Genres I Typically Avoid: Romance Novels

There are three big genres I avoid and since it’s coming up on time for me to address that category, I’m going to go over why I’m not a fan of those three genres. This week? Romance novels.

I dislike romance novels because the characters and stories are very predictable. Two unlikely people meet, intense attraction occurs, they fight it, they give in, romance ensues, obstacle occurs, couple separated/splits, the obstacle is overcome, happily ever after. Mix and match stock characters and places as necessary.

It’s about big strong men wooing women in trouble or those men converting angry, if not bitter, women into someone likeable. Of course the woman has to soften. No self-respecting man could actually want to be with the Head Bitch in Charge as she is, right? All women are superhot and in desperate need of some good loving, right?

I have never seen the cover of a bodice ripper and thought “There’s a man who will respect her opinion” unless that’s a really creative euphemism. The man isn’t there to care about what the woman in the story thinks just as she isn’t there to do an abundance of thinking in the first place. Falling for the hot pirate/soldier of fortune/cowboy who kidnapped you isn’t love, it’s Stockholm syndrome.

Realistically, how many billionaires, tycoons, and royals think “I’d rather be with a plain teacher/librarian/secretary/student instead of a super model/lawyer/diplomat. It’s fun being with someone who doesn’t understand my life or obligations. There’s no way this is a walking PR disaster waiting to happen.”

I read most genre fiction I can get my hands on and I find a walking, talking tree and a raccoon with a gun fetish more believable than a lot of romance story lines. I like character development, depth, and a believable plot trajectory. More should be happening in the story than just the relationship between two characters. Life is more than getting laid, despite what cable TV says.

Since I’ve got to find a book that is from a genre I typically avoid, I need a good romance. I skimmed Harlequin’s latest titles and my rant appears to remain true so I turn to you, the internet, for help. I need to find a story about love and romance that won’t make me roll my eyes so hard they fall out of my head.

Previous love-centered stories I’ve enjoyed are My Name Is Memory and Water for Elephants. Any suggestions?

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