Tammy's Reviews > Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels

Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell
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's review
Apr 22, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009-reads, humor

Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels is a hilarious and intelligent examination of the romance genre. It includes a brief history of the genre. An overview of commonly used tropes, plots, and cliches'. A comparison of Old Skool vs. New School, complete with flowchart. And predictions for future trends.

It's full of the snarky humor and clever insights that I expected, as well as serious essays and citings to famous works in the field of romantic academia.

It also contains surprising facts.

Did you know that approx. $1.4 billion is spent annually on romance novels? More than any other genre? In essence, the romance genre basically pays for the rest of publishing industry.

So while the romance genre is often stereotyped and disrespected, there is plenty of supporting evidence that there are a LOT of shameful closet romance readers out there disguised as literary snobs.

Some of my favorite sections in this book included:

The Hero's Wang of Mighty Lovin'

The Magic Hoo Hoo

The Rise of the Kick-Ass Sexually Experienced Heroines

The Quiet Death of the Rapist Hero

Defending the Genre. (No. It's Not Chick Porn. Dammit.)

I particularly enjoyed interviews with Emma Holly re: erotica, cover model John DeSalvo (um ... who?), and Lisa Kleypas re: her Wallflower series. Kleypas had some very interesting thoughts as to why she believes the female protoganist is the placeholder in a romance novel.

I was pleased to see a section on the Carrie Edward's plagiarism scandal, complete with quotes from Nora Roberts.

For entertainment value, there are a plethora of lists, games, cover snark, the SB dictionary, flowcharts and more games. There is even a section at the back of the book where you can write your own romance novel. Wanna have some real fun? Look for "A Hymn to a Hymen" or check out the list of hero's who made it on the SB list of alpholes (alphas who are unredeemable assholes).

Do Sarah and Candy from the SB blog tell us what to read and bash us over the head with their opinions? Nope. Their research is thorough. Their analysis sound. (Heck! Their book is endorsed by Kleypas and Nora Roberts. That was enough for me!) Even though the authors sometimes poke fun at the genre, you get the feeling that you are reading the ramblings of very good friends who know and love the romance genre as much as you do.

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Reading Progress

April 22, 2009 – Shelved
April 29, 2009 –
page 70
24.05% "Hysterical! I haven't stopped laughing yet."
April 30, 2009 –
page 194
66.67% "Like their views on alpholes! And really enjoying their snarky humor."
Started Reading
May 2, 2009 – Finished Reading
May 4, 2009 – Shelved as: 2009-reads
May 4, 2009 – Shelved as: humor

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Miss Kim (new) - added it

Miss Kim alphaholes? hahaha. I've not heard that one yet.

Tammy I hadn't heard it before either. Alphas who act like assholes hold the title of Alpholes. LOL!

message 3: by Miss Kim (new) - added it

Miss Kim The quiet death of the rapist hero? This made me bust out laughing. This sounds pretty good!

message 4: by Stamatia (last edited May 04, 2009 12:53PM) (new)

Stamatia Okaaay. I just put it in my cart on Amazon

Tammy Kim, I would have listed more titles but I'm sure GR would have deleted them for inappropriate content.

I was laughing so hard at one point that my husband started reading over my shoulder!

message 6: by Blackbook (new) - added it

Blackbook This sounds great.

message 7: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee Darn, darn, darn--this does sound great! Thanks Tammy.:)

message 8: by Daisiemae (new)

Daisiemae Love your review, Tammy! I'll have to read this one!

Kathrynn Okay, I'm going to pick this up. Thank you, Tammy! Cute review.

message 10: by Barbara (last edited May 05, 2009 02:35PM) (new)

Barbara LMAO!!! What a great review...Ok... I'll have to admit at times I hide my "smut" material when company's over (especially if the covers Rated XXX). Don't get me wrong, I'm not ashamed by any means that I love this stuff, but I just don't want to explain to my dad-in-law that his oh so sweet gal sometimes...(ok most of the time...oh all right...ALL the time) loves a good ole' down and dirty book. What the heck is so wrong with that?!?!

Tammy Some covers definitely sizzle Barbara. (I have plenty of them hidden away from curious eyes.) Think book covers!

message 12: by Stamatia (new)

Stamatia I have to do that for books that I take with me to read at the stadium while I wait for my children's training sessions to end. This is a very small town and everybody is interested in everybody else's business particularly the oddball who constantly has her nose buried in a book

message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara I think we can all understand that Stamatia. Non-Readers just don't get it. My husband is always wondering how I can just sit and read, read, read. But I just love it!

Eastofoz I loved your review Tammy :D Can't wait to get my hands on a copy :)

Stamatia and Barbara I always have a book cover on my books for exactly the same reasons :p (lol!)

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