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Thursday, February 26, 2015

RIP Bertrice Small & Book Review Thursday

A little late for book review Thursday. Nonetheless:

A literary agent I follow broke the news that romance writers Bertrice Small died earlier today.

The two Bertrice Small novels I own are Phillipa and Rosamund. Both are historical fiction about heiresses that came in contact with Henry VIII while he was married to Catherine of Aragon. If you’re someone who must read everything about Henry and Catherine, no matter what, pick these up and enjoy.

When it comes to sex, Small made me feel like a prude – a very dirty prude. And what was worse was how unbelievable the sex was.

Not unbelievable as in great – just unbelievable.

Does anyone’s penis really work like that? And does any woman really like that? Really?  Her terminology didn’t just make me blush – it made me laugh. 

Don’t judge. Don’t judge. Shame on me for judging (and mentally getting out the measuring tape in my own bedroom). Nope. No way. Even thinking like that makes me a dirty, dirty girl. 

But what Small did was create historical romances that allowed people to fantasize about sex while reading under the guise of reading about the time period of Henry and Catherine. It was not unlike watching Reign on the CW (which is off until March 12 -- grrr). Maybe she gave someone (besides other romance authors) some good ideas. Maybe her push of the envelope gave someone else the freedom to reclaim sex. 

Small has 68 books on Amazon with publishing dates from not happened yet back to the mid-1980s. That puts her first book out just a few years after Nora Roberts started publishing. Both were/are prolific female romance writers, though IMHO, Small could have learned a lot more from Roberts.  

But I read both. I took different things from both. Because of Small, I did not venture into other bodice rippers and other novels that were listed the genre of romance over another genre. Perhaps that was “small” of me. 

Perhaps one day, I’ll discover whether or not it was.