Recession Entertainment: Romance Novels

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Recession Entertainment: Romance Novels
Romance novels: what lies between the covers of this red-hot reading?

I hear "romance novel" and a few things spring immediately to mind: Fabio, bad prose and women sitting in La-Z-Boys, smoking Virginia Slims in their housecoats. I'm not talking about soapy chick lit or emotional love tales, like those that Nicholas Sparks writes. I'm talking about the kind that use verbs like throbbing and aching and feature topless hunks on the cover.

While the book business continues to falter, romance novels continue to sell. In fact, a 2004 market analysis showed that the romance genre accounted for 40 percent of all books sold that year. With this in mind, I decided it's time to stop judging these books by their covers and take a peek inside.

All I Want For Christmas Is A Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

Back cover: "Although Ian's nearly five centuries old, he looks and acts like a twenty-seven-year-old hunk. How can a dead man be so damn sexy? Could Mr. Wrong be Mr. Right? One forbidden kiss could lead to an eternity of passion—and all it takes is one moment under the mistletoe..."

Opening paragraph: "The air hummed with bass guitar and rampant lust. He'd come to the right place."

Juicy bit: "Toni squirmed on her bare rump, becoming more and more aware of the slow, throbbing need between her legs. He moved forward, coming closer to her core, kissing the inside of her knee, her thigh. The red glow of his eyes in the dark sent a thrill through her. God, she wanted him."

Under The Highlander's Spell by Donna Fletcher

Back cover: "Highland warrior Artair Sinclare would do anything to find his missing brothers. But the only woman who can help him is about to be burned at the stake! Zia, a talented healer, has been branded a witch by vicious local villagers. Swooping in to save her at the very last moment, Artair swears to protect her... even if the only way to keep her safe is to pretend to be her beloved husband."

Opening paragraph: "Burn, witch, burn!"

Juicy bit: "His hands slid up her midriff until they rested beneath her breasts, and his thumbs began to play against her hard nipples. They felt so good that he had to taste them, and he tore his mouth away as he lifted her up and settled his lips over one nipple at a time."

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