What do you want out of romance?

I read romance because a romance gives me that warm cuddly, awwwwww feeling.  I love that feeling.  It’s the same feeling I get when I watch Bruce Almighty or The Return of the King.  (That kiss at the end?  …. whoa…)

I read romance because it’s going to be about a guy and a girl who fall in love and live happily ever after.   There will be issues.  It’s not much of a book if there’s not some sort of trouble in there, but they will resolve it.  They will fall in love and I know there’s a promise of a happy future.  It doesn’t have to end with orange blossoms and white lace as the heroine walks down the aisle.  But I know it will end with them together.  (This trend lately that have romances that don’t end HEA…as in the H&H not together….???  Don’t like it.  I avoid those books at all costs.)

I read romance because of that happily ever after.  There are very few things that guarantee a HEA.  I love sci fi and fantasy but I’m not guaranteed a HEA.  One of my fave fantasy series is the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey and several of her books have ended with one of the main, if not THE main character getting killed.  Still love the books, but when I’m looking for a HEA, I’m not going to pick up a fantasy unless its one I’ve read before and I know what I’m getting.   The Stardoc books?  Anybody that knows me knows that I’m a total Stardoc junkie and I’d read SL Viehl’s grocery list if she let me.  However…if you’ve read Endurance or Rebel Ice, you know that she doesn’t always end her books with that cuddly awwwww feeling either. 

No, if I want that  awwwww feeling, it’s gotta be a romance.  I don’t read them for the sex, although when the love scenes are well written, they add to the story.  They enhance it, the same way a good sex life enhances a happy marriage. But a romance book, whether it’s erotic, mainstream or inspirational, shouldn’t be all about sex.  A good erotic romance will steam up the pages, oh yeah, but it isn’t all about sex.  It’s about a couple of people falling in love.

I don’t read them because I’m miserable with my life and I need the escapism.  Quite the contrary, I have a wonderful life.  I’m married to my high school sweetheart, we have three beautiful kids and we can afford to take a vacation every now and then to someplace nice.

I don’t read them because I can’t comprehend ‘deeper’ books.  I can comprehend them just fine, but they appeal to me about as much as…oh…. an ice pick in my ear.  Not at all.  I don’t need ‘deep’ books. Deep translates to depressing.  Deep translates to the same kind of reality crap I can see on the news.  I don’t need The Lovely Bones on my bookshelf.  That. Book. Was. Depressing.  End of discussion.  When I want deep, I read my Bible.  If I want depressing, I can watch the news. When I read…I wanna relax. I want romance.  Some people I know have given me that haughty little sniff, oh…so you read romance?  I read real books.  Uh…last time I check, romance was real.  It happens in the real world, right?  People fall in love and get married all the time.  Some even stay married.

Real too often translates to lit. I can read lit and understand it pretty friggin well, but it bores me.  I don’t like being bored.  If it doesn’t bore me, it depresses me.  I hate being depressed even more than I hate being bored.

That’s why I read romance. It’s entertainment.  It’s relaxation.  It’s a feel good thing because I know true love will triumph.

 I’ve seen too much reality. I’ve lost a child. I’ve taken care of battered, abused children in my job as a pediatric nurse and before that, I worked in nursing homes. I’ve watched people die while I stood by their bedside.  I grew up around crap I don’t, and won’t, discuss.  So I’m familiar with reality and I have no trouble dealing with it.

But when I’m reading…I want enjoyment. That’s why I read romance.  What about you?