Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why Romance Novels?

Posted by: Danube Adele

The very first romance novel I ever read was Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts when I was in junior high. My mother was an avid reader of romance and handed the book over, likely to get me out of her hair so she could read her own romance novel, and from that first book, I was hooked. Never again was there a moment in my life that I didn’t have my nose buried in a romance novel, usually a Harlequin. Never again did I ever go to school, on a