Y'all know I love romance novels, right? I mean really love them. When I was newly out of college my roommate would make fun of me and call me cheap because I was haunting the library to find the books I loved instead of buying them. But let's face it, I was on a new graduate's budget and the library was my best friend. Things have changed, among them my salary, so now I can buy as many books as I want. And that's a problem. I buy waaaay too many. More than I can read, literally. At this moment I have at least 115 unread/partially read romances on my Kindle and 85 unread/partially read paperbacks.Yup, over 200 books. It started to get overwhelming because I knew I owned great books that weren't being read because a new shiny book was always getting published. Or maybe I was in the mood for a specific type of book so I'd go hunting on Amazon, never mind the fact that I might already own something to kill the craving. So I've decided to not buy any new books in 2021, instead I'm going to read what I own. I'm not even going to let myself borrow from the library. Shocking, I know. This is going to be a hardship, already I've been tested by a friend who invited me to join a book club. But it's going to be worth it. I get to read some amazing books this year, and I get to make room for the amazing books to come! So tell me, how many books do you have in your to be read pile? Is it as bad as mine? Even worse? Do tell!
My wife doesn’t read, which is a bit of a conundrum for a writer and someone who loves to read. She says that if the book is good enough, it will be made into a movie. I always chuckle when I think of this, mostly because I know a ton of great books that will never make it to the silver screen. And yet, Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I has done it. Better than a movie, but it is a series on Netflix. While I have never read any of Quinn’s books I know of her reputation and I have waited with bated breath to watch Bridgerton, the show based on The Duke and I. And it was all that I had hoped for and more. I adored the costumes, the Regency period mores, the ballroom scenes and the intrigues. But above all, I loved the hero, Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings.
He’s black y’all! He’s arrogant and yummy and black! I can’t tell you how mind blowing it is to see the hero from a famous romance be depicted in the form of a black man. To know that all that is desired and all that is good in a leading man is encapsulated in brown skin and wooly hair. It makes this writer want to jump up and down with glee. Thank you Shonda Rhimes for opening this world to us and reminding everyone that romance, historical romance, belongs to everyone. That it can come in all shapes, sizes and shades. That a black man can be what women (and men) most desire. And thank you Simon Basset for being you. Especially when being you means breaking the rules of who and what is a Regency hero.