Hockey + Harlequin = WTF?!!!

Deidre Martin, Elle Kennedy, and (the late) Jack Falla, you don’t need a reality check, you need to get fuckin’ boarded! Hanson Brothers style!

I thank the universe that exists, or I might’ve wasted seven bucks, because I’m a naturally curious person. Curious as to how Harlequin Blaze exists. These “romantica” asshats really need to get their priorities straight- you either accept cliché, or you don’t! You either accept purple prose, or you don’t! You idiots state clearly in your submission guidelines you don’t want to touch purple prose with a 50-foot cattle prod, and you absolutely DEMAND originality (because your house is the fucking beacon of quality) or it gets sentenced to the slush pile!

So I mosey into Boarders, slip on my sunglasses and hood, stealth crawl into the romance section, crack open one of your latest releases, and am forced to commit arson because what I’m looking at is a pile of steaming purple prosey, clichèd to death and beyond cow manure! The green kind! What I’m trying to say is: REWRITE YOUR COMPANY’S FUCKING MISSION STATEMENT!!!

My hackles are especially raised when it comes to the following three themes: supernatural (vampires and werewolves what with this Twatlight insanity), cops and firefighters (can we get any more PC here?), and finally sports.

Now I like hockey (and it’s not because of the Quebecois relatives more like a byproduct), and I’m definitely not a puck fuck (I don’t find attractive in any guy who gets his nose broken regularly- for reference watch The Chiefs a hockey doc about the ne’er-do-well Laval Chiefs who brawl from the warm ups to eternity), and I’ve never played (no rinks in Brooklyn and hockey’s hella expensive south of the border). Plus all the technobabble and NHL speak is a bit intimidating– and for a bitch like me to admit that is harder than you think!

So why do I like hockey? Because it’s fun! It may not be Old Tyme Hockey but there are fights (fuck you Bettman!), and these guys are serious-ass athletes! I mean this sport is second only to football when it comes to physical punishment. I mean there are times I believe that these guys are honest to God masochists for what they do… and I love them for it!

Back to the bullfuck. Hockey romance, ah yes, how many times can you use “body check” as a title? Apparently not enough. Elle Kennedy wrote a romantica shitpile about a horny snowflake named Hayden Houston (dontcha just love these super unisex moderne names?) and Chicago Warriors (Blackhawks– Fair Use is in play so dumb writer hos do your research and use the goddamn REAL franchise and don’t waste your time trying to be clever!) defenseman Brody Croft (are all hockey players captains or defensemen in these books?). So idiot 1 and 2 are casual acquaintances through management (as in they know each other’s names), meet at the team bar (the Ice House… oh… my… God…), she wants some hot hockey ass and he wants 2.4 kids and a backyard rink (ZOMG role reversal!), and through similar tragic circumstances (with their slutty best buds nudging them) they hook up, have the best “graphic” sex ever, and live happily ever after! Yes, I was happy there was an end.

I’m going to put up a link to Wikipedia’s hockey page, it has vital info on the game including history, techno lingo, rules, and the whole shebang. So feel free to rape whatever term you feel is the most suggestive! Here are a few of freebies: power play, third man in, 5-on-3.

Now to change the lines, up next is Deidre Martin’s New York Blades series (hello! Fuck you! Fair Use! New York RANGERS! RANGERS! ). Now you cannot get more Mary Sue (well, Bella Swan) than Janna MacNeil, Delilah Gould, and Theresa Falconetti (I refuse to read The Penalty Box because the fat girl getting skinny and getting back at the hockey player jock jerkoff running after her now skinny ass is frankly insulting). Just to clarify things I didn’t DL these, I found them on the free books cart in my library. They were in pristine condition and I believe the Wal-Mart price stickers were stuck over the barcodes. That alone says something. Anyway.

Lilah is Jewish ditz, Tess is a serious basket case, and Janna is… my favorite kind of Mary Sue. Janna is a high-powered PR exec for Kidco Corp who has acquired the Blades (BTW there was an actual AHL team called the Erie Blades that was a farm team for the Bruins and Penguins) that is in charge of cleaning up their bad boy image: snorting a mountain of coke out of the Stanley Cup, getting arrested, brawling in strip clubs, having illegitimate kids, raping girls, y’know the usual. Nobody fucks with this Ivy League rich bitch… until Captain Ty Gallagher puts his foot down- in nothing but his jockstrap. Y’see she’s the SATC corporate wannabe who sports screamo plastic geek glasses, wears gray sweatpants, spends her weekends baking way-cool chocolate cakes, and angsting over her abused little brother in her family’s New England elite suburb where the MacNeil clan is probably neighbors with Martha Stewart. And who should knock at the door, but Captain Canadian Ty who finds Janna so irre-fucking-sistible in her sweats, messy hair, and specs (that she whips off in an effort to not look too dorky- making up for high school I see) that they fuck on her kitchen floor looking utterly retarded naked from the waist down.


