Greek Theme

So today's theme is the fabled Isle of Greece. "Why?", you may ask. Is it the spanakopita I had last night for dinner? (This is my favorite recipe to make, but I use butter spray instead of a whole stick of butter and two packs of frozen spinach instead of fresh 'cause, let's face it, I'm lazy.) Am I suddenly yearning for the dippy sorority chicks and fraternity dudes that I hated in college? Is it that time I spent four weeks naked on the beach licking Ouzo off that Greek Adonis I met in the hotel lounge? No, wait, that didn't happen in real life, did it?

Okay, so what is it about Greece, eh? Well, it's just that I went to the grocery store and found, in their small pulp collection that's hidden behind their larger popular Christian section (remember?), not one, not two, but THREE Harlequin Romances featuring Greek Tycoons. It must be Greek Week at Harlequinland.

I don't have much to snark on, other than the fact that they all look exactly the same, down to the models and poses (That Greek Boss gets around!). And, of course, they're awful, and the circle thing reminds me of Family Circus. I actually have to commend Harlequin for getting the possessive correct on Boss's (but sadly failing with Aristides's). See Strunk and White if you don't believe me.

But anyway, it got me thinking about judging a book by its title. Let's all pretend we are copy writers at a major romance novel publishing house, shall we? It's like Chinese restaurants, where there's always some form of China, Garden, Dragon, or Jade in the title.

Simply pick a word from Column A:

  • The Duke's
  • The Earl's
  • The Greek Boss's
  • The Pirate's
  • The Drunk's
  • The Socially Maladjusted Misfit's
  • The Viking's
  • Bart Simpson's
  • OJ Simpson's
  • The Savage's
  • The Gentleman's
  • Longarm's
  • Baby's Daddy's

Add an adjective:

  • Reluctant
  • Convenient
  • Mistaken
  • Unwilling
  • Unwitting
  • Unwieldy
  • Unclothed
  • Unsavory
  • Passionate
  • Frigid
  • Pretend
  • Imaginary
  • Purple People Eating
  • Wanton*

And finally pick a word from Column B:

  • Bride
  • Wife
  • Hellion
  • Mistress
  • Teacher
  • NASCAR driver
  • Welfare Lady
  • Baby's Momma
  • One-eyed Ogre
  • Dragon Lady
  • Duchess
  • Princess
  • Babe

And Voila! Your very own Romance Novel Title. Try it, it's fun! I'm surprised no-one has created an online generator.

*So when I was young and dumb, I read A LOT, but had no idea how to pronounce anything. (Whom am I kidding? I still can't pronounce for shit.) One day I was going out with a friend, and my parents were harassing me, as parents are wont to do, about where we were going and what we were going to be doing. I finally threw up my hands and loudly proclaimed that we were going to have WONTON sex. Of course, they let me go!


Snow said...

I'm not often a grammar nazi, but "Elements of Style" is not the only grammar reference. It is quite common to treat proper names and common nouns differently with respect to possessiveness.

And now back to our regularly scheduled book cover trashing... Notice how there's no traffic or pollution in Harequin's Greece. The Chanelle Shaw cover scene is oddly unromantic, too. It really looks like the strangely dull looking man is going to shove the woman off the cliff.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD! That view of the Acropolis is pretty much the exact same one we had from the rooftop bar of the hotel that we stayed at on our honeymoon in Athens. OUR LOVE IS PASSIONATE AND ENDURING LIKE A ROMANCE IN A HARLEQUIN NOVEL!!!

Well, that isn't really saying much, to be honest. It's kind of like the Eiffel Tower in Paris: it's really tall and you can see the damn thing from just about anywhere.

Anyway, with all this Hellenic love going on, I'm wondering if these Harlequin writers made reference to the rumored proclivities of the men of that nation. Can Harlequin go there? (And by "there", of course, I mean "up the butt".)

Anonymous said...

Dumpling sex! He he! I'm so delighted by the "wonton sex" bit that I can't even comment on the weird Greek romances.

Anonymous said...

Once, in a bitter argument with my father when I was 13, I mispronounced the word "insipid." He corrected me, and we resumed, but really, the wind was out of my sails.

The perils of autodidactism!

M. Bouffant said...

MMMMmmm...Won Ton Sex...bring on the sweet & sour sauce...one from column A & one from...Oh! I'm so sorry, I just drifted away for a moment there. Heh-heh. Um, 'bye now!

DocTurtle said...

Hey, c'mon, this isn't fair! The NYT gave The Viking's Frigid NASCAR Driver a rave review!

I have to say that At the Greek Boss's Wedding has got to be darned near the most awkward title ever constructed. Props to them for snubbing the stultifying hair's-breadth-from-a-deadly-precipice motif that's held Harlequin's "Greek" line in a headlock for years now. Huzzah!

Rae said...

Perhaps you could add "The Rake's" to Column A? The romance world seems to have a surfeit of rakes.

Anonymous said...

My first reaction was: none of those people look Greek at all...

Ryan said...

Every time I hit Target to buy groceries I have to stop and stare at their romance novel aisle-end display- this series makes up the bulk of them, with the white covers and the Family Circus circle and everything, but they seemingly get in new ones on a weekly basis. My favorite so far: At the Spaniard's Convenience. Choo weel be deflowered...at ze Spaniard's convenience.

Also I'm tempted to skim through one of these Greek- or Spanish-themed books just to see how many times the word "swarthy" appears.

Snow said...

I feel like a moron. I finally figured out the "Big O" on the cover.

Unknown said...

My girlfriend and I made that spanakopita last night and it was awesome. Thanks for the recipe.

Also, do you know if the Greek Boss is the same in both?

It was especially odd because the first time I read the covers I saw "The Greek Boss' WEDDING", which made me wonder if it was a series: "The Greek Boss's First Date", "Spending the Greek Boss's Alimony Payments", etc.

DocTurtle said...

your: I'm glad I wasn't the only one who read it as At the Greek Boss's Wedding!

Alkibiades said...

To those who assume that the punctuation for Aristides is incorrect, I say "turn your backwards facing foot to another pasture."

Based on the title's punctuation alone (or is that a different blog?) one should assume that this is a story about Aristides the Just, a commander at Marathon...

Now, please don't quibble about Perikles' Parthenon, how it was not yet built. Forsooth, Perikles himself was naught but a gleam in Xanthippos' eye. The answer to this riddle is simple: time travel!

Anonymous said...

Actually, the " Aristides' " is correct, at least according to some grammar types. Bryan Garner's "Elements of Legal Style" says (w/ no explanation whatsoever) that Biblical and Classical (Greek, Roman) names that end in "s" take a single ' in the possessive. Hence:

Miss Maggie said...

While it is true that Classical names like Sophocles and Hercules and Aristophanes take no final 's' when they are made possessive, Aristides is a common-as-muck, at least by Harlequin romance standards (which means he's a multi-billionaire that looks like George Clooney), modern day Greek guy and therefore deserves no such consideration.

Maughta has spoken. So there. Ha.

Alkibiades said...

Egads, say no more, Maughta the Infallible! I should have known by the lack of accent and breathing marks...

See what happens when one relies on Occams Razor? Time travel seemed so obvious.

I bow to your superior, illustrious, and illuminating librorhinokrima!

Alkibiades said...

Egad's indeed... I meant Occam's'

'so s'orry for the 's'illy slipup!

Anonymous said...


It made me think of you, lol

Ancient Greece said...
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