by Alyssa Goodnight
My fourth book comes out this week, and this one, like the others, doesn’t take itself too seriously. Just to clarify, that was a conscious decision on my part and absolutely on purpose. I’ve gotten some early reviews on this book, and I’m already seeing signs that some will fall into a category I find rather disappointing. That would be the “I’m embarrassed to say I liked this!” category.
And while I appreciate the fact that people took the time to write reviews, and even more, that they enjoyed my books, I wish, for their sake, that they didn’t feel the need to qualify their enjoyment. Why should anyone feel embarrassed to read something they enjoyed? Because it’s not an Oprah pick or a literary classic? Because it’s not riddled with tragic plot twists and deep-thinking themes? Because it’s light-hearted and fun—because it’s sexy? Why can’t the enjoyment be the full story? In short, why the guilt?
These reviews make me wonder if people are qualifying every little bit of pleasure in their lives. Do they have the same reaction to a cheesy action flick or a charming rom-com? What about cake for breakfast, an extra long bubble bath, or that second margarita? These aren’t guilty pleasures—they’re all little pieces of a good life. Because joy matters as much as sadness, and a hearty laugh out loud can be just as cleansing and life-affirming as a verklempt, weepy cry.
If you must, think of the Oprah books as your low fat protein, whole grains, and vegetables, and envision the lighter fare as dessert. There’s a certain poetic justice in that… Or, simply approach the spectrum of fiction the same way you might an evening of television. Watch the horror movie, then switch over to late night TV to lighten the mood and stave off the freak-out that comes when you’re lying there in the dark with your thoughts. It’s all about balance.
So. My latest, JUST SAY YES, came out yesterday. It’s an unapologetic romance. It’s fun and flirty and sexy, and there’s a little bit of magic thrown into the mix. Basically it’s the poster child of a guilty pleasure. Or it would be if we hadn’t just banished that way of thinking. It might just be time for a new tagline: “None of the guilt, all of the pleasure!”
So enjoy—whatever it is you’re reading—without the guilt. And if you must classify something as a guilty pleasure, I’d recommend America’s Funniest Videos (groin hits, anyone?) and full-fat mayonnaise. But feel free to tell me yours.
JUST SAY YES
Single mom Jade Moran isn’t ready for any big changes in either her horrible ’70s kitchen or her romantic life. Her ex did a number on her, and she isn’t interested in getting hurt again. But when she meets a super-hot contractor, she wonders if avocado appliances are on the way out and romance is on the way in.
Max Gianopoulis doesn’t have a clue why he’s so enchanted by Jade. She’s almost as big a mess as her kitchen, and he’s a guy who likes to keep things simple. But Jade has turned up the flirty heat – and he can’t keep his hands off her.
With everything moving too fast and coming too easy, Jade’s insecurities kick into high gear. She’s not sure she can trust another man again – and she definitely doesn’t believe in happily ever afters.