Romance Novel Reader Workout XIV

burly bicep holding stack of booksThe best thing to do with purple prose, aside from laughing and rolling one's eyes, is to employ it for a crushing workout. A quivering workout, even. Possibly a throbbing workout! Time for Romance Novel Reader Workout #14! 

Like the previous workouts, can do all these exercises with a mat and your own bodyweight. No handweights are needed unless you want to use some.

For this one, you'll need to grab a romance with as much purple prose as possible, and prepare to work!

Standard disclaimers still apply: dude, for reals, I'm not a physician. I don't even play one on tv. I can recommend books to read but I can't discern your state of health or your physical limitations so by all means work hard but be kind to yourself. To put it another way, ask your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

I can give you the following advice, however: drink plenty of water and read plenty of books. 

But wait! By reader request, I have a convenient PDF of all 15 workouts so far, including workouts 1-14 and the ever-popular and alas-still-needed plagiarism workout. Each page has two images on it, and the PDF is 1.4MB in size. You are welcome to print and distribute the workouts, give them as gifts, or use them as bookmarks.

Download the Romance Novel Workout PDF Collection here.

And now, Romance Novel Reader Workout, Part XIV, in graphic form suitable for pinning, sharing, printing, and pointing at!

It’s purple prose workout time. Grab a romance with as much purple prose as you can find. It’s best if there’s a hologram, a mullet, fuchsia, or all three on the cover. Any mention of the following, do the corresponding<br />
exercise, then repeat at the end of the chapter.</p>
<p>There’s a tender sheath		     25 push ups</p>
<p>There are lush folds**				     1 min. plank<br />
Someone has a love grotto** 		     25 crunches<br />
Said love grotto has coral walls* 	     25 lunges</p>
<p>Someone has a pulsing entrance	     50 high knees</p>
<p>Someone has a tender sheath  		     25 burpees</p>
<p>Said sheath, past said entrance, has<br />
	a silken grip**   	           		     25 side leg lifts</p>
<p>There is a pearl, a bud, a button,<br />
	 a nubbin, or all of the above**          25 plank jacks</p>
<p>Said nubbin/pearl/etc is sensitive<br />
	and possibly also quivering		     25 skaters</p>
<p>											*Yes, that’s a real quote<br />
				** Thanks to Aliza M, Catherine N, Diana L and Heather S  -




If you have questions or suggestions for future workouts, please share, either in the comments or via email. And if these workouts have been helpful for you, either as exercise tools or as a source of gym entertainment, I'm very glad!

But above all, unless you faint, puke, or die, KEEP READING! AND BREATHING! 

Thank you to BigStock for the booklifting image!

Fun And Games

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    Coral walls? That sounds extremely painful and not at all hygienic!

  2. 2
    Dora says:

    Is it just me, or are burpees the worst thing ever? I’ll do plank jacks all day long (which is good considering how nubbly so many romance books are), but I have always HATED burpees. It might be because I have an exaggerated concept of how uncoordinated I am, so I keep overthinking the motion and it winds up feeling too awkward and clunky.

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:


    No, it’s not just you. Burpees are evil in terms of brutal full-body exercise. They’re tough. I like plank jacks, too, if I can remember to keep my butt down. Heh.


    Coral walls is a REAL PHRASE in a sex scene. The “coral walls of her love grotto.” I shudder every time I think of that in real terms. OUCH.

  4. 4
    Lori Sjoberg says:

    Coral walls?  Is that anything like Sheena Easton’s “Sugar Walls?”

  5. 5
    SB Sarah says:


    I guess so? Only coral is a lot more abrasive than sugar, I imagine.

  6. 6
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Re: “Coral walls”
    I sure am hoping the author was making a color reference—though how could the hero know what color the interior of her “love grotto” is without a color camera probe???
    Otherwise, we truly are left with a really nasty texture reference! (says someone who has suffered coral cuts—on my feet, dears, on my feet)

  7. 7
    Dora says:

    Tangent, but related: Years and years ago (… like, fifteen? Dang… time flies.), when I was 14 and everyone was role-playing anime and video game characters in Yahoo and AOL chatrooms, my friend and I used to get hit on a lot. (For the uninitiated: This would basically mean we would go online and everyone would be pretending to be characters they created from whatever, and we would act out scenarios and fights and yes it was exactly as goofy and embarrassing as it sounds.) It happened to EVERY girl in a role playing room, and though most guys were pretty decent if you told them thanks but no thanks, you’d still get a lot of annoying “*sighs softly, watching her quietly from the shadows*”, which is really tedious when you’re trying to role-play a magical Sailor Moon type girl karate-kicking a dragon to save the world. Role-players, if you’ve never done it, are the most dramatic creatures around, especially when everyone is a teenager. So eventually we started telling guys that we had boyfriends, and when that didn’t work, we decided to invent one.

    Enter Alejandro Turbane. We made him a chat handle and everything, and the idea was when one of us was getting hit on and the guy refused to get the message, the other would hop online as Alejandro. The thing was, Alejandro was basically a parody of every Fabio character and SNL sketch out there. You’d get “*struts into the room, his mighty cheeks barely contained by his budget purple pleather pants, man-berries hard and flinty against his flowing white shirt, his bald spot hardly noticeable with his mane combed back in the wind*” or “*stares at you with eyes hard and flinty like the really nice hotel bathroom tile*”. But the key point was that he always, ALWAYS talked like a bad romance novel, all convoluted imagery and metaphor and whatnot. So, yes, Alejandro would have been all about “*stroking your brow with his sweaty, trembling hands*” as he told you “My sweet piglet of passion, how I long to show you the briefest of ecstasies with your quivering coral walls.”

    90% of people we pulled the stunt on thought it was hysterical and took it in good humour since it was deliberately obvious what we were doing, and girls loved flirting with him while guys pretended to have elaborate rivalries with him they always lost. We weren’t trying to fool anyone, just drive home the notion that we were interested without having to resort to the sort of really flat, firm denial that would lead to us being called bitches. You would of course still get the douchebags that wanted to use “lesbians” as an insult and OF COURSE the only sole reason as to why we would be uninterested in them, but people took it remarkably well.

    Every once in a while I get the urge to write the ultimate ridiculous romance novel as Alejandro Turbane like how Fabio “wrote” all those other books, but I’m not sure anyone would survive the cheese. I mean, Alejandro was wicked smooth, you might pass out from all the bosom heaving.

  8. 8
    denise says:


  9. 9
    hapax says:

    @Dora:  So Alejandro Turbane was “the most interesting man in the world”?

  10. 10
    Kelly S. says:

    So a “tender sheath” gets 25 push ups and 25 burpees?

  11. 11
    Janhavi says:

    @ Dora- that is hilarious! I am still laughing.

  12. 12
    SB Sarah says:

    @Kelly S:

    Um. Ur, yeah. Yeah definitely! (Ooops.)



  13. 13
    Bona says:

    OMG, I’ve laughed a lot with these exercises,… again!
    I can’t tell you what I imagined when the said grotto had coral walls, it made me cringe.
    I just can’t believe someone has written that. Had the author ever seen real coral? I mean, I had a red coral necklace a very long long time ago… and let me tell you that it was like one of those dog collars used by punkies or SM people.
    I just can’t imagine something like that in anybody’s… grotto… ugh!

  14. 14
    LenoreJ says:

    I have been longing for ” I’m a Cumberbitch” t shirt, but may now have to seek out an “I *heart* Alejandro Turbane” instead. He’s perfect!

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