Intersection: romance novels and Flight of the Conchords

I’ve been just a wee bit Flight of the Conchords obsessed, lately.  I’ve had some random health issues and busy times at work, and when I’m stressed out and worried, I just want something funny.  So I created a playlist for my ipod that is jam packed with Eddie Izzard clips, Conchords songs, terrible amazing 90s hip hop, and cartoon themes.  The result is that I now associate penne alla arrabiatta with Darth Vader… and, of course, certain romance novels now remind me of Flight of the Conchords songs.

Cover image, Love Letters by Lori Brighton

A few weeks ago, The Dashing Duchesses listed some books that were on sale or free from the major retailers as part of a summer reading feature.  I love me some cheap books (if they’re good… or very amusing), so I was all over that list.  Love Letters is one of the items I picked up, free, and I am so glad I did.  Love Letters features two distinct novellas, The Art of Seduction and Meant for Me, as well as a preview/excerpt of To Seduce an Earl, the first book of Brighton’s newest series.  I liked Meant for Me a little better than The Art of Seduction, but both were fairly good, if a little paint-by-numbers, novellas.

Undoubtedly, my favorite part of Love Letters is the excerpt of To Seduce an Earl, in which the hero is a male prostitute.  Novelty is rare in romance novels.  There are simply a bajillion books about rakish (but heart o’ gold) lords (dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, and barons), alpha-male heroes of all walks, gentlemen-scholars, etc.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about a man-ho, and I have to admit I’m very intrigued.  The excerpt I read was almost Shakespearean with mistaken identity and intrigue aplenty.  (I love mistaken identity stories… not sure what that says about me.)  Anyway, in honor of To Seduce an Earl, here’s a video of the song that ran through my head while I read that excerpt.

Lori Brighton is a completely new author to me.  I have absolutely no idea who she is or what she normally writes, but I am 100% more likely to buy one of her books now that I’ve read a lengthy (and free) sampling of her work.  To be fair, though, she totally had me at male prostitute.  This collection shows that Brighton is a good writer whose style I enjoy, for the most part.  (I did question a few things, such as how long clay residue would remain on one’s hands once one had rubbed said hands all over someone else’s body… at some point doesn’t one run out of clay residue to spread around? Just how gunky with clay were his hands?!)  There were some editing issues that caught my attention, but it’s difficult to muster a lot of irritation for such a thing when the item in question is free.

OH MY GOD!  I thought I should explain the Darth Vader/penne alla arrabiata combo… and I found this.  I think I just had a moment of squee…