Howdy! My name is Jen, and I am a romance reader.
I started reading romance when I was about 10 or 11 years old. It’s my mom’s fault. She owned this line of Christian inspirational romance novels that I tore through when there was nothing better to read in the house. The Serenade/Serenata line was a mix of historical and contemporary stories that usually involved one Christian, one atheist, no sex, proselytizing and marriage. It was great fun.
The books, as chaste as they were, were still shocking to me. People were kissing! Sometimes for a whole paragraph! And the covers were endlessly fascinating. Who were these people with such unfortunate hairdos?
They also infuriated me. While reading one book about the union between a Native American man and a white woman (naturally she had hair the color of corn and eyes the color of the sky), a line jumped out at me: “Marrying a white woman is good.” I was so pissed, I wrote the author an angry letter. The basic gist of it was: What’s so great about white women? And she wrote back! The basic gist of it was: Something something historically accurate something status symbol. Me: Psssh.
After completing my mom’s series, I didn’t pick up another romance for over 10 years (V.C. Andrews doesn’t count although those books fucked my shit UP). I read a few interracial romances because those were the kind of relationships that I could relate to, and I yearned to read a book where marrying a black woman was “good”. Truthfully though, I was still unsatisfied. I wasn’t really researching books before I bought them and there is a LOT of dreck out there. I know what you’re thinking: Really? Is there? And let me just reply: YES. LOADS OF IT. Anyway, eventually I caught wind of the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books site, began reading reviews and became a full blown romance fanatic after reading Laura Kinsale’s Midsummer Moon. That book MADE MY WEEK. After reading a few million romance novels, I’ve come up with a couple lists of what can make my week or alternately DAMAGE MY CALM.
- Enemies to Lovers
- Friends to Lovers
- Marriage of convenience
- Alpha Heroes
- Beta Heroes
- Sexually experienced heroines
- Virgin Heroines
- “Alpha and Omega” heroes
- Cartoonish descriptions of the hero’s physique and/or genitalia
- Cartoonish descriptions of the heroine’s face (holy cow are those big eyes!, cupid bow mouth, pert button nose) – these girls are seriously starting to sound like Betty Boop.
- Cartoonish descriptions period
And this isn’t so much a nope, because I have enjoyed a lot of these books but for the most part, books with babies/furbabies kind of bug me.
Lately I’ve felt the need to write down my feelings about romance. What I love, what I loathe, what I long for (more diversity!) – this is where I write all that Ish down.
Thanks for stopping by! Toodles!