If you’re looking for commentary on their male counterparts Ty Gallagher, Michael Dante, and Jason Mitchell- forget it! I want to end this rant soon, but from what I’ve said so far you can gather it’s nothing positive.

The last on the roster is Saved by the late Jack Falla. Why is it called Saved, you ask? Well the main character is Jean Pierre Savard, a goalie for the Boston Bruins (an actual franchise! Huzzah!). Get it, saved? Goalies make saves by catching the puck in their glove? Remember that dude on the cover of Sports Illustrated ’round about 1980? Bostonian? Olympic gold medalist? Bit of an oaf? Y’know, Jim Craig? Well he was a goalie, in fact for a few months there he was the goalie. They credit him for “saving” the dead franchise walking Atlanta Flames, but my fellow MacGyver fans may know them better as the Calgary Flames since they were shipped (sans Craig) up north at the end of the ’80 season. Old Tyme Hockey fans regard the Flames as one of the worst when it comes to brawling, and thanks to YouTube I can genuinely say that the Flames, Bruins, and Flyers take the top three slots for fighting. What a magical time. But not for owner Tom Cousins, seemingly. Y’see his real estate empire was crumbling into shit cakes in the mid-’70s, and according to fans on YouTube the Omni Coliseum was a reflection of that. Ticket sales weren’t only failing because Georgia isn’t what you’d call a fertile market for ice hockey (Thrashers fans anywhere?) but the rink itself was a sieve for ripoffs. Spectators would sneak into the arena through holes you could drive trucks through. So a bankrupt thief named Nelson Skalbania took the Flames off Cousins’ hands.

Okay- so I went off topic- sue me, fuck you. The point is Savard is a goalie, and goalies are treated like different animals in the zoo called hockey. This idea I liked so far. And then when Falla describes Savard (written in the first person mind you), having learnt my lesson from Twifuck I casually flipped to the back cover where the author’s pic usually is, and what does my little eye spy? A 70-year-old JP Savard. Ultimately Saved is a guy’s book, it focuses on Savard’s relationships (especially with the puck fucks and the alpha female he loves/fears Faith McNeil) and uses all of the technobabble as metaphor. What further foots the plot in reality is that Falla not only played the position, he was a sports writer and had a unique look into the other side of professional sports. The drawback? It was so fucking idealized. Even the brawls. Was there any genuine hate, because all I’m seeing are a bunch of guys desperately trying to prolong childhood.

If you’re going to idealize and dramatize to the point of absurdity, make it funny. Which is why I suggest you tune into Pride (Puraido プライド), a Japanese drama surrounding a professional corporate-owned hockey team the Blue Scorpions and their prodigal “iceman” Captain Satonaka Haru (spelled “Halu” on his jersey) and his affair with Aki  It’s only 11 eps. and it’s pretty typical of j-dorama fare. The best part is that Queen is 90% of the soundtrack. So if you like anime and hockey, this is right up your alley!

Well I’ll close this rant by giving a shout out to Darth Kater and say that you rock, breast reductions rock, socialized medicine rocks, and Canada rocks overall!

And now a word on rubenesque romances…

And now a word on rubenesque romance novels…

(taps bullhorn)




I don’t know how publishers (only established print houses-POD, Ellora’s Cave, and other online shit do not count) get away with this.


I withdraw my last comment… but not respectfully.

The wonderful thing about fiction is how situations that can be blown-up (literary license) are perfectly rooted in reality. Take Goong (The Royal Palace) as an example: retarded poor girl is classmate of the jackoff royal prince and ends up betrothed to him. Like in Pride and Prejudice, two people from entirely different backgrounds can find common ground and love through a series of trials and tribulations trying to keep them apart.

But they are a fit and attractive couple.

No way in hell would a sexy guy fall for a size 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, and even 6 girl! And vice-versa (to be fair). I have heard the most disgusting things from (predominantly middle-class white) men along the lines of, “If I’m kissing, hugging, or fucking a woman, and I grab some skin, if it’s more than one inch off the bone, I kick her fat ass out of the bed!” Horrific- but honest- and more importantly realistic.

Cellulite, muffin tops, saggy tits, bulges, stretch marks, and rolls are also a reality. So wannabe (and established) writers- especially in “romantica” BDSM- that doesn’t look too nice in a leather thong. So you can smooth, tone, and curve all you goddamn want. But remember this, the category “Amazon” stops at size 12 and 5’9″.

P.S. And if a ripped, sexy guy crosses your path he is probably a religious nut, a con-artist, abuser, thief, child molester, philanderer, uneducated, and unemployed. Or at the very best, a closeted gay man, in which case you’ve made a life-long friend! 😉