The Henley Bodice Prize For Best First Lines in Romance: The Entries

There’s a ton of nominations, so read and vote and enjoy. Voting ends in 24 hours. Or something. I’m feverish and hallucinating. You all might be figments of my rather warm imagination.

Elizabeth Wadsworth (paranormal): It is a truth universally acknowledged, that any single Vampire Lord newly arrived from Transylvania with a wad of cash and several wooden boxes of dubious function, must be in want not only of prime London real estate but several nubile females upon whom to slake his insatiable bloodlust.

Elizabeth Wadsworth (contemporary): “Damn you, Brad Parker, damn you to hell!” gritted Verity Toussaint, her pearly teeth clenched, full, moist pink lips compressed in an unfeminine snarl of frustrated rage, dark eyes flashing sparks like a malfunctioning electrical outlet as she struggled to contain the snarling beast held captive between her quivering, glistening thighs; then, with a wild mocking laugh in which triumph and revenge commingled, she gunned the vintage Harley forward and ground to a powder Brad’s cherished, fragile collection of Weird Tales pulp magazines.”

Lyvvie: Brandy let out a long sigh when she realized she was caught with no chance of escape from Captain Armatey, the filthy pirate, which was a big mistake as no sooner was the rib-expanding breath out of her then a faint ripping sound was heard traveling from her heart to her navel and suddenly her ample pink globes burst forth for all the see, heaving again and refusing to be restrained behind her dainty hands.

Lyvvie: Sophie was very nervous about having her “woman’s” examination in this new city with a new doctor. Yet when she saw Dr. Holding’s lush as an Irish field green eyes her knees fell open before he even had to ask her. When he ran the speculum under warm water before turning to her, she knew he was The One.

AnimeJune: Lady Eleanor Wadsworth-Pennington had always thought she’d understood her mother when she said, “Beware the rakes, they cause only pain and misery!” until she finally stepped on one and the stout wooden handle swooped up and smacked her on the face, breaking her nose and causing her to curse the lazy but irrepressible gardener Louis in a most unladylike manner.

AnimeJune:
The interesting thing about living with one’s vampire boyfriend, thought Candace, was that they both craved comfort food at a certain time of the month, at the same time, and for exactly the same reason.

Marna: There was nothing quite like hearing protestations of love and devotion from a man on a second date while also hearing him thinking “How much more of this crap do I have to spout before she goes down on me?” to drive home to a girl just how much it really, truly sucked to be a telepath, completely unable to indulge in the pleasant fantasy that somewhere out there a man really was interested in intelligence, wit, charm; indeed anything more than big boobs, flat abs and an ass tight enough that he’d be able to bounce quarters off of it in some sort of obscure drinking game dreamed up in a college frat house ten years earlier.

MS Jones: The Billionaire’s Secret Foot Fetish
Sophia entered her Italian boss’s boardroom trepidatiously, ready to retreat like a snail, which she could do faster than any gastropod because the only similarity between her jelly shoes and a slimy Tuscan molluscan was the translucent shiny gleam so like her boss’s eyes when they fell upon her toes.

MS Jones: The Blood-Stained Glass
If Vheronica could have studied her reflection in the mirror she would have seen eyes the deep purple color of eggplant, lips that pouted like a pigeon in heat, and fangs like one of those sunsets when the sky is all kind of streaky red and yellow; but she was a vampire so she couldn’t.

MS Jones: The Ballad of the Bodacious Bust
Prudence swept onto the train platform, her bustle rustling like a passel of cattle thieves, marched up to Jake and said, “You’re my ticket out of here, cowboy,” and just to make sure he got her drift she ripped open her bodice to display breasts the creamy, soft consistency of Brie cheese.

Esri Rose: Portia Delacroix’s dainty kid slippers faltered to a halt beneath the whispering willows as two swarthy men, their faces hidden by filthy rags, stepped onto the path ahead of her only to run for their lives as Lord Rakeraven’s horse’s hooves, the size of French porcelain dinner plates, pawed the air above their greasy heads, its master shouting, “Lay a hand on her fair head and I’ll eat your nadgers on toast, come the morrow!”

Alex: Hi my name is Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way and I have long ebony black hair (that’s how I got my name) with purple streaks and red tips that reaches my mid-back and icy blue eyes like limpid tears and a lot of people tell me I look like Amy Lee (AN: if u don’t know who she is get da hell out of here!).

Carrie Lofty: Thrusting and thrusting again into the gasping blonde groupie sprawled across a hot pink Naugahyde loveseat, Leo “Nasty” Houston’s member was like a hard-working mole digging its winter shelter: its snout slick and hairless, blind to all but its instinctual purpose, and intensely fond of warm, dark, welcoming warrens.

