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Sort order. Found the story silly and Gillian was very annoying. The story seemed to drag in places and other times it jumps around and you felt like you missed something. The suspense part was a big let down. This story is like an soap-opera. Jun 13, Gigi marked it as dnr-dnf-notme Shelves: mm-firefighters. Tina K. She always has my back. Sep 01, Llaph rated it really liked it Shelves: ctr , contemporary-erotic.
Gillian Hilliard lives a boring and predictable life. Her self-esteem is low, partly due to her over-bearing mother and partly to her nightmare past. Afterward, she does not trust his interest. Surely some historical slaveowners were nice , too, right? He pays them in extra work after their slaving work is done.
What a champ. But at least it's better than nothing, right? There is no sense here of slaves as people with independent dreams or desires: if James does not provide them with work, clothing, and food, they will have nothing. Because of niceness, or something. The subject of back pay for years of unpaid labor somehow never seems to come up. Heroine Selene is shamefully quick to abandon her initial distaste for slavery: "I don't know why I've been sent to the past, but somehow I know it's wrong for me to be trying to change history -- impossible, actually" Why is it wrong or impossible?
Because fuck you, that's why. This little moment of gut-feeling is all we get for an explanation, and soon our heroine is leveraging slave labor as though she's been doing it all her life but she's really nice about it, so that's okay, right? But then James' dead wife turns out to be alive -- and an addict!
Because you know what's worse than slavery? Sure, keep a hundred human beings in perpetual bondage for your own material gain -- but no consensual sexytimes with another white woman's husband! That's immoral. Lest you think I am being petty by taking a rocket launcher to the fish in this hapless book-barrel, I should point out that as of press time this staggeringly heartless novel, though first published in , was reissued this year in both print and digital by Avon, and currently has a 4.
One reviewer describes it as "pure fantasy," and even a few of the negative reviews mention how much they laughed, especially at the blond jokes, because the parts of this book that aren't about racism are about how stupid and slutty blond women are. I'm sure all those five-star reviewers would hasten to say that I am overthinking things, that it's all just a joke. I have been told such things before.
Merrian Weymouth 's idea that romance reading functions as an escape into privilege has never been more clearly illustrated. Heroine Selene and presumably plenty of this book's readership want to 'escape' into the romanticized Scarlett-esque version of the Old South. Big white ballgowns. Aubusson carpets.
Hepplewhite, Duncan Phyfe, Hitchcock and Seignouret furniture. It's presented as simply an unfortunate accident of history that this particular fantasy comes with a genocidal price tag. Oh, and also not to do our own housework, because nobody likes housework, amirite? Come on, it's just a joke. It's not like most modern domestic service workers are people of color or anything like that, right?
I'm sure that's just an irrelevant coincidence. This book was not written by an obscure self-published writer with a small niche audience.
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Sandra Hill is a New York Times bestselling author, a genre mainstay for the past two decades; she is still writing books set in the contemporary South, though I am certainly not going to read them. Because adultery is too immoral to stomach but owning slaves is not. Are we really supposed to believe this is all just an enormous coincidence?
That there's nothing to interrogate about our readership, our genre, and our cultural history of systemic anti-blackness? The plantation has been a stock romance setting for half a century, from Rosemary Rogers to Kathleen Woodiwiss and onward. It's still fairly easy to find romances with Union or Confederate Army soldiers as heroes, especially when you add Weird West and steampunk stories to the mix.
I chose Frankly, My Dear for this blog series because I thought it would help showcase a particularly troubled thread of the romance genre's history -- Margaret Mitchell would be worse than Sandra Hill would be worse than some imagined novel yet to come. I didn't trust Sandra Hill not to have a few broad stereotypes, after all -- I've read her before. As they say, be careful what you wish for: a feminist reading of this book only shows how deeply the genre continues to fail in matters of race and ethnicity.
Where is the Save the Pearls -type backlash to this book and others like it? Or the thoughtful critique , as we see with depictions of rape and dub-con? Is the book's light tone really a good enough cover for the steamingly obvious racism at the core of this premise? Is it really enough for so many readers that our hero and heroine pay lip service to the idea of racial equality, while continuing to perpetuate a violent, degrading institution? How is this an acceptable position for a character we are expected to sympathize with and root for? Then she calls the girl a "Lolita" We never see this girl again and she's not important to the plot: her appearance is just a cute narrative trick to artificially raise the sexual stakes between the hero and the heroine.
