First of all, get better soon to Diane!!! Cat bites are nothing to mess around with. Hopefully we will hear from her later today and find out she is resting at home….
Around here (luckily) there are no animal bites or illnesses of any kind! But I am NOT looking forward to moving my two homebody cats. They don’t even like to get up off their couch most of the time, and getting them into carriers for trips to the vet is always an ordeal. They are only moving about 45 minutes away, but still. And I am about to sit down in the middle of the floor and give up on this moving idea anyway. I have most of my books packed (65 boxes! And I just realized I packed a couple of research books I now need), but I have lots more stuff that needs to be consolidated and packed somewhere. Seriously, if anyone has any moving tips, let me know. (no wonder most people in the Regency stayed put in their houses for most of their lives. Except for people like Jane Austen. I wonder what she did about packing…)
In the meantime, I am about 1/4 of the way through the new WIP, an Italian Renaissance romance. as part of my Important Research Process, I spent the weekend laying around eating potato chips and re-watching DVDs of The Borgias. I love this show. I think it’s what The Tudors wanted to be, and just couldn’t quite hit the mark. Scandal! Murder! Intrigue! Sex! Gorgeous clothes! More sex! More gorgeous clothes! And a soupcon of historical accuracy. But I realized something rather disturbing. I absolutely adore the pairing of Lucrezia and Cesare, and, well….they are sorta brother and sister.
I know! I think I came to romance reading too late to really appreciate the “old skool” stylings of books like those of Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers. I had already been reading stuff like lighter Regencies and historicals where the heroines were pretty much the equal (at least emotionally) of the heroes when I finally picked up a copy of The Flame and the Flower (because people kept telling me I HAD to read it). Well–I hated it. And to this day I can’t stand jackass heroes and half-their-age doormat/simper-y heroines. I hate “forced seductions” (I grew up with college campus campaigns against just that sort of thing, after all). Everyone has their fantasies, which is great, that’s just not really mine, so I found other stories I preferred. Why, then, do I love Lucrezia and Cesare so very, very much?
Hmmm, maybe it’s because I have a deep love of something not often found in romance novels–dark, tragic, desperate, doomed love, a la “Romeo and Juliet.” (Though certainly there are a few–maybe that’s why my all-time fave romance novel is For My Lady’s Heart). And you can’t get more desperate and doomed than C&L. In a crowded ensemble drama chock full of intriguing characters, I always found myself looking forward to their scenes together. Let’s face it, they are just so beeeeauuutifuuul, separate and together, and charismatic. It’s like the two of them against the world, true soulmates.
In Sarah Bradford’s excellent biography Lucrezia Borgia, she says of the real-life figures, “Incestuous or not, there is no doubt that Cesare and Lucrezia loved each other above anyone else and remained loyal to each other to the end.” (note here: I am thinking only of the fictional TV characters, not the real life ones, who were probably considerably more reprehensible, at least Cesare. I think Lucrezia is the victim of a historical hack job)
What are some couples (fictional or historical) you hate to love???