Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Unwrapping: Wacky Wednesday - Test Your Ability to Recognize Old Romance From New

Anyone know what book this is from?
Test Your Ability to Recognize Old Romance
from New:

In my last post, I ranted a tiny bit about the young romance readers interjecting their own ideals and views about the heroine's first sexual experience with the hero in Historical Romance Novels from the 70's. I'm sure their views apply to all Romance Novels but I zeroed in on Historical because that's where I read most of the negative reviews. 

I'm curious to see how well my readers are able to instinctively know if a Historical Romance was written in the era of the "bodice rippers" of which the young readers have such a great disgust or if a Historical Romance is a product of the 21st Century. Shall we play a game?

I will list part of a scene from a Historical Romance without any other information given, I want you to tell me if the Romance was written pre- 2000 or post- 2000. Simple, huh? Answers can be found at a link at the end of this post. These might surprise you - some of you might recognize the lines but have fun anyway.

Game on!

Scene #1 -  "A chore, like any other? Very well, she told herself. Just get it done.
          She dropped her gaze to the bed, loath to watch him while she explained the horrid facts to him. "I must have a child, and it must be conceived immediately. You were chosen to aid me because your hair and eyes are the same as my husband's, for the child needs have the look of him. So we must copulate this night, and the next, and the next, until your seed bears fruit. I like this no better than you, but I have no choice - and neither do you."
           His chains rattled, but she would not look toward those expressive eyes of his. Briskly, she took hold of the thick sheet covering him and flipped it to the end of the bed, where it slithered to the floor."

Scene #2 - "Deliberately, [she] leaned forward until her breasts rested on his chest; and seizing upon all her imagination, she lowered parted lips and moved them slowly, warmly upon his. Her eyes flew wide as his mouth opened and twisted across hers, his tongue thrusting through as his arms went around her, crushing her in his embrace.  Her world careened crazily as he slowly turned until she half lay across his lap, her head pressed back against his shoulder. ... She should have found his blistering kiss repulsive, but in truth it was wildly exciting."

Scene #3 -  "[She] was so startled by the invasion she went completely still, her mind filling with confusion as the combination of the caresses and the kiss filled her with a sharp excitement that was almost overwhelming. She remained still and uncertain as his mouth explored hers, her hands balling into fists by her waist as he ... excuse the interruption - too racy for this blog ..., and the excitement spiked to a level that raised fear in her had her grabbing at the hand to stop him.
          [He] immediately stopped his caress, but he also broke their kiss to lift his head.
          'I am your husband.'
          He whispered the words against her lips and she stilled again, uncertainty flowing through her. He was her husband and had every right to do whatever he chose, ..."

Scene #4 -  "She stood there proud and unashamed to have him see her thus, with no attempt to cover herself in any way, and he looked long and hard, feasting on the reality of what he had only been able to imagine previously.  She was so very beautiful to him, so perfectly formed for all her height.
         [He] was unaware that he had walked to her, but he stood next to her now, the velvet gown forgotten, dropping from his fingers to the floor. Everything was forgotten as his hands rose to cup her cheeks, and he lowered his head to taste the nectar of her lips. Slowly, he tasted, gently at first to savor, then with the full measure of his need.
         In those first moments, he was so consumed with desire that he would not have noticed if [she] resisted. But she was not resisting in any way. ... she was kissing him back with an unrestrained abandon."

Okay, the rest is up to you ... which of these four scenes were written pre-2000 and which were written post-2000? 
According to some young reviewers, Historical Romance Novels written in the last quarter of the 20th Century were 'bodice rippers' perpetuating the 'rape fantasy' which disgusts them and, despite the writing skill of the authors, they prefer to call these novels 'trash'.

Click here for the answers!  Please come back and tell us how you did and feel free to share this test with those young whippersnappers who think they know all about those Historical Romances from the 70's!   : )

I know a lot of people are taking this test but not commenting - we'd love to know if you got them all correct or not. Don't have to tell specifically just a 'correct' or  'missed' will do.  Think of it as a survey - enquiring minds want to know.   : )
Happy Reading Everyone!


June M. said...

I have to say that I guessed correctly on all 4. I never read the "Bodice Ripper" stories, I only started reading romances a few years ago. The oldest books I have read are Hannah Howell, Lynsay Sands, Victoria Alexander, etc. Therefore, I can not comment on what those stories were about prior to 2000 or so.

Beebs said...

I got the first and last ones wrong. Clearly don't know as much as I think. LOL

Amy Valentini said...

June M, I'm surprised you were able to guess correctly without ever having read any early ones. Curious, what gave the early ones away?

Amy Valentini said...

Beebs, you did very well, I suspect you recognized the second one (so it won't count). You helped prove my point, my dear! Thanks. I hope you'll share among those who think they know for sure. : )

The Romanceaholic said...

