I then imagine one of these smarmy dudes saying, “Well, women like romance novels. How about we have our ad agency write one of those and throw it out there on Amazon? I mean, how hard can it be? Anyone can write a romance novel, after all.” Then they all chortle and pat each other on the back on a job well done and move on to the next order of business.
Now, we’re assuming Tender Wings of Desire was meant as a cute, tongue-in-cheek joke/semi-clever marketing ploy (although none of the many, many press releases about this book actually state that outright). And if the book had been well executed, we might be able to chortle along with the old white dudes who conceived it. But it was FAR from well executed. Amateurish writing, absolutely zero regard for time period accuracy, multiple grammatical errors, every old romance novel cliche known to man, crappy, embarrassing cover art...this book looks and reads like someone studied up on stupid romance novel myths and did everything they could to incorporate EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM into one cliche-laden volume.
The fact that this marketing ploy perpetuates every myth sites like ours—and all the great romance authors out there—have been working so diligently to destroy irks the crap out of me. I mean, even some of the press releases about this book were fairly offensive to real romance readers. (For an example, I point you to Business Insider, who said, “Of course, no one reads romance novels for the plot. Instead, it's all about skipping to the ‘good parts,’ if you know what we're saying.”) But honestly, that’s not my biggest problem with this book.
My biggest problem with this book can be best expressed by this, my question to KFC: if you wanted to give something to mothers for free to help celebrate how they, you know, give BIRTH TO and raise little human beings (kind of an important job), why didn’t you care enough to give them something GOOD? I’m guessing the marketing budget for this little disaster was fairly huge. You easily could’ve found a real romance author to write a good book for you. (Because as it turns out, Business Insider and KFC, romance readers actually DO expect plot in their novels. Sorry to wreck your whole worldview there, guys.) Did you think that moms who enjoy romance novels don’t care about or deserve quality? Can we expect something similarly crappy as your gift to fathers on Father’s Day? Maybe a super low-quality set of KFC-branded socket wrenches, or something? Because, hey, all men love socket wrenches, right? (See how we just lumped all men into one category? Does that offend you guys? Welcome to the club.)
So, for the old white dudes who conceived this idea, I leave you with this advice: