Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Romance: Real and Pretend

Jenny has been reading Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion series.  Emily and Jenny were discussing the characters and plot lines of the first book.

Jenny: It says Marcus smiled sardonically.
Emily: So you know she'll end up with him.

A few questions for you gentle readers who do not live in a novel:

1. Have you ever seen a real guy smile "sardonically?"

2. Do you even know what "sardonically" means?

3. If you do, and he did, did you immediately know he was The One?

Just f.y.i., Merriam-Webster says that sardonically means "disdainfully or skeptically humorous :  derisively mocking."

The guys I've seen with such a smile were either far too full of themselves to be impressive or trying to be something they weren't, or both.

Francine Rivers is a good writer.  She should know better.

Or is it just the nature of escapist books that you have to have a few cliches?

If a guy strides into the room, you know he'll be important later on.

In Lucy Maud Montgomery's books, the right guy always has curly hair.  And he likes cats, which works in real life I admit.

"His muscular frame filled the doorway."

If both characters are convinced they're not worthy of the other, watch out. 

"He could feel her quickened pulse as her heart pounded violently."

"His eyes bored deep into her soul."

I'm asking my fine daughters for examples here, which you may have guessed.

In our many conversations about courtship and finding The Right One, smiling sardonically never comes up.

Which should tell us all something.

Quote of the Day:
Me: I need some ideas for cliche lines from romance novels.
Emily: Gazing at her intently, he pulled out his hearing aids and laid them aside.
Emily: I just wanted something you could relate to.


  1. I've been a lurker for a while, loving the humor of your kids! I can relate...I love our teen-agers and the spice they add to life. One of our friends describes "Christian romance" books like this: "In the beginning, he does and she doesn't. In the middle, she does and he doesn't. At the end, they both do." So true! and so funny!

  2. My favourite line from a Janette Oke book was the one when the guy walked into the room the girl "felt like she was standing too close to a hot stove". I have used it many times to tease my daughters! ~merle

  3. From Karen Kingsbury: "The sound of his voice washed across her soul, soothing out the wrinkles of the day."

  4. oh GAG. I used to read this kind of stuff but after being married so long (!) I just can't stand it.

    I recently finished 2 novels by Joanna Trollope. EXCELLENT. Must blog on those.

    And I wish you had a photo on this post - I'd love to pin this post to my Books board on Pinterest.

  5. I hooted loudly enough at the QOTD to scare my little daughter, and I'm still chuckling at Jenny and Mr. Darcy. I think you could keep us all amply entertained just with conversations from around your house!
    -PC from VA's daughter

  6. Your Emily sounds like quite the character. Mine is three. Recently she emptied a bag of chips on top of the toilet and flooded the upstairs bathroom, hallway, and downstairs bathroom TWICE in one day. I hope she ages as well as yours. :P

  7. I Laughed loudly at The QOTD. Emily is SO creative...and suddenly I thought "Does Paul wear hearing aids?" Please don't answer that! TMI

    And I agree with Joyce about the formula for Christian Romance.

    My observation about all romance novels is that if the people would just talk to each other, there would be so much less drama (but that would also make a much shorter book).

  8. My husband loves to tease about the "unruly locks" that they want to brush aside. Then, there's the question of how many pages into the book will they sit in "companionable silence?" After almost 20 years of marriage, it amuses me to occasionally ask hubby if we're sitting in companionable silence. It usually brings a chuckle.