Category Archives: Bone to pick

Real by Katy Evans

Once again I’m left wondering if I somehow managed to read an entirely different book than everyone else. I don’t get it. I mean, what the fuck is this book? Is it for real? It can’t be for real. Is it Beautiful Disaster fan fiction? It sure reads like it: poorly written story about an underground fighter who is god’s gift to women, quickly becomes unhealthily obsessed with speshul snowflake heroine and throws a fit or twelve. Except this time Bipolar Disorder serves to excuse the distasteful Alpha behavior and up the stakes. And remember how everyone wondered how Travis could stay so in shape when he never worked out? Well, THIS GUY works out for NINE HOURS AT A TIME. So he earned that EIGHT PACK, okay?!

Oh, Brother.

I’m trying to think of a single thing that I didn’t completely loathe about this book and am coming up short. There is nothing remotely good, nothing remotely sexy, nothing remotely REAL about Real. Reality has no place in that world. Like the so-called sexual tension that everyone is raving about? Off the charts stupid. Who even acts like that? From the moment Brooke and Remington meet, they’re just doing THE MOST. This is what happens, basically:

Brooke: I can’t believe you dragged me to this underground fight to see some guy you want to bone, Melanie.
Melanie: I’m such a whore!
Brooke: Everyone is a whore except me.
Melanie: I know! You’re so classy in your frilly collared shirt and perfectly presentable high-waisted pants! I’m nothing compared to you!
Brooke: Cool. That’s what I was going for.
Melanie: Look, there he is!
Brooke’s vagina: Oh, CLENCH!
Bimbette: RIP ME A NEW ONE, RIPTIDE!
Melanie: HEY RIPTIDE, OVER HERE!
Remington Remy Riptide RIP Tate: *looks*
Melanie: NO, A LITTLE TO YOUR LEFT AW SHIT.
Brooke: Yep. ME.
Brooke’s vagina: Sloppy wet clenchity CLENCH!
Remington’s Eyes: Glimmering amusement. Warm, unbearably intimate things.
Brooke’s Vagina: HOMG CLENCHING SO TIGHT
Remington’s Eyes: Lust. Want. Need. Claim Mate.
Brooke’s Vagina: ZOMG SO WET DRIPPING SOAKED PANTIES STILL CLENCHING
Melanie: Good thing your OCD makes you much too classy to hit that.
Brooke: You’re a slut, Melanie! I’m leaving!
Remington: Psh, TOTAL K.O. Gotta go see about a girl.
Brooke: Who’s sniffing me?
Remington: *growls* NAME.
Brooke’s vagina: SPLOOGE. CLENCH. SPASM.
Bimbette: EVERYONE IN HERE WISHES THEY WERE YOU, BROOKE! WE’RE A BUNCH OF WHORES AND SLUTS! YOU’RE SO LUCKY!
Melanie: Her name is Brooke Dumbass Dumas! Here is her phone number! I’m really invested!
Remington: *marks her while panting and growling and sniffing* You Brooke. Me Remington. Bye.
Brooke: WAH. HE PROBABLY WON’T EVEN CALL ME.

This is the entire BOOK. They hardly ever spend any time apart and so it’s scene after scene of him speaking in this husky, thick, hoarse, rough, guttural voice (lust!) and wearing low-slung sweatpants while she rubs his anterior deltoid or whatever, girl parts clenching (71 mentions of clenching in this book! SEVENTY ONE!). Or they’d be telling each other secrets with their eyes while they play each other songs that have Deep Lyrics that are Hella Trite (songs like Iris and Anyway You Want It? What? First of all, STOP. Second, who are these 24 year olds? They never listen to anything from the past decade!). Remington pants and salivates in her presence, and is always smelling her and his friends tell her how wild she makes him, prostitutes tell her how they’re really bad at their jobs because they can’t even get him hard because his dick only responds to HER now, he saved her from an egging and carried her off to loving nurse her “wounds”, he gets his fans to buy her red roses (GAH), and STILL she whines about how he doesn’t like her afterwards and how maybe she’s fat. GTFO. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?

Brooke: “Am I pretty?”
Everyone: YES!!

