Gone with the Wings:
Original Recipe for Romance?
By Abbey Riley
I don't know if anyone has really ever bothered to review The Tender Wings of Desire: a Colonel Sanders Novella. I'm conceited enough to hope that I am the first. Oh man, this story. To begin with, since it is a novella, it's very brief. You can seriously read it in the space of probably an hour; maybe less if you don't stop to laugh and talk about it with your friends. It centers on the life of Lady Madeline, an 18 year-old English member of the landed gentry who's never known love. It might even be said that lady Madeline doesn't believe in love, and certainly not love at first sight. Her younger sister Victoria is anxious to be wed to basically just anybody but as the eldest, it is Madeline's duty to marry first. Enter Duke Reginald: blond, handsome, rich, charming, kind; all the things, basically, but not giving Madeline the old tingle in the dingle, if you know what I mean.
(dingle noun “a deep, narrow cleft between hills; shady dell.”)
At no point does the cover art match the story, nor does the story even really make sense. That’s cool; satire is fun. You read it because you realize this is really how romance novels are written. There’s a lot of set-up about how the female protagonist is unhappy or dissatisfied or a hot mess, then some dramatic change in her life thrusts this SO HANDSOME OMG LOOK AT HIS FACE SWOON man into her life and suddenly, through the magic of boning which turns out to be TRUE LOVE, everything is happy times forever!
So many questions this story leaves you pondering. Why did a Kentucky restaurant mogul become a sailor out of a small England port town? What time period are we in? How does Liam the kitchen boy intercept mail? Is he even literate? This novella doesn't give a shit about your questions! Colonel Sanders found love, okay?! Doesn't the pioneer of heart disease deserve love, too? He was just a simple man, standing in front of a simple woman, asking her to ignore the fact that after she told him all of her secrets and made an independent life for herself, he lied to her and now expects her to marry him, anyway. This is romance, people! True love conquers all, especially a woman's desire for agency!
All in all, I was really disappointed by the lack of fried chicken. Like, surprisingly so. I deeply anticipated some kink involving his famous string tie and a twenty-piece bucket of Original Recipe. Maybe out on some moors with a pony, once I realized this was set in England. For a romance novella, this was decidedly lacking in smut. I think a really weird sex scene could have taken this over the top from mildly comical to hilariously epic.For laughs, you can download The Tender Wings of Desire on Amazon Kindle devices. If you have Kindle Unlimited, it's free. It's worth a peek for the cover alone, which is brutally 90s.