Romance and non-romance readers unite – is there a happy medium?

Gather round romance and non-romance readers and writers. Or gather around. Do it in a circular fashion, circle before you get here, or just come and sit down anywhere.

Now, scooch in a little closer.  I’m not a complete monster. I’m only halfway there.

Originally I wanted to be selfish. I wanted to talk about  the deep psychological reasons behind why  I can’t read romance and why others can.   I’ve found great reading friends over the past three years and I know that our romance buttons need to be pushed in different ways. Some of us need a manual, but others can enjoy the book for what it is, and leave out with the nitpicking. This is one of those times where I think to say less is to say more.  I have a habit of coming across a little cynical.

I was an obsessive reader before I started writing. When I found there were adult versions of  Young Adult Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, I went a little crazy. Er, crazier. The supernatural without angst? Isn’t this one of their super powers that allows them to hook so many readers? Bring on the twenty books I ordered from the library. Bring on the flushed cheeks when I was served by a man at the counter and I used my husbands library card. He didn’t have to say, ” Are these for your husband?” But he did.

So my eyes were opened – widely. I have romance, sex and alpha men, and I didn’t know what to make of them. What I found though, is that there were romance aspects that stopped me from reading the more romance-skewed books. The romance seemed too extreme, too unrealistic. I was proclaiming, “Why is she so special!” “That wouldn’t happen!” I read to escape, but I found I was escaping less.

I ran to Urban Fantasy, clutching my pearls. I wanted more tension, a slower-burn romance, an exciting protagonist, a greater connection, a less protective male and less sex.

Would romance writers lose their market if they compromised these elements? When I throw a book because a woman looked at a man’s biceps thirty times while they were in a dire situation, is there someone out there dichotomous to me who throws the book when she only looked at them twice?

Is there a way to keep all of us happy? Is there a happy medium? Well, you’d have to find a happy medium first, and if they are happy, they’ve probably finally worked out the lottery numbers and won’t want to work anymore.

*braces herself*





4 thoughts on “Romance and non-romance readers unite – is there a happy medium?

  1. I hate to say it, but I doubt that a happy medium exists as far as romance goes. It’s just too subjective. Some readers hate any inkling of romance at all in their books while some have to have it in every book they read. I personally hate “instant love,” but there are readers who crave that in their books. Same thing goes for love triangles. You’ll never be able to please all of the readers all of the time. That’s why there are so many subgenres of books. 🙂

    • Don’t you make me get my sliding scale out again! I don’t think Molly’s finished with it yet. *flicks her off* I still think about that point where they lose me, and I wonder – if they didn’t cross that line, but clung to it from the other side, would romance lovers still be happy?

  2. Romance? I have instant love, and an almost love triangle – good to know some readers love them both. I hadn’t intended romance, it just happened.

    I also had mind-blowing experiences with some adult genres! OMGosh! Some I put back in the library slot while it was closed so I wouldn’t be seen – I didn’t have any idea what I was getting. I’m writing the book that I like to read … I think. Out of interest I downloaded some free how-to erotica books, not knowing exactly the extent of that particular genre, Boy, were my eyes opened by the sample story in the back of the book – it’ll take me years to get those images out of my head. Geez, anyone would think I’d never been exposed to smut before.

    Anyway, Lorelle, you have to stick to writing what you feel comfortable with, and what you are comfortable with having hooked up to your name.

  3. Don’t get me wrong, I have romance in my book. Well it’s budding. And the love triangle, which is more just a new boy introduced, was not really planned, either. When you hear true romance readers talking, they talk of certain expectations – that there are specific requirements that need to be adhered to. That’s the part I know I fall short of, makes my book more urban fantasy than pnr. Yes, I’m comformatble with the level my romance is at 🙂
    Ah yes. Erotica. In books, there are happy endings, er, really happy endings, and omfg endings…lol

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