Contours of Love Reading Life Reading Ruminations Reading Themes

Reading Romance: A Confession

The Romance Novel genre is one of those books I knew about but never dared to read.

5cee302a4b3e980482877fd5914977c2--book-flowers-the-flowersIphigene here.

The Romance Novel genre is one of those books I knew about but never dared to read. I remember my mom enthusiastically handing me a bag of books from a friend of hers, I was in 6th grade. I dug into the books and found this book called “Scruples,” I began to read it, noticing it was some old book talking about this rich heir and this rogue. Then it got to the scene where the euphemism popular among romance books began to show up and my 6th grader self went “uhmm…, nope.”

I had a bad association with Romance Novel. I generally saw them as low brow, raunchy and trashy literature. I stayed away from them like a plague, until in my senior year of high school, a couple of my friends (romance-reading friends) dared me to read some Judith McNaught and something else. I read two Romance Novels then in exchange for a big chunk of Cadbury Fruit and Nut. I remember reading it as fast as I could and hiding the book beneath my pillow in case my dear prude mother saw it. After that little foray in Romance Novels, I had never read it again. I was a book snob.

Then a few years ago, via a Book Riot challenge, I read my first Romance Novel since the high school challenge and amazingly enjoyed it. I revisited The Bride and read majority of Judith McNaught. I read some of the regency period stuff, as well as the more contemporary ones and found them interesting. As with most Genre fiction it was quick to read, but what amazed me was that it wasn’t bad writing. Some of these stories had suspense in them that would excite me.  Some were even funny. Yes, there were those euphemisms that are expected of Romance Novels, but this was not pure raunchy.  I mean yes, in my sampling of Romance Novels I had a taste of bad writing and those I couldn’t read, but not all of them were bad as I first considered them to be.

I wouldn’t read these novels in the same way I would read let’s say a Haruki Murakami or an Elif Shafak, but, I would read them like I do some Crime Fiction and some YA—pretty much in the same vein why I would watch Avengers, for entertainment—good entertainment.  I also loved that some of these Romance Novels don’t have airhead, helpless damsels, rather, the ones I love pretty much are kickass heroines who tend to be funny.

So, once in a while, when I want to read something easy, quick and entertaining, I now know that I can throw a bit of Romance Novel into the mix to be entertained.  Since I am confessing this bit of newly-found guilty pleasure and our current theme is on the Contours of Love (and romance), I’m going to ask for suggestions.  On the comments below, do recommend a Romance Novel you think is worth considering and I’ll review them here on Gathering Books. I enjoy period romance and a well done contemporary romance, and no damsels in distress please.

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11 comments on “Reading Romance: A Confession

  1. Iphigene!! How about Book One of The Outlander series of Diana Gabaldon? Or are book series out of the question entirely?

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  2. I actually read a lot of romance nowadays, but if you had tried to give me a romance novel, say 15 years ago, I would have looked at you like you were a bit crazy 😉
    I think the romance genre has grown a lot in the past several years. And we get strong female characters, a real story and a plot, as well as character development, some suspense and more these days.
    If you like a bit of suspense in your romances, I can recommend Keep Her Safe by KA Tucker (it’s a standalone novel), the Love Undercover series by Lori Foster, and the Love Over Duty series by Scarlett Cole to start with 😉
    I have plenty of more recs if you need them, Iphigene 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The ultimate escape from the news. I read the Nora Roberts trilogy Born in Fire, Born in Ice, Born in Shame and found them sweet. I’m in a book club but I couldn’t share those titles with them as they want DEEP thinking. Only You by Elizabeth Lowell a favorite. Happy Reading!

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    • I know, Ruth. We take these romance novels for granted, but some of them are good. The Nora Roberts seems interesting, will check your recommendations out and see which one i can read. I’m excited, this seems like a challenge on its own…reading Romance novel recommendations.

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  4. I am a big fan of Meg Cabot’s adult novels (okay, almost all of her novels, honestly), and the Boy books are a lot of fun. I would start with the first one, The Boy Next Door.

    If you’re not a fan of epistolary novels, then try She Went All the Way instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Akilah,
      I was not aware that Meg Cabot wrote adult novels. I’m fine with epistolary novels, will look into that.

      While reading these romance novels are quick, it might take some time before i get to your recommendation. I’m almost done with the Nora Roberts trilogy that was recommended. thank again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Fire, Ice, & Shame: Reading Romance – Gathering Books

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