Romance Books: Then and Now
By: Callie Hutton
Back in the days when movies had no sound, the actors had to over-dramatize their performances to get the point across to the audience. Viewers could not hear shouting, weeping, gnashing of teeth, etc., so it had to be shown.
Hence, the scenes of the heroine pressing the back of her hand to her forehead and appearing to swoon. Or the hero staggering backwards, his hand on his chest, when confronted with a dangerous situation. Very comical to us now, but I’m sure in my grandmother’s time, it was exciting and fun to watch.
One thing that always confused me in those movies was the villain tying the heroine to the railroad tracks because she couldn’t pay the mortgage on the farm. What was that all about? I thought the villain was supposed to force the heroine to surrender her virtue?
In any event, those types of movies are what comes to mind when I think of the romance novels of my mother’s days. Bodice-rippers they were called. I guess that needs no explanation. But the interesting euphemisms those early authors used I’m sure contributed to the bad rap romance novels had. Terms such as turgid member and love shaft led to a great deal of laughter and dismissal of romance novels as insignificant, and written for bored, lonely housewives.
So now we come to the new generation of women, who seem to have swung in the opposite direction. Thanks to books like Fifty Shades of Grey, and all the copycat novels out there, romance readers have been lumped into the category of fans of mommy porn.
Although only a percentage of authors write erotica, the general consensus among people I speak with every day is the torn bodices have been switched out for handcuffs and whips. Hmmm. Not so, general reading public. There are a lot of romance books out there who have found a happy medium between turgid member and spanking.
One thing us modern romance fans have to our advantage is e readers. I remember my aunt hiding her paperback romance novel behind a newspaper so I wouldn’t see the cover. Well, I can read my kindle anywhere I want to, and no one has to know I’m getting to the part where the interesting love toys are coming out.
At least as long as I don’t pant.
Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. She’s had a number of articles and interviews published over the years, and finally decided to put her writing skills to the test and write novels.Oklahoma is where she hangs her hat with her husband of thirty-six years, two young adult children, and three dogs.
You can catch her hanging out at Facebook, Twitter- @CallieHutton, and her home base, www.calliehutton.com. Stop by sometime and say hello.
Books by Callie Hutton:
Oklahoma Lovers series, #1, #2, #3
A Run For Love (Tori & Jesse)
A Wife By Christmas (Ellie & Max)
A Prescription For Love (Michael & Heidi)
An Angel in the Mail
Miss Merry’s Christmas
Daniel’s Desire, coming November 19th
All of Callie Hutton’s books can be found at www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com.
England, 1817. David Worthington, Duke of Penrose dislikes Miss Meredith Chambers, the American governess who accompanied his new wards. He especially detests his attraction to the insufferable woman, and is anxious for her replacement to arrive.
Merry is thrilled when the Dowager Duchess Penrose hires her as a companion. Now she can stay with her beloved charges. But can she ignore how her heart thumps when the pompous duke gets close?
Two people determined to ignore each other, despite the pull between them, and the sparks that fly whenever they're together.
The girls clung harder, making it practically impossible for Merry to enter the room. She dragged one limb, then the other, until she reached the massive oak desk. Breathless from her effort, she looked up into the most arresting brown eyes, with specks of gold, she’d ever seen. Above the eyes, sharp black eyebrows rose almost to the hairline of wavy black hair. Below the eyes an aristocratic nose led to sensual lips drawn into a tight line.
“Your Grace.” She puffed and attempted a clumsy curtsy.
The only sound in the room was the soft click of the door as the butler exited. Merry waited patiently to be invited to sit. Instead, the brown eyes kept staring at her, then leisurely slid their way down her person, and obviously from the additional tightening of his full sensual lips, finding her wanting.
Eventually, a long-fingered hand flicked in the direction of one of the two leather chairs in front of his desk. “Sit.”
Merry sat abruptly, feeling like a dog panting in front of its master. The two girls ended up on their knees on the floor, still buried in her skirts.
“Is there something wrong with the young ladies?” The deep voice rolled over her, setting her heart to pounding.
Merry grasped the girls’ arms and attempted to pull them to their feet. They held tighter. “No, Your Grace. They’re merely a bit anxious.”
How was it possible to put so much disapproval into one word?
After a moment, he settled back in his chair, his fingers clutching a quill pen he tapped on the desk. “I trust you had a pleasant journey?”
With all the liquid in her mouth dried up, she merely nodded.
“I understand from my solicitors you’ve had sole charge of the girls since their parents passed away a month ago?”
“Yes, Your Grace.” Good. She was finally able to pry her mouth open.
“And you cannot control your charges enough to insist they sit as proper ladies?”
Heat rose to Merry’s face and anger washed through her. The arrogant arse! “They’re confused and a bit distressed.” She bent and whispered furiously to the girls. “Please get up, His Grace is not happy.”
“No.” Two voices piped up, muffled in her skirts.
She smiled slightly at the duke and shrugged. If possible his eyebrows rose further, disappearing underneath the wave that rested against his forehead.
“It appears to me, Miss Chambers, that Lady Charlotte and Lady Clare have arrived here just in time.” He pushed his chair back and stood. “I arranged for a governess to train them in proper behavior. She will instruct them in the skills necessary for a lady.” He waved his hand. “Sewing, French, watercolors, and so forth.”
Merry stared at him, her jaw slack. Well over six feet, David, Duke of Penrose, was a sight to behold. Every inch the lord of the manor, his coat fit him as if it had been painted on. His white-on-white waistcoat hugged his impressive body above well-fitting tan breeches tucked into black Hessian boots. A snow white, intricately tied cravat was a stark contrast to his lightly tanned skin.
Lord Penrose rested one hip on the edge of the desk, peering down at her, his foot swinging back and forth. “I shall allow a bit of transition time for the young ladies. You may stay on for a week or two. Then I will see you receive a generous stipend to tide you over until you can secure another position.”
Two blonde heads popped up from behind Merry’s skirts. “No!”
Buy link: http://amzn.to/TxvSt2