Greetings, friends! My contribution to the Sourcebooks Casablanca line is My Boss is a Serial Killer: A Tale of Murder, Romance and Filing, a romantic comedy which will be released in September, 2008.
Because our blog’s recent theme has been breaking the rules, I submit the following list, developed with some helpful ideas from my terrific mother. Mom is a romance fan herself and passed the passion on to me. And please, don’t take offense. I only spoof the things for which I have the greatest affection. So, with Mom’s blessing, I present:
“Twenty Things that Probably Won’t Happen in a Romance Novel”
1. Upon meeting, she mistakes him for her cousin’s fiancé. He mistakes her for the scullery maid. This misunderstanding is quickly rectified when they introduce themselves properly and have a pleasant laugh over their error.
2. His grandfather’s Will declares our hero must marry before his thirtieth birthday or he loses land and title. A reasonable discussion convinces the old man that this is a stupid idea. The Will is changed to be more sensible.
3. They marry in a rush to protect her from her evil uncle. Later they discover her uncle was not evil, only had a migraine that made him tired and cranky.
4. They ride together over vast estate lawns. She will soon see his home for the first time. An astonishing mansion appears through the trees. He says, “My friend Edmund lives there. He rents me the five-room cottage on the back forty.”
5. During their first week of marriage, he throws a lavish party, and has a beautiful gown made especially for the occasion and delivered to her chambers. It is two sizes too small, and makes her look jaundiced.
6. The lovers are faced with potential trouble as his beautiful, sophisticated ex-mistress returns at the height of the season—but all is well when she wishes them the very best and minds her own business.
7. A beloved grande dame watches over the young ladies of the haute ton and dispenses wisdom with a gleam in her eye. Turns out the old woman is completely senile and delusional, and believes herself to be Cleopatra commanding an army of trained monkeys.
8. Due to a childhood trauma involving his mother, he is deeply mistrustful of women. However he realizes this is unhealthy and works at overcoming his problem. By the time they meet, he is well-adjusted and open.
9. A misunderstanding that causes pain and mistrust is resolved in five minutes by having a simple conversation that clears the air.
10. The family fortune is completely secure. There is no legendary buried treasure on the estate.
11. As his wife, she is put in charge of managing a vast household and social calendar. She is extremely bad at this due to poor organizational skills.
12. He has a mysterious past which he has confided to no one. When at last he tells her, it turns out he’s been fly-fishing for the last ten years.
13. He appears to her both as her handsome suitor, and as a dark hooded figure of unknown identity. She figures out in five minutes that they’re the same guy and tells him to stop acting childish.
14. The young fop to whom she was promised long ago turns out to be a sweet kid, and so she honors her promise and marries him, because they have the same taste in clothes.
15. He is challenged to a duel over his lady fair, but he’s clumsy with a sword and stabs himself badly before the fight begins. When he sees his own blood, he screams like a woman.
16. A dark cave full of secrets beckons the lovers to explore—he won’t go in, because he’s afraid of spiders.
17. She gets through the entire book without falling in a fountain or puddle, or being drenched in a rainstorm, and without having to be stripped by him in front of a roaring fire on a bearskin rug so she won’t catch her death of pneumonia.
18. She may seem like a virgin of untapped passions, but she’s been around. A lot.
19. The heroine is unable to ride a horse as well as any man, or as well as any of her friends, or very well at all, actually, and in fact she thinks horses are nasty, startling animals.
20. They give each other idiotic nicknames, like Pookie and Bubbles. It’s for the best, though, because her name rhymes with something obscene and he can’t say it without laughing.
And I’ll be you can think of a few more! Until next time, wishing you great reading.