By Mindy Hung

Mindy Hung is a New York-based Canadian writer. Her novel, Trip, was published in 2012 by Outpost19. She also writes romance as Ruby Lang.

  1. Every Sunday afternoon for two or three years, my parents took a long drive across town to attend Chinese church.

    We were guests in the building, renters. The hymnals and Bibles of the church’s own congregation stayed in the pews. Every week, an usher hauled in the church’s box of books, with the name of our church written in marker.

    Sometimes I suspected we were guests in Christianity, too.

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  2. The First Rule of Romance During the “Bollywood Basics” panel at the 35th annual Romance Writers of America meeting (July 23-26, New York City), Sonali Dev (A Bollywood Affair), Suleikha Snyder (Opening Act), and Nisha Sharma (My So-Called Bollywood Life, forthcoming) play a clip from the 2013 film Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela. A gloriously ripped and shirtless Ranveer Singh, clad in diaphanous pants, smolders at Deepika Padukone as she prowls toward him carrying a steaming goblet. Audience members…

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  3. Mindy Hung's previous work for The Toast can be found here. When a woman is famous, the focus is often on her body—her butt, her post-baby body, if and with whom she’s doing it. Recent romance novels provide an interesting space to explore women, fame, and notoriety, not only because of how often the arcs of these books play out over headlines, but also because they offer a way for these narratives to be critiqued or…

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  4. When I was seven years old, my grandparents began a squatter’s garden over empty city land. They had already dug up our entire backyard and planted it with Asian vegetables. They killed the lawn and my mother’s flower patch. They razed my sandbox. Wearing wide straw hats, and smocks sewn together from fabric scraps, they tore up the land from our back steps up to our tall white fence, littering it with tarps, planks of…

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  5. Mindy Hung’s previous bodice-ripping work for The Toast can be found here. Most recently: All the Sporty Ladies.  Today’s Wealthy Romance Heroine is a serious creature, pulling on gumboots to launch herself on philanthropic missions, or donning tailored mansuits to protect her family’s business interests. Unlike her popular counterpart, the Billionaire Hero, who spends a considerable portion of his income on sex dungeons and—I don’t know!—floggers woven from the pelts of Komodo dragons, the…

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  6. Mindy Hung's previous bodice-ripping work for The Toast can be found here. Most recently: Love in Colour: Multicultural and Interracial Romance Novels. Just how does the average wealthy, workaholic male romance novel protagonist find time to lovingly hone the ridges of his rectus abdominis? If the gentleman is a sports star, then that’s easy: The six pack is simply part of his job. But what happens when a heroine is the athlete? Fewer…

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  7. Previously: bad sex in romance novels. In romance novels, it seems easier for a person of colour to get a date with a were-lion than with a non-shifting human being. I guess if a reader is down with leonine loving, then stories featuring sex with Asian people aren’t so scary. Here’s the crux: As Alyssa Cole notes in the September, 2013, RT Book Reviews, mainstream romance novels featuring non-Caucasian characters generally do not sell…

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  8. Canadians have successfully passed as non-Canadians for years. But how successful are natives of other countries at playing Canucks?

    What follows is a decidedly non-exhaustive list of non-Canadian thespians stiffening up their facial muscles in order to portray an array of the Frozen People: Mounties, hockey players, fur traders, beer barons, and more.

    1. In the 1936 musical romance Rose Marie, American actor Nelson Eddy stars as Sergeant Bruce, the singing Mountie.

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  9. Not all romance novels feature multi-orgasmic brides and perpetually tumescent men coupling in positions of dubious feasibility. Depictions of sex in the genre have come a long way since the days of questionable consent and improbable enthusiasm. Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation and Faking It, published in the early aughts, contain classic examples of hilarious (and very edifying) failed sex.* But perhaps you read romance because you want to read about beautiful people doing wonderful…

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  10. Altar

    The man she loves/loved/will love is about to be married. While she was busy time-traveling--Saving the world from crisis!--he could not wait the two minutes it would take her to get back to his era to re/acquaint him with her. But why should he stop courting one plain, non-time-traveling lady in hopes that another woman—one whom he hasn’t yet met—will show up?

    It’s funny, isn’t it? While he

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  11. Recent historical romances featuring cross-dressing heroines (and heroes) show that bodice rippers can be more than prettified, corset-bound wank material.

    Cross-dressing is one of my favorite tropes of historical romance. When a historical romance novel features a woman disguised as a man, I am ON IT like pair of buff-colored breeches on a deliciously rounded female bottom. It’s easy to see why authors and readers find cross-dressing appealing. The heroines can punch, cuss, and…

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  12. Victoria

    The governess was ugly but the master fell in love with her anyway. He wooed her with pianofortes and ancient scarabs. When those didn’t please her, he threw her out of the house. She married the gardener. She had always preferred flowers.

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