“Do you read romance?”
If you ask most readers if they read romance novels you will be answered with a very firm no, they don’t. The term ‘romance novel’ conjures up images of Barbara Cartland in fluffy pink and formula stories with a damsel in distress rescued by the dashing hero with a chaste kiss and ‘they lived happily ever after’ as the ending. Fortunately romance has come a long way since those days.
Romance authors are as varied as the types of readers who enjoy reading the novels they produce. The sub-genres of romance now include historical, paranormal, urban fantasy, sexy, suspense, intrigue and futuristic, as well as erotica. Many people read what publishers define as romance without even realising that their favourite author falls into this category. Authors such as Nora Roberts and Linda Howard may have started as romance writers but lucky for us their novels have gone beyond the happy ever after endings one would expect from a romance novel and have embraced the changes women have made in living in the twenty-first century.
Romance is edgy, sexy, hot and—as thousands of Sherrilyn Kenyon and JR Ward fans will attest—a whole new world. Romance can also be funny and very much a modern day look at the problems we all face … just read a Jenny Crusie novel if you don’t believe me. So if you read any of the abovementioned authors, or any number of the hundreds of others I have not mentioned here, then its time to stand up and be recognised. There is no longer any shame in admitting you read romance as there may have been in the past, even if you have not realised the books and the authors you have been enjoying are in fact romances; especially when you realise that, overall, romance is probably the highest selling genre in fiction today!