Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Romance vs. Straight Up Cheese II

A while back I did a post on a novel so cheesy, I contemplated bludgeoning my eyes out with icicles.  Okay, so not REALLY, but it was pretty bad.  Cliche after mind-numbing cliche.

Even so, I wanted to give this author another chance.  Everyone has days where they're a little off their game, right?

So I went on and ordered the tie-in to the one I'd already read.  It focused on different characters and had a (supposedly) different plot, so I decided to give it a whirl.

But the cheese was served up thick and stinky from the get go.

While the last novel ended after the female mc is held at knifepoint, this one began with the new female mc... being held at knifepoint.  By the same dude.  How original.

This chick happens to be a cop, and the dude attempting to talk down the knife-wielding psychopath is her partner.  But of course, there's more.

They'd had a unique connection, working together like a well-oiled machine.  (Hmm... Freudian, or is it me?)  Spending hours in a car together led to to an immediate friendship and an emotional intimacy Rafe had never experienced before.

Not even with his fiancee.

He and Sara had never acknowledged let alone acted on the feelings simmering between them, but that hadn't lessened the impact.

Right away we know these two have been fighting an attraction to one another.  So naturally, when the knife winds up in his chest and a reporter comes rushing over to find out how it feels to be a hero, Rafe utters this before losing consciousness:  It felt damn good to rescue a gorgeous blonde with curves to die for.

Because who wouldn't say something that long-winded and corny when they've just had a pulmonary artery nicked?  Oh yeah.  It's that bad.

Sara's knee is also injured in the scuffle with Psycho, and afterward she starts receiving threats.  So what's the next logical step?  Moving in with Rafe, of course.  Because who better to protect an injured cop than another injured cop?  It  makes perfect sense!

It makes no sense. 

Except it does provide the perfect opportunity for sex, which they have the very first night she stays under his roof, and multiple times thereafter.  And of course, it's amazing.  Sara has about sixteen orgasms before they even get down to actual intercourse, and then another one for good measure once they do.  Which made me wonder: how does one achieve that kind of blood flow to their nether regions?  Is there some sort of trick I'm not aware of?

Apparently, though, twelve million O's aren't good enough for Sara, because all she can think in the afterglow is, no matter how incredible... when it came to relationships, all good things had to come to an end.

Or as Rafe puts it, While he was being drawn deeper every minute, she was building walls.  So he had to ask himself if, knowing that, he was willing to let down his guard and risk his heart.

Gosh, do you think he's willing?  And isn't this exactly the same conflict as the last novel? 

Unfortunately for Rafe, once he finally drops the L-bomb (in the midst of another episode of multiple orgasms), Sara leaves.  Scared.  Blah blah blah.  And then - get this - she winds up being held at gunpoint by the person who had been threatening her.  And who rescues her?  Uh huh.  You guessed it.

I hate the damsel in distress ploy.  Hate it.  Especially when it's this contrived.  But she finally gives in to her feelings and they wind up together, as you'd expect.  And I'm sure a lifetime of great sex will follow, with a heavy side of cheese.

So tell me- am I being too picky?  Am I the only one who laughs in all the wrong places when reading novels like this?  Would anyone be interested if I held a Cheesy Romance Novel contest/blogfest?  Just let me know, because the wheels are already turning...

And speaking of contests, don't forget to check out mine from the Spring Carnival!  You have until May 8th to enter!


  1. WOW. Just READING about this book was like a train wreck. Even though I knew what you were trying to get at I couldn't. stop. reading.

    It's not just you.

  2. Reading something like that would put me in a very very veeery bitchy mood. LOL So I have to ask- what were you thinking? I'm a 'one strike - you're out' kinda girl myself:)

  3. I recently read the first 25 pages of a entry I was supposed to judge for a RWA chapter contest. OMG! it was cheesy. However, because it was contemporary romance and I pretty much only read YA, I told the organizers there was no way I could judge it. Fortunately I didn't have to. :D

    I love cheese, but not in the novels I read. ;)

  4. Um... I cannot comprehend how you could read a second one after you read the first. I know some people love that stuff, although I can't, for the life of me, figure out why. At any rate, no. No, you're not being too picky.

  5. Macaroni and cheese, anyone? LOL. Whatever the genre, it's important to remember your audience. I think that's what puts a lot of people off romkance, too much Edam cheese! Too much cheese isn't realistic or tasty. It gets stuck in your throat :o)

  6. You aren't being too picky.

    I have a tendency to over cheese. I was just editing a section where I have two characters grab hands and run into the night. Really? I wrote that?

    Maybe I should pick up a copy of that book--I could learn a thing or two!

  7. Heidi- I'm still chuckling at your comment. I'm sure yours is nowhere near this bad! I'll send you the book if you want. I marked off all the cheesiest segments!

    Katie & Andrew- I think romance novels this bad are hilarious. If nothing else, I get a good laugh and a good blog post out of them.

    Leigh Ann and D.U.- I know, can it get much worse? LOL

    Stina- Me too. I could go for a grilled cheese right now, as a matter of fact!

  8. Whoa. Just ... whoa.

    I like to think of these kind of plot lines as intellectual porn for women. Not because of the dirty scenes - because women like to fantasize about a guy who wants to commit and has to break down a woman's "walls" for once. Not to be overly cynical, but that tends to be, well, let's say "rare" in real life. It's kind of manipulative, and worse, it's a pattern that I think is overdone. I think I may even hate it more than athletic-girl-tripping-in-the-woods syndrome.

  9. (And seriously, not to give my own blog a shout-out, but I figure since I've already ranted about the cheesiness that is 90% of the romance novel genre, I wouldn't re-rant:

  10. I have no idea how things like THIS get published...

    I'd be interested in that Blogfest :D Would we get to write our own smelly cheese romance? ;)

  11. Trisha- YES to writing our cheesiest romance excerpt! Though from the other comments I'm thinking you and I are the only ones who see the fun in it :)

    Ru- I visited your post and loved it. I'm so glad people are with me on this!