Dogs and Goddesses: Amazon Recommends

So um… Amazon caught me peeking at the page for Dogs and Goddesses.

I tried to hastily explain, it’s for a blog, I don’t actually read this stuff, but Amazon kept giving me that patient little knowing smile and nodding. “Right, sure, of course you don’t,” it said, all smug and knowing.

Mortified, I slunk away, vowing never to speak of this incident again, but last night “someone” anonymously slipped this into my email inbox:


Which actually gives me some interesting insight. Here’s a list of suggested works by Jennifer Crusie:

Daisy Flattery is a free spirit with a soft spot for strays and a weakness for a good story. Why else would she agree to the outrageous charade offered by her buttoned-down workaholic neighbor, Linc Blaise? The history professor needs a makeshift fiancée to secure his dream job, and Daisy needs a short-term gig to support her painting career. And so the Cinderella Deal is born: Daisy will transform herself into Linc’s prim-and-proper fiancée, and at the stroke of midnight they will part ways, no glass slippers attached. 

A, I wonder which of the four heroines is hers? >.> And B, doesn’t that sound… familiar? Yeesh.

Mitch Peabody was learning pretty fast that the life of a private detective was nothing like the movies. He’d envisioned a world of tough-talking detectives and smart-mouthed, stunning dames. Instead he saw case after case of cheating husbands, suspicious wives and unsuspecting mistresses…until she walked through the door. Right down to her stilettos, Mae Sullivan was a knockout with a lethal body—and a lethal family to go with it. There was something not quite on the up-and-up about her, but she came with a case he couldn’t afford to refuse…and left him with a case of lust he hadn’t had since high school. It didn’t take long for him to fall for her, hook, line and sinker. But was Mae interested only in catching the double-crossing crooks who murdered her uncle…or did the lady want to catch him?

Okay, that’s a new one on me! Sounds kind of interesting.

On Wednesday, Quinn McKenzie changes her life. On Thursday, she tries to get somebody to notice. On Thursday night, somebody does.

Quinn McKenzie is dating the world’s nicest guy, she has a good job as a high school art teacher, she’s surrounded by family and friends who rely on her, and she’s bored to the point of insanity. But when Quinn decides to change her life by adopting a stray dog over everyone’s objections, everything begins to spiral out of control. Now she’s coping with dognapping, breaking and entering, seduction, sabotage, stalking, more secrets than she really wants to know, and two men who are suddenly crazy . . . for her.

What is it with romance novels and dogs, anyway?!

SIZZLE by Jennifer Crusie

Business takes a backseat when successful ad executive Emily Tate meets Richard Parker. He’s an accountant who’s been sent to keep her in line and under budget in her ad campaign for a sensual new perfume called Sizzle. And if Emily’s not careful, she could well melt in Richard’s hands.

Yeeesh, this sounds like 50 Shades of Grey.

Maddie Faraday’s life would be perfect—if it weren’t for

her cheating husband
her suspicious daughter
her gossipy mother
her secretive best friend
her nosy neighbors,
and that guy she lost her virginity to twenty years ago who is suddenly back in town. . . .

Suddenly, life in southern Ohio just got a little more scandalous.

I suppose she’s also responsible for the setting….

Okay, can like, one of these books NOT be based on deception? “Faking It”, “Tell Me Lies”,  and those first two summaries… it’s just all lying and cheating in the world of Harlequin Romance, isnt’ it?

Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who run a respectable art gallery—and have for generations. There’s Gwen, the matriarch, who likes to escape reality; Eve, the oldest daughter, who has a slight identity problem (she has two); Nadine, the granddaughter, who’s ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn’t leading off a cliff. And last, Matilda, the youngest daughter, who has inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, a secret she’s willing to do almost anything to keep, even break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past.

Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who’s just been ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that, he’ll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including break into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future.

One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hit man, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a jukebox stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, and the growing realization that they can’t turn their backs on the people they were meant to be . . . or the people they were born to love.

Oh, and Romeo and Juliet. That’s also big.

Am I overthinking this?


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5 Responses to Dogs and Goddesses: Amazon Recommends

  1. Firedrake says:

    There’s a lot of analysis of romances out there – Smart Bitches, Trashy Books can be good fun – but questions like the ones you post rarely seem to be answered there.

    I suspect that part of the reason for the presence of so much deception is that the story has to last for the whole book – if He and She meet each other, get together, and stay together, there’s not much of a romance plot going on, so there has to be some reason for them to be driven apart at least temporarily. The Big Misunderstanding, the problem that would be trivially solved if only these people would just talk to each other for a few minutes, is a particular bête noire of mine. I will admit that I prefer romance plots that are interspersed with other things rather than having to stand on their own, which some of these (particularly Faking It) sound like. I’m very fond of Tess Gerritsen’s early books for just this reason; they’re sold as “romantic suspense” rather than “romance”.

    • Firedrake says:

      I’ve just read Faking It, and while it certainly didn’t avoid the descent into cliché, it was reasonably fun. In particular, the obligatory sex between hero and heroine isn’t mind-blowingly good first time. OK, Crusie is no mystery writer – I spotted all the twists coming a long way off, and the climactic scene is pure early-twentieth-century farce – but while it’s certainly mind-candy, it’s reasonably high-grade mind-candy.

  2. Brin says:

    “Gwen Goodnight” sounds like either an assassin or a diaper mascot, I’m not sure which.

  3. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, January 18th, 2013 « The Slacktiverse

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