Much like erotic romance parading around as romance. I'm sick of icky sexual behavior in my romance novels. Most of the time it's the "hero" proudly proclaiming that he sleeps with 75% of the female population in a 100-mile radius (or more) with no attachments. Until, of course, the heroine's magical vagina ensnares him and shows him the wonder of being a one-woman man. It's amazing just how much I read that freaking trope. It was an element in Rescue Me, which I reviewed earlier tonight. And it's an element in this book as well, except the heroine's vagina has not worked its magic yet.
The one area where this book is worse than Rescue Me is that the hero and heroine jump into bed together after knowing each other about ten minutes. Blech. (At least they knew each other a whole two days in RM. *eye roll*) I know some people love that they didn't feel bad about it at all but I wish they felt a little shame. This just derailed Planning for Love for me and I have not been deriving much enjoyment out of it. I hope it gets itself back on track some point soon.
I just don't find emotionless, stranger-bitch sex to be sexy, romantic, or satisfying in any way. It just isn't. It isn't enjoyable for me when I'm settling in to read a romance. Seriously, think about super-gonorrhea, or the high rate of chlamydia infections and tell me stranger sex is sexy. Nope. Doesn't work for me. And it definitely doesn't have anything to do with romance. Even if a strong relationship is built behind it. The beginning will always annoy me and seem far, far less romantic.
At least this book actually is a romance. Their encounter wasn't graphic. It wasn't interminably long. There were even some fade to black moments. Hopefully it stays that way. It looks like Barth might actually be building a relationship between the two, well, once they get past the hero being an asshole, then they might build a relationship. I hope it plays out that way instead of them jumping back into bed together and then the audience being expected to buy a relationship between them because they have good sex. Sex is not everything. It does not make a relationship!
Meoskop of Love in the Margins said it nicely:
"There is not enough profanity in my heart to express how I’ve felt watching erotica take over romance. There just is not. As I’ve written about before, I do not begrudge anyone their erotic read, be it romantic or not. I continue to assert that romance is not sex. It may include sex, and for some the sex may be essential, but romance is an emotional transaction between two (or more) people that involves a lot more than physical stimulation. . . . Loving someone, partnering with them, considering them an essential and necessary part of your fulfilled life does not require a sexual connection. Being able to say cum or fuck in your book, adding role play or multiple partners, does not make your romance more romantic. It makes it more erotic. These are not the same."
This perfectly sums up my feelings on nearly everything I've mentioned! I could launch into even more of my feelings on the subject but what was supposed to be a book status update has turned into a not-so-mini rant, so I'm going to cut myself off.
Before I go, back to Planning for Love, it makes no sense to me that the heroine would jump in bed with this guy so fast, give no fucks, and then spend the rest of the book going on and on and on and on and on about love and how amazing love and marriage is and how much she wants both with all the doe-eyed innocence of a Disney Princess. It's just incongruous to me.
*Accidentally pressed back on this screen and not the other screen and lost the whole damn post. This is what I could cobble back together with my tired mind. So, no, it's not as good as it was or even exactly what I said the first time. I hate everything. Let me cry in peace.