Generalizations in “Romance”

I stayed up last night reading a book I didn’t particularly care for, hoping that something interesting was coming. It didn’t — but that’s how it goes sometimes.

The story was listed as a contemporary romance and had many of the same issues that irritate me on a personal level in this genre (or any genre with an underlying romance like this). Before you ask, I keep reading books in this genre because there are gems that manage to be amazing without ticking me off as a reader.

Now, I’m not going to name the book or author because in this instance neither of those things matter since I’m going to generalize. These are problems that I think some authors perpetuate because it sells. I sincerely appreciate the ones who take a different approach though.

So – on to the generalizations!!

  1. The “alpha” A-hole with a capital A: This guy is an uber-jerk ( yea I’m dating myself, no one says uber anymore) who speaks to everyone as if he not only created the universe but owns the deed to everyone and everything in it. He threatens, manipulates, is usually a control-freak, and doesn’t take any version of no for an answer – even when he really should. He nearly always seems to get a pass for his horrible behavior because “he’s just so hot; had such an awful last relationship; insert generic excuse here”…
  2.  Female interest of these stories: They can bill her as strong and independent, broken and in need of healing or struggling with a sick family member or single motherhood, but when push comes to shove against Mr. ‘Tude, it all boils down to how she becomes a helpless slave to her body’s lust as soon as he so much as breathes in her direction. She has no pride at all and his touch is guaranteed to turn her into a puddle of goo on whatever surface is closest. She half-heartedly gives a NO that he never listens to and instead of being forceful and making it stick – her internal dialogue is sickening in how she claims to want him to touch her so badly after he’s just been a tool. Seriously? Ick! Don’t say no if you don’t mean it but if you say it make it stick. Oh and –when– does she finally find her pride? For a short time toward the end of the book when whatever deception they’ve written into the plot comes to light – the resolution of which is usually weak in this particular brand of romance – but for that short amount of time….boy her pride is suddenly everything.

If you have one of the stories that does toss in a sick parent or young child that’s supposedly this person’s entire life up until Captain Craptastic hits the scene,
they might be mentioned briefly here and there while the two mains manage to find multiple opportunities to sneak off and grope each other.
I get that priorities change a bit if you are trying to date someone. I understand that you can be physically attracted to a jerk, until he opens his mouth. But really – how can you imagine a Happily Ever After or a Happy For Now ending with someone who regularly makes you wonder just how bad jail time might be for a homicide.

To finish my little rant here, I should qualify that it isn’t always a male/female relationship gone wrong. Sometimes it’s m/m or f/f or a menage issue. Sometimes I’ve seen the roles reversed where the guy is amazing or a bit of a carpet and the girl is a SuperHeifer. The point is the same. That doesn’t hit my radar as romantic. It’s just bad, unhealthy relationships where people can’t share themselves or their thoughts truthfully.

Then again – this is all just my opinion.

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Introduction of myself

Hello to anyone who stumbles onto this blog. I have debated with myself for a while on whether I wanted to give blogging another try or not and have finally decided to give it a go.

So, seeing as this is my first post – I’m going to tell you a bit about myself. I type the way I think/speak. That means occasionally my thoughts come out mid-conversation (with myself) leaving you to wonder what in the world I’m talking about. I’ll attempt to edit that a bit with this because what’s the point of reading something that makes zero sense right?

I am a VORACIOUS reader. I may have an addiction. If I’m completely honest, I’m fairly certain it is an actual addiction. But seeing as it hurts no one and I manage to work full time, support my family and not worry that I spent all the rent money in Amazon Kindle or Kobo – we’re gonna call it a harmless one. My personal e-library numbers in the 10s of thousands and that isn’t an exaggeration. I have books in formats they have discontinued the readers for. I have some paperbacks and hardbacks but those probably top out a little over 100. They aren’t as easy to store as the e-version when you don’t have bookshelves handy.

I think I have loved books since my mom got me hooked on the Berenstain Bears B Book. I’d make her read that silly story to me over and over and over (as most young children with a favorite book are wont to do). As I got older and grew out of Berenstain Bears and Dr. Seuss, I grew into classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. By middle school my parents introduced me to Louis L’amour, Frankenstein, Black Beauty and some other classics that didn’t stick with me as much. I think I also read the Sweet Valley High series right around that point in my life too.

High school saw me with my first set of vampire stories. For Christmas I got a selection of Anne Rice, Michael Romkey, Brian Lumely, P. N. Elrod, and one or two others. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those few authors that I was gifted with that Christmas were going to be my gateway to a lifelong love affair with fantasy stories.

As I’ve gotten older my appreciation for entertaining fantasy books has grown. I love paranormal, romance, sci fi… if it’s well written fiction I’m usually on board though I seem to enjoy the books with at least an underlying attraction between characters. I want to be clear since there’s a possibility that newer authors may see this blog in passing – it doesn’t matter to me what sex the couple or potential couple is. Or if it’s a more non-traditional relationship so long as it’s consensual. My favorite books have strong female leads or interesting male leads or both.

Some of the authors that I read (or re-read) regularly are Jim Butcher, Christine Feehan, Stephanie Rowe, Lara Adrian, Laurell K Hamilton, Patricia Briggs, Carol Lynne, Anna Hackett, Jaymin Eve, Joni Hann, Auryn Hadley, T.S. Joyce, and really the list is just too extensive to put on here. Which brings me to the main reason for this blog.

I sometimes stumble on a story or author so good that I just want to share that information with anyone who might be interested. To date I have done that by reviewing on Amazon when a book moved me, sending an author a message when they have a way for me to let them know I enjoyed it, and telling friends and family who I think might also enjoy it. One of the writers I have recently discovered and love mentioned that it’s sometimes hard to find decent book blogs and very few who are willing to take a chance on reading for not yet established story tellers. She also mentioned that when she goes searching for something new to read she’s more likely to look at blogs she follows first to see what or who is being discussed. So here is my foray into offering opinions for anyone who might be interested. This post is my introduction – but considering how many books I read in a week and how many, many, many I have read in the past, future posts will probably all center around a new story. If you got this far on this one, you might consider checking back from time to time to see if I’m talking about anything that sparks  your interest. I guarantee it will be more entertaining than my own history of how I fell in love with reading and haven’t fallen out yet.