Ellie: Trevor reached out a hand to his new bride, Valerie, who looked up at him through her eyelashes, her gaze an equal mix of fear and raw passion, and as he pulled her towards him, the scent of her hair, orange and jasmine, filled the air in the honeymoon suite, which was hot and close and full of promise, like a Southern summer night, but without all the June bugs.

Anonymiss: Whimpering prettily, as she had been taught, heiress Daphne du Bazoombas scolded her seamstress for using a zipper on her bodice instead of flimsly ribbon ties – how, she reasoned, was she supposed to meet the broodingly handsome titular Lord Manly Pectarious by page 20, receive three punishing kisses by page 65 (spurring heretofore never felt sensations in her regions de nether by page 66), and ultimately end up by page 93 in a windswept cliff-filled valley surrounded by rearing horses, Ionic columns, erect moonbeams and tangerine colored peacocks with Manly driving his knee improbably into her sacral spine and his hands rapaciously down her chemise (causing her mouth to form a perfect ‘o’ like the wedding band of gold he would give her no later than page 587 after she had borne him two children and one nasty rash), if for heaven’s sake he had to find and pull down one of those little zipper pulls that disappears into a seam?!

Lyra: The Pirate Rogue’s Nordic-Ethiopian Bride
Captain Llwyn trapped the jewel of his latest plundering between his leathery, anchorchain arms, regarding her with a smug, anticipatory grin that showed off his rotten and broken teeth to their full effect; she was a pretty one, this wench, with her dark, volcanic soil skin, her eyes the colour of his salty mistress after a storm, and her spun gold hair that tumbled and twisted in the air as if pulled by some non-existent breeze—he would enjoy the process of taming her, of teaching her that the proper place for a woman was strapped to the helm of his pirate ship as an ornament.

Lyra:  Blood Drive
Pynylope shouldn’t have been surprised that it happened at twilight, dusky with its lacy, gently wafting curtains of cloud, her transformation to vampyredom; still, nothing prepared her for Edmynd revealed in his full glory: his eyes, green as phlegm from a congested kid’s nose, stalking her; his lips, redder than Cartier rubies, whispering sweet nothings; his teeth, spears more penetrating and sure to satisfy than any phallus, sinking into her flesh with a ripping, tearing sound that reminded her of the neighborhood butcher.

Ellie: If you make me marry him, Mother, I’ll kill myself!” screeched Alveola, referring to the Duke of Mahntitte, who was a cad and a scoundrel and scarred to boot, and the object of her deepest loathing, because she had not yet discovered that his daring playboy exterior was just a cover to hide the pain of an unhappy childhood, and he had gotten the scar duelling to defend the honor of Aldenta, her half-sister whom she would soon meet for the first time.

Karen: James Wright didn’t just think he was God’s gift to women, he was reminded of it every time a pretty little skirt decided to join him back at his place for a ride on his pony, if you know what I mean.

Suze: Miyuki gazed in wonder at the tall, very-long-legged, blue-eyed, silver-haired Japanese billionaire-ninja-rockstar-host who was also the president of their high school’s student council (so accomplished, and only 17!) and sighed happily, wondering why such a beautiful bishounen was so attracted to her short, plain, ordinary, nerd-like self that he needed to blackmail her into becoming his maid-mistress-secretary AND make her fill in for their missing maths teacher (and she was SO bad at maths!) by threatening to reveal to the school population that she worked part-time as a famous model in disguise; and she hoped desperately that she’d be able to get home (where she lived alone because her parents had recently been transferred overseas for two years, leaving her behind by herself) before her cruel lover’s legion of rabid fangirls chased her down and cut all her hair off, stole her shoes, and threw mud on her clothes.

Malin: Mama had always insisted that chasing after men was vulgar. Thus, Sophie (instead of stalking her man as would have been more convenient) was obliged to lay in wait along pathways, ready to pounce.

Laura: “She writhed against him, rotating her hips as though they were blades on a wind-powered turbine generator, the bulbous white expanses of her heaving breasts undulating like water balloons resting upon a vibrator powered by a bank of fully charged hybrid fuel cells.”

Gail S: IRIDIA AND THE SWORD OF LOVE
Iridia struggled, flailing her pearlescent limbs, thrashing her platinum-tressed head, heaving her creamy bosoms upward in a frantic battle to free herself from the dreams that held her captive, and yet did little more than free those bosoms, luscious, orbs glowing with the moon’s sensuous intensity, peaked with rosy tips the size, shape and hardness of erasers on the end of a pencil, from the diaphanous gauzy fabric of her gown, and all the while Hygenio, Duke of Alhambra, watched and lusted in his heart after her, as well as in the prodigiously hungry and growing sword of love in his groinal region.

