Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lessons from Romance Novels

Dear Worried/Concerned/Judgmental/Confused Romance Novel Dissenter,

I've read romance novels since my young teens, furiously devouring any Harlequin title my friend's mother would lend me.

The Harlequins were...well, Harlequins and not very descriptive in the sex department. And I enjoyed every one of them.

Harlequin never encouraged me to have sex at 15.

If anything, the stories encouraged me to cling to my virginity until college, go to college, have a few mediocre encounters or forgo them altogether, then wait for my prince charming whom can easily be identified by 1) having a stable job, 2) providing for his family, and 3) sweeping me off my feet at 30 something. (I don't know if that was the age of the heroes and heroines, but that's the age I remember them being.)

I’m no longer 15 and my romance novel selections have greatly increased.  Until Ravishing Romances I didn’t realize the criticism authors and readers received for these books.

Apparently romance novels tell people to do bad things, like divorce their spouses because they don't have enough junk and become whores. 


That's funny 'cause here's what I've gathered from romance novels so far: 

1. Most marriageable women are virgins or very inexperienced.
Almost any historical novel ever

2. If women preempt their wedding night, it doesn’t always end with happily ever after.
Elizabeth Hoyt’s “Thief of Shadows”, Monica McCarty’s “Highland Outlaw”

3. If I am married I shouldn’t leave my husband, but work on the marriage.
Monica McCarty’s “The Chief”

4. Married people are romantic, too.
Marie Force’s entire Fatal series

5. Most heroines are beautiful or physically fit, most of the time they’re both. So I better work out and eat my vegetables.
Almost any romance novel ever

6. Women who have made mistakes can fall in love.
Amber Lin’s “Giving It Up” & Ruthie Knox’s “About Last Night”

7. The man I marry should be strong, heroic and love me desperately.
Almost any romance novel ever

8. Always have protected sex or you can end up pregnant.
Pamela Clare’s “Defiant”, Marie Force’s “Longing for Love”

9. Getting pregnant doesn’t always mean he’ll marry me.
Monica McCarty’s “Conquered by a Highlander”

10. Sometimes men may want me for my money.
Delilah Marvelle’s “Forever a Lady”

11. Above all, happily ever after is hard work because life isn't always easy.
Elizabeth Hoyt’s“Thief of Shadows” & Marie Force’s “Line of Scrimmage"

Romance novels have sex. So do romantic comedies.

You don’t have to read them, but you certainly cannot blame them.


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