I don't think a single page goes by without some obviously racist or sexist fuckery that should make any author ashamed in the year fucking, and I need to stop talking about this since my fingers are shaking too hard to type. For fiction, if you value yourself and your blood pressure, do not read Sandra Hill's book.
Instead choose anything else from Fuck Yeah Interracial Romance Novels on Tumblr, or one of the books recommended in this post from The Toast , or if you really must read a romance novel that deals with slavery, please try Beverly Jenkins' Indigo instead. It has been a long time since a book has charmed me so thoroughly, on so many levels.
She has a Dorothy-Parkerish keenness of voice, self-deprecating and self-confident by turns. This post and the comments name a few more. But most significant are the frequent allusions to Jane Eyre , whose plot the novel parallels rather closely:. These are the broad strokes, though I could go on our heroine has an overbearing aunt, our heroine finds employment through periodicals, Jade is one letter away from Jane, etc. Jane Eyre in this context does not flee from a nearly committed crime: instead, she rejects a form of inclusion that would make her subservient, secondary.
Western literature's meaning alters when it is viewed from the margins rather than from the center. Jade's gently ironic tone should not prevent us from noticing that the state of second wife is the very type of subservience she is being offered by Diana Hardie. It would mean the obliteration of her entire self and experience: "It would be like forswearing rice, and only eating cake for the rest of my life.
I couldn't do it" Sebastian Hardie, after all, could not be a more obvious symbol of the Western colonial and literary agenda. He is a celebrated author with a sexually adventurous lifestyle and a rampaging libido -- the perfect Roaring Twenties sheik -- the consummate romance novel hero. And like his wife, he would place Jade in a role as a sidekick. On their very first meeting, he refers to her as "Ariel But Jade's not having it. It's probably nothing more than a one-off joke, offered in a moment of social anxiety, but Hardie attempts for the rest of the novel to confine her within this persona: he refers to her as "little Caliban" and writes revealing poems to her under that name.
He has effectively colonized Jade, renaming her and confining her personhood within an explicitly English, literary framework. It is never made explicit in the text, but I believe it's safe to assume that in this little game Hardie imagines himself as Prospero, a figure often associated with creative and artistic powers not to mention God complexes. The role of Prospero is reserved for Sebastian's wife Diana, who is very clearly in charge of everything: "Being with Diana must be like living in a beautiful play written by a playwright of the modern school" Like Jane Eyre, she finds herself in a place that operates on high moral principles and charitable acts:.
Crowther is a widow, but her assistants are Misses mostly. They are all very nice: they knit and are tremendously tactful. The food is British and hearty, and the furnishings are soothing, if plain. Perhaps they thought patterns might distress our minds further. Also like Jane, Jade finds friendship in this lonely place -- but while Jane finds solace in the puritan spirit of the Riverses, Jade is drawn to a fellow inmate, Margery, who suffers from what is pretty obviously clinical depression: she describes "a black thing with horns and wings Their sisterhood is not a literary-coincidental blood connection, but a sympathy created by marginalization.
Strict adherence to the plots of such narratives belongs to people like the Hardies, or to Margery's relatives, who privilege "scientific" medical authority over her own lived experience of her illness These are small details, but it soon becomes apparent that Ravi and Jade have each been telling themselves stories about the other, and that those stories have not matched. John Rivers does for Rosamond Oliver. In the course of proposing, Ravi reveals that he knows Jade's untranslated name, Geok Huay. Jade is puzzled, as she'd never actually told him this -- but he mentions that she had written it but then crossed it out on the very first letter she'd written to him as an editor.
It is clear that Ravi has deliberately chosen to address her by the name she'd chosen to use in public, in London, in the literary world -- but he has not forgotten her real name, and in this private, intimate moment he uses it, setting aside the colonial need for a 'normal-sounding' read: British identification. If Jade excels at subverting and deflating the narratives of privilege and colonialism -- her initial bad review of Hardie's novel, her refusal to adore London's golden boy, her refusal to move in with Hardie and his wife, her rebellious friendship with Margery -- Ravi "remembers the things one has said" As such, he is perfectly suited to her, and Jade recognizes it.
And of course, in a truly subversive move that's like catnip for lit-nerds like myself, Jade finds happiness not with the Rochester figure but with a much friendlier, warmer version of St. John Rivers, who initially offers her a similar kind of companionate marriage before the two realize their mutual romantic feelings. But this is a false dichotomy, a lingering symptom of the way that non-white people have been Othered and limited throughout literature and history.
