Insane Rom-Nov of the Week: A New, Entirely Absurd Pastime

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Pop Culture
Tags: , , , , , ,

(*Author’s note: As I was wending my way through the packed holiday aisles at my local grocery store I happened by the reading section.  Amidst integrity-driven publications exclaiming in bold print, the headline equivalent of Maury Povich shouting, “Justin Bieber. . .you are the father!”  and espousing the details of Ashton Kutcher’s latest Kutch-job (*Secondary Author’s note: seducing someone just with the size of your wallet and the shrillness of your voice when something totally ridiculous happens to you — “Dude!!!  Aliens just took my car, Seann William Scott!”) I stumbled onto the paperback novel section.

There before me was an untapped treasure trove of comedic gold.  It was a vast oil reserve of hilarious titles, too-zoomed-in shots of abs that could serve as “The Situation”s stunt double, and dudes in kilts, crowns, and virtually anything that was the opposite of a shirt.

I knew.  I knew right then and there, surrounded by soccer moms picking up juice boxes and a college dude buying 4 frozen pizzas and nothing else, exactly what I had to do. Namely, take photos of some romance novels and make fun of them in overly lengthy, descriptive blog posts.)

Ladies and gentleman of, without further ado, I give you: the Burnpoetry Rom-Nov of the week.


Title: Risky Christmas

The Book Cover:  Anyone who has ever stood horrified before a rom-nov display case knows: the cover is half the battle.  The more risqué, less clothed the guy on the front, the more middle-aged women will dig them.  Beer goggled by the onset of menopause and Pinot Grigio’ed into a cougar-frenzy, they catch sight of square jaws and washboard abs and can’t help but plunk down 11.95 based solely on Fabio’s simmering gaze.

In Risky Christmas the book cover breaks away from the stereotypical, washboard-ab-displaying beefcake that looks like an extra from 300 or like he’s “the buff roommate” on The Real World.  Not only is the cover shot zoomed way far away by Rom-Nov standards, but it also features a woman and, in a Hitchcockian plot twist worthy of mentioning more than once: the dude has on a shirt.  Seriously.  He was wearing something that showed neither abs, nor biceps, nor man-nips. 

Instead, the inevitably tall, dark and even-painted-mysterious guy on the cover of this story is sporting an F.B.I. jacket.  He’s doing this, presumably, for 3 reasons: 1.  It is Christmas time, he might just be trying to ward off the cold  2.  To make sure that, despite the fact that this novel has “romance” and “suspense” slapped right on the front cover, we know that there’s a criminal/mystery to be solved during this holiday  3.  To let us know that he is really, really f-ing risky.

Completely Made Up Plotline:  Agent Rafe Briscombe, a brilliant, but troubled, lone-w0lf FBI agent with a jaw line that’s more square than Jon Hamm, is hot on the trail of a killer and/or major art thief. (*Author’s note: why is it always art thieves who are so damn glamorous?) This smoldering lawman keeps his emotions buried almost as deep as the body of his first wife.  Inevitably, she was the tragic victim of an unsolved homicide, a killing that has long since driven this handsome, modern day Lone Ranger to the brink and back several times.  Now, after all these years, after all these hors devours of small victories, Agent  Briscombe is ready to feast.

Delilah Elliot is a fiercely independent, recently divorced journalist (*Author’s note: the second most illegitimately glamorized job in mystery plots) who has found herself drifting slowly from a world that she once loved to a bitter, battle-tested, hardened, street-wise, cynical, critical, hard-nosed, crime reporter.

Instead of presents ending up under the tree, there’re bodies.  With no discernible suspects, a way-too-hostile-to-ever-exist-in-a-world-with-HR-departments director of the bureau sends in Briscombe.  The press, having what can only be described in cop-speak as “a field day”, must react.  A borderline manic-depressive, too-stressed-to-actually-still-be-alive editor sends in his go-to gal.

At once, the lone-wolf and the cynical single-minded reporter are thrust — and I do mean thrust — into a dark, tangled web of murder, stockings, motives, and chestnuts roasting.  Bodies continue to pile up, and a cop who thought he had all the answers and the reporter who thought she could ask all the right questions suddenly find themselves heating up a Silent Night.

Has Rafe met his match in the wisecracking Delilah?  Can she resist his George Clooney-esque stubble?  How many corny Christmas jokes can one rom-nov pack into its pages?  What the hell is Delialah looking at over Rafe’s shoulder on the cover of the book?  Did it really take two author’s to write this book?  Answers to these questions and more in. . .Risky Christmas.

Fake Taglines For the Back of the Novel:

–  On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me. . .murder.
–  This book is Ho. . .ho. . .hot!
–  All she wants for Christmas is love.
–  Coming soon. . .Dicey Kwanzaa
–  Coming soon. . .Chancy Chanukkah


  1. Sue Tolles says:

    funny…………… see you can write and support yourself.

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