All of the secondary characters serve as foils for Brooke and Remington. The women are constantly re-affirming how classy and beautiful and smart Brooke is by giving her approving looks and constant compliments. They’re all described as sluts or whores except for one or two. No man is as big and muscular and hot and desirable as Remington. None of the fighters he goes up against, and certainly not any of his friends. Like Pete, Remy’s soul brother personal assistant.

“Do you have any brothers, Pedro?”
“Rem.”
My eyes widen and I can’t believe this little guy is going to surprise me again. “He’s your actual brother?”
“Not blood brother, hell, we don’t look anything alike! I’m like a book and Rem’s a bull! I don’t have blood brothers … my soul brother is Rem.”

MY eyes widened when I read the words “little guy”. Seriously? Why was that even necessary? I could’ve sworn he was described as tall initially. But OF COURSE Remington dwarfs him. And then, because everyone has to bow down, Pete has to chime in and talk down about himself? What?! He’s a…book? I don’t even understand what that means, to tell you the truth.

I’m so tired of these books that are nothing more than ruminating on how HAWT SAUCE the hero is. And it’s like every book tries to one-up the one before it. Oh, that guy was sexually abused? Well, if you think that’s sexy and tragic, wait until you see THIS guy! He’s BIPOLAR! Just line after line and page after page of descriptions of how mind-blowing his eye color, physique, penis, facial hair, cheekbones, etc, are. The guy can’t just be hot. He has to be SCORCHING. Every woman must melt at the sight of him, their panties sliding to the floor. None of these men have personalities, by the way. Everything is so centered on how good-looking they are and how fucking virile they are. Men want to be them, women want to be with them. Not a moment goes by that their magnificence isn’t remarked upon, it’s so draining. SO DRAINING.

So Remington’s a bull, eh? Well, now he’s a LION:

The man eats for three fully grown, hungry lions.

He has a blast up on the ring, and makes it appear like he’s a lion, and his opponent a mouse, and he’s just playing with it.

He scents the back of my ear. Then I feel his hand, scraping down my hair, softly petting me. His tongue follows, lightly lapping the place on my neck he bit in the shower. He drags it along the curve of my shoulders, my ear, awakening every inch of my skin. I feel like he’s a lazy lion, bathing me with his tongue, licking and nuzzling me.

Lions ain’t shit. Guy eats for THREE OF ‘EM. Take that! Seriously, why is this dude constantly smelling and licking her and saying things like, “You’re my mate and I claim you.” WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Not cute. I’m sorry, did I not notice that I was reading a paranormal romance? Is Remington Tate a fucking werelion? It sure would explain his constantly changing eye color which is supposedly because he’s Bipolar? Nope. You’re dumb. The way that mental illness was fetishized in this book was so disturbing. Absolutely shameful.

I’m not even going to get into the dwama with her baby sister and Remington’s foe, Scorpion (check my updates).
Or how horribly parents are depicted in this book.
Or the incredibly dumb ending that involves Remington in a hospital bed and Brooke writing him a sappy letter, telling him that she’ll alway think of him when she hears the song Iris.
And WHO edited this thing?

I’m gonna stop typing now because there’s just too much. Too much to talk about.

I’ll just leave you with this song:

description

Every guy here’d love to be you, Riptide
Even when taking your lumps
There’s no man in town as admired as you
You’re everyone’s favorite guy
Everyone’s awed and inspired by you
And it’s not very hard to see why

No one’s slick as Riptide
No one’s quick as Riptide
No one’s neck’s as incredibly thick as Riptide’s
For there’s no man in town half as manly
Perfect, a pure paragon!
You can ask any Pete, Coach or Riley
And they’ll tell you whose team they prefer to be on

No one fights like Riptide
Douses lights like Riptide
In a boxing match nobody bites like Riptide!
For there’s no one as burly and brawny
As you see he’s got biceps to spare
Not a bit of him’s scraggly or scrawny
That’s right! And every last inch of his face is full of hair!

-2409840938204320943423409832048320480932840932840932840932009228304928320943209840932840932840932093284320984098320932840932 stars

P.S. SRSLY, THIS IS THE WORST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ. It’s so offensive! I judge everyone who likes this, not even going to lie. SORRY I’M NOT SORRY.

