Can’t Have It All: On HFNs

Photo by Gulan Bollsay on Flickr
Photo by Gulan Bollsay on Flickr

I’ve been thinking about how to turn my love of romance novels and the love story in general and my need to explore the dark side of humanity into something that I, and hopefully others, would like to read. How would one go about doing that?

I know that there is such a term as ‘dark romance’ and I have read a few of them, but it’s not something I’m really interested in writing. I feel like the genre takes dark impulses in every human being and amplifies them  to the point where it’s monstrous and that is not necessarily what I am looking to write at this time.

I suppose I want to write about the messy side of love. I read a lot of romance novels and they all get tied up neatly or the HEA if you will. Thinking about it there is the HFN label. I haven’t explored that sub-category (?) yet. I think that will be next reading assignment.


What about you? Do you have problems with the romance genre? Are they any HFN (Happy for Now) romance novels you’d like to recommend this merry reader?

Fifty Days of Grey: Chapters 13-14

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Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Things have been kind of hectic in my life. Lots of confusion but good stuff too.

But I’ve resumed reading FSOG.

I don’t remember much about the beginning of Chapter 13. I started it a few weeks ago. I do know that Ana and Christian are discussing the terms of their contract.

But I want to talk about what really made me think about this chapter.

Ana says she wants a relationship with Christian but he doesn’t want that. He can’t do that. She doesn’t know what to call him. Would he be her boyfriend in this type of relationship?

As a certified member of Gen Y I feel like these questions have occurred to many of us at one time. Ambiguous relationships. It’s complicated. Friend with benefits. You know what I’m talking about.
I can understand where Ana is coming from. You don’t want to lose the guy but you aren’t satisfied with the relationship as it is. Yet you don’t want to lose them either. Conundrum.

In the next chapter Ana continues to think about this as her father comes for her graduation. When Kate introduces Christian she introduces him as Ana’s boyfriend and my god I would be mortified. But everything goes smoothly because Christian can charm anyone it seems.

At the end of the chapter Ana tells Christian she wants more. He says he doesn’t know how do it and she agrees that she doesn’t know much about relationships either but they’re going to try.
I like the ending of the chapter but I’m also skeptical. Can you really make someone settle if they don’t want to? There are numerous disastrous results saying that you can’t. Many have tried but only a few have succeeded. Perhaps Ana will be on?

And those ladies and gentlemen are my thoughts on these chapters. I’m enjoying this book more than I thought I would and I’m having fun analyzing the chapters. Future English major here what what!

Fifty Days of Grey: Chapters 7-11

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Now yesterday I had a problem. See I had made notes for chapters 10 and 11 which I had just read of the book. But somehow I was missing chapters 7-9…

I talked about chapters 5 and 6 in the vlog I posted but where did the entries about 7-9 go?

Don’t ask me because I don’t know either. But a quick google search tells me these are the chapters where the sex does down…ah yes I remember.

My thoughts on these chapters are that I like them. Christian shows her his red room. Then he figures out she’s a virgin so he decides he’s going to introduce her to sex.

These chapters are like the majority of romance novels. A little steamy but nothing in particular sticks out in my mind. I thought it was sexy though no doubt.

And then I believe chapter 9 ends with Mrs. Grey appearing and then we are caught up with my notes.

Chapter 10

My initial notes:

So this chapter sheds light on Christian’s background. We get to meet his mother. She seems sweet. But what really interested me was Christian’s introduction to the BDSM lifestyle. His mother’s friend introduced him too. Now see Christian just sort of tells this like there’s nothing wrong with this picture. But Ana calls it out for what it is: sexual abuse. This makes me think of men that have been abused by women. There are some people that think men can’t be abused so I was surprised that Ana picked up on that fact. Kudo Ms. James

I really want to talk about this for a moment. I wasn’t expecting to see this in this book. I’ve heard so much about how controlling Christian is. But I’m surprised no one has talked about this. Sexual abuse on males is touchy subject. It reminds me of when female teachers abuse their male students. I see a lot of commenters (mostly males) say that’s the dream life. It reminds me of how Chris Brown doesn’t recognize that his first sexual experience was actually rape. So it was an enlightening surprise to see that Ana recognize that what happened to Christian was abuse. I was pleased to read that.

Chapter 11

Initial notes:

So the next chapter opens with the contract. The full fucking contract. Let me tell you I usually like when documents are transcribed in fiction (weird I know) but my eyes were glazing over. But it was kinda shocking. Ana’s reaction was my reaction. I can be shy but submissive? Bitch please. But like her I’m still eerily drawn to it.
The emails were much more fun to read. I wrote on GR that it annoyed me when he calls her baby. But apparently if it’s prefixed by laters I’m all good. Something about that is cute to me.

I really thought the contract part could have been left out. I don’t think I need to see the thing in full. It would have been fine with a summary by Ana. But I really enjoyed the emails by Christian and Ana. Ana comments that sometimes Christian seems his age. He does seem more mature at the beginning but I love the little glimpses that show him as a normal twenty-something man. Those are my favorite. I also like when it says laters baby but I don’t like when calls baby by itself. I know it’s such a trifle to be picky about but I am so whatevs.

Thoughts about Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

So I finished reading Wallbanger yesterday. I absolutely loved it. My review wasn’t very substantial so I’m not posting it here.

But I was thinking about the fact that the book is categorized as erotica. I mean it has sex in it but it’s not like the other erotica I’ve read (Which admittedly is about two or three). The focus in this story was more the growing relationship between Caroline and Simon. I think it’s more like a romance than an erotica. Hell perhaps erotic romance? The sex didn’t seem to take up a substantial portion of the story. I feel like Caroline regaining her O was more of a subplot to the romance.

I would categorize Wallbanger as chick lit as well. It reminds me of the genre and I definitely think it’s a romantic comedy.

I think way too much about labels.