I recently finished the audio book version of the Land of Falling Stars. This Civil War erotica loosely brings to mind Gone with the Wind with Rhett, Ashley, and Scarlett… only this time played out by Gavin, Jesse, and Sophia. Gavin and Ricochet were my two favorite characters. So scrumptious! (Gavin not the dog.) My least favorite was probably Sophia from the good guy team; she was so hot and cold and acted very childish on several occasions, which made it hard to like her. The story did include one of my favorite character flaws: blindness. Several yummy sex scenes occur throughout the blindness of Sophia.
Gavin returns to Arbor Rose with terrible, soul-wrenching news. He must deliver this news to his childhood love Sophia and he doesn’t know how he can do it. Haunted by what he’s done in the war, Gavin knows he faces censure at home not only because he chose to fight for the Yanks but also because he is Jesse’s murderer. It doesn’t matter if it was in the middle of battle and he didn’t know who he was aiming at – the outcome was the same. Jesse, Sophia’s fiancé, was dead by his hand.
Mistaking Gavin for another cruel heartless Yank, Sophia shoots him on sight only to learn it’s her childhood friend and protector come back from war. Horrified by what she’s done, Sophia races to his side and nurses him back to health. It’s been months and months since she’s heard from Jesse, and all the while she’s with Gavin she can’t help forgetting the perfect man her father found her for the scarred and imperfect flesh and blood man before her. Terribly confused by her attraction for Gavin, Sophia wavers and falls, then returns to teetering and vacillating and questioning with several relapses while trying to sort out her feelings for the man she was supposed to love and marry, and the man she can’t live without.
For this article we’re going to skip over the titillating parts about raging tumescence and disintegrating virginal barriers otherwise known as land of frankness and euphemisms. We won’t be discussing weeping fluids, honey, dew, or the elixir of love. We’re doing this American and bypassing all foreplay and going straight for the mechanics of making love/having sex.
Word choice says it all; how an author is feeling about their characters, what the characters are feeling, and what the readers will get from experiencing the passion vicariously. Compelling vocabulary attracts the reader and continued use keeps them involved while the use of bizarre or crass diction yanks readers out of the zone so fast it’ll make the ink fly right off the page. Not good! How do you prevent that? Application of the appropriate kind of words! Well… that and variety! This is why I urge writers to make lists.
I’ve compiled my own list of terms and presented them here for the express purposes of sharing and expansion. Below you’ll find a series of alphabetized words used in describing the physical movements and actions of mating by both men and women in literary sex. For the purpose of this list they are all presented in present participle form or aka the verb coupled with an ing. Of course in practical application they will have to be conjugated to the right tense.
While this list is fairly comprehensive, it is by no means complete. That said, what words would you add? What have you come across on your own reading and writing adventures?
Everyone has movies that they tend to watch over and over and over again. We watch them because they make us happy, because we love the acting and the story. Yesterday I saw for the first time a movie that came out in 2007. It was stunning and has without a moment’s hesitancy, entered my favorites list. That movie was Arranged. Look out for a formal review as I will be writing one.
My Top Ten Favorite Romance Movies
(In order by release date.)
Beauty and the Beast (1991) It’s easy to see that this is most girls’ first introduction into paranormal romance. The Beast and castle are clearly enchanted through magic. The castle itself is very Gothic, and our poor hero is as shaggy as any werewolf, though he certainly cleans up nice!
Walk in the Clouds (1995) This lovely postwar romance follows a young soldier as he attempts to sell chocolates and winds up rescuing a damsel in distress. The grandfather makes this movie and the scene in the vineyard during a frost warning is breathtaking.
Ever After (1998) I am surprised I haven’t worn the finish off this DVD. I used to watch it every day or two many many years ago. Prince Henri is a charming rascal in desperate need of a love match to stop his father’s political matchmaking.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) Colin Firth as Marc Darcy. Clearly this is an awesome romance. Very strong language warning, but other than that it’s very delightful. If you haven’t seen it, you’re going to love the fight scene. Sigh!
North and South (2004) Four hours is not nearly enough Mr. Thornton or Richard Armitage. I would like more please. Is there an unedited eight hour version hiding somewhere? No? Drat! I guess I will have to settle for one, “Look back at me!”
Pride and Prejudice (2005) My favorite version of Jane Austen’s classic. I know I said Colin Firth and Marc Darcy and it’s true. Colin is great as Darcy, but this version with Keira and Matthew and Donald really yanks at my heart. The scenery is gorgeous too.
Outsourced (2006) This movie is a call center and technical support romance between one yuppy American male and one spunky Indian female. Culture shock to say the very least and wickedly entertaining.
Arranged (2007) One Orthodox Jewish girl and one Muslim girl are getting matched. They know each other from their teaching positions at the same school and as they go through the process of meeting men under watchful family eyes they become fast friends. Very satisfying ending!
Enchanted (2007) I just love the songs in this film, especially “How does she know that you love her?” Patrick Dempsey is devilishly handsome and a treat to watch as he struggles against falling for a loopy girl who thinks she’s in love with a prince. Amy Adams is perfection.
Lost in Austen (2008) Be honest, who hasn’t wanted Mr. Darcy to herself? One English miss from today’s world manages to get stuck in Jane Austen’s ‘fictional’ Georgian England at the start of the story and the rest as they say is history!
I had several issues with this novel. First, there is no chemistry between Ian and Hannah. They are bland. The whole love story is flat. Frankly, I hardly cared whether they liked each other or not let alone loved each other. When they reach the realization and eventual declaration of their love to one another it is unsatisfying and unbelievable.
The book started off slow and never took off. It plods along at a rate that makes snails look daredevil speeding machines. Ian is a Marquis in need money to pay off debts. Hannah wants to please her father by gaining social standing and forget a shallow lover. They agree to marry, an arrangement that suits them both and promise never to bring up the bargain again. Except they do. Every scene. No joke. This creates a pattern that gets old fast.
He’s bitter because he was sold to the highest bidder. It really irks him and yanks on his pride. She’s tired of being seen as a title grabbing, social ladder climbing, merely passable bride. She tries so hard not to give him any reason to be ashamed of her and always sees herself as failing.
The back of the novel promises Hannah to socialize with the ton and another man who wants to win Hannah’s heart. It’s very misleading as neither of these ever really happen. Sure, eventually Hannah meets the members of the ton but it’s not pleasant and they snub her. The man is actually the shallow cad who dumped her for better looking goods at the beginning of the novel. He’s hardly a blip on the radar for how long you have to wait for him to show up and how short he stays.