Yes, this is real. We’re still reading the Harlequin-esque romance novella that KFC released in honor of Mother’s Day. What a time to be alive.
Not that this is the most inscrutable thing KFC has ever made.
Tender Wings of Desire: Chapter 3
As the wedding nears, Madeline continues to realize how little she’s invested in it, with her sister Victoria excitedly doing the majority of the planning. Ordinarily, this is where I’d make a prediction that Victoria will end up marrying Reginald, but I feel like trying to out-think a novella released by KFC is inherently still more of a win for KFC.
The two families have a dinner party and we meet Reginald’s younger siblings – two twins named Gemma and Gerald. To answer the question the book thinks you’re interested in, yes, Victoria already has a thing for Gerald, and Gemma already has a thing for Madeline’s brother, Winston. To answer the question I know you really want to know, no, their dinner is not KFC. I have no idea when anything fried chicken-related is happening in this story.
Winston – back from university for the wedding – can tell that something’s up with Madeline, but Reginald remains completely oblivious. And, worse, he has a boring honeymoon planned. Classic Reginald.
“I was considering going to London, perhaps. Maybe take some time in the country.”
Madeline had already been to London; she lived in the country. She at least thought her honeymoon could be spent somewhere interesting, but […] It seemed very much like the life Madeline had been living so far. […]
“It sounds lovely,” she replied quietly. What else could she say?
Madeline excuses herself early, and at one point Winston goes off to secretly tell her he knows what’s up and offer encouragement.
“You do not have to go through with it, you know,” […]
“Are brides supposed to be bursting with happiness?” Madeline asked absentmindedly. “In this day and age? […] Plus, not everyone marries for love.”
…god damn, KFC. Are you doing ok?
Winston responds that he hopes to marry for love, and “I think we all hope to”. But they both admit that Victoria doesn’t and he adds that “I do not think Victoria actually knows one way or another what she wants, and certainly does not understand what it all means”. Yo, KFC, you are dragging Victoria.
That night, Madeline suddenly realizes her plan to escape while her lady’s maid Eliza is helping her dress for bed. She asks to do so alone tonight, Eliza confusedly leaves, and then Madeline changes into a plain blue dress and riding boots, packs up as many plain clothes as she can, and sneaks out to the stables, where she gets her horse and rides off into the night!
The worst part was that although she loved her family, she knew that she would never be allowed back. However, she also knew that she needed to taste this freedom, even if it meant her ruin.
Chapters Read: 3/9
Times KFC Has Come Up At All: 0
Madeline explains that her plan is to head for the sea, because the sea is cool. That’s pretty much it. This is how I make most of my travel plans, so I guess I can’t blame her. She just wants to see the sea first, which she hadn’t seen since she was a little girl, which will take her two days of riding, and then she’ll figure out what’s next.
Okay, maybe now that she’s escaped from her dreary home life, we’ll somehow come across a KFC. Somehow. Maybe there’s a strange traveler from the new world? Maybe there’s time travel? Maybe this is actually taking place in the present day and she just finds a KFC and her family is just up to some real whack shit?
Or maybe this is an entire chapter of our main character thinking about their feelings?
She could not help but wonder what would happen if she was caught. Would they still make her marry Reginald? Would they simply put her in the madhouse? That seemed unlikely to her […] Madeline almost could not bring herself to think about her family, or what they must have been thinking the moment they discovered she was gone. […] How will they get out from under the scandal? The thought of that made her so queasy.
Because even when it’s a gag novella released by KFC, we just can’t escape the “main character thinks for an entire chapter” chapter on this blog.
In what is unexpectedly an actual theme for Tender Wings of Desire, Madeline ponders, like, what anything even means, ya know?
[Reginald] definitely did not deserve such heartbreak.
Although, was it actually heartbreak? How could Reginald’s heart possibly be broken when they barely had occasion to speak? Love could not have blossomed in such a short period of time; that is not how love worked.
Of course, how could Madeline know how love worked?
Seriously, KFC, are you ok?
Chapters Read: 4/9
Times KFC Has Come Up At All: 0
SERIOUSLY WHEN DOES THE CHICKEN STUFF HAPPEN: I DON’T KNOW
After staring majestically out to the sea and having feelings for a hot second, Madeline arrives at a tiny little hamlet near the coast.
When she did find her future, it did not hit her like a lightning bolt or some sort of glorious, inspired wave. Instead she merely looked up and saw it.
Ok, this has to be the KFC, right?
It was a tavern, clearly one that catered to the sailors who came into the harbor.
Madeline braces herself for the unknown and steps inside, where she meets “the most beautiful woman [she] had ever seen”. Tender Wings of Desire tries very hard to balance the period piece aesthetic and to also find a natural way to explain how the hell you pronounce “Caiomhe”.
The woman nodded. “The name’s Caoimhe, and please do not ask me to spell it because it is nothing like it sounds.”
“It is not K-E-E-V-A?” Madeline asked
A for effort, KFC.
She tells her she’s looking for a job, and immediately gets one.
“I cannot do the hiring,” the woman said. “But I need help at nights, and Carson— he’s the owner— is never one to actually do the helping and he’s always too lazy to take on anyone new. Why don’t you stay and help me tonight, and then we can convince him? If you are here and willing, there’s no way he’ll say no.”
Okay, so the owner has to be Colonel Sanders, right?
he was actually much younger than she had anticipated. She wasn’t sure, but he might have been any age between her Winston and her father, with brown hair already touched with gray.
Hm… maybe? Let’s look at our reference photo with the KFC mascot in a sleeveless shirt that the world was apparently ready for.
I mean, maybe, but kind of seems like a no?
“Caoimhe,” he said slowly. “You look different.”
“Do not try to be funny, Carson,” Caoimhe said, coming out from the back […]
Carson scowled at her, but even Madeline could see that there wasn’t any malice in it.
Ok, yeah. But to be fair, in any other book we read for this blog, the scowling would be a dead giveaway that this is dude is the fuckable one. But somehow I feel like KFC is gonna go full post-Fifty Shades with the Colonel.
Carson and Caoimhe both immediately figure out that something is fishy about Madeline’s story and can tell that her dress is too nice, her hands are too soft, and she’s too generally clueless to really be the commoner she says she is. But they tell her they’ll go along with it so long as she doesn’t bring trouble to their door, and Carson not only agrees to let her have a job, but suggests that Caoimhe take her in as a roommate. This would suggest that all of Madeline’s problems are solved insanely quickly, save for her problem that she is presumably missing some fried chicken-based romance in her life.
“Well, well, well, what have we here? Did Caoimhe finally convince Carson to hire a new worker?”
OMG THANK YOU, CHAPTER FIVE.
Madeline turned to answer the man, not quite caring for his tone, only to come face to face with the most handsome man she had ever seen.
Tune in next week for gripping finale, where somehow fried chicken will play into all of this maybe.