Monthly Archives: October 2014

Trash Day: Cheesy Historical Romance Edition (part the fourth)

I’ve decided to do a series of four blog posts chronicling my misadventures reading a piece of cheesy historical romance. Since the book in question (Susan Wiggs’s The Maiden of Ireland) is about 400 pages long, each post will cover roughly 100 pages of the novel. You can view previous entries of here, here, and here.

At this point, they leave London, Cromwell having secured Hawkins’s promise to stop the raids. Seeing as he’s married to the rebel leader now, one assumes this wouldn’t be too hard. Once they reach their castle in Ireland, they celebrate by having sex on the beach. Like, as soon as their feet touch sand. I don’t care how much you love a person, never have sex with them on a beach. You will get sand in all of your sensitive crevices.

Sandy cracks regardless, things are going pretty well for the newlyweds until Hawkins receives a letter telling him to deliver some horses to the English forces stationed nearby. He creeps off to do this secretly, but of course his wife finds out and man, is she one pissed off Irish chick.

Somehow on her way to deliver one hell of an ass kicking, she gets captured and taken to London, her husband being under the impression that he accidentally killed her (OOPS). She gets interrogated by Cromwell, but makes her escape (with her husband’s illegitimate daughter) when Cromwell drinks a poison cup of wine. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t iocane powder, but I can’t be entirely sure.

Meanwhile, her husband is defending the castle against the nearby English forces, when his wife come swooping in to the rescue. The only think I appreciated about this particular sequence was the role reversals. It was refreshing to see the woman rescue the man for once. Of course, the requisite happy ending follows. But then again, I’d honestly be a little disappointed if it didn’t.

Incredibly, one of the parts I found hardest to believe (apart from the language that makes a point of being stereotypically Irish), was that she wasn’t even mad about him not telling her about his daughter. Also, this revelations seems to wipe away all past wrongs. I wish this is how things worked in the real world. I would keep a stable of emergency kids to drag out at the slightest provocation.

That being said, I am never doing this again with such a long book. I love reading and this particular project made me dislike reading. I had to carrot-and-stick my way through the entire thing. I’ll probably do another one though, but with a short sci-fi/fantasy item. Think of Turkey Readings and that’ll be pretty close to my next Trash Day item. But probably not until sometime next year.

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Trash Day: Cheesy Historical Romance Edition (part the third)

I’ve decided to do a series of four blog posts chronicling my misadventures reading a piece of cheesy historical romance. Since the book in question (Susan Wiggs’s The Maiden of Ireland) is about 400 pages long, each post will cover roughly 100 pages of the novel. You can view previous entries of here and here.

Jeez, just when you think it’s safe to be a priest in Ireland, Hawkins almost gets captured by priest takers, whom he then hurls over the side of the castle wall. But wait! He’s found out that the missing priests are being held on an island; why they’re holding priest-a-palooza there isn’t explained. Of course, he and Caitlin must go rescue one, which seems to be less an exercise in spirituality than an excuse to show up Cromwell and the Roundheads. (Considering that Cromwell holds Hawkins’s daughter [who is developing a whopping case of Stockholm Syndrome, btw], this seems pretty darn foolhardy).

However, they are captured by an English frigate and another chief Roundhead learns that Caitlin is the leader of the Irish rebel group, saying that he will bring Cromwell her head. Rather impulsively, Hawkins says that he will marry her in order to protect her and is rather astonished to hear that she is, to say the least, rather reluctant. Because learning that the man you almost had sex with was a secret enemy agent is a sure-fire inducement to matrimony, right?

But they go through with it anyways. Blah blah blah marriage ceremony on a ship, blah blah blah flowery sexy-times description. Although, I’m concerned that she is resistant almost the entire way through the consummation and only offers a token capitulation, which seems a little too close to rape for comfort. For a character that wears her independence like a weapon, this doesn’t really jive.

