A long time ago, before most people could afford iPods and Borders still exist I was in Drivers Ed at the mall. Sears, if you want to be specific, which was next to a B. Dalton (Do they even have B. Dalton’s anymore?) And I wanted to read romance novels, and I happened to come across Meg Cabot’s Nicola and the Viscount and Victoria and the Rouge and liked them and found out they belonged to a whole series of books called Avon True Romance. Today I’ll reflect on a few that I found in my shelves/storage unit and try to rationalize why I bought them (besides the fact that they were a series and I’m a little OCD when it comes to getting books in series-seriously, if I don’t have a complete series with the same cover format I get on Amazon and do bad things-a.k.a. hit the one click buy button).
What’s It About: This girl’s family is broke because the dad is missing and the mother doesn’t attempt to even do anything useful like sell churned butter or whatever and so Samantha decides to go all Mulan cut off her hair and join some cowboys so she can save the farm even though Texas has like a homestead law and her mother could’ve kept the land except if they had a mortgage on it which I don’t think they did but….yeah, I’ve been studying way too much.
Why did I buy it: Because I loved Mulan and I wanted to see the reveal scene. I don’t know what it is, I always think these reveal scenes are going to be much more dramatic than they really are. But really they’re just bland. And it’s always the same reaction-boy gets upset and gets over himself and well sees the girl in the end in a pretty dress and realizes that his bromance is actually a romance.
How Would I change that Stupid Cover: Well, obviously I’m not going to leave Lindsay Lohan and that guy with the bad pair of Wranglers on there. I’d probably have an old fashion cowboy hat in the Texas wilderness there or a pair of pink cowboy boots. Even though I don’t think they had pink cowboy boots when this book was published.
Did I Regret This One: No, I really don’t. It’s cliche, but I look back on it with fondness. And if I actually attempted to go through my storage unit I might actually read it again.
What’s it About: Ewan finds out that he’s like the long lost heir to the dukedom gets his butt over to his relatives house. Finds out that he has an evil half brother and falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend and essentially pulls a What About Bob? on him.
Why Did I Buy It: Because the title of it reminded me of Anna and the King from the King and I which I was obsessed with at this point in my life, despite the movie’s depressing ending.
How Would I Change the Stupid Cover: I’d probably do something cliche like have a bunch of flowers on it. Or maybe make it look like an old fashion journal or something like one of those Julia Quinn novels. Indiscreet is key, especially if I wanted ot read this in public.
Did I Regret This One: No. It was hilarious in a bad soap opera way. I kept thinking that Richard was going to get a What About Bob? ending, but alas his fate was much grislier.
What is it About: I don’t remember much only that Gwyneth invited Robin Hood’s greedy cousin to live with her, so that apparently the kingdom could be saved and there were lots of scenes describing how people didn’t usually like to bathe in the middle ages save for our “special” characters (it’s weird what will stick in your head almost nine years later).
Why Did I Buy It: I used to be obsessed with the medieval period before I ate at that stupid restaurant on a band trip where the only thing medieval about the food was the fact they didn’t get you eating utensils and then later long when I took that class with that asshole who made us buy four hundred dollars worth of books for an undergrad course. And whose five page max paper needed to be eight pages if you wanted a decent grade.
How Would I Change the Stupid Cover: I probably would’ve left it. The cover shows that the book is stupid. And stupid is how I remember this book being. A bathtub might also be appropriate as well. Since you know, they talk about baths for a good chunk of the book.
Do I Regret This One: Yes, as much as my band director regrets having us eat at that restaurant because a good chunk of the band getting food poisoning from it (a.k.a. having forks is important, especially when teenagers lack proper hand hygiene).
What is it About: This guy who used to be an out law gets sent to live with this prissy girl’s family. I don’t remember much but thinking she was obnoxious and that he had a slightly interesting though predictable backstory.
Why Did I Buy It: I actually enjoyed Samantha and the Cowboy and was really big into Westerns back then. I’m from Texas, remember? I think every Texas girl fantasizes about a cowboy once in awhile. But God, that guy on the cover was not fantasy worthy even nine years ago.
How Would I Change the Stupid Cover: Remove the stupid models and I think the cover would be passable. Or this might be one of those cases where a headless hot model with a naked chest or great arm muscles would work.
Do I Regret This One: No. Even though I really don’t remember it, I think it was better than Samantha and the Cowboy in a weird way.
What is This One About: It’s a Meg Cabot regency, so it’s as close as your going to get to Jane Austen in this series. And it includes a Darcy and a Wickham.
Why Did I Buy It: Meg Cabot. That’s all I need to say. And what’s interesting about this one I think it was the fastest book she ever wrote. And I have to say, why can’t I be productive when I’m sick? All I could do a last week when I had the stupid summer flu was suffer through bar studying. And play Temple Run. Temple Run is pretty important thing to do when you’re not studying. Though I should be doing something productive like trying to write a book.
How Would I Change the Stupid Cover: They have already done that, change the cover that is. It’s now some stupid cartoon that makes the book look like it’s written for a nine year old. I hate cartoons on book covers. Why not just use a simple prop like a flower or whatever? It’s simple, effective, and works for all ages.
Do I Regret This One: No. I actually liked this book quite a bit, especially once I graduated to the adult regencies written by Cabot. If you haven’t check out An Improper Proposal
. Seriously, good stuff.