November Open Thread

November 1, 2013 Open Thread 10

I thought we’d try a monthly open thread and see how it goes.

Read a book with a marginalized character you want to recommend? Run across a terrible portrayal you want to warn others to avoid? Just want to rant about the general state of the genre?

Let ‘er rip in the comments. Nothing is off topic, but no promo, please.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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10 Responses to “November Open Thread”

  1. Merrian

    The duology I mentioned in the comments on the physically disabled protagonists post deals with PTSD realistically AJ Rose’s ‘Power Exchange’ and ‘Safeword’. They’re BDSM m/m police procedural stories. There is also a nasty side character who is seriously injured with life altering consequences and he is allowed to be as he is – his response to his disabilities is completely in line with the character on the page. Kaetrin & Smexybooks reviewed them

  2. Liz Mc2

    An inter-racial romance made Publisher’s Weekly’s Best of 2013 list. And one with a disabled vet hero (which has to be the most common type of romance disability, right? Discuss).

    Best-of lists are always a crap shoot, but I really enjoyed the one on that list I read (Alison Atlee’s)–it wasn’t perfect, but refreshingly different period setting and ambitious working-class characters.

    I’d love to see you guys read and review these.

  3. Ridley

    @Liz Mc2: That interracial romance author, J.J. Murray, has always intrigued me. A white author of BW/WM romance is unusual enough. A white male author of BW/WM romance kind of blows my mind. $10 for an ebook gives me an eye twitch, but maybe I’ll grab it if Kobo has another coupon sale.

    I’ve read Marilyn Pappano before and she loves the emo angst. I think her take on an amputee veteran would give me the table pounds.

  4. Ridley

    @Merrian: Well, if you liked them, maybe I’ll branch into m/m and try them out. I was thinking of trying Heidi Belleau’s Wallflower, which is New Adult m/m with an Asian genderqueer hero and an indigenous Canadian hero.

  5. Tina

    Yes. JJ Murray a white male writer writes almost exclusively IR romances where his female protagonist is always a black woman. And although I have not read him yet ($$) many of my GR friends have, and the consensus is that he’s very good.

    I recently read a SFF-Fantasy book with a black female protagonist written by a white male author. The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes. It is a light caper-action hybrid. It read almost as if Terry Pratchett had written Oceans 11. I liked how he handled racial politics in his world building. There were *issues* but he didn’t make it a big thing.

    And recently finished a secret baby interracial romance written by Lena Hart. ‘Because This Is Forever.’ i usually hate secret baby plots because rarely does the author make it necessary to keep the baby secret. And honestly, the heroine could have told the hero earlier than she did here as well. But I thought the conflict was believable and the dialogue felt intelligent.

  6. Ridley


    It read almost as if Terry Pratchett had written Oceans 11.


  7. Tina


    LOL. Right? The downside is that it had a very ‘first book of a series’ feel. So characterizations weren’t very deep. But on the plus side, it is free on Amazon if you are a prime member and have a kindle.

  8. Liz Mc2

    I hadn’t heard of JJ Murray and just assumed the author was a black woman. Goes to show my biases! (Though I do have a weird tendency to associate authors with the images of the heroines on their covers–for a long time I assumed Max Gladstone was a black woman, too).

  9. Ros

    I have a tentative recommendation for Kelly Hunter’s What The Bride Didn’t Know.

    I am a huge Hunter fangirl. I love almost all of her books, but the West series is pretty much at the top of my list (maybe joint top with the Bennett series). Anyway, this just came out and predictably, I loved it. The heroine is the disabled vet, not the hero. There’s also an amnesia storyline, and a ton of other stuff that has potential to be a hot mess. I *think* Hunter manages it pretty well. There are no miracle cures and no inspiration porn. There is some self-pity but not a ton, and there’s a bit of ‘what on earth does he see in me’, but it doesn’t ever descend into angsty wallowing. What I liked most is that Lena is the clearly same person before and after the accident, with the same hang ups and the same strengths.