Pamela: Bruce left a lasting impression, like those memory foam mattresses – sure, he was a bit dense and quick to mold to anyone who put pressure on him, but he offered firm support and automatically adjusted to weight fluctuations which more than made up for the occasional bit of off-gassing.

Lyra:  The Argentine’s Secret Graveyard Mistress
Despite the sudden thunderstorm that plastered their clothes to their heated, writhing bodies, Francesca knew that they were too far gone in the throes of passion to stop and seek shelter in the memorial garden’s gazebo; Andreas, the gorgeous stallion of an Argentine she’d only met hours ago, ran his rough manly hands over her, eagerly denuding her body and exciting her to screams of ecstasy that surely would rouse the dead from their nearby graves.

Phadem: The Island
Olivia Pendlebottom was getting off that damn island, even if she had to hump a humpback to do it, but the only male in site was Timothy Bareback of the Derbyshire French Letter factory fame and as she was quite beyond the pale desperate at that point, she had only one last thought before the plunge: At least he’d come prepared.

Ellie: Victoriana was blonde, leggy, and had curves in all the right places, except the top of her head, which, Buck noticed, was actually quite pointy, not to mention, as he now couldn’t stop noticing it, very distracting.

Malin: Crossing the plaza with her arms full of books, Beth suddenly felt a horrible, consuming urge to scratch an intense itch in her crotch.

Marna: Mellisande d’Alagnace listened fearfully to the snorting and snuffling outside the thick oaken tower door, crossing herself and praying that this time it would be some great hunting hound instead of the Duc du Beringion, the man-beast bent on plundering her maidenly virtues and vast tracts of land.

Alex Ess: In the darkness of her room, Clarice thought of the day of her engagement when the maid had compared the size of the Duc’s machinery to a pepper grinder, and holding the pepper grinder against her body she wondered how she would be expected to move her lungs and liver out of the way for her betrothed.

Pamela: As the sun set below his beachfront mansion and Kyle strummed yet another love song in a voice as smooth as melted chocolate, Tiffany wondered that as handsome and rich as Kyle clearly was, could she ever marry a man who played air guitar in public?

Pamela: Bob hoped this blind date would be better than the last one who grilled him about his past not like a young Japanese chef with a sushi-grade tuna steak barely seared on the outside and tender on the inside, but with the brutal and determined thoroughness of his Aunt Gerda armed with a pan full of pork chops and a pathological fear of salmonella.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Brandi says:

    Should Alex’s entry count? She (he?) noted that it was directly from an existing fanfic. (Unless other ones are quotes too and that’s okay—I thought these were supposed to be all-new all-original.)

  2. 2
    Jessa Slade says:

    Ah, if only the first chapters of these were available online.  I so appreciate the laughs, not to mention the deadly wielding of adjectives.

  3. 3
    Rene S. says:

    If mine got nominated and didn’t make this list, did it not get nominated enough or something? Believe me, reading the entries is certainly prize enough—I’m just curious.

  4. 4
    Esri Rose says:

    Hope you feel better soon, Sarah! I always crave miso soup when I’m feverish. No Campbells. It has MSG, which goes right through your blood-brain barrier when you’re running a temp.

  5. 5
    Anaquana says:

    I had to choose Elizabeth Wadsworth’s second quote “Damn you, Brad Parker…” simply because my last boss’ name was Brad Parker and seeing that line made me laugh until I cried.

  6. 6
    Joanne says:

    Well I went with Elizabeth Wadsworths’ It is a truth universally acknowledged.. which I’m sad to say I would have continued reading if it had continued on… and also because I sit in awe of anyone who can use eldritch in a paragraph (not nominated, my fault, I should have) without spitting on her own keyboard.

    Feel better Sarah.

  7. 7
    Tina C. says:

    I voted for Marna: There was nothing quite like hearing protestations of love and devotion from a man on a second date while also hearing him thinking “How much more of this crap do I have to spout before she goes down on me?”.  I have to say, though, that Malin (Mama had always insisted that chasing after men was vulgar. Thus, Sophie (instead of stalking her man as would have been more convenient) was obliged to lay in wait along pathways, ready to pounce.) made me laugh out loud and I would have voted for it, too, if I could.

  8. 8
    robinb says:

    “Bob Hope(d)” ???  BWA ha ha ha ha ha ha

  9. 9
    JenTurner says:

    Can’t they all win?  Great googly moogly…those were awful!  Funny as hell, but awful.  :)

  10. 10
    RStewie says:

    Marna had me, but the deal was sealed with the

    ass tight enough that he’d be able to bounce quarters off of it in some sort of obscure drinking game dreamed up in a college frat house ten years earlier.

