In Defense of Fans of Romance Novels

Last week I was working on adding books I’ve read on my  eReader to my Goodreads library when I encountered an interesting dilemma. My Kindle library. My library is full of books that are deemed “less-than” by some and I didn’t want to expose my reading choices for fear of being that person. As a result, I have decided to fight against this feeling, woman up and expose myself to the world.

Hello, my name is [Redacted-I don’t trust the internet], and I love to read Romance novels.

Before you scoff at my choice of reading material, please allow me to explain my love for the genre. I enjoy seeing how the main characters will fall in love, their climatic breakup, epilogues, the fantasy and humor in romance novels.

Love, unlike any other subject, is an equalizer. Regardless of the class standing, age, gender or orientation of characters in a Romance novel all are made the same by the sacrifice it takes to love. In Romance novels we get a glimpse into their inner struggles, insecurities and fears that love may evade them too. When I see a character shed their doubts and take a leap into love I feel their joy, when a couple breaks up I feel their pain. The delicacy needed to develop a believable storyline that makes a reader empathetic with the main characters is another aspect of Romance novels I enjoy.

For some Romance, novels are too cliché, but I live for the peace that they provide. A Romance novel storyline typically includes a climax where the main characters breakup. It seems that nothing can go right for them and that they are going to live the rest of their lives alone unless something grand happens. I live for this part of the book. I know that the couple will make it, but the split second I fear they won’t keeps me reading Romance Novels. I don’t like books that make too drastic of a twist at the end and standard Romance novels always provide a happy ending.

As mentioned, I don’t like to read books that make too drastic of a turn and as a reader I hate being left with the unknown. My imagination runs too wild for me to guess what happens in the end. So the fact that many Romance novels include an epilogue works perfectly for me. The happy endings provide a window into a flawless alternate universe where everything works out perfectly. The fantasy provides a brief escape from reality that I can immerse myself. Along with the fantasy, most Romance novels include lines that are so cheesy that I can’t help, but laugh while I read. I love cheesy humor, and Romance Novels are full of one-liners that have made me laugh until I cried.

I am not delusional; I understand that Romance novels aren’t reality just like fans of Fantasy and Science Fiction know that they aren’t real. It’s not like I dress up as characters from my favorite Romance novels and write fanfiction about them. When it comes to real-life matters of the heart, I am more of a romantic skeptic than a romantic. I believe that Romance happens to people, just not to me. I do read other subjects, Mystery, Christian Fiction, Historic Nonfiction, Biographies, etc. as well but that will not stop my love of Romance Novels.