I for one am thrilled that Zen Cho is hoping to write more "post-colonial fluff for book nerds. She has also complied this handy list of Malaysian science fiction and fantasy writers working in English , for your further reading pleasure.
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And I finally did! I didn't like it. Let's be clear: this is mostly a matter of personal preference. Destiny's Embrace is a romance in a very classic mold: virgin heroine resplendent with niceness, alpha hero terrified of commitment, cast of secondary characters whose goodness is directly related to how much they help or are sympathetic to our protagonists. Plenty of conflicts are foreshadowed -- the heroine's abusive mother in Philadelphia, the hero's current mistress, the sinister neighboring rancher who's busting down fences to poach water he doesn't have the rights to -- but all these problems are resolved in a single scene each, and none of the solutions have any consequences or repercussions.
This unsettled me so much -- was it due to unconscious racism? Like a book that had kept its boned corset but changed the color of its gown. And that book is one I've read before, over and over, in many a historical romance over the years. It wasn't. It's a very familiar romance type, and it is very much not my bag.
This is not necessarily something Beverly Jenkins needs to change. For one thing, she has a thousand awards, a passionate following, and can cheerfully ignore the opinions of a newbie author of weird erotic paranormal historicals. For another, I kept remembering part of this Ann Leckie post about tradition and inclusion in genre ficion:. To some of us, belonging to a tradition is a valuable and hard-won thing. And yet here I am, unsatisfied, about to think overly hard about these two Beverly Jenkins novels and the value of resistance.
Vivid's partner-in-crime had been her late grandmother Maria, founder of the Female Plotting Rebelling Society. Grandmother Maria believed that all females, regardless of age, race, or circumstances, should always be plotting rebellion to better the state of women. The Female Plotting Rebelling Society! I was enchanted. Alpha heroes can be so adorably fragile , can't they? Sadly, the FPRS is never again mentioned, as the plot meanders through several seemingly unconnected episodes of suspense and family melodrama.
Still, this quote helps set up a fundamental theme of the book: rebellion and resistance are important virtues. The indignities of Jim Crow are depicted, and several characters speak against those racist policies or find ways to work around them as best they can. National politics are mentioned frequently and in-depth, and I admit nerd alert! Black voters in the text are forced to choose between a Republican Party that has neglected them and a Democratic Party that has worked for their disenfranchisement and destruction; some characters stay loyal to the party of Lincoln, but others make a different choice.
This rebellious spirit, defending the dignity and humanity of black persons, is presented as entirely compatible with patriotic fervor: we are not resisting the state, so much as we are attempting to improve it. Additionally, we have our heroine's resistance to rigidly sexist gender roles as conceived by the inhabitants of Grayson's Grove.
Vivid is an excellent doctor, well-trained and passionate, who saves numerous lives and spends her off hours reading case reports and compiling patient histories. Even in the 19th century, most of good doctoring is paperwork. In defense of herself and other women, Vivid speaks out against prejudiced locals, including our hero himself -- and all of them are demonstrably wrong for distrusting her abilities. Her resistance to the town's initial sexist skepticism guarantees her own happiness in her profession and new location, and it also ensures that Grayson's Grove has a trained and competent doctor for the first time in decades.
It's both a personal triumph and a sign of social progress. In fact, Grayson's Grove has a particular history of anti-sexist action by the women who live there, as Nate himself reveals to the reader:. The women owned many of the businesses, oftimes they voted as a bloc on Grove affairs, and generally they had their way when they wanted it.
According to legend, during his grandfather's day the men once tried to rein in their wives. It resulted in a disaster so cataclysmic that even today Nate could not get any of the elder men to discuss what had transpired. The women won, that was all Nate and his contemporaries knew. Unfortunately, resistance is also especially virtuous in courtship relationships.
Destiny's Embrace is particularly explicit about this, and features this memorable line from the hero's internal monologue: "How dare she be immune to his charms. Did she not know his reputation with the ladies? In my mind he was wearing a fedora for the rest of the book. Yates was saying. This was the point where the phonograph in my head began playing ' Gaston ' on endless loop. In both texts the heroine's unique resistance to the hero's sexual appeal makes her different and therefore more desirable than other women. Both books also feature secondary romance storylines involving an elderly female relative of the hero -- and these romances are even more adversarial than that of the main protagonists.
