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BookClubEditor
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What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?

Why do you like to read romance novels? What are some novels you've enjoyed? If you're a new reader of romance novels, what draws you to give them a try?


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Storeetllr
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Re: What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?

As mentioned in the lesson and text as reasons women enjoy romances, I like to read romances to escape the day-to-day, as well as for the certainty that, no matter how difficult the characters' situations seem at the beginning of the novel or how dire they become as the novel progresses, the main male and main female characters will end up in love with each other and will live "happily ever after." I also like to read about strong, smart women and the alpha men who love them. I enjoy historical romances for the added bonus of a history lesson; lighthearted romances for the humor that makes me smile if not laugh outright; and paranormal/supernatural romances and erotic romances for the extra thrill that comes from the whiff of danger and the forbidden.
She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain. (Louisa May Alcott)
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Brandy
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Re: What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?

I like to read romance because it relaxes me. I like the happy ending also. When I was a teenager I read The Sweet Valley High Series and I loved them. It just continued to grow from there. I can't get enough. My husband says that he would be surprised if he ever saw me without a book except when I'm writing that is.
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LeighMichaels
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Reading Romance

Here's another way to look at this question: What does romance fiction give you that's different from your other reading?

Leigh
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ChristineM
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Re: Reading Romance

When I read non-fiction, I'm looking for information presented in a clear, understandable way. A little bit of human interest goes a long way too. (Did you know that when Eleanor of Aquitaine married the French king and moved to Paris, that members of the court made fun of her accent? Somehow, Eleanor of Aquitaine as an awkward teen is a really touching image.)

When I read mysteries, I want to solve the puzzle, preferably before the detective.

When I read Sci-Fi, I want an ethical question.

When I read young adult, I want a clearer, simpler form of the above and I want to finish it in a few of hours.

When I read romance, I want that emotional tug. I want to watch people struggle with their own and others foibles. I want to see them do the thing they know they want to do (or fear to do or don't want to but know is best) and get rewarded in the end. And on days like today (post-house party, very tired) I want no huge surprises. I want to knwo that, in the end, no matter how dark it gets, it's going to work out. In a romance, you know that neither the heroine or the hero is going to die before the end. In sci-fi and mystery, you can't always be sure.
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dixielandgrl
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Re: Reading Romance

Christine had said that there was a consistency(paraphrase)- your couple will live and love at the end of the book. That's a big draw for me, I admit. Also, the hope that all those faithful, come-through-in-the-end heroes might just exist somewhere. If they are really like the unicorn, and they don't, well, I don't want to know that anyway. Part of me reasons that with all these writers writing heroes that are good at love and romance, somewhere, someone must have actually seen one. I am jaded, I know.
"If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be:" Thomas Campion
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lavenderlass
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Re: Reading Romance

I like a meaty emotional story, I especially like it to have illness in it so I can think through how it feels to be that person. I love historicals because I like to feel that I am living in that era, or could have been. I also love romance because it's uplifting, no matter how hard things are in my own life something wonderful has happened to the heroine and maybe it could for me some day. But most of all I like to understand what makes people tick and that's why I read romance,
Lynne.
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ChristineM
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Illness

That's interesting. In the novels you like, how does the illness figure? Is either they hero or heroine ill in some way or are they working together on someone else's illness? That's a whole angle I had never every considered.
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mn_girl_in_heart_of_dixie
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Re: What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?

I got leveled by an Authenication error after an hour and a half at the keyboard. Looks like I will have to do the cut and paste from Word Perfect. Sorry. No time to redo. As the family would say, SHOOT-SKI.
Jeanette Isabella
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lavenderlass
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Re: Illness

Hi Christine, the illness is really interesting in stories, I've just read a brilliant one by Marrion Lennox, 'rescue at Cradle Lake,' she's Australian and what is so different about her is that she covers the emotional state and needs of patients and H&H. Some of them are fairly cranky, some are just honest, hardworking people, but it adds to the emotional impact of the story I reckon. The H&H don't usually have an illness themselves, unless you count a grief that they need to overcome or something, but they move heaven & earth to help their patients.
I love medicals!
Lynne.
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LeighMichaels
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Re: Illness in romance

Medicals are more popular in the UK -- where there's a line exclusively of medical romances -- than in the US. We're beginning to see some of the stories appear, but mostly they creep into the other lines rather than being a full set by themselves.

Medical romance involves one or both of the main characters being a medical professional. But it's more than just a romance that happens in a hospital or clinic; the medical background, patients, diseases, etc., form a crucial part of the story and of the conflict. The conflict in a medical is sometimes one care-giver's devotion to a set of patients, when the romantic interest threatens to tear him/her away from those people -- i.e., a female doctor in a small town who has to choose between going with her hero to his city or giving him up and continuing to take care of her practice.

Medicals are published by Mills & Boon in the UK and sometimes as Harlequin Romance in the US.

Hope this helps!
Leigh
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ChristineM
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Re: Illness in romance

OK, then I have read a few of these. My Grandmother used to give me nurse adventure novels so they were probably the first romances I read.
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Vicky
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Re: Reading Romance

I love the danger and suspense the hero and heroine face in romantic suspense as well as the growing attraction between the two. I always know the couple will solve the mystery and fall in love, then marry. At the same time I get to figure out whodunit.

This gives me a pleasant end to the day.

