Giving Romance a Chance

You know me.  I like to follow social trends in the oddest ways possible.  (Preferably with landsquid and plesiosaurs.)

Since it’s the Day Before Cheap Chocolate Day, I thought I’d tell you about how I recently became a fan of the romance genre.  Poor romance gets a bad cop much of the time, considered a stereotypical genre of bare-chested male models and fainting heroines.  That was certainly my opinion of it.  I’ve been a scifi/fantasy girl as long as I can remember (scifi forever, fantasy since 6th grade) and I’d always kind of prided myself on not being a girly girl.  It probably didn’t help that, for a friend’s graduation from high school party, we were each asked to bring a romance novel along and they were then read aloud with appropriate melodrama.

I was brought up by mystery/scifi readers.  The only person who read romance was my sister, which really was reason enough to not go near the genre.  (I love my sister.  Really I do.  And I don’t just say that because she might read this.)  So I never had anybody championing the cause of romance to me.

Cue joining the online writing community a few years back.  Many of my friends write romance.  As they were people I respected and liked, I assumed the genre could not be as bad as I was led to believe and asked for some recommendations.

Things I have learned:
1. Most romance has a plotline besides just True Love (if they even go the True Love angle at all).  Murder!  Archeology!  Mystery!
2. There’s plenty of romances out there with strong, funny, sassy female protagonists.  These are not people who need a man or need to be rescued. 
3. When done well, it is an immensely satisfying read.

Let’s face it, everybody thinks about love/romance at some point.  It’s inescapable.  Even people who are not interested in looking for a partner still at some point have to think about that decision.  It’s something that we, as living, thinking creatures, have ingrained into us.  Partnership!  Love!  Being able to rely on another person through thick and thin!

Since it’s a huge part of life, it makes no sense to ignore it.  Sure, there are those shirt-escaping lunkheads out there and the stupid, dependent women, but, like any other genre, there is good in with the bad.  I’ve been able to identify the portion of the genre I like (spunky female protagonists, perhaps with a bit of a fantastical twist) and have gained many a good read out of it.

Let’s keep with the V-Day trend.  Favorite romance (or book with a strong romance subplot)?  Mine’s Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by idunno on 2011/02/16 at 5:04 PM

    I’ve only ready (to my knowledge) one romance novel. Coffee and Kung Fu by Karen Brichoux (anyone else think that’s a pen name?). I was bored that day and my wife had the book crammed into the middle of a pile of discarded romance novels at the back of one of the bookcase shelves. Despite the overwhelming vote of confidence her shrug and “Eh” represented when asked how it was, I forced myself to read it. If it’s the only romance I’ve read, does it count as a favorite? Even if I’d rather endure a root canal rather than read it again?

    I’ve seen Romancing The Stone (and the sequel). Do movies count? The first one was fun (don’t remember the second one at all).





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