I'm putting you on notice. Before the snow falls, you and I are going to be man and wife" Note the absence of a question mark or any suggestion that Abigail is permitted to refuse this offer. The result of such a dynamic is that real, earnest resistance to romantic overtures is erased or at best transformed into mere temporizing and game-playing. One, Silas Cook kept referring to her as 'sugar,' and two, when she told him she was flattered by his proposal but uninterested in becoming his next wife, he refused to take her seriously" Hero Logan's announcement later in the book that he and Mariah are courting only infuriates Silas -- and the target of is anger, naturally, is the heroine: "Don't you hello me, girl.
You led me on" The only difference between his and Logan's pursuit of Mariah is that Mariah secretly desires Logan -- but her spoken interactions with the two men are nearly identical in many places. Throughout both texts, female characters will express resistance or refusal to sexual overtures, only to have everyone around them chuckle knowingly and wait until refusal magically becomes blissful acceptance.
Such is the textual, sexual power of the romance hero. Structurally, the patterns of these three layers of resistance -- political, social, and romantic -- serve to equate the position of men with the position of the state, giving the world of the text a patriarchal authority that may be softened, but never completely overthrown.
Black citizens resist the state, but are still contained within it and subject to its racist laws. Women in Grayson's Grove are educated and outspoken, but still subject to the tyranny of male opinion and control. That great passage about the prior generation of intelligent, active women? Their victory is hollow, because nobody currently knows how they won or what they were fighting to get besides the vague 'not reined in'. It's a little chilling to think that because the men won't talk about it, nobody knows what happened -- why, exactly, can they not ask the women themselves?
Male silence on this matter erases the effects of female rebellion from oral history as well as from living memory. And female resistance to romance slowly evaporates beneath the exertion of male desire. Female desire exists, but it is tempered by both Vivid's and Mariah's highly fetishized virginity, which renders their desires less than fully active.
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The hero's good looks and sexual prowess frequently overpower the heroine's physical and emotional reservations in ways that longtime romance readers will instantly recognize -- unspoken attraction leads to bickering, arguments end when characters begin making out, etc. But because the sexual arena in these books is very much a sphere of masculine authority -- the 'let me teach you how to sex' language is everywhere -- the result is that feminine speech and self-assertion are subtly but consistently undermined.
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Nate and Vivid have gotten engaged and Vivid's parents are on their way to town to celebrate. But another stranger arrives first -- some weeks earlier, Nate had secretly sent out a batch of letters seeking a replacement doctor. Vivid is naturally furious at Nate's betrayal, breaks off the engagement, and storms out -- but in the midst of her fury, we get this: "She knew she'd eventually be calm enough to hear Nate's explanation, but damn him, she hadn't reached that state yet" He has brutally undermined her career and lied to her if only through forgetfulness, though that wouldn't make me any less angry in her shoes -- but she's already putting her own emotions aside, thinking outside herself and prioritizing Nate's perspective over her own -- all in less than a page after the reveal.
We have come a long way from the Vivid of the first few chapters, who fired a rifle at Nate's hat when he tried to walk away mid-argument. Despite all the book's description of women as formidable, as strong, as troublesome, as rebellious, the narrative arc shows a process of taming, muting, and restraint. And don't get me started on the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold character, really just don't. This brings us back to the Ann Leckie quote, about the importance of the tradition for the marginalized.
Black Americans in 19th-century Michigan were heavily Othered, and thus may have more stake in mantaining a typo, but I'm leaving it the politics of respectability. I think it's fairly safe to say that Nate's urge to make Grayson's Grove a successful, thriving community in a racist country definitely leads him into some oppressive, anti-feminist behavior.
Female rebellion threatens Nate's ability to counter the social pressures of white supremacy: his intentions are noble. The history of the romance genre is only starting to be written, and black romances in particular are often overlooked. This is not going to be a nice post. It is not going to be a short post. It is, however, a necessary post, if only to keep me from feeling slimy in my soul.
Please accept honesty as a virtue today in lieu of graciousness. Tomorrow my chapter of the Romance Writers of America is having their monthly meeting. I generally look forward to chapter meetings, but tomorrow I will not be in attendance. Because the speaker is Jean Haner , talking about her particular school of face reading , also known as physiognomy.