Vicky
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lavenderlass
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Re: Reading Romance

Medicals are lovely to read, but then so are lots of other romances. What confuses me is the difference between Harlequin & Mills & Boon. I thought Harlequin was the parent company but there's such a different range of styles especially now they've changed them, (we have no more Tender romances here now).
Perhaps I need to find a webpage with a summary of each line.
Lynne.
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LeighMichaels
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Re: Reading Romance

Hi, Lynne --

Mills & Boon was the original romance publisher, merging with Harlequin in the mid-80s. After that M&B continued to originate Harlequin Romance (published in the UK in the last few years as Mills & Boon Tender) and Harlequin Presents (published in the UK as Mills & Boon Modern). Very recently, Harlequin Romance and Silhouette Romance have been merged into a new line, which is still settling out -- it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

The best listing of what Harlequin, Silhouette, and Mills & Boon publish is on the Harlequin website at www.eharlequin.com. Clear at the bottom of the page is a link called "guidelines" or "writing guidelines" which will take you to a list of all the Harlequin, Silhouette, and M&B-published books. Each type of book then has a link which takes you to the editorial guidelines.

Happy surfing,

Leigh
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mn_girl_in_heart_of_dixie
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Re: What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?

Man, I am getting tired of this thing loosing my messages. Let's try this again.

Ordered my book. Will be in mid-week next. None on the shelf at Barnes&Nobles--very disappointing. Thimbellia got her copy yesterday and sent me 10 list. Will work on that tomorrow along with redoing post that got lost. Am dealing with severe bronchitis verging on pneumonia. So, my nights just got shorter, as in earlier bedtimes for the night owl. HOO! HOO! Just kidding. Anyway, I am roaring to have a go at this thing. Later.
Jeanette Isabella
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lavenderlass
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Re: What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?

Thanks for that Lee, I see now the differences and will study the eharlequin page. I haven't so far because I've been concentrating on writing in any spare moment. I must have missed your message yesterday although I was here. I'm still getting used to the board format and often read messages twice or miss new things! Still, in a few weeks time I'll be an expert no doubt.
Lynne.
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mn_girl_in_heart_of_dixie
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Re: What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?



lavenderlass wrote:
I'm still getting used to the board format and often read messages twice or miss new things! Still, in a few weeks time I'll be an expert no doubt.
Lynne.




I am sure glad somebody else is sharing my experiences with this format.
I would imagine that the time differential isn't helping you much, Lynne, but hang in there. We'll all practice and get the hang of this thing. Good to hear you are getting words down on paper/computer document.
Jeanette Isabella
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mn_girl_in_heart_of_dixie
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Re: What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?

Here is a redo of the post that I wrote earlier in the week.

What is Romance? Why do you read it?

Romance is hope. Romance is comfort. Romance is healing. Romance is inspiration. Romance is motivation. There is something very satisfying about win-win.

My latest reads have been Debbie Macomber and a multitude of Christmas anthologies. Love those multi-story books. They’re just right for a bedtime story before lights out.

I did read a Christmas story from 2005 that had me reading until after the morning alarm went off. I was so absorbed, the alarm scared me. Had no clue I had been reading that long. Even so, it had such a strong impact I reread within 14 hours without any loss of awe and wonder. It was a love story that went beyond romance.

My next read will be Julia Quinn’s On the Way to the Wedding which is the last of the Bridgerton series. I’m going to miss that family.

Every month, I go through my collections and reread one book each. The stories are still wonderful no matter how many times I go back to them. I started my collections back in the day when the neighbor ladies would swap paper grocery bags full of Harlequins weekly. You could do that when they cost $.45 each. My mother, bless her soul, was a charter subscriber to Harlequin Presents. She had every book published for nearly 30 years. She also subscribed to other Harlequin series, but would change them out periodically. I miss that constant flow of reading material. As you can see, I grew up in a house that had shelves of books in every room. I learned early the art of bookcase/book shelf making and placement. Needless-to-say, my house is no different–piles and boxes of books everywhere.

It is not a stretch that voracious reading and a desire to write would grow from that background.

This class will be a lead me by the hand to actually get something finished. Then, I can tackle all the manuscripts that are in various stages of getting off the ground.

Oh, forgot to mention my collections: Georgette Heyer, Betty Neels, Barbara Cartland (her first few years actually produced some substantial storylines), Emilie Loring, Lucy Walker, Grace Livingston Hill, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, and the old Harlequins (some of which were pretty bad but entertaining, none-the-less) When Thimbellia and I lived in the same area, we would haunt the used book stores. I am going to have to go back to that and trade in WalMart.
Jeanette Isabella
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Angeltina
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Re: What Is Romance?: Why Do You Read It?

Reading a romance novel for me is a great escape. I have enjoyed numerous novels in the past. Most have been but not limited to harlequin and silhouette series. I have enjoyed Sherilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Heather Graham, Laura Caldwell just to name a few that are not harlequin or silhouettes. After marriage and kids I quit reading for year, until a little over a year ago I picked up a Harlequin my sister had. I became hooked again. I asked if she had any more for me to borrow. She gave me a large box with about fifty books in it. Like being lost in a desert, aching with a terrible thirst, I read the entire box in less than a month. I became even more parched and it wasn't until I had started writing my own stories did I find a bit of relief. I'm not sure what draws me to them exactly. Maybe its the feeling of escape, being lost in a different life, another world for a time. Whatever the reason, I will continue to read and enjoy them.

Christina
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