The All About Romance Reader Awards

The results for the AAR reader awards are in. I am so pleased to see Jennifer Crusie sweeping the votes this year because Bet Me is truly excellent, and of course it had to win Best Romance of 2004 because both Sarah and I loved it and as you probably have gathered, our taste is fantastic and impeccable so you should always allow us to gently guide you through the treacherous, crowded harbors of Romance Novel-dom like those cool-ass pilot boats you sometimes read about in old adventure books like The Count of Monte Cristo. (Woo damn that is one FIERCE run-on sentence.) Anyway, Crusie is on my short list of “Romance Authors Who Deserve Awesome Oral Sex While Being Fed Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries By A Shirtless Andy Roddick Into Perpetuity” for doing the following:

  • Creating believable, awesome and multi-dimensional gay secondary characters, as in Charlie All Night and Bet Me
  • Tackling controversial, divisive issues like marijuana legalization in a thoughtful manner (again, Charlie All Night)
  • Creating adorable heroes who aren’t billionaire tycoons or billionaire tycoon wannabes, but who aren’t useless slacker asswads either (Manhunting and Anyone But You)
  • Actually making a Republican sexy (Strange Bedpersons)
  • Always having awesome animal sidekicks who make me laugh and remind me of dogs and cats I’ve known
  • Creating heroines over 30 who don’t act like hysterical morons because they don’t have a precious, precious baby to smother in the maternal love that’s oozing out of their pores like some type of greasy post-fried-chicken-dinner discharge—in fact, some of her protagonists don’t ever want to have kids (Anyone But You and Bet Me)

And she wrote about all these things in category romances. CATEGORY ROMANCES. I mean, they’re not exactly bastions of progressiveness or innovation, what with books that often go something like The Virgin Mistress Secretary’s Secret Cowboy Baby.

A big shock while reading the awards list was finding out that The Real Deal won Worst Read. Apparently other people found Simon’s gunmetal gaze and Amanda’s endless whingeing about her hideously deformed (read: hugely be-hootered yet still underweight) body annoying too. What did I say about our taste being impeccable? Yeah, that’s right. Just call me Captain Candy.

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  1. 1
    Kate says:

    I love you bitches. That’s all.

  2. 2
    LLB says:

    I can’t tell you how honored I am to be “another smart bitch.”  I read your The Real Deal commentary and LMAO – for some reason the katana reference just wasn’t an issue for me even though I know it’s a Japanese sword (how could any Highlander: The Series freak NOT know that?)

    Now that I’ve discovered the guilty pleausures of Harlequin Presents and read a couple of Lucy Monroe’s HP’s, I think the weird hot sex/prude sex thing you noticed in TRD is a legacy from the HP’s she writes.

    Regardless, as absolutely WRONG as your opinion is – don’t you just love knowing that an opinion can be WRONG? (NOT!) – I had a good time reading your commentary, as well as your thoughts on our annual awards.  I’ll be adding a link to your blog later today…but just, who are you?

    TTFN, LLB

  3. 3
    Candy says:

    Kate: Thank you. May I compliment you on your excellent taste and discernment?

    LLB: Hello! You’re the original Smart Bitch, only you’re excruciatingly polite, not bitchy, so maybe Smart Dame would be a better term? Actually, I reviewed briefly for AAR about 5 years ago; I think I wrote about 30 reviews in all. I stopped following the on-line romance scene for a while (actually, I stopped reading romance novels, period, for a couple of years). Then a couple of months ago, Sarah and I struck up an e-mail conversation about romance novels, and we decided eh, what the hell, why not start up an irreverent, kid-gloves-off reviews/commentary site for romance novels? Well, there’s the incomparable Mrs. Giggles, of course, but she’s only one person and we figured there was plenty of room for other fun snarkage.

  4. 4
    LLB says:

    Is this Candy Tan?  Gosh, I miss you! 

    TTFN, LLB

  5. 5
    Candy says:

    Yes, it’s Candy Tan, back from the dead ;-) .

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