It totally does! I'm also skeptical because I'm a historical romance author, and like virtually every historical romance author I have read about phrenology and I know that it is a load of crap. More specifically, it's a load of racist crap, used to justify both slavery and eugenics among other atrocities on the grounds that African people were less intellectually developed than Europeans. This despite the fact that none of the evidence amounted to a hill of beans, scientifically.
None of the research I've done on face reading in the past three months has convinced me that physiognomy is any more science-based or any less racist than phrenology. And calling it "Chinese face reading," as many do, does not reassure me on this front. You might as well drop the words "exotic" or "Oriental. Also a red flag: when you talk about what the shape of a person's nose can tell you about their relationship with money. Because that's certainly never been a talking point of anti-Semitism, nosiree. The science: I'm not the only one out there to shout "What about genetics?
One face-reading website I found addressed these concerns in a FAQ, but the response is chock-full of shoddy science. Hint: if the romance author can spot you're doing science wrong, you're doing science really, really wrong. So you're claiming that genes have nothing whatsoever to do with how we look? It's not mere chance or coincidence? No, I believe your soul chooses from what's available in the gene pool. And sometimes it's a pretty long reach in that pool to find the trait that's needed. For instance, one face reading student of mine pointed out that, in his family, there are four brothers.
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All of them look alike except "the rebel," whose face looks completely different from all the others. That is, it is just as likely that the rebellious brother's facial differences caused him to act differently from his brothers as it is that his personal differences are reflected in his facial features. Especially if everyone in the family was frequently making a big deal about it. Oh, you look so different from your brothers!
Maybe you were adopted! Maybe the milkman is your real dad! Ha ha ha! It's just a joke—why aren't you laughing? That would certainly lead me to feel rebellious. Another excellent post, from the hitherto unknown-to-me Motor City Blog , talks about going to a face reading event. Our reviewer is asked to consider the shape of her own eyebrows because the eyebrows are windows to the soul, or something :.
After telling us that women can have high, moderate, or low eyebrows, but there isn't a man on the planet who has high eyebrows high-brows being, naturally, more sensitive , she had us evaluate the lower arch of our own eyebrows. After a long moment of mirror-gazing, I asked what seemed the obvious question: Before or after plucking?
It's one thing to suggest that the shape of a facial feature is drawn by genetics, or behavior, or even choice. My eyebrows are drawn by Cyndee. Although I'm generally satisfied with the styling read: I don't really care , I had no input into the process other than "ow. I have a related question: what about survivors of trauma—army veterans, for example—whose personalities are deeply altered by their experiences? Do their facial features change shape to reflect their new selves? The face reader in Detroit then went on to compare the faces of candidates for political office, as Jean Hauer has done in a post about the current election cycle:.
Gingrich has a massive jaw compared to Romney. In other words, they have strong beliefs and will stand up for those beliefs. Aside from the fact that Gingrich has taken a massive dive in the polls since that post was written, here are my two problems with this:. None of the websites I've found have any actual numbers to back up their assertions, or citations of the studies they claim support their arguments. Most of what they offer is specious, transparently cultural assumptions like the above—and such assumptions have no place in science. Or in art, for that matter. Leaving questions of science or prejudice aside—and oh, how privileged I am to be able to do that—there are reasons why a workshop on face reading is also an offense against the craft of writing.
The strong jaw and trustworthy face ring bells to me as someone who reads and writes romance. The classic romance heroine's mouth is just a little too generous , her chin just a little too stubborn. And from this we are to infer that the heroine herself is both generous and stubborn. Trustworthy people have trustworthy faces, and all our villains are ugly.
I'm as guilty of this as anyone—have you met Lord Wart? Lately romance fans have been talking more about the way our characters are physically described and how we can expand more upon the traditional forms of beauty. Example: this Smart Bitches thread from last year. Romance as a genre is moving away from the Endless Perfection Parade it was in days of yore. We don't really think that all beautiful people are good, and vice versa.
We don't really believe that people with wider mouths are kinder than others. I mean—we don't, do we? It's just a convenient way of making our words work doubly hard for us—something we're trained to do by all the writing advice on all the blogs and in all the world. So we make physical descriptions carry the load of character-building as well. So I'm writing no more heroes or heroines with generous mouths. Villains, maybe—that sounds promising. I need to write more villains. Or stubborn chins. I would rather show my hero smiling generously , or my heroine stubbornly sticking out her chin.
