Since I was 16 I’ve always been a huge fan of romance novels. So much so that I seriously bought at least 100 romance books within a 2.5 year period(they’re only $5-$6 and catch them at a half price book store and they’re only like $3). Some of my favorite authors included: Lisa Kleypas, Candace Camp, Sasha Lord, and Julia Ann Long–to name a few. And I tended to favor historical romance novels, though western romance, leisure romance and EVEN some paranormal romances seemed to sooth my “itch” easily.
I was often asked why I liked “those types” of books and honestly I’m still intrigued by this particular obsession to this day. It may have been the fact that as a young woman, these books explored a type of romanticism that seemed surreal to me in terms of what I knew about the “average” relationship. It may have been the fact that at the end of these novels everything was happily ever after and the couple usually was hopelessly in love. Or it could have been the entire process of the male wooing the maiden, winning her over, and then doing everything possible to make her happy and to make her dreams come true. Don’t forget the fact that the daring, dark and handsome bad-boy always was able to tame the fiery stubborn English maid. That whole “bad boy meets good girl turns her into a good bad girl and becomes a reformed bad boy”–was pretty hot to me.
The reasons for enjoying the romance novels are endless but they all stem from a particular concept–ROMANCE, or I should say passion. Which I’ve now come to the conclusion is VERY different from the way it’s portrayed in these darn novels. Anyway once I turned 17 and got into my first series of relationships I realized that Romance and Love certainly weren’t in any way like I imagined. They weren’t everlasting. The men rarely kept up the wooing. And unfortunately beyond the initial lust the romance and love always tended to fade into something “tolerable”, and/or something that required more work than what was portrayed in the romance novels. In other words, the “head over heels I can’t keep my hands off you” feeling seemed to always fade into “He is so annoying” and/or “Why won’t he be more romantic”.
Don’t get me wrong, love and romance are still very much possible in real-life relationships. Matter of fact they are VERY possible. But they just don’t seem as intense or as “magical” as they did in those darn books. And I hate to say it, but now I just feel as if those books–for the most part-are unrealistic and probably influenced a perception about romance and relationships for me and other young woman, that just isn’t accurate(a majority of the time). I stopped reading those books a year ago. And when I did try to read the books, the luster was gone. I just couldn’t read them without feeling as though they were stupid and cheesy.
So if I wrote my own Romance Novel, then I probably would make sure that the novel wasn’t so surreal. Yes it would probably include me living in a sail-boat with the reformed bad boy, traveling the world, while he consistently woes me, romances me, and makes me feel special. I’d probably grow old with this “same” person and still feel the same intense emotions as I did the day we met. And issues like finances, work/career, family, living situations, children, society etc would not influence or impact our relationship. There would be no divorce. No marriage counseling. And no reason to “tolerate” each other. All of these things that seem to plague relationships in 2010 wouldn’t plague my relationship. In my novel as unrealistic as it seems we’d escape the grasps of all the social ills that effect relationships by simply sailing away into a world where all you need to do is to love and let live.
And that sounds very nice.