I met my hubs on the 4th of July a very long time ago and in what seems like a galaxy far, far away. Coming up on that anniversary romance has been on my mind. So I’m going to share my thoughts on what it is and isn’t.
I feel very strongly romance in a book can’t be legislated by ANYONE but the author. Their world-view feeds the romance. Nourishes it until it blooms. What romance is to one may not be to another. Some romance books have no sex, others have it behind closed doors. Then there are those that go from hot to off the charts steamy. I can tell you right now I consider abuse of any kind and or cheating between an H&H not romance, not love and not an enjoyable read for me. That book will immediately be returned. Sure people can screw up their lives and relationships. If they’re lucky, they get a second chance to make it up. Haven’t we all been there? I love it when an author brings a couple through bad times to grow their love.
Those who speak as authorities on the subject of romance in books say what I think of as romance is in fact a love story. Romance MUST follow a certain criteria says a deep voice from behind the curtain. Well, guess what? Plllaaaatttttttt! Raspberries to you all. Not saying it’s bad to meet that criteria but I don’t care if a book does or doesn’t. Do you think a reader cares? I think not.
For me romance in books is like this line from the song Thinking Out Loud, “I’m thinking ‘bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways. Some couples can take years to fall in love others know in seconds. I love the thrill of discovery for the couples in the books I read.
RAINWATER by Sandra Brown does not have an HEA or the possibility of one. It is one of the most poignant romances, love stories, whatever the freak you want to call it, I’ve ever read. Are J D Robb’s books romances using the criteria? Hmmmm?
When an author does a good job of drawing me into a couple’s romance/love arc I don’t care if it takes up ten or ninety percent of the story. Make me feel something for those characters and I will remember them forever. For…ev…ver.
I also don’t care if the romance drives the story. More and more I see love and romance being added to books not in the so-called romance genre. Those other genre authors are beginning to take romance seriously. Is it because romance sells or because love is a real human emotion that readers can connect with? I don’t care. Do you think the reader does? I think not.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So everybody write on. Call it what you want. I don’t care. Just write me a good story.
Rita writes about extraordinary women in the military and the men they love. Call it what you like. She doesn’t care. She only wants you to enjoy it.