It’s Valentine’s Day! You know what that means. Lots of pictures posted from your friends where they have their cheek smushed really close together with their significant other’s cheek as they smile into the camera. Flowers, candy, and teddy bears delivered to offices and classrooms. Then an abrupt few hours of quiet on social media as couples and throuples have dinner, put on a little mood music and do whatever it is they do.
I wouldn’t know of course. I’m an innocent angel.
But wait! There’s one more thing happening today. Romance authors are coming out of the woodwork. We’ve practiced all year for this. We’ve stretched. And now, it’s our time to shine, baby!
Just for you, we’ve got discounted books, giveaways and we’ve got book freebies. Our entire industry is all about love, and we want to invite you in and share it with you. But maybe you’re wondering. I don’t know… romance novels? Are they for me?
Well, I’m here to tell you they are, because romance novels are awesome. So without further ado, here’s my Top Five Reasons Romance Novels are Awesome. (Okay, I know that title isn’t particularly imaginative but I thought of it before I had my coffee. Cut me some slack.)
1) Any sub-genre you’re in the mood for, we’ve got it.
I suspect that people outside the wonderful world of romance novels think there’s only two types: the Harlequin-type contemporary with a rich hero or historicals set in a British castle. While we do have those and they are lovely, there’s so much more!
There’s romantic suspense, science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, Westerns, sports, motorcycle clubs, military, shape-shifters, vampires, Amish, Inspirational, and many more. We are a wide and varied genre, my friend. Not to mention there’s various degrees of physical intimacy, from full-on erotic romance to fade to black after a chaste kiss, and everything in between.
2) There are lots of different people represented between the covers. (Book covers you perv. But also bed covers, you know what I’m sayin’? Hubba-hubba)
Romance novels used to be uh… restricted in the types of characters that appeared on the page. But year after year, more and more authors from diverse backgrounds are writing characters who are diverse as well. Multiculturalism is represented. The LGBT rainbow also gets lots of shine from authors writing relationships with characters who are gay, lesbian, transgender, ace and more. But wait, that’s not all! Our fabulous genre also has variety in age, body type and abilities. You want it, we’ve got it.
Check out Women in Color Romance and Romance Novels in Color for romance written by POC authors and featuring multicultural love interests, and Queer in Color for romance with queer and diverse characters.
3) We evolve with the times.
Okay, okay. We got a bad rap with that whole “bodice ripper” thing.
Yes, there were some novels where consent was questionable and a woman or two was thrown over the back of a horse. But you can’t assume an entire genre wrote that. Just like you can’t assume an entire genre only uses the abuse, death, and rape of women as plot devices to advance a man’s character development. Ooops! Sorry, that was snarky. My bad. Back to the love!
Every year, the romance genre takes strides to show on the page things like safe sex and consent. And it’s not boring, “Excuse me, heroine do you want my penis that is covered by latex in your vagina?” It’s sexy. More along the lines of a husky whisper asking if a touch feels nice and if their partner wants more of it. So basically our heroes and heroines ask for consent, but they make it sexy.
4) We don’t mock love and relationships.
When romance authors are writing about love, we mean it. We don’t make fun of the person who wants a relationship. We don’t sneer at emotion. We don’t laugh at grand gestures. When romance authors put those scenes on the page we mean them 100%. We’re trying to give you the feels, man.
Go ahead and cry, laugh, scream and rip your shirt off and wave it over your head as you run out into the street to tell all your neighbors how much you loved it when the hero fell to his knees and confessed that he wants to wear his Dom’s collar. (I wrote that. You can read it in The Sergeant) We’ll be right there with you in spirit. Actually, we probably did the same thing when we wrote the scene.
5) You know you’ll get a happy ending.
All that love we give you in our books? We promise we won’t snatch it away at the end. With romance novels you are guarandamnteed a happy ending. The love interests are together. There’s no bittersweet ending. No will they or won’t they. Nothing ambiguous. That is our promise to you. So if you know you are in the mood for something where everything ends well and happy (and boy do we need that sometimes), pick up a romance novel.
And that concludes our Five Reasons Romance Novels are Awesome list! On this, the Day of Love or any other time you want to read some good shit, we’ll be here with our books waiting to share them with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day and thanks for reading!
My Cuffs, Collars & Love series is on sale for .99 each this week only!
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My rambling and not at all edited thoughts on romance novels, writing, and pop culture.