It’s no secret to anyone who’s been on this blog before that I read lots of romance novels. I like the genre very much and I read historicals and contemporaries, I’ve given erotica a try, and I’m not picky when it comes to age groups (I’ve recently been discovering new adult with varied results).
Since it’s Valentine’s Day and all, I decided to ramble about my favourite aspects of romance. But I have to add a quick detour about Valentine’s Day: I don’t particularly like it. It’s not as huge of a deal in Slovenia as it is in the US, but couples still do the flowers and chocolates. My husband and I don’t celebrate it – we decided early on that we’d rather celebrate personal “holidays” than mass ones. I also don’t like a holiday that serves to make single people feel bad because they’re on their own (and don’t tell me you can always celebrate with your friends – that’s not the point).
Fun fact: my father’s name is Valentin, so this is actually his name day. His father’s and his grandfather’s name was also Valentin. Luckily, my parents broke the tradition with my brother.
Now that we got that out of the way, I want to ask you: do you prefer epic love and grand gestures or are you more fond of a slow-burn romance with sweet everyday details?
I’m a sucker for the happily ever after. I like my romances fluffy and optimistic, and while some angst is perfectly fine, I expect some witty dialogue, lots of smooching, and mutual respect between the hero and the heroine. I like authors who know they’re writing within a genre that’s made to be relaxing, funny, and kind.
I dislike romances that take themselves too seriously – and I downright hate romances where the lovers disrespect each other. This is one of the reasons I stopped reading erotica. Hell, every time I picked up a book, there were damaged individuals with loads of skeletons in their closets who took their frustrations out on their partners. I’m not talking about S&M, that’s fine if it’s your kind of thing, but the emotional shit they pulled was just too much. This is also a problem that I’ve encountered time and again in new adult literature. Sandra wrote a great post on romance in young adult novels and I don’t have much to add to that, so go read it if you’re interested.
I like heroines who are smart and not meek, who will fight both for their rights and the man they love. I hate it when they’re just pushovers or spoiled princesses. I always connect better with heroines who are not extraordinarily beautiful and who have interests other than dresses and parties. I prefer my heroes gentlemanly and gruff, not violent and hateful. I would always choose the man who is less eloquent and knows your birthday (and what flavor of cake is your favourite) to the one who proposes in front of a hundred people and shouts his “love” from the rooftops.
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If you’re interested in some of my favourites, give these a try:
- historicals: One Night in Scotland, A Rogue by Any Other Name, Saving Grace, The Duke and I, A Night to Surrender, Devil’s Bride, If You Dare.
- paranormal: Immortals After Dark, Black Dagger Brotherhood.
- new adult: Wicked, Foreplay.
- chick-lit: Wedding Season, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe.
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So, what’s your take on this (very, very important) issue? What kind of romance do you like best?
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What do you usually do if you’re celebrating?
What are your favourite romance titles? I’d love some new recommendations! :)