Dangerously Curvy Novels

7/02 Newsletter of updates to:

 http://curvynovels.tripod.com/

 

 

NOTES of interest to authors, published or not: 

*There is an author critique group dedicated to writing the Big Beautiful Heroine.  It's listed under Romance, but writers of all genres are welcome http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BBWRomanceWriting/  

*There is also a newly created webring/directory for websites of authors who focus mainly on writing plus-size heroines http://pub37.bravenet.com/sitering/nav.php?usernum=3172169699&action=list&siteid=37208

*Real Romances, an e-publisher of romantic fiction featuring abundant heroines of all shapes and sizes is currently accepting short stories as well as novel-length manuscripts:  http://realromances.tripod.com/anthology.html http://realromances.tripod.com/guidelines_romance.html

 

NOTES of interest to Readers: 

*Readers who would like to swap views on Curvy Novels that they have read are welcome to leave reviews in the Dangerously Curvy Novels book review forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/dangerouscurves/messages?msg=14.1

*GRACE magazine is hosting a book discussion for Adriana Trigiani's third installment of  the Big Stone Gap trilogy, Milk Glass Moon: http://www.gracestyle.com/entertainment/story_125.php

                      

In Stores Now

R

A Game of Scandal

Kathryn Smith

My

At Large

Lynne Murray

My

Hard Eight

Janet Evanovich

My

Second Chance

James Patterson

My

Dead in the Water

Carola Dunn

My

Immaculate Midnight

Ellen Hart

My

Uncommon Clay

Margaret Maron

G/F

Angels

Marian Keyes

G/F

Milk Glass Moon

Adriana Trigiani

 

Genre notes:

B Biography
C Contemporary
E Erotica
F Futuristic/Fantasy
G/F General Fiction
H Historical
I Inspirational
M Medieval
My Mystery
P Paranormal
R Regency/Regency setting
T Time-Travel
W Western
Y/A Young Adult
e also available as an e-book 

Titles added to the database in the month of JUNE.

 

Poetry/

Stories

Anthology "I'm Becoming the Woman I've Wanted" Review/Excerpt Anthology "Minding the Body" Review/Excerpt Poetry/

Stories

Poetry/

Stories

Anthology "The Tyranny of the Normal" Review/Excerpt Clifton, Lucille "Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir" Review/Excerpt Poetry
C Carver, Raymond "Where I'm Calling from: New and Selected Stories" Review/Excerpt Benford, Gregory "COSM" Review/Excerpt F
My Bruno, Anthony "Loretta Kovacs" series Review/Excerpt Burks, Cris "SilkyDreamGirl" Review/Excerpt G/F
My Child, Laura "Theodesia Browning" series Review/Excerpt Cho, Margaret "I'm the One I Want" Review/Excerpt B
G/F H Chopin, Kate "The Awakening" Review/Excerpt Collins, W. Wilkie "No Name" Review/Excerpt G/F H
C Deveraux, Jude  "The Summerhouse" Review/Excerpt Dostoyevsky, Fyodor  "The Brothers Karamazov" Review/Excerpt G/F H
G/F Esquivel, Laura  "Like Water for Chocolate" Review/Excerpt Gaskell, Elizabeth "Wives and Daughters"  Review/Excerpt G/F H
G/F Gullette, Jackie Harris "Mismatched Shoes" Review/Excerpt Hardy, Thomas "Jude the Obscure" Review/Excerpt G/F H
G/F Hart, Lenore "The Waterwoman" Review/Excerpt Hodgson, Barbara "The Sensualist" Review/Excerpt My
My  Mercer, Judy "Fast Forward" Review/Excerpt Medoff, Jillian "Hunger Point" Review/Excerpt G/F
C Miller, Julie "In the Blink of an Eye" Review/Excerpt Riley, Judith Merkle "The Oracle Glass" Review/Excerpt G/F H P
G/F Straight, Susan  "I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots" Review/Excerpt
To view the complete database of Dangerously Curvy Novels, please visit the website: http://curvynovels.tripod.com/

 

Recently Reviewed Novels

E C e "The Fall of Troy" by Marilyn Lee (6/30/02) "Plum Girl" by Jill Winters (6/27/02) C
T F e "Oracle" by Katherine Greyle (6/23/02) The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich (6/13/02) My
H e "The Last Days of  a Rake" by Charlotte Bennett (6/10/02) "Hey Lady, Your Tin Snips are Showing" by Beth Szillagyi (6/06/02) G/F
My "Gumshoe Girls" by Gale O'Bryant (6/06/02)