Gestures are fine. Gestures are actions. We can legitimately judge people and characters based on their actions. Because this idea that we can tell what kind of person someone is just by looking at them? It's pseudo-science, and I won't have it turning my books into pseudo-craft. One of the first descriptions we get of him explicitly marks out his difference through the eyes of a local Mountie: "I'm not your typical lawyer," said Lesperance, dry.
A man who can change into an animal. That is different. And the way this ties back into the stereotypes of Natives as bestial only compounds my discomfort: An animal within himself.
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Let us have rebellion, this book says, but not too much. Blades of the Rose bundle. New York: Zebra Books, December 1, I'm going to quote at length: She ignored the Nereems' words on courtly life and studied the architecture and tapestries, the small statues, and the representations of the ten spirits that were everywhere. Kindle location Starbride has come to the Farradain court at Marienne because her mother would like her to find a well-connected lover to ease the trade burden on the people back home in Newhope; Starbride herself means to do research on the law to help her people, rather than offer herself up as bait to induce someone else to do it.
Let's begin. This is presented, quite clearly, as a loss: No Aspect. The Pyramid Waltz. Bold Strokes Books: September 18, Ashraf Khan The gap between appearance and the substance beneath is most poignantly illustrated with Ashraf, or more familiarly Ashu. He is acutely, achingly conscious of the many ways he fails to be as big a star or as powerful a presence as his elder brother; this consciousness becomes more and more a figure he uses against himself, to erase his own talents, desires, and even his existence: He had never been one to hallucinate.
Camila explains: "Well, you eat meat, right? Zora Neale Hurston herself articulated this problem half a century ago: Now, do not leap to the conclusion that editors and producers constitute a special class of un-believers. Beverly Jenkins' description of getting the copyedits on her first book is heartbreaking proof that not enough has changed since then: The draft went from the editor to a freelancer. LEAR: Nothing! Lear I. Her fellow courtesans are her "sisters," and the scheming brothel-mistress Madame Sun prefers to be known as "Mother": Though they called each other mother and daughter, Mingyu never forgot the truth.
Kindle location A nice little twist of the knife, there: are you really more valued simply because your foster mother sets a higher price on you? Hero Wu Kaifeng recognizes this: "You make yourself into a blank canvas and let your admirers fill it as required. This is some Jane Austen-level irony in a genre romance -- especially since the inspector in question, imperial official Xi Lun, is so very easily read as the horror-movie version of the classic alpha romance hero: Xi was pleasing enough to the eye.
Actual physical torture as part of a police investigation -- and it's explicitly sexualized: The first time Wu had interrogated her, he'd taken out six bamboo sticks and laced them between his fingers. This one fact is enough to show Mingyu that the constable operates outside the usual dangerous networks of social privilege: "I don't trust you because you are kindhearted and honorable, Constable Wu. A third of the way through, at the very moment when Kaifeng insists he is nothing, Mingyu contradicts him: "It's not true," she murmured. The Jade Temptress.
Toronto: HQN, Kindle location The Civil War, while not "fought over slavery" precisely as whitewashed history would have us think, nevertheless did have the outcome of making the chattel slavery system illegal in the United States. Let everyone know. We'll be listening.
Modern makeup Aerobics lessons Group psychotherapy from amateurs, not professionals Cosmo-style sex tips If you answered 5. Western beauty ideals all emphasis mine : "Besides, I don't have to diet now In fact I feel as if I've been emancipated. Apparently, most ladies wore five or six. They must be masochists, Selene decided, or else slaves to the dictates of a fashion-conscious society, just like modern women.
Also especially like slavery: hating slavery but still choosing to acquire slaves to work your land for you: Escape Most of all, escape from the system of slavery he abhorred and yet benefitted from. Sometimes he thought he was as much a prisoner as his slaves. You know what else is like slavery? Dirty talk during sex: She moaned and nodded, a willing slave to his graphic questions.
Adultery: Selene had trouble reconciling her morals and making love with a married man. But it begs the question: precisely whose fantasy is this? Is it really so difficult for us to do better?
Frankly, My Dear. New York: Avon, Oh, there will be so many spoilers in the paragraphs ahead. But most significant are the frequent allusions to Jane Eyre , whose plot the novel parallels rather closely: Our bookish and independent heroine refuses to be intimidated by a volatile, wealthy man. The volatile, wealthy man finds her resistance irresistible.
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