Spoiler: They Make Babies

The great experiment.

Posted in Romance Review by spoilerbaby on May 27, 2011

My Other of Some Significance (MOSS) is currently reading Slightly Dangerous, by Mary Balogh.  He is not, as they say, doing this especially for his health.  He’s reading the book because he has agreed to  do a podcast with me.  I chose a book that’s in my personal top ten.  (Balogh may be hit or rapey, but when she hits, she hits big with me.)  I chose one of my favorites because the purpose of the podcast is ostensibly to record a conversation between someone familiar with romance novel tropes (that would be me) and someone who has only minimal experience with the genre (him).  MOSS is not averse to romance novels, but since his experience with genre fiction is in sci-fi and fantasy, he’s coming to romances without any of the learned codes that have become near-instinct for me.

We already had a bit of a genre disconnect.  When I told MOSS about the book, I noted that it was part of a series.  MOSS hesitated and looked confused.  “A romance series,” I clarified.  He altered the degree of his eyebrow tilt, but did not look sufficiently illuminated. I explained that quite often, while books in a romance series are related, they are not precisely sequential.  Usually what constitutes a series is that the various heroes and heroines are somehow related to one another.  The previous book’s characters may show up to be happily wed and spawning in the next book, but that’s usually the extent of the continuity.

With that being said, here are the other titles in what I tend to refer to as the “Slightly series”:  Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful. (I didn’t say that my name for the series was imaginative.)

The books detail the marriages of the Bedwyn siblings.  In  Slightly Married, Lord Aidan Bedwyn, the second-born son, marries Eve Morris in order to save her estate, after promising her dying brother on the battlefield at Toulouse to take care of her no matter what.  In Slightly Scandalous, Joshua Moore (Marquess of Hallmere), takes a few punches to the nose from Freyja Bedwyn and lives to tell the married tale.  In Slightly Wicked, Judith Law is a parson’s daughter who pretends to be an actress, bangs Rannulf Bedwyn, and eventually marries him in spite of himself.  Slightly Tempted tells the story of Gervase Ashford (Earl of Rosthorn), who pursues Morgan Bedwyn to spite Wulfric, but ultimately falls in love.  Finally, Rachel York falls for Alleyne Bedwyn in Slightly Sinful, but does so while he has massive amnesia after a head trauma on the battlefield.

Slightly Dangerous, which tells the story of the eldest brother Wulfric Bedwyn, is my favorite of the series, with Slightly Scandalous running a close second.  These two novels are the strongest, in my opinion, because their female characters come the closest to real-life heroines.  They’re sharp, funny, and stubborn, and are neither perfect nor laughable.  In these novels, too, the woman of the pair is resistant to the man’s charms.  I’m interested to see what MOSS thinks of that.  It will probably just seem awfully familiar to the poor man.

Stay tuned for a link, which will come soon after we record the podcast.  And expect regular updates on Fridays each week!

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