the great wide world of Sherlock fanworks. […]
Earlier this month I was chided on Twitter for saying this:
I’m 70% through A Bollywood Bride by @. I now feel bereft that I’ve never been to an Indian wedding. Or worn a sari.
The chider is a woman and author whose opinion I respect. She asked me why I would ever have had an occasion to wear a sari. This then generated a lengthy and interesting Twitter conversation about cultural appropriation. I’ve thought about the points she raised as well as those raised by those in my Twitter stream who felt strongly that anyone who wants to wear a sari or a kimono or lederhosen should do so if she wants to.
Earlier this week, the Washington Post published an article entitled “To the new culture cops, everything is appropriation.” In it, the author Cathy Young asserts that those who criticize artists […]
Now, Laszlo is only “the wrong man” by weird convoluted cinema logic. He’s been thwarting the Nazis across Europe for years; he’s articulate, bold, dedicated, noble, loyal, and let’s face it, a heck of a lot better looking than Humphrey Bogart. That’s a good man by any standards. He’s only “wrong” in the sense that he’s not the perfect match for Ilsa. Which is fine. Stay with Rick, Ilsa. I’d be more than happy to help your husband rebound.
I thought of Laszlo when I was rewatching North and South and found myself once again in love with the wrong man. Richard Armitage as John Thornton is universally acknowledged as a heartthrob, and I do understand […]
When Dabney recently asked for ideas for new TV shows to watch, shows with well-developed relationships and strong female characters, I chimed in immediately to suggest she might like to watch the BBC’s new adaptation of Poldark, an eight part costume drama set in late 18th Century Cornwall. It’s due to air in the US in June on PBS, and has just reached the end of its run here in the UK, with the promise of a second series to come next year. […]