Up Close and (un)Conventional – Why I Read Romance

Posted 22 February, 2017 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Discussion Posts / 38 Comments

Up Close and (un)Conventional - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Up Close and (un)Conventional – Why I read romance

Welcome to this week’s Up Close and (un)Conventional. This is where I discuss both things that have to do with reading and blogging, and things that just have to do with life in general. This week, I’m going to chat a bit about the reason why I read romance. I was totally inspired by Deborah @ Debbish.com’s post about why she doesn’t read romantic fiction.

Sometimes, I think there are ways we may be swayed a little by what we read, and at the same time, it’s the escapism that always gets me. One of the  main reasons why I read romance, even being happily (not all the time!!) married myself, is to feel those feelings of newness. At the beginning of a relationship, it’s like all our senses are heigthened, and that’s partly what I search out in romance novels.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about… The awareness, the butterflies in your tummy, the looks, the chemistry. All those things that make you think he (or she) might be just as interested in you as you are in them. And then, the first date, the first kiss, the first time you make love. It’s just all so very strong! And I love it when a character can make me feel those emotions all over again. And somehow make me fall in love with Mr. Lex all over again at the same time.

I think the other thing I appreciate in most of the more recent romance novels I have read is the friendships. I have read a lot of Jill Shalvis, Lori Foster, Kristen Ashley and Shannon Stacey among others, and friendship is important in their stories. So is suspense for some of them. And if there is some suspense to spice up the romance, I’m all for it. And the lure of a possible HEA (happily ever after) is not one I’m averse to, as I think that with work and dedication, it is possible to be happy more often than not. Even with our significant other.

And some authors even manage to make their romance be about much more than the beginning! I am thinking of Ilona Andrews and their Kate Daniels series for one. There is so much going on with that series, but I still think romance is an important aspect of the series anyway, and one I really enjoy. The fact that Kate and Curran have been together for more than one book and still seem exciting and hot to me is another thing I love about them – and the series.

What about you? Do you read romance? If yes, have you thought about why you do it? If not, is it because you find it too formulaic? Or just that you prefer gore to cuddles and sex in your reads?

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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38 responses to “Up Close and (un)Conventional – Why I Read Romance

  1. Oh yes, I totally read romance. *shakes head enthusiastically* But I don’t read it ALL of the time. Those are the books that I pick up (probably) only two times a moth usually. Sometimes I get really into it and will read a ton of it, and sometimes I barley read any. I’m starting to get a craving for it again though, so it’s a good thing that She Wants It All is coming out soon! 😉

    Anna @ Adventures with a Book Nerd recently posted: Babble From a Book Nerd: The Periods Have Run Away
    • I don’t read romance all the time either, or I’d be completely burned out and jaded, I’m sure. I do read a lot of books with romance elements in them, though. Romantic suspense is quickly becoming one of my favorite genres 🙂
      Who has written She Wants It All? You got me curious, Anna 😉

  2. Ailyn Koay

    I love relationships in general, not just romance. of course some lovey dovey makes my heart go warm, but we all know that love comes in many shapes and sizes.

  3. Here comes Miss Romance Hater! *giggles* I don’t enjoy reading about romance and I hate sex scenes in books…I just skip ’em. I feel that too often, a good story is shoved to the background so we can get pages of love angst and sex scenes that add nothing interesting to the books. My pet hate is sitting down to read an action packed kickass urban fantasy adventure and finding that it is swamped with sex and romance and should have been marketed as PNR instead. I feel ripped off by wasting my money and not getting what the blurb says. I much prefer reading apocalypse and disaster fiction and zombies, where the plot usually dominates any romance. I’m ok with the romance if it doesn’t overshadow the main plot. Sometimes. Maybe…? *laughs*

    • I’m OK with both romance and sex in my books if there is a lot of other things going on, Chuckles! I enjoy the hotness, but there has to be more to the story than that, or I’ll get very bored. Shocking, no?
      I definitely understand getting mad if you start reading a book that’s pushed as UF and it’s romance galore with a bit of magic and werewolves. And I think stories are always better if they have strong characters and a complex plot, too.
      Hehe, see, you don’t hate romance as much as you think you do :p

  4. Berls

    Well you know I love a good romance and I think it’s for a lot of the same reason you listed Lexxie. I like the falling in love aspect. That’s something great about being in love and, despite the work, the type of love you have in a long relationship. But FALLING in love, *sigh* it was great to live through and I enjoy reading it.

    Great post Lexxie 🙂 Have a great Wednesday (Wednesday evening? Thursday? LOL)! {{HUGS}}

  5. Having a romance in a story makes a book all the better for me, but I did figure out that I can get bored if I read only romance so I tuck in history, thrillers, mysteries, and sci-fi fiction in my escape read pile.

    Like you I enjoy the fun of seeing the romance first start to happen and seeing all types of love exhibited and all sorts of relationships.

  6. I like a mix of gore to cuddles. I do read a lot of romance, but it tends to be ones full of action. I like a story that has a large plot outside of the romance, which is one reason I don’t read a ton of contemporary romances, but more romantic suspense and PNR. I like the parts of the romance that you mentioned, but not as much as I like the other parts of story. Like you mentioned, I love Kate Daniels and several others that fit into that same UF genre too, that also have a lot of romance in them. Great topic.

    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted: Betrayal Audiobook by Aleatha Romig (REVIEW)
    • You know I like my gore, too, Melanie 😀 which is funny, because sometimes, the gore transitions right into some smexiness and my eyebrows rise so high they disappear in my hair 😀
      Romantic suspense is really great, I think the suspense even heightens my senses to a point where the romance becomes even better in some ways.