    Damn.  That is both hilarious and (unfortunately) true.

  11. 11
    Debra Date says:

    I am sitting here gasping for breath I laughed so hard…

    Is it bad that I want to read more ?

  12. 12
    Eva Lynn says:

    I really want to read some of these.  I think that probably disqualifies them for ‘worst’, though.  Hmm.  I’ll have to decide before I vote, I guess. ;)

  13. 13
    Meag says:

    “The Pirate Rogue’s Nordic-Ethiopian Bride” made me laugh and laugh and even snort a little.

    Good luck everyone.

  14. 14
    Jody W. says:

    Yeah, I’d like to read Elizabeth’s and maybe Malin’s, so for me they didn’t compare in badness to some of the others!

  15. 15
    Cait says:

    I had to vote for’ AnimeJune: Lady Eleanor Wadsworth-Pennington had always thought…’.  I haven’t laughed so hard in a week.

  16. 16
    Carrie Lofty says:

    We joked about were-ducks. I could start a fresh new line of erotic were-mole stories.

    *throws up in own mouth*

  17. 17

    Dude, Carrie, I’m surfing, trying to settle enough to sleep after finishing a much anticipated sequel with a not-quite-happy ending that’s left me twitchy, and ya just had to put the were-mole image into my head… twitching its little mole nose…

    Or is that an anteater?

  18. 18
    House says:

    I’m sorry, but

    When he ran the speculum under warm water before turning to her, she knew he was The One.

    just wins, hands down.

  19. 19
    Kate says:

    Had to vote for the rake…HAD to. I would read that book in a heartbeat.

    But props to Marna for the near-Monty Python reference.

    Feel better, Sarah.

  20. 20
    Anony Miss says:

    When he ran the speculum under warm water before turning to her, she knew he was The One.

    Just wanted to mention, when my father was a young medical intern, he used to do this for his patients on his gyn. rotation, and he said they all appreciated it.

    So have hope, ladies! There are men like this out there!

    Of course, my father went into psychiatry…

  21. 21
    Anony Miss says:

    How on EARTH do you pick the ‘worst’ one, when they’re all so good??

    I should pick the one that makes me want to read the ensuing book least???

  22. 22
    eaeaea says:

    I went with the hard-working mole/penis:

    Thrusting and thrusting again into the gasping blonde groupie sprawled across a hot pink Naugahyde loveseat, Leo “Nasty” Houston’s member was like a hard-working mole digging its winter shelter: its snout slick and hairless, blind to all but its instinctual purpose, and intensely fond of warm, dark, welcoming warrens.

    Cracks me up every time.

    As for the amorous thoughts during a pelvic exam – just plain nauseating…
    Can we publish the titles & authors of these little gems at some future date?

  23. 23
    Malin says:

    It was a tough choice but in the end I had to vote for AnimeJune’s “rake” because it was the first one I burst out laughing with and the last one I came back to.

    Also, it would have been really tacky to vote for my own. *BG*

    But these are all teh awesome!

  24. 24
    Malin says:

    Can we publish titles & authors of these little gems at some future date?

    Great idea eaeaea! It will give me a chance to use my porn star name. And think up titles. And other people should help think up titles! But it should wait until after the voting is closed so it doesn’t influence those who have yet to vote.

    (And this is the first time I’ve tried quoting so sorry if it’s messed up!)

  25. 25
    ChrissyV says:

    Put the baby down for a mid morning nap, got myself a cup of tea and this is what I had waiting for me. Ya’ll are awesome.

  26. 26
    Melissa says:

    Oh holy Jeez!  I kept laughing out loud, and had a devil of a time picking just one.  I’d have preferred to have a three way tie:

    Elizabeth Wadsworth: It is a truth universally acknowledged… (for the Jane Austen beginning and the nubile young women bit.)
    AnimeJune: Lady Eleanor Wadsworth-Pennington had always thought…  (Yes! Sideshow Bob reference here!)
    Anonymiss: Whimpering prettily, as she had been taught…  (the references to the awful 80’s covers had me in stitches!)

    Sarah, are you sure we can’t have more than one winner here?  :)

  27. 27
    Lee says:

    Lyra: The Pirate Rogue’s Nordic-Ethiopian Bride
    —he would enjoy the process of taming her, of teaching her that the proper place for a woman was strapped to the helm of his pirate ship as an ornament.

    Surely this should be the bowsprit?  The poor dear would get awfully dizzy strapped to the steering wheel…

    Too late to vote, but the rake deserved it!

  28. 28

    I love your blog.  I just came across it and plan to read 1 or 2 posts a day.  I will try to comment as often as possible.  Keep up the good work!  Thanks a bunch.

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top