The Steam Press: Ridiculous plot twists and turns

Mackenzie Broderick, Blogger

Greetings, culture lovers!

As midterms descend, clutching us in their deathlike grip, the search for the perfect way to procrastinate becomes paramount. After many, many trials, I’ve found that the perfect way to waste time is rereading romance novels. Not reading for the first time, mind you — reading anything for the first time is a deeply spiritual experience worth savoring, not worrying about that quickly approaching orgo exam.

But while rereading, I’ve noticed certain liberties — plot holes and inconsistencies, if you will. Therefore, The Steam Press presents, the Top Five Most Bats**t Crazy Plot Twists.

5) “Jacob: The Nightwalkers” by Jacquelyn Frank

We’ll start out with someone easy, straightforward and completely ridiculous. In movies, they call it a meet-cute, and in this book — the first in a trilogy — it becomes “woman falls off a balcony directly into the arms of the hero.” Yes, the plot device you thought of as a fourth grader before discarding it because it was too stupid is how the love interests meet. Because the woman cannot tell the difference between leaning over the rail and flailing headfirst through the air.

4) “The Viper: A Highland Guard Novel” by Monica McCarty

This plot twist is the most subtle one on this list, and one of those instances where truth is stranger than fiction. Long story short, the heroine is trapped in a hanging cage for more than three years. Though the actual historical figure Bella MacDuff was imprisoned in 14th-century Scotland, sticking to that fact while also pretending that pulling out was a viable method of birth control just seems, well, ridiculous. The emotional trauma that would accompany such an imprisonment is, no doubt, excellent fodder for a work of serious literature, not a romance novel. If I wanted to read a searing tale about the human condition, I would flip open my Journalism 201-1 syllabus.

3) “Sweet Persuasion” by Maya Banks 

For some reason, apparent only to the author, kinky sex and parental issues go hand in hand. In this case, the hero loves his mother, thus proving that, even though he has spent the entire novel making the heroine his sex slave, he’s still a good person? I don’t know, my reading glasses became too steamed up for me to pay attention to plot quibbles. Anyway, he takes his sex slave to meet his mother. Which is weird enough. But then, while staying in his mother’s house — the house he grew up in — they proceed to have sweaty, dirty, kinky sex. Because what’s more arousing than knowing your mom is right down the hall?

2) “Crossfire Trilogy” by Sylvia Day 

This trilogy is basically a knock-off of “Fifty Shades” that takes place in New York instead of Seattle and has a heroine that can walk down stairs without tripping. There are many, many things wrong with this series, far too many to list here, but let’s hone in on the heroine’s weird parents. She (obviously) comes from a broken family with a gold-digging mother, a rich stepfather and a cop father. Fair enough. However, her divorced parents end up making the beast with two backs in her apartment. On her bed. And unlike any normal, sentient human, when our heroine discovers this she does not throw her furniture into a bonfire, but instead contemplates how hot their sexytimes must have been. I honestly had to put the book down for a few days and just shake my head.

1) “A Stone Creek Christmas” by Linda Lael Miller

I actually don’t remember where I found this book. One day it just appeared on my shelf, like a curse. No sooner after I finished the first chapter did I realize what plot device the author used to communicate the heroine’s feelings. Not interior monologues, not even talking to herself, but talking to her dog. A dog that talks back. I repeat, a talking dog. Our heroine asked for romantic advice from a creature that licks its own butt.

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