Often, I wonder if I am the only female reader of hardcore espionage thrillers written by authors like Brad Thor and Vince Flynn. Their books are written with the male reader in mind, play out like an action flick and are very different in tone from the Romantic-Suspense novels written for women by two of the genre’s top talents: Cherry Adair and Tara Janzen.
I think female readers tend to shy away from Thor’s series featuring blonde hottie Scot Harvath and Vince Flynn’s sexy, brooding Mitch Rapp (coming soon to a theater near you!) because the covers of these books look boring and utilitarian, often featuring an American flag or eagle or something symbolic like that. These books are often located far, far away from the romance section and the author’s picture on the back of the book usually show commanding, stern-faced men who couldn’t possibly write to a woman’s sensibilities.
Continue reading Espionage Thrillers Can Be Female-Friendly
Does anyone remember Helen MacInnes? She was a best-selling author who wrote espionage thrillers beginning in the 1940’s. The forties–a time when women were supposed to be barefoot and in the kitchen. The average monthly salary was $1,299 and only one in five Americans had a car. This was the world that Scottish-born MacInnes found herself in when she decided to write her novels. Continue reading Does Anyone Remember Helen MacInnes?
Lauren Willig has written one of my very favorite fiction series called the Pink Carnation novels for short. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation is the first novel in the series. Don’t let the clever yet somewhat misleading covers fool you into believing these stories are your typical, run-of-the-mill historical ‘bodice rippers’.
I remember when the Pink Carnation first came out and I saw it lying on a table at my local Borders. I picked up the book because the cover picture was kind of interesting but since I don’t typically read ‘bodice rippers’, no matter how handsome the Native American warrior with the heaving chest may be, I sat the book down and made my way to Sophie Kinsella’s latest. Continue reading Chick Lit, Spies, Bodice Ripper, Oh My!