To view a list of all novels reviewed at Dangerously Curvy Novels, please visit the website:  http://curvynovels.tripod.com/

 

~The Fall of Troy~

by Marilyn Lee

      Heroine:  voluptuous    

    Full-figured web designer Angie Harding took a chance on joining her friend and co-worker Corrie for a weekend swinging singles cruise, not expecting to find herself aboard a floating Studio 54.  Though certainly no stranger to sexual intimacy, the young widow is slightly shocked by the outrageous behavior of her fellow cruise-mates. She is even more astounded when she realizes that she'd consider acting that way too, but holds no illusions about her chances of finding a man who would choose a larger woman like herself over the many slender women aboard ship.

    Hunky businessman Troy Hunter likes his women tall, willowy, and blonde; and he is sure that his far-off-in-the-distant future wife will meet those requirements.  He certainly never expected to have his attention ensnared by a well-padded brunette on a singles cruise.  After spending a lusty weekend with her, Troy's attraction soon turns to obsession, and he discovers that he can't stand the thought of Angie being with another man.  New-found feelings aside, Troy can't bring himself to commit to anything other than "friends with benefits" with this beautiful woman who is already halfway in love with him.  

    So Angie gathers up her courage and self-esteem, wishes Troy all the happiness in the world, and disappears from his life with a vow to find a man who will commit to her.  But fate conspires to throw them together again, and Troy discovers that he still hungers for this ultra-curvy woman.  Will Angie relent and give him the no-strings-attached "relationship" that he wants, or will Troy own up to his feelings and give Angie the commitment she desires?

   

      What worked for me:

    I loved the title of this book.  It really is apt, since the whole premise of the story is about a man falling, not just for a woman, but away from his rigidly held beliefs about when he would fall in love and with what kind of woman.  

      Size-wise Angie was described as being "big-boned",  large but quite shapely.   While she was very concerned about her body in the beginning of the story, she eventually came to realize that she was worthy of a handsome man's attention.

 

What didn't work for me:    

     Traditional romances tend to follow the "fall-in-love-then-fall-into-bed" formula, whereas romantica generally works the other way around.  As a fan of traditional romances I prefer to have more detailed background information given in the beginning of my books, so that I have time to get to know the characters before they become intimate.  

 

Overall:

    You might want to pick up this book if you are looking for a fast spicy read that is curves-friendly.  

    If you liked "The Fall of Troy" you might also enjoy "Full-Bodied Charmer", "Personal Assets""Suddenly You" or "Too Much Temptation". (The last two aren't erotica, but are still very steamy books.)

~Plum Girl~

by Jill Winters

      Heroine: Average/Plump

      Lovely Lonnie Kelley, with her multiple Master's degrees, has finally decided to end her career as a permanent student and start a new one: as a temp at a law firm.  Not that any of her degrees are in law, or that her job as assistant to the capricious Beauregard Twit is much of a "career", but at least it's paying off her student loans and gives Lonnie time to decide what she really wants to do with the rest of her life.

    It also gives her time to figure out how to drop her semi-sorta-long-distance-almost-boyfriend in favor of the hunk from downstairs.  And, unfortunately, it gives her time to do some snooping around after one of the firm's partners mysteriously turns up dead at the office party.  Can Lonnie find a direction for her life, land the perfect guy, and serve justice without getting herself "terminated" in the process?

 

      What worked for me:

   I don't know what was more fun, reading about Lonnie's yummy love interest or keeping tabs on her life at work.  Twit & Bell has the same sort of bizarre goings-on you'd expect at that other infamous Boston law firm, Cage & Fish. 

    Size-wise this story is another case of the heroine being assigned a smallish-sounding dress-size, but the descriptive language leads the reader to picture her as being larger than that.  Lonnie loves her junk food, and the poor dear has one of those mothers whose favorite mantra is "Your face is soooo pretty, if only . . "

 

What didn't work for me:

      I personally didn't have a problem with it, but some die-hard sleuths might be disappointed that the mystery doesn't present itself sooner.

 

Overall:

     A great read; definitely take this one to the beach with you this Labor Day weekend.   Be aware that this book is steamy and does use some coarse language.  

If you liked "Plum Girl" you might also enjoy The Stephanie Plum mystery series, "Looking for Laura", "Carried Away", "Dear Cupid""Too Much Temptation",  or "His Seductive Revenge".