  7. As your blogging wifey, I think you know exactly how I feel about romance…and I read it for the same reasons you do. I think we both prefer having a story with a side of sex & cuddles, we both want strong characters and strong character development. And I take great pleasure in getting to know characters, what’s important to them, etc., all the while watching them fall for that perfect “one”. *sigh* Yeah. Good stuff. 😀
    Happy Wednesday, wifey! **LOVE** & {{{BIG HUGS}}}

  8. Heck yeah, I read romance! I love the escapism, and the actual romance, and the HEA. But I think what I love most is that I can relate to it so well. I don’t think I will have some big old romance like in so many romances, but just the basic idea of finding someone to spend your life with is great. And I love how romance is so much about the WOMAN being happy! And whether or not that includes a man, isn’t the point.

    • I don’t even pay attention to the stereotyping that goes with romance anymore. It makes me laugh when either fellow students or fellow teachers ask me what I read – because I’ll definitely tell them. Then, many of them put on their snobbish face and act all surprised I’ll read those kinds of books. As if English majors should have fun 😉
      I love the promise of HEA as well, it soothes both my heart and my soul.

      Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted: Safe & Sexy #5 – Roman
  9. A resounding YES! I read it not to escape-I don’t like that phrase-but because I’m a romantic. I love happily ever afters, I love reading about blossoming love and all that entails. Suspense, when it’s good, adds something to the story, that I don’t get out of life and that’s why it’s fun to read. Great post! ~Aleen

    Lampshade Reader recently posted: Comparing Covers #3: Pride and Prejudice
    • I guess escaping can sound bad, and that wasn’t my intention, Aleen. I love my life, but reading is my escape from everything else I kind of have to do – reading is fully a choice, and it’s my great pleasure to have the books I want to read, and the time and the space to enjoy them 🙂
      I agree that the suspense aspect that is present in some romance stories adds something extra to the story, and the different layers always amaze me.

  10. Before reading your post, I never gave much thought to my reason for reading romance. Your post got me thinking and I realised that I read it because it makes me feel relaxes and it produces a happy feeling.

  11. It’s interesting, I can’t recall reading romance really until I started blogging. I mean, I read Danielle Steel when I was like 17ish because I had to, but I hated it. That was my first intro to romance that I can think of, so maybe it soured me. But I read Home is Where the Heart Is and loved it, but that wasn’t really considered romance. That was the closest I had come though. Then I read The Time Traveler’s Wife, which i still my favorite book to this day. I started reading the Stephanie Plum series that kind of counts, I guess. Then some of Tami Hog’s suspense novels that had romance. Wow, blogging really did get me into romance. Crazy.

    Christy LoveOfBooks recently posted: The Turn by Kim Harrison
    • Kate and Curran are fantastic together. And I actually enjoy it when we stay with couples longer than the beginning, because it shows that it’s possible to keep some of the romance as the relationship progresses, and the normal, everyday lives are front and present instead of the newness.

  12. Thanks for the shout-out and I completely get what you’re saying…. In fact I can vaguely remember the butterflies etc… from my own romantic experiences. (Such as they were!)

    I haven’t heard of the authors you’ve mentioned but I’m also meeting a lot of new authors at the Australian Romance Readers Convention!

  13. I love romances too for exactly the same reason. It’s funny because IRL I’m not in a relationship nor am I a particularly romantic person, but I just love the feelings that a romance book can give me. The touches, the glances, the swoons! And they always ALWAYS manage to make me smile and help me de-stress, so why not?

  14. Thank you for sharing this with us, Lexxie. I know exactly what you mean and it is beautiful to read it from another person who feels and thinks the same about reading romance. I read that genre myself as long as it isn´t too kitschy. Yes, I am no fan of that but of real romance for sure.

    Beste wishes
    Vi @ Gone With The Books

  15. I read a lot romance waaay back when I was a teenager and thoroughly enjoyed it. But I had a very rough first marriage and when it all fell apart for a very long time, I wanted nothing to do with it, even after I met and fell in love with my 2nd husband. These days, I’ll enjoy the romance so long as it isn’t the main ingredient – and I do HATE triangles with a passion as well as the couples that start all snarky with each other even though you know they are going to get together… (yawn). But when it’s done well with a real spark and sense of originality, then I’ll happily read books containing romance – so long as they are served up as a side order and the main is plenty of action, adventure and mayhem. Great article Lexxie:)

  16. Lorna

    I used to read nothing but romances years ago. Then I graduated to romantic suspense/thrillers and even the occasional paranormal thrown in. Then Twilight happened and while I was late to it, it did start me reading paranormal romance and from there urban fantasy. After starting to blog pretty much all paranormal, I started following blogs where contemporary romance was being reviewed. Now I am hooked, so I jump back and forth between the two genres with an occasional romantic suspense thrown in. I love a good HEA and UF with a good romance is always a plus(Mageri series).I guess I am just a pure romantic at heart-one who strayed a bit over the years. Great topic. Btw, I am still not getting emails from your blog:(

  17. I do read romance! More contemporary YA romance than NA kind of stuff, but I do dive into that now and again. I kind of read all genres, and love them all for different reasons. But I like romance because I love a good happily ever after, and sometimes I’m just seeking feel good nice reads which restore my faith in love and humanity.

    Olivia Roach recently posted: Bluff [Book Review & Giveaway!]

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