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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mermaid Romance Novels Are About as Hilarious as You Might Expect

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 8:15 AM

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_mermaid_romance_judy_gill.jpg

Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.

Two Mermaid Romance Novels, Including


Author: Judy Gill (I know!)

Date: 1989

Publisher: Loveswept

The Mermaid on the Cover Seems to Be Saying: "No, the mouth! Kisses start on the mouth!"

Actual Dialogue:

"Do I dare to hope that those are your favorite picnic clothes, Mermaid? Or didn't you remember there was a picnic planned for today?"(page 102)
"If just a kiss after a week of missing is so explosive, what is it going to be like making love when the time finally comes, Mermaid? Think about that one." (page 141)

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_mermaid_romance_gill_2.jpg

Look, before we get to the bad news about Mermaid, the dopey/brilliant romance novel by Judy "Is the Pseudonym Too Obvious?" Gill, let's savor more of its dialogue:

"You're becoming very important to me, Mermaid, and I can't see as much of you as I want to, not with me in the city and you up here."
"I'll be back, Mermaid. Your hours may be playing hell with my work and sleep schedule, but believe me, I'll be back."

And let's let one of its steamier moments fog up our glasses:

"After another kiss, which she thought was one of the most creative ever because it created such a wild and wonderful turmoil in her blood, he let her go, and they walked into the house."
No, truly "creative" kisses involve pipe-cleaners and meat-packing trays.

And, hey, wait a second -- they "walked into the house"? Has the mermaid heroine traded in her fins for the legs that fellow on the cover looks so eager to spread?

Turns out the mermaid of Mermaid isn't a mermaid at all. Instead, she's Jillian Lockstead (spelled "Gillian" on the back cover but with a J in the book itself). Instead of some ridiculous creature of maritime fancy, Jillian is something much more believable: A feisty, independent one-legged human beauty who tends to her son and her aging mother when not swimming and diving professionally at some nightclub/aquarium in a mermaid costume.

We don't find all that out right away, of course. In the book's first scene, she's huffing a scuba diver's oxygen dozens of feet below a fishing boat whose owners have hired her to impale her costume with a fishhook and be hauled in on a senator's line. Surprisingly, she winds up bloody, confused, and on the hook of someone she never expected -- handsome, gold-hearted rich boy Mark Forsythe, who at first mistakes her for a real mermaid but then dedicates himself to proving to Jillian that he wants nothing more in life than to take care of her and her family. But she doesn't believe it because she's feisty/independent, and there's pages left!

Anyway, here's a rundown of Mermaid's glories:

Plot Complication:

"It isn't me you want, it's that mermaid you caught!"

Further Plot Complication:

"You can't love me either, because I only have one leg."

Wait, Why Would Anyone Wear a Fake Mermaid Tail to Disguise a Wooden Leg for 160 Pages?:

"What hurt the most when she had overheard herself referred to as the teacher with the wooden leg. Mermaiding was a watery haven, where no one ever guessed that she had about as much grace on land as did a sea lion."
Not Technically a Run-On Sentence, But Still:
"Suddenly she became vitally aware that the pale aqua nightgown she wore barely covered her to the tops of her breasts and that it was held up only by tiny straps, one of which was in danger of allowing that side of the top to fall right off."
Chilling Portent of the Death of Feminism:
"She wanted to pull away, but her strength was puny compared to his, and her will was even more so as she lost herself in the blue of his eyes."
Does it All Work Out Okay?
"He smiled in satisfaction. He had brought his mermaid home, and this time he wasn't going to toss her back. This time she really was a keeper."
"Mark." Her soft moan was made half in pleasure, half in protest. "What if . . . will anybody come?"

He laughed and murmered in her ear, making her laugh at the very obvious reply he gave her, and suddenly everything was right.

"But not right away," he added. "Not for a long time, my darling. We are going to make this last and last until I have given you every drop of pleasure you can stand."

Our next book has actual merfolk, heaps of graphic under-the-sea lovemaking, more comma splices than Comp One, and my vote for the dumbest thing any horny boy could ever say to the nude woman he has just met:

Her flesh was as soft as velvet, its wet warmth smelled like the water around them, as if her pores had soaked it up.

"Mmmm, you smell like nature."

(Seriously, the next one is downright lusty, people.)

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Alan Scherstuhl


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