Their journey then takes them to London, because Hawkins still has to bring Cromwell the head of the Irish-rebel leader. A small matter that the head in question is attached to the body of his wife, I guess. Somehow, I really doubt Cromwell is the sort to laugh this trick off with a hearty guffaw.

On their way to certain doom, they run into Caitlin’s old love interest, Alonso, who apparently decided to keep writing love letters to her even though he got married and had a son. I was hoping a catfight would break out at this point.

They meet Cromwell, which runs about as well as they could expect, really, given that neither of them dies. Caitlin leaves before Hawkins meets his daughter (who by this time has turned into a proper little Puritan). I just can’t believe he hasn’t told her HE HAS A DAUGHTER. And really, since they are now married, so does she.

The reading ends on a rather odd note “He must prove himself to her. Mere words were not enough for she was a woman of action. And in the proving, he would win her love.” Yeah. ‘Cause repeatedly lying to a woman is a great way to win her affection.

And now for something that’s been bothering me since the beginning. The characters really shouldn’t be using the term Sassenach in this book. Yes, it is Gaelic and it does mean outlander and refers to Englishmen and Englishwomen, but it is Scottish Gaelic, not Irish Gaelic. Seriously, a modicum of research would have improved this book immensely.

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Not at all related to books, but OMG TURKEY YOU GUYZ!

Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving, my Canadian brethren!

This week, I’m taking a little break from the recent historical-romance schlockfest. Don’t worry, it’ll resume again next week when my brain recovers from the multiple descriptions of heaving, creamy bosoms. Not to mention all the cleaning I have to do for the impending arrival of mum and the ceiling-repair dudes.

I originally heard this joke from my grandmother, so it’s an oldie but a goodie.

Here is a turkey recipe that also includes the use of  popcorn as a stuffing—imagine that.  When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me,  who just are not sure to tell when the turkey is thoroughly cooked but not dried out.  Give this a try.

12-15 lb. turkey

1 cup melted butter

1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm  is good)

1 cup uncooked popcoorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER’S LOW FAT)

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush turkey well with melted butter, salt and pepper.  Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn.  Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven.  Listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey’s ass blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room, it’s done.

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Trash Day: Cheesy Historical Romance Edition (part the second)

I’ve decided to do a series of four blog posts chronicling my misadventures reading a piece of cheesy historical romance. Since the book in question (Susan Wiggs’s The Maiden of Ireland) is about 400 pages long, each post will cover roughly 100 pages of the novel. You can view part one of my torment here.

When we last left the main characters, the male hero Hawkins (who also happens to be a false priest in league with Oliver Cromwell) was just captured in battle by the female main character Caitlin (who has a not-so-secret identity as the leader of a group of Irish rebels).

Once they return to the castle, for some reason Caitlin’s father goes off to look for Irish priests. Because apparently that’s better than going off to hunt dragons or something. Regardless, this leaves the post of clan chieftan empty.

Of course this results in a furious debate over who should take over, because STATUS! RESPONSIBILITY! UNLIMITED POTATOES!

Somewhat unfeasibly, the only contestant everyone can agree on is Caitlin. Well, everyone except her sister’s disgruntled husband. Let that be a lesson: don’t stiff a guy when you owe him an entire herd of cattle. He storms off in a huff, practically trailing streams of foreshadowing. You could almost hear him doing his best Terminator impression.

She goes through initiation and investiture rights, which don’t involve wearing shoes or having your hair bound for some reason. With her newfound sense of responsibility dawning, Caitlin and Hawkins are getting closer, and just when you think they’re FINALLY going to get to have some raunchy fun…

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand of course they get interrupted just as they’re about to have sex for the first time. Well, at least as a priest the guy’s used to having a case of blue balls, but damn, that’s harsh. THIS IS WHY WE KNOCK, PEOPLE. Or you know, don’t have sex outside on a hill next to your very-crowded-with-refugees castle.

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