Elley Arden is back with a new sexy and emotional romance that will make you cry and swoon, all at the same time, with MARRIAGE BY DESIGN, book 2 of the Designing Love series.
When carpenter Angie Corcarelli goes steel-toe boot to high-polished loafer with her best friend’s ex, construction engineer Stuart Perrault, sparks fly in Elley Arden’s latest Designing Love novel, Marriage by Design.
Wine, Romance, and Sexism
One night, I watched an acquaintance—a man—as he sipped white wine in a bar. It was one of the most emasculating, unsexy things I’ve ever seen. I complained to my husband, who was drinking a beer, and he joked, “Would you rather he drink red?”
Hell, yes. Red is bolder, stronger, heavier … manlier. Full disclaimer: I prefer my men to drink beer—craft beer. When the occasion calls for something fancier, I appreciate a man who drinks top-shelf vodka with tonic. If he’s really something special, he can carry off whiskey. (There is nothing like kissing a well-dressed man with a hint of whiskey on his breath.) But white wine? No thank you.
That last paragraph makes me sexist doesn’t it? It’s like a man saying he can’t stand it when a woman drinks beer. I drink beer! I would argue loudly for my right to drink beer. So the fact that I have such a narrow view on this topic disappoints me, and it makes me wonder if I’m the only one out there thinking these things.
Maybe not, because I can’t recall ever reading a romance novel where the hero drinks white wine … or an umbrella drink … or anything else that is decidedly feminine. I’ve never written a hero like that. Meanwhile, I’ve written a number of heroines who turn gender roles on their ears with manly careers … and palates. That’s acceptable—preferred even.
Today’s romance novels are more feministic than they have been in the past. We eschew heroines that are weak and “too stupid to live.” We want our women to be powerful, successful, and unapologetic for their rich sex lives. It’s a wonderful thing. But, we haven’t really been able to return the favor to men.
A while ago, I read an online exchange in which an editor said that basically an artist hero would be a hard sell, because most people (aka readers) think of an artist as a directionless, creative, too-sensitive soul—who may or may not drink white wine. (Ha! I added that last part, but it fits.) The bottom line is stereotypes, whether we like it or not and no matter how far we’ve come, still influence us today.
I like to say “never say never,” but I’m pretty comfortable saying I’ll never write a hero who drinks white wine. I realize that’s narrow-minded and a far-from-universal view, so I have to ask: what about you? Is a man drinking white wine sexy or not? Do you have another drink or item that takes the sexy right out of the guy the minute you see it in his hands? I’d love to know!
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