 

~Oracle~

by Katherine Greyle

      Heroine:  average/plump

      Jane Deerfield, resident computer expert for Boston University, spends all of her time working on her machines.  It is her life.  Until the fateful Halloween night when she leaves her workplace to attend a costume party at the precise moment the city comes under nuclear attack, and is suddenly sucked through a space-time vortex.

     The young woman awakens to find herself in a strange world where magic is the norm and technology is a thing of wonder.  A world where Kings are Healers who cherish life, but who can also deal death with a single stroke of their mighty broadswords in times of desperation.  Stormy, driven Daken of Chigan is one such leader. 

   Convinced that Jane is the prophesied Keeper of Knowledge and can aide him in his quest to vanquish the Tarveen who raid his lands and slaughter his people, Daken sets out to seduce peace-loving Jane over to his cause of violence.  Can Jane withstand his charms and hold onto the principle she most cherishes, "life above all else", even if it means giving up the man she has come to love?

 

      What worked for me:

     I'm always fascinated by post-cataclysmic societies which are trying to rebuild themselves a la "The Postman", "Rumors of Spring," and "Greybeard", so it was interesting to read a story along these lines with a strong focus on the romance between the protagonists. (I'm equally fascinated by sexy, brooding alpha males so I enjoyed the character of Daken tremendously.)

     Size-wise Jane started out plump, but lost some weight during her travels.  Even so, she still had a few qualms about the cellulite on her thighs.

What didn't work for me:

     I generally prefer my fantasy and sci-fi novels to be of epic proportions, as it's very difficult for most authors to immerse the reader in an entirely new and different world in a single short novel.  In this case, I would have definitely liked more background given in "Oracle".

Overall:

    A good faerie tale with a "moral" worth heeding.  I'd recommend this book to fans of futuristic and fantasy romances, but it's probably not for hard-core sci-fi addicts.

     If you liked "Oracle" you might also enjoy "Magick".

~Stephanie Plum~

mystery/thriller series

by Janet Evanovich

One for the Money, Two for the Dough, Three to get Deadly, Four to Score, High Five, Hot Six, Seven Up, Hard Eight

      Heroine:   Average

   "Bawdy, raucous, and outrageously sexy" don't even begin to do justice to this thriller series which reads like an episode of "Moonlighting" meets "Married to the Mob".  Heroine Stephanie Plum is from the Burg, a close-knit neighborhood in Trenton, New Jersey where the gals wear their skirts tighter and shorter than their spandex biker shorts, their make-up is louder than their booming car stereos, and their ultra-tall back-teased hair barely fits under the doorways at the mall.  

   Formerly a discount lingerie buyer, Italian-Hungarian Stephanie falls on hard times and, in a fit of desperation, approaches her sleazy cousin Vinnie about a job as a bond recovery agent at his bail bonding business.  Murder, mayhem, and mishaps abound as Stephanie tries to get her "collars" and discovers the job is far more difficult when you're the only unarmed person in Jersey. (Stephanie actually owns a piece but prefers to leave it in the cookie jar in her kitchen.)    

      

      What worked for me:

   As much as I enjoy the zany plots and wacky secondary characters, I think what keeps me coming back to the series the most is Steph's tangled love life.  (It must be nice to have not one but two delicious hunks chasing after you!)  Janet Evanovich honed her word craft skills while writing romantic fiction, so she certainly knows how to spin out the sexual tension between the superbly-drawn characters of Stephanie, Morelli, and Ranger.  In fact, it takes several books of the series before there is any culmination of lust and love whatsoever.  Talk about extended foreplay! 

   Some folks might not find the mysteries convoluted enough, but not being a Perry Mason myself I like the fact that I catch on to the clues before Steph.  Makes me feel quite the sharp cookie. :^)

   As far as size goes, Stephanie lays a few numbers on you weight-wise, but you get a sense that she's fudging them a bit.  There are some characters who have a decidedly fat-phobic view on life but fortunately Lula is there to straighten them out.

   

       What didn't work for me:

      Serial writing is a great gimmick.  It's all about leaving the reader hanging by a thread waiting desperately for the next installation in the series.  I was lucky, having jumped on the band wagon late I was able to zip through all of the books back-to-back. Now that I am all caught up, though, I  too shall have to endure the agony of waiting to find out what will happen in the next book.

Overall:

    Excellent writing, interesting plots,  wildly colorful recurring characters, and an infusion of humor make this series a great joy to read, with each book even better than the one before! Since the novels build on each other it's best to read them in order. Warning: there is coarse language used in these books, and they must be read while eating pizza and/or doughnuts.  

   If you liked the "Stephanie Plum" mystery/thriller series, you might also like "Plum Girl""Walking at Midnight" and "Looking for Laura".

~The Last Days of a Rake~

by Charlotte Bennett

      Heroine:   Rubenesque

   It just isn't done.  Ladies in Victorian England do not write novels.  And they certainly do not travel anywhere unescorted.  But Collette Jardiniere has broken both of these cardinal rules.  Although not thrilled by the notion, she published her novel under a male pseudonym and was content to remain in her little Kentish village quietly collecting the royalties for it . . . until some unprincipled cad claimed her work as his own and is now being feted around London as the new literary genius! 

  Collette is faced with having to travel via train to the city she dreads, to confront her negligent publisher who has yet to set the record straight in this publicity fiasco.  A two, perhaps three day trip at best, the overwrought author surmises. But fate intervenes and thrusts in her path one Chesleigh Stonehampton Jermyn, a devastatingly handsome man-about-town who turns the staid spinster on her ear.  Can Collette solve her plagiarism problems, withstand Mr. Jermyn's toe-curling advances, and still keep her good name and virtue intact?

      What worked for me:

    I loved reading about Collette's little flights of fancy, which she quaintly dubbed her "literary inner voice".  (Would that passages like those would channel themselves through my fingers!)  Jermyn was delicious and aggravating all at once.  He was perfectly sexy until he started espousing his views on women and their supposed lack of intellect.  Fortunately, Collette was able to correct his misogynistic assumptions.

    Despite rubbing each other the wrong way the pair had a spark right from the get-go, and Ms. Bennett masterfully played out the sexual tension between the two without letting their love burst into flame too soon.  

    Size-wise Collette was quite plump, but though she was aware that her figure was more padded than was quite in vogue, she didn't dwell on it.

    

       What didn't work for me:

    When I stay up all night to finish a book I prefer to do it nestled in my comfortable bed, not propped up at odd angles in my computer chair. :^)

    

Overall:

   An excellent read.  I recommend "The Last Days of a Rake" to anyone who savors sexual tension in their romantic stories.  

   If you liked "The Last Days of a Rake" you might also enjoy "The Accidental Bride", "The Bride and the Beast", "The Fire-Flower", "Unmarriageable" , or "Suddenly You".

~Hey Lady, Your Tin Snips are Showing~

by Beth Szillagyi

      Heroine:  solid

       Despite the hard work real-life "Rosie the Riveters" did on the home front in WWII, women still had a long way to go in gaining equality in and out of the traditionally "all-male" workplace.  "Hey Lady" is based on one woman's experiences as an apprentice sheet metal worker in the early 1980s, and explains with a refreshing candor exactly what it was like to forge the way for other women in the blue-collar workforce.

 

      What worked for me:

       While some of the technical jargon sailed over my head (Yeah, I took shop in school but only just squeaked out a passing grade. :^)  ) the plot was engaging enough to keep me turning the pages.  I was rooting for Val all the way!

 

       What didn't work for me:

     The writing in a few sections felt less polished than in the rest of the story, but other than that it was smooth reading. 

 

Overall:

      This was an interesting glimpse into the world of construction, and Ms. Szillagyi deftly infused its cold, harsh reality with warmth and humor.  I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in gender studies. Warning: There is coarse language in this book.

~Gumshoe Girls~

by Gale O'Bryant

      Heroines:  varied

    Follow the cases of a very determined, very eclectic group of amateur sleuths.  In "Kennedy's Commandos" the ladies take on survival training camp and teach some hard-nosed military men a few new tricks.  In "Sins of Touch" the girls unravel the threads of a topsy-turvy case involving stalking, extortion, and the shooting of a male stripper. 

 

      What worked for me:

    I particularly enjoyed reading about the Girls' hijinks in the short story "Kennedy's Commandos", which was a pleasant introduction to the various women involved in this cadre of detectives.

    As far as size goes, it wasn't really an issue in these stories.  Some of the ladies presented were larger, some were smaller.  Some were old and some were young.  All were intelligent, funny, and passionate about their work.

 

        What didn't work for me:    

    There were some editing oversights which made for a slightly bumpy read. 

    The large cast of characters in "Sins of Touch" was at times difficult to keep track of, and provided less opportunity to develop a rapport with individual Gumshoe Girls as in the less-populated "Kennedy's Commandos".

 

Overall:

     Editing issues aside the stories were enjoyable, quirky, and worth having a look at.  I'd love to see the Gumshoe Girls cross paths with their erstwhile trainers from the survival camp again in future stories. :^)

     

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