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For a black girl

A few years ago I took a creative writing course. It was an attempt to light a fire under me, since I had a habit of abandoning every story that I ever started. While I was writing, I was feeling a bit stuck… as usual. I knew that if I didn’t make it clear that my protagonist was black, that everyone would assume she was white by default. I wanted to make it clear, but I didn’t want to drum it into people’s heads (as you often have to do to get the point across). So I decided to acknowledge the race of the non-black characters. I received my assignment back with a line through the word white and a note on the side that read something like: “Unneccesary. We don’t need to know what race s/he is.” I waited until after class to speak with her about it, I asked her why she had crossed out the word white. I thought it was hypocritical; how many times had I read a story that defined its (secondary,) characters by their races? “The old black man”, and so on. Luckily, she recognized the fault in her white gaze and apologized.

I may not have been told the words, “White is right.” but I definitely knew it, from a very young age. How could I not? In all the stories I read people of color  were forever delegated to the background or were completely invisible. I was used to reading about white characters. I was used to watching them on my television set. I was used to seeing white people on the covers of ALL of the magazines. White was default. White was normal. White was the norm. White was beautiful. I grew up hearing things like: “You’re pretty for a black girl.” It was supposed to be a compliment, but it felt more like a punch to the gut. No matter how many times I heard that phrase, I never grew immune. It cut deep. It was evident that the standard of beauty was not someone who looked like me, and it angered me. It baffled me. I watched movies and television shows and willed people of color into being. I remember watching Boy Meets world and thinking, Shawn Hunter should date a black girl. And when he fell in love with Angela, my voice grew hoarse from yelling “Whaaaaaaaat.”. It had worked! When I read books I’d ignore descriptions and imagine characters as black. I craved color because the overwhelmingly white world that I lived in was just that. Overwhelming. I brownwashed to maintain balance.

I remember having a friend over to my house as a kid and coloring scenes from The Little Mermaid or some other popular Disney film. It would be twenty years before Disney produced a black princess but with the help of my trusty brown crayon (not even Burnt Sienna would do), I had that covered. There was something so satisfying about seeing a black Mermaid. And hell, she’d still have the red hair, just like my friend Carly who had dark skin like me and hair the color of a shiny penny. I remember asking a friend who was sleeping over, “Why are you using PEACH?” She had stayed true to the Alice in Wonderland that we were all familiar with. I was baffled, weren’t there enough white, blond haired, blue eyed Alices in the world? If you had a chance to make Wonderland reflect the world that you lived in, why wouldn’t you take it?

So back to the grindstone for me. I’ve been trying to focus on reading romances featuring characters of color, but I find that a lot of them are still written with the white gaze in mind. It’s soul crushing. It’s exhausting. I’m tired of reading what appeals to white readers. I’ve got a couple of stories that I’m working on featuring Black, Mexican and Korean main characters. I’m going to write what I want to read, and hopefully do it well.

Cream

I continue to be surprised by how glorified (and fetishized) white skin is in romance. Most recently it was a (contemporary!) book where the heroine’s pale, pale skin tone is constantly noted upon by the hero. He’s so distracted and aroused by it that he says one point, “You’re so white…” and wonders in hushed reverence what it would feel like, and taste like and OH GOD. I read the book with an arched brow thinking, Pretty sure it’ll taste like skin. Relax, bro. When I read a scene like that, I come away with the conclusion that black folks aren’t the only ones with color issues. In all the romances that I’ve read (and I’ve read A LOT) pale skin is by far and away seen as more attractive than tanned skin, which is surprising to me as a California girl. I griped about it to my sister, B one day:

Me: Sometimes I get so tired of reading about white people. Le sigh.

B: I brownwash so I’m always shocked to find out a character is white. >.>

Me: HA! It’s hard to do that with the books I currently read, skin is always described as being so white, and people are always blushing. Lately I’ve been googling “multicultural romance PLEASE” for real. But I used to brownwash all the time.

B: I find it racist and disturbing that their white skin color would get so much description. There’s something wrong with that, I just know it.

Me: DUDE.

