Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why I Read Romance


I'm not exactly sure why I read romance

Yes, yes, yes - once there was the obvious; the in depth descriptions of bed play and the accompanying sechs. At that time if I were grading books, I would have used 'twitches' instead of numbers or letters, lol.

Unfortunately, I moved out of the erotica stage before I discovered the epub sites. Shame, really.

Now? Well, now I look for depth. Depth in character and relationships. And a storyline that allows the sechs to appear naturally as the plot develops and the characters evolve. Emotions and sexual tension do more for me these days than Tab A into Slot B.

Now, I have the problem of sifting these deeper stories out of the chaff. That's where review blogs come in real handy.

I read Georgette Heyer in my teens and early twenties; forsook romance for SF&F for most of my life and only returned to romance after falling in love with the music called popera. Oh lord - how I wanted romance then - it was so singularly lacking in my life. Now, I've segued back to GH, and others who are true storytellers.

My list?

Georgette Heyer (of course)- anything she wrote
Laura Kinsale - Flowers From the Storm
Jennifer Ashley - The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie.
Loretta Chase - Lord of Scoundrels, Mr. Impossible.
J. D. Robb - the In Death series.
Jennifer Crusie - Agnes and the Hitman, Bet Me.

And because of my fantasy past:

Iona Andrews - the Magic series
Patricia Briggs - anything she writes.
Elizabeth Vaughan - Warprize and anything else she writes.
Nalini Singh - the Archangel series.

I enjoy some of Balogh and Quinn, but never know if I'll find myself bored.

And, of course, I read romance for the HEA. It's a guarantee or else it isn't a romance. I need the escape from real life. :-)


I first read romance by mistake. I was living in San Francisco and somehow ended signed up for a Harlequin monthly book club. This was back in the *cough* 1980s and most of the books had virginal British blondes and rough handsome bosses and they bordered on ick. I was hooked because I always wanted to kick the heroes ass and tell the heroine to get a spine. Feisty thing, even back then.

I stopped reading for a long time until I stumbled on Jayne Ann Krentz. Loved her writing, loved that her stories were local and loved that the heroines were smart and feisty and not British.

I never followed the genre, romance has always been just among the books I read. It wasn't until I started writing that I discovered the genre and started to really read. Jennifer Cruisie and Welcome to Temptation reeled me right in.

The romance blogland has had a lot to do with my continued reading. Reading reviews and comments where people just grow incandescent with descriptions of favorite books and writers makes me want to read those books and writers. Going onto blogs or Twitter and enjoying the online presence of certain writers has caused more than one book purchase.

Now I'm discovering that I read romance because I like reading. And it's one of the genres I read and becoming less the primary one.

I read and write because I love a well crafted story with words that flow and bite and dare you to lose yourself in them. I read because a well turned phrase is more delicious than the taste of chocolate and a clever retort on a page can make me smile for hours.

I love that moment when the characters become real and their feelings settle under your heart.

Why do you like to read romance? Or are you fonder of a different genre?

(I really hate weak heroines and so love the paranormals still as well as chick lit and my #1 favorite which is literary fiction. Also love poetry.)


  1. That's why I still read romance and why I write. It's the HEA. After all of the horrible things I've seen, the lowest that people can be, I want the redemption and the Happily Ever After.

  2. I've always been a reader although it's only been the last couple of years that I've really gotten back in to it. I'm a visual person so I love/d the fact that I could open up a book and lose myself in to a story, imagining myself as the main character or even as an observer who often wants to take the lead and smack 'em upside the head for being so stupid.

    I can't say that I've ever gone out of my way to read a romance. Sure, as a kid I read the Teen Romances (Sweet Valley High and the like) but I was more in to Stephen King or thriller like stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love a HEA too but usually kept it for movies.

    Not to say that I won't read them of course. Quite a few of the books that I've read lately have had romance in htem, although they weren't romance novels exactly. I'm a sucker for boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl beats boy over head and he comes to his senses etc but I also like a story to go with it.

    At the moment I'm very much in to all things 'magical'. I'm hooked on Merlin the show so I picked up a book by Mary Stewart and I love it. I love the idea of castles, kings and queens, travelling for days by horse to go somewhere that today would take a couple of hours in a car. Maybe it's the 'romance' of it all?

    As to reviewing, I'll leave that to y'all. I like what I like and would love to share it but often I tend to lose what I mean in translation and it sounds like waffle. For someone as verbose as me it's kinda sad I can't string together a coherant thought lol.

    Hmm, I htink I missed the point of the blog again... sorry ladies :D