A Christmas Special
by Admiral Fartmore
(book found by Admiral Fartmore)
Admiral’s note: Beau edited this, but forgot to make a note because he was too busy slaughtering and feasting on a goat. That’s not a joke. Merry Christmas.
Sometimes people say that those who can’t do, teach. I don’t know how true the sentiment is, but people say it. My mom said it, at least – but then again, my childhood was filled with lies. Whatever. For the sake of me starting this review, let’s assume it’s true. Those who can’t do, teach. Now, does some variation apply to romance authors? Do those that don’t do write about doing?
I’ve thought about this before when we dealt with other smut, such as dinosaur fucking, rugby orgies, Southern biblical cumshots, Chuck Tingle’s ha-ha-crazy-novelty-titles-hope-this-goes-viral schtick, and more dinosaur fucking. I’ve wondered what sex is like for these authors otherwise. Do they have a lot of sex? Are they really turned on by what they write? Are they all jerking off during the editing stage? Or do they just sit and smash this stuff out to pay the bills, forever doomed to feel nothing when they type “his engorged member,” “his big throbbing rod,” or “her hot wetness,” as if they were Brent Spiner’s Saturn-award-winning ”Data” on Star Trek: TNG? And so it was with this thought in mind that I did a little digging on Pamela Britton, the author of today’s book, “A Cowboy’s Christmas Wedding.”
I was really excited for this, because we’ve never done just a proper Harlequinn romance before. Too many dinosaurs and not enough cowboys, I always say.
Master of American NASCAR-Christmas-Cowboy romance, Pamela Britton.
According to her online bio, Pamela is a pretty fucking big deal in the romance genre. She describes herself as “the best known author nobody’s ever heard of,” a pretty lame title that also sums up her writing pretty succinctly, as well. Traditionally, she dominates the Christmas and Cowboy subgenres of romance, but her real success as an author comes from “a certain licensing agreement with that little racing organization known as NASCAR.”
Strange for a romance-author, Pamela’s bio doesn’t include any steamy sections, but she does boast that “when not following the race circuit,” she lives on a ranch “with her husband, daughter, and at last count, twenty-one four-legged friends.” That’s a lot of legs for one house. Like, over a hundred. Otherwise, Pamela only really says that she writes for “personal satisfaction,” which could be anything from sexual expression to garnering an enormous wealth. So I’m not any closer to answering the question of whether romance or erotica authors are actual sex fiends. They sure seem to love dogs, though. Fucking perverts.
I’ll get to the actual book in a moment, but after perusing Pamela’s engorged corpus, I have to say I think I might have chosen the wrong one. Here are some other choice selections of hers – available online or at a thrift store near you!
A NASCAR Holiday 2
Arguably the best of the classic “Nascar Holiday” series, which is also rumored to be getting a
soft hard reboot soon.
Cowboy lessons, the equine equivalent of going to doctor school.
Red Hot Santa
“‘Tis the season to be wary”. . . but why? What is Red Hot Santa going to do to me?
The Texan’s Twins
I won’t explore this further.
Honk If You Love Real Men
Okay, okay, credit where credit is due. Who doesn’t love real men?
So after all that, I’m honestly kind of disappointed to be reading A Cowboy’s Christmas Wedding. I’ve half a mind to return it to the Salvation Army and pick up a copy of “A Nascar Holiday 3: Hot Rubber” instead. Ah well, let’s get on with it:
One thing I like about A Cowboy’s Christmas Wedding is that it’s all in the title: the story begins with a Alana McClintock asking her best friend cowboy if she can have a wedding at his ranch on Christmas. They let you know right on the cover what you’re getting yourself into: a Cowboy Christmas Wedding. I wish more authors would do this – then I might actually be inclined to read Dumb Guy Smart Guy But No Rabbit Hutch, Man Whale Revenge Prophesy, or A Portrait of the Artist as a Young… nevermind.
Googling Cowboy Wedding gets some interesting results.
But where’s the story? Well to start, there’s a couple kinks in the simple Cowboy Christmas plan. For one, our resident cowboy Cabe “too handsome for his own good” Jensen lost his wife on Christmas day, and so he’s non-too-pleased about having a wedding at his ranch on that day. I’m gonna be honest, I was a little disappointed in the surprise about his wife as well. The book really should have been called A Widower Cowboy’s Christmas Wedding. But I understand that it sounds a little too much like baby talk.
And speaking of baby talk, Babe Cabe Jensen gets another rude surprise when his friend Alana skips town and leaves him alone to deal with her wedding planner, Saedra Robbins. And what’s more, Saedra brings her cat (described as having “major catti-tude”) to stay on the ranch. Why doesn’t she just get a hotel or stay at Alana’s place while she is away? I don’t know. Either way, it looks like this cowboy signed up for more than he could wrangle. Two beautiful, clashing characters forced to learn to work together? Ruh roh.
The story alternates between Cabe and Saedra’s perspective. I really liked that, because it mixes two things I’ve always wanted to be – a wedding planner and a cowboy. It also makes it easy for the author to just tell you exactly what all of the characters are thinking and feeling without working too hard. It leads to some pretty gripping writing, like:
He didn’t like her.
He decided to ignore her.
He found Saedra attractive.
He wanted to cup those breasts.
‘I’m not a big fan of cream fillings.’
And things start to get hot and heavy QUICK, believe-you-me. Right off the bat, Saedra gets Cabe to help her test out some cakes, kicking off a flirtatious interlude where he can’t decide whether to drop dead or start masturbating:
She missed, her other hand instantly lifting to help push the cake into his mouth, her fingers grazing his lips.
He nearly gasped.
Zapped by an electric fence, that was what it felt like. As if a million joules of energy stole his breath away. He froze.
His taste buds failed to function. So did his heart. And his lungs.
‘Good,’ he managed to mumble.
It took every ounce of control not to jerk away.”
In a way, it’s hard to review something so cliché. You know the plot before I say anything. You know how the characters act in these worlds:
always glancin’ around
He glanced back down at her.
always breathin’ heavy
He breathed heavily.
always havin’ blood rushin’
Blood was rushing through Cabe’s ears.
always at risk of spontaneously combustin’
He would have sex with this woman because if he didn’t, he would surely explode.
Throbbing, glancing, breathing, gasping, and exploding – the confidence Pamela Britton shows in her biography is not misplaced, as she deftly and systematically hits every single cliché in the genre. Think of it like Olympic diving scores: this book is a perfect 4/10 difficulty dive. It’s a masterful display, and it’s no wonder she scored that NASCAR deal. But despite this, there are times that she seems to openly question her own writing:
His release came so hard and so fast he damn near wilted. Her body helped to prop him up as he throbbed and throbbed and throbbed.
’Good boy,’ she murmured.
The man worked hard for a living and it showed, the feel of his hard flesh even more of a turn-on than his kiss – if that made sense.
I think so, Pam, but thank you for checking in.
Anyway, after a few trysts, a few fights, and more than a few wedding errands, Cowboy Cabe and Wedding Planner Braeda end up really falling for each other. It’s true love – wouldn’t you believe it – and the conclusion treats us with Cabe and Braeda getting married. I guess it was a Cowboy Christmas Wedding, after all.
In the book’s final line, Cabe gives Braeda a beautiful ring with the inscription “one-night stands can last forever,” wrapping up the story but shedding no more light on my question of what the fuck goes on in the mind of romance writers. While this story might be over, the mystery of Pamela Britton, “the best known author nobody’s ever heard of,” lives on.