Anywhere But Here: Why We Love Another Time, Another Place in Romance

by Madeline Iva

Hey lady-kittens.  I’m off on a trip tomorrow.  Hoping to see the sea, shore birds, sand—even some alligators if I get lucky. 🙂  For once, I’m excited to travel, happily packing up and running errands around town, getting fancy chocolates for the folks we’ll be visiting. And Just. In. Time. Cause I realized last night I am ready to be anywhere but here.


I realized this while I was watching THE DANISH GIRL the other night, which is a sweetly tragic tale of the first person to get a sex change operation.  But what I noticed most about the film was not the gender politics at play, but the sets, the costumes–it was set in the 20’s and so very gorgeous!  I cannot believe how intensely I wanted to just live in that twenties world.

Some of that may also have had to do with the film’s plot. Just as Einar is becoming Lily for good, his wife Gerta must wrestle with the fact that saying ‘hello’ to Lili, means saying goodbye to Einar –i.e. goodbye to their sex life (Lili’s preference, not necessarily Gerta’s), goodbye to having a husband, and goodbye to financial support.  Gerta’s up to the challenge, but she’s emotionally wrung.

Just at that point Matthais Schoenfield shows up.  200_sYou remember Matthais, don’t you? He was Mr. Oat in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.  So hot. So sympathetic! He arrives and really wants to, um, console Gerta.  Thank goodness! It’s just such a sad, sad, sweet film, it needed a injection of sex to hotten it up at that point.

I tried writing a post about THE DANISH GIRL, which was a fictionalized novel first but got tangled up with all my questions, despite liking the film.  (Why another tragic tale of transgender-hood? Why not a triumphant one? Why does being a ‘real woman’ mean being a mother when being a real man doesn’t seem to include being a father?) At ANY RATE, the upshot was that I was drooling more over the costumes and settings than I was the film.

I’m in a phase where I’m just done with contemporary romance and the here and now for awhile.

HISTORICALS: — yes, please!  In the words of Liz Lemon I want to go to there.  Last weekend I found myself fuming that there were not another five or ten romance novels as perfect as Pride & Prejudice that I could pick up and read.

GOT GOTHIC ROMANCE? I got me some! A novel by friend Elf Ahern, A ROGUE IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING, and I can’t wait to dive into it on the plane.  Think I may have to watch CRISMON PEAK again too.  I’m just chittering for anything Gothic.  If you have some good Gothic romance recommendations–please leave them in the comments section below. I’m all ears!

I mean, this cover is to die!
I mean, this cover is to die!

DARK CASTLES & MAD SCIENTISTS — sounds good to me! I got this book I’ve been drooling over from afar for a long time.  Don’t know why Samhain felt the need to retitle it and change the cover — but it’s original title was FRANKENDOM (now called Julian’s Sins), and sometimes a girl just needs a little cray-cray BDSM to bright up her day, you know?

DEEP SPACE: Sure! Just re-read Charlotte Stein’s THE HORIZON.  So good.  So very very good.  A quick little novella with moment by moment tension of the Did-he-just-say-that-and-is-my-face-now-exploding-in-response kind of stuff that is to my mind the best kind of erom writing evaaaaaaaaah!

I have been working hard lately.  There’s a whole lot of adulting going on in our house and plenty more to deal with (Can you say bathroom remodeling?) Don’t get me wrong–it’s all good, and I’m very happy, but the introverted reader part of me has just got to go away for awhile.

And I mean far far away, even if it’s only in my head with a good book for a few hours.

All in all this little trip is coming just in time.  Going to go sync my kindle and say shhhh! to anyone who tries to interrupt my reading for the next few days.  Unless they’re pointing out an alligator. ; >

Madeline Ivaimgres writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance.  Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, and her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be out Spring, 2016.

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  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    I loved The Danish Girl, although I wouldn’t at all describe it as “sweet.” To me it was sad, bordering on tragic. Being transgender today is hard enough and there’s still so much hostility and contempt toward those who are different…I can only imagine how that much more difficult it must have been a century ago. But I do agree with you on the costumes…nothing short of fabulous.

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore

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