“I’ve read that fanfic!”

Romance novels are like packaged snack cakes for me — delicious and tempting, yet somewhat embarrassing to be seen reading (or eating). I just got some new ones, thanks to the ginormous yard sale the next town over, and was struck by one book’s similarity to fanfic.

Ways A 2007 Romance Novel Was Just Like Reading a Really (Really) Long Fanfic

1. I spent a long time waiting for something I *thought* was going to happen. It was like the tentacled tiger story all over again. The back-of-the-book summary says, “But her plan works *too* well when a game of chance and an errant pistol shot abruptly make them husband and wife — but in a way neither wanted.” I waited (I kid you not) *215* pages for some shooting to occur. At that point, anything other than a alien invasion would have been anticlimactic.

(PS: The tigers did not have tentacles. This is why I shouldn’t skip ahead.)

2. There was a NaNoWriMo shoutout (aka a random and humorous non sequitur, often involving pirates or ninjas, that seems to be mostly a way to pad the word count).
“‘A man falling from a woman’s balcony after a shot is heard is the sort of thing gossips dream about. Add a midget and a monkey and it would be the stuff legends are made of!'”

(A midget? A monkey? Sir, this is not that kind of novel!)

3. The book ends with a WIP meta author-insertion “discussion” between the author and various characters of this and other books. Like the Subreality Cafe, except, well, not funny. I almost expected it to end with “Please read & review, and I’ll think about writing more!!!”

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