I got them all right, but then I read them to my poor husband (whom I tend to torture with things like this all the time), and he got the first two right, but missed the last two (as was, I suspect, the intention based on the passages chosen lol)

Still, you've got a great point. I tend to shy away from "bodice rippers" that include clear rape (Rosehaven much?), but other than that? It's not PC of me to say, but sometimes the forced seduction ones are just as much fun as the sweetly romantic ones. I guess the saying is true -- one (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure :P

Amy Valentini said...

"one (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure" - LOL! Love it - Thank you very much, Romanceaholic, and thank you for not being all PC and admitting your true opinion. It's all about escapism, after all. I would love to be a fly on the wall to see what the women who do object are really reading. ; )
Thanks for visiting.

Beebs said...

The only one of these I'd actually read was the third one. I'm quite surprised I didn't recognise 1 and 4 because although I haven't read these, I have read several of her other books.

I'm quite fond of most of the old bodice rippers anyway with one or two exceptions as mentioned in a previous comment.

Amy Valentini said...

Beebs, I considered using some scenes from some recent paranormal romances but since they didn't really fit, I didn't; but talk about rough ... some new writers don't have anything on the ones taking the heat. Short of erotica, I love 'em all so ... what can I say? ; )

Anonymous said...

Whoo Hoo! I got them all right, although it could be because I am a HUGE fan of 2 of the writers! Ha ha ha!

Amy Valentini said...

I think I know which two! If you didn't know the writers would you have known which were early and which were later? ; )

LadyRed said...

Ok, now I know that I have definitely read too many books because not only did I get them all right but I knew which authors and books they came from LOL! My husband would totally be packing up all of my books and hiding them from me if he knew that they influenced me that much LOL! Of course it helped that I own all four of the books that you used the excerpts from and I have read each of them within the past 6 months ;-)

Amy Valentini said...

Brava to you, LadyRed, for having read them all just recently. I assume you enjoyed them very much since you recognized them. The ones we love tend to stay with us. I hope you saw the similarities between old and new - which is the point I'm trying to make. Thanks for visiting. : )

gamistress66 said...

recognized the 1st one right off (always liked that book) so had no problem with that one, also guessed right on 3 & 4 based upon the writing style (though did read both books, didn't recognize them), only had trouble with #2, and since I've read that book several times (though been a while since the last) I didn't recognize that one at all & wasn't sure if old or new till I saw the answer. some of those old bodice rippers are still fave's of mine. but then I read everything "with a grain of salt"

purpleonion said...

I got #1 and #3 right. I just couldn't make up my mind on #2. Fun little quiz. Been reading romance novels since a teenager in the '70s. Johanna Lindsey was always one of my favs and I didn't even recognize her passages but then I tend not to re-read anything and jump right to the next novel. It's all about the escapism for me.

Amy Valentini said...

gamistress66 and purpleonion, Thank you so much for doing this and I appreciate your telling me that you did have trouble deciding which ones were early or recent. This is the point I'm trying to make - that the trend really isn't that different. It is all about escapism, thank goodness.
Thank you both for visiting and I'll hope you'll come back often.

Dalila G. said...

OK, hate to admit this , but I only got two right......sheesh!!
Of course I got SHANA right, anything by Kathleen E Woodiwiss is at the top of my list of great reads. I also got #1 correct, can't believe I missed #4.
I read to escape, it's one of my favorite things to do. :-)
Thanks for a fun quiz Amy.

Amy Valentini said...

Brava Dalila G.!! That was what I was hoping would happen. The point is that 'old' romance isn't all that different from 'new' despite the younger critics disgust with it. I'm going to run this test again on Friday's post with a giveaway, you're more than welcome to just comment 'missed' and leave your email address to be entered.
Thanks for being honest, my friend, you did great! : )

June M. said...

The first one, I had heard of before and I guess it stuck with me. The 3rd book I have read (love her books & have read this many times). There is just something about #2 & #4 that just had me guess correctly. I don't know if it was the language, the style or just lucky guesses.

Amy Valentini said...

June M., I'm running this same test again on today's post with a giveaway of a copy of Johanna Lindsey's GENTLE ROGUE - 1990 edition - would you like to be included? If so, just go to today's post (Jan 13) and comment simply - correct- add your email address and you'll be entered. Thanks for following up. I appreciate it. : )

Belladonna Baudelaire said...

I got them all right except for the 4th scene. I'm not a fan of bodice rippers, but I appreciate the quality of the writing. Just because the content is not preferable doesn't mean a book isn't written well.

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Belladonna and thank you for visiting. I hope that you'll come around again for you might find some interesting things, books, discussions and just out and out fun here. One thing I've discovered over the many years that I've been reading romance is that there are just as many different kinds of romance novels as there are different kinds of fiction genres ... romance novels just tend to end in a happily ever after - although with the introduction of some series, even that's beginning to change a bit.
Congrats, you did very well on my silly little quiz. : )