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Wherefore art thou, Steamy Romance Novel?

Anne Stickney

There's nothing quite like curling up with a good book, except perhaps curling up with a good book in game. WoW's got plenty of books to offer and even has achievements surrounding the various books in the world. There's Well Read and the far more difficult Higher Learning, which relies on luck and being in the right place at the right time in Dalaran. You can find all kinds of books lying around Azeroth, waiting to be clicked and read -- everything from historical texts to The Fluffy Bunny, a gripping tale of a bunny named Fluffy and his friend Wuffy.

There are plenty of players who don't bother reading the books you find around the world, and those players are totally missing out. Sure, there's a lot of what could be called dry lore material, but there are also books filled with jokes, fake news, and romance. Yes, romance -- the steamy kind. The authors of Azeroth don't limit themselves to boring historical recounts; a select few write the kind of bodice-ripping romance novels that usually feature Fabio on the cover and enough flowery language to seem at least somewhat respectable.

Red Cow Rise has put together a wonderful annotated guide to the Steamy Romance Novels of Azeroth. There are five books in all, and they all involve leading man Marcus, who has no apparent last name but spends quite a lot of time traversing the wilds of Azeroth and meeting up with ladies of various races and backgrounds. Redcow points out that some of the characters featured in the books are actual NPCs in game and surmises that Marcus is likely referring to General Marcus Jonathan, High Commander of Stormwind Defense -- and apparently quite the lady-killer, as well.

The Steamy Romance Novels may not be epic pieces of armor or weapons, but these gray novelty items have turned into beloved possessions for many a player. A new book has been added with every expansion, which leads to a terribly important question -- where's the Steamy Romance Novel for Mists? Redcow wrote another post that tackled the subject of Steamy Romance Novels, this time as a response to a writing challenge put out there by Big Bear Butt. While her contribution is definitely entertaining, it doesn't have a thing to do with Mists, sadly.

It's odd that a gray item could garner so much attention, but the Steamy Romance Novels are a unique and funny addition to WoW. In a war-torn world that's been assaulted by the Lich King, shattered by Deathwing, and torn apart by faction war, it's nice to know that there are still random indicators of casual comforts out there, even if the casual comforts involve sitting in a comfy chair eating bon-bons and imagining Marcus Jonathan's dreamy eyes. Hopefully we'll see another book added to the collection in Mists, although I wonder ... what kind of trouble is Marcus going to get himself into this time?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

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