I share B’s sentiment. When pale skin is remarked upon so often, I feel like the writer is trying to tell me something. Is it code? Is the heroine classier by default? Is it a physical indication of her innocence and if so, what does that say about darker women? Are we not allowed to be innocent? Fuck that noise.

And then there’s hair color which is obviously a well used indicator in romance. Red hair tends to be attached to feisty heroines. Brown hair is boring and needs blonde and red highlights to be interesting. Saying that a woman is blonde basically means “hot as shit, naturally”. My husband told me a story recently: he works at a construction company and he overheard a handful of his male coworkers talking animatedly about a hot woman downstairs in the reception area. “Seriously bro, you need to go check that hottie out. She’s BLONDE.” Andy told me, “So obviously I had to check her out too, but not too obviously because I wasn’t a part of their conversation. Luckily I had to go downstairs “to do something” so I took the opportunity to swing by the front desk. All I saw was this haggard old woman with bleached hair. That’s who they were talking about!”

WHAT.

Don’t even get me started on eye color.

I need to read more books where physical descriptions don’t dominate the pages. I also need to read more books about brown people.

So it shall be done.

Nine Double Oh Penis

I was re-watching The Sweetest Thing last night and I almost cried laughing. I remember going to see this movie in the theatre with my friend Gena. Neither of us expected it to be as funny as it was, and we were both hoping to maybe mock it a little bit.

I remember watching this scene in particular with my jaw basically touching the ground:

Now I watch it and I’m like: Dude. Are romance heroines unreliable narrators? Maybe they’ve all been watching this scene on repeat and think that this is the way to talk to men. “Your penis! Is so! LARGE!”

I’m getting to the point that whenever I read about how big some guy’s dick is I roll my eyes. And no matter how tight the heroine is, she can take it all, no lube or warming up required. And no matter how much peen she takes on a daily basis she is still snug as a bug in a rug.

Now I’ll be thinking about this scene. Every time I read about some guy’s GINORMOUS WANG I am going to treat the narrator as unreliable.

Sorted!

Whoops, that’s your romance: Motorcycle Man

I recently purchased a train wreck of a book that I’ve been hearing rave reviews about all over our great internets. That book is called Motorcycle Man. A lot of readers compared the book to crack or Pringles, a guilty pleasure that is highly addictive. It was $2.99 so I figured, what the hell?

I want my three dollars back.

Motorcycle Man is a Sons of Anarchy fanfic  a story about Tack and Tyra, two boneheads who fall in love. Tyra’s all: “OMG UR GOATEE IS SO KICKASS THA BOMB DIGGITY.” And Tack is all, “IMA CALL U RED CUZ YOUR HAIR IS RED NOT LIKE SUN OR DARK.”

Clearly they’re a match made in heaven.

Dear Tack: Calling blondes “sun” is real dumb, son. Knock it off.

Tack was christened Tack because he is supposedly “sharp as a” but bitch, please. Dumb as a Rock, more like. Dude is always trying to lay all of this knowledge on Tyra, and it’s just a stream of dropped g’s and f bombs and a whole bunch of zzzz’s. I’m like: is this guy seriously talking just to hear himself talk? What the hell is he even talking ABOUT? I’m pretty sure he’s brain damaged. And I look over at Tyra and she’s just FLOORED by his garbled monologue. And THE REPETITION! Tack’s goatee will growl, whisper, and growl again the same question “WHAT WERE YOU FUCKING THINKING?” and Tyra will shriek, whisper, and shriek again her non-answer, something like: “MY FOOT IS ASLEEP!” and shit goes on for AGES. And there’s some muttering and growling about drugs and the Russian Mob (who kidnap Tyra twice)? Do I have to mention that everything in this book is told and not shown? Nope. Shouldn’t have to. It’s all very: Then stuff happened, randomly.

Don’t even get me started on him talking about Tyra’s “soft spot” and “greedy pussy”.  Ew. Ew Ew Ew EW!

But oh! These two are in luuuurve because suddenly Tyra can see colors now. Literally. It turns out oranges are orange! Cool! Dear Tyra: when people say that they lived in black and white until something/someone came into their lives, honeybabydarlin, that’s just called A FIGURE OF SPEECH. If you truly cannot see color you should go see an eye doctor.

And “You colored my world!”  is just one example of the many, many trite, cliché, HELLA CORNY expressions that run rampant in this book.  Most are of the rapist, abusive manipulator variety.

This happened, basically:

“Baby, I like wrapping my hands around your throat so that I can feel your sweet pulse and know you’re alive.”

“But it makes me uncomfortable.”

“I get that, since I’ve been known to choke a bitch. But you’re my woman MINE and I do what I want with my women. If you don’t want me to hold you by your throat when we’re casually talkin’ you’ll have to get used to talkin’ this way ‘cuz I’ll still do it ‘cuz you gotta understand Chaos and our way of life ‘cuz I do what I wanna do ‘cuz I’m the man and you’re the woman. I’ll give you whatever you want except whens I don’t want what you want and this time I don’t want what you want. You gotta understand who the man is in the relationship and it’s me ‘cuz I have a cock and you suck it. ”

Oh God. Did he just say that? He did just say that! He. Is. Awesome!

“Okay.” I whispered.

This is a very, very badly written book in which every single character is an ignorant moron who is violently melodramatic. I can’t.

And people are RECOMMENDING this garbage. Whoops!

Tagged ,

Here’s lookin’ at you, girl

The look of love

Sometimes I read scenes out loud to my husband, Andy. Most of the time his reaction is, “Guy sounds like a douche!” or he’ll simply make the universal symbol for wanking. Either way, it cracks me up.

Last night I read him this nookie-free excerpt where the hero’s eyes are at “half-mast” and Andy interrupted and said, “So he’s eye-fucking her.”

“Right.”

“Why ‘half-mast’ though? How is that sexy?”

“It’s cuz, like, he’s looking at her through slits because he’s so horny he can’t see straight.” I narrowed my eyes at him. “See?”

“Yeah, that’s dumb. When I hear half-mast I think of death.”

I laughed. “What?!”

“You know how when someone dies, they lower the flag?”

I blinked. “Oh, right! I never thought about it that way.”

“Yeah. So basically that guy is giving her the eyes of death.”

I laughed and laughed. “Oh, you. I love you.”

Andy jerked his head towards me. “What?! What’d I do?”

Classic Andy.

He is the Alpha and Omega

So yummy, so yummy, there’s a party on my tummy.

I like a hot hero as much as the next girl. In romance novels the hero is usually described as this chiseled, incredibly sexy, god-like man while the heroine is closer to meh territory. Fair enough, it’s a fantasy. But the more unbelievable the hero’s effect on women is (everywhere he goes women stare, panties drop, birds sing, because it’s not enough that you can do your laundry on his abs, if your friends  and countrywomen aren’t coveting the everloving shit out of your man, all bets are off) the more warning signs start popping up in my head: “ABANDON REASON ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE!”. I can only suspend my disbelief so far, give me a reason to stay here or I’ll turn right back around. These guys do everything but walk on water, they’re the Alpha and Omega: the beginning and the end.

Yeah. I’m only swooning because my eyes have rolled so far back inside my head.

Instead of focusing on the connection between the two leads, all I can think is, “Her? Why her?” Why her with the overlapping front teeth, frizzy hair, and small breasts? Why her if she’s the ONLY woman in the world who is running in the opposite direction when she sees him (Lord, don’t even get me started)? And every. single. time. the answer is naturally that her sex, I mean THE sex is mind-blowing. When He Who Walks Among Us hits that what he hits is the JACKPOT! Boy, she has such a presence in bed! She’s so responsive! So there! Never had he seen such an earthy orgasm! I’m just wondering what the other (more attractive) women were doing? No enough kegels, for one. I’m thinking that they were so focused on not making that ugly orgasm face that they just laid there like cold, dead fish until the hero was done? Something like that.

Real quick: Using the word “greedy” to describe a woman’s vagina will never not make me think of vagina dentata. *shudder*

What was my point? Oh, right. It’s annoying. I like a hot hero, but it’s enough that he’s hot to the heroine. Is it asking too much that heroes and heroines be held to the same standard? Heroes need to look beyond stretch marks but heroines get the pick of the litter? Riiiight.