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60 Years of Cheap and Tawdry Romances

I do not read romance novels.

Well, okay, that's a lie. I don't read romances intentionally. I don't go out and buy a book just because it's a romance. Often a book will have some sort of romance develop. Sometimes books will be located in the Horror or Fantasy sections of the bookstore and will include more sex than plot. (Laurell K. Hamilton, I'm looking at you.) One of my college roommates had a somewhat disturbing obsession with the genre, and I would go in and borrow one (of hundreds) when I had nothing else to read. But beyond that, I don't read 'em.

Here's an exception: 2009 is Harlequin's 60th anniversary of publishing cheap and tawdry romances. To celebrate, they're releasing 16 free ebooks (in various formats, including PDF files) on the website Harlequin Celebrates. It's free, people! And it's 16 books! It takes me about a week to read that many. How could I possibly pass up something like that? How could you?

My point is, if you like free stuff - or if you like throbbing members, heaving bosoms, and novels somewhat lacking in plot - I suggest you skedaddle over there and check this shit out. I've read three books already, and believe it or not, one of them (Snowbound by Janice Kay Johnson) was actually good. As in, I'd be willing to buy more books by the author. And that, I believe, is the point of this whole free celebration nonsense.

Plus, they have a little game to make your very own Harlequin story. Heck, I'd download the books just for that.

Questions: Do you read romance novels? Who are your favorite romance writers? Should I be ashamed for admitting that I'm actually reading these books? What is your Harlequin story? (Post it!)


  1. I actually don't read romance novels. I am not a terribly romantic young lady, actually. I had a horribly sappy boyfriend long ago who gave me so many bouquets of flowers that it embarrasses me to receive them now.

    I have read the Twilight Series, but that's as close to romance novels I've come.

    You should not be ashamed to be reading these, by the way. We all have our guilty literary pleasures (mine is the Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella) and whoever says they only read fine literature is probably fibbing.
    Lastly, here's my Harlequin story....

    First comes love, then comes forgiveness...

    But a widowed wealthy tycoon struggling during the Depression doesn't have much faith in either—until he meets brainy Martha Mae in the Grand Canyon at the boardinghouse they share. She's the world's greatest mom who could love his boy and heal his own heart. But how can Horacio trust a shy woman in the profession he blames for his greatest loss?

    Martha Mae understands Horacio's pain. She has her own secret anguish, and believes her dreams of a husband and child are beyond reach. Still, she can pretend when he asks her to play his temporary fiancée to protect his son. And if God would grant her one miracle, He knows exactly what her shy heart is yearning for....


  2. I feel like Brittany put you up to this entry because she knew I would respond with a whole slew of romance novels that I've read ('A Pirate's Pleasure') and which authors I like (Virginia Henley and Judith McNaught) and then she could ridicule me behind my back or to my face.

  3. Don't worry, nobody put me up to it! I'm sure Brittany won't ridicule you... much... and heck, I'm a guy, so admitting I read romances is like 57x more embarrassing. So! There you go.
    Thanks for the recs you two! If I don't lose my Man Card for this embarrassing admission, I'll be sure to post more about romances in the future. or um not. we'll see!


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