Sunday, February 14, 2010
HARLEQUIN BLAZE LINE: WORTH A LOOK
BLAZE AUTHORS BLOG Click HERE
If you are looking for a light, sexy read, then these books will be right up your alley. Blaze is a spin off of Sillouette Temptation, launched in August 2001 with Vicki Lewis Thompson's 'Nortorious'
It started with 4 titles a month at approx 250 pages, it is now at 6 titles a month with around 200 pages.
What I like about this line, it is more or less wide open, the stories can be light, funny, a little silly, or be dark, with crime and suspense thrown in the mix. Hey, they even do occasional Blaze Historicals (of which I wish there were more of!) But the main thrust of the books (no pun intended) is hot, wild sex, and lots of it. Usually with twenty somethings looking for adventure, and ultimately find love. That pretty much wraps it up.
I do wonder, if they are narrowing the focus here a bit much, what, no one past the age of thirty can have have wild sex and fall in love? Granted, I haven't read that many yet, (But I am getting there!) but there are no late thirties characters here with a little more mileage on them, or carrying baggage a seasoned luggage handler wouldn't want to touch. Too bad, as I think they would get a broader audience if they once in a blue moon focused a story on someone in their thirties or *gasp* forties. I know I would like it.Of course, I will admit, I am in my late forties.
Check out the writing guidelines for Blaze HERE Pretty straightforward, they are open to pretty much anything, and 'Heroes and heroines should be in their early 20s and up.' I have yet to see the 'and up' But, as I said, I may have not come across them yet.
'Are you a Cosmo girl at heart? A fan of Sex and the City?' Ah, isn't this passe? I find this amusing as I see the bulk of Blaze authors are no spring chickens, probably my age and a little younger. A few even older. With a token younger author here and there.
But one cannot argue with the success of the line. They are hip, contemporary, throwing in references to BlackBerry and Nickelback songs, Certain current TV shows or movies, which means there will be no reprint of these books say, 20 years from now. And at 200 pages, you can usually polish one of these off on a long plane trip, or over a couple nights of heavy reading, or one night even!
The first sex scene usually appears about page 40 or 50, first we have to establish the hero and heroine and their busy lives and the many people that populate it (in the guidelines: secondary characters and subplots contribute to the richness of story and plot action we look for in a successful Blaze novel. ) The sexual attraction crackles and snaps and they act on it, many times throughout the book, usually with interesting results, whether bondage, food sex, sex toys and games, you name it. But, its not porn.
Usually these scenes are done with a sense of playfulness, eroticism without being full-bore erotica, though it comes bloody close sometimes. It must be a fine line to walk. And I guess the real pull here is though the hero and heroine act on the physical pull between them, many times, ultimately, they get their HEA. They fall in love. Don't expect marriage though, or 'baby epilogues'. Not in these books. And that is fine, who rushes to the alter nowadays anyway? Not too many.
I will admit I only came to romance reading in the last three years, surprising for someone on the dark side of 40. And I read almost exclusively Historicals only. Since branching out and blogging, I have been introduced to more sub-genres and authors than ever before.
And Blaze has caught my attention. They are my guilty pleasure. Late night reading with some chocolate.
I started trolling second hand books stores to pick up some older titles.
What you see is what you get, "Take Me If You Dare"...Ooooo...Kay!
Want to give Blaze a try? I don't know how long this link will work, but here it is anyway, Free e-book download of Jennifer LaBrecque's "Triple Threat"
Click HERE to download in the ebook form of your choice. "The Few, The Proud, The Sexy as Hell..." Why not?
This is not Shakespeare here, it is what it is. Blaze is up-front about it too, light, sexy reading, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Here is a link for free PDF files of a book from each of Harlequin's various lines (The Blaze one is "Slow Hands' By Leslie Kelly) celebrating 60 years of romance. I assume again, this link will only be up for a short time. Click HERE to download.
When I picked up my first Blaze at a bookstore, I sniggered and chortled as I flipped through it. How silly! But, I have since altered my opinion after reading some.
Do I enjoy them? Dang straight, and proud to say so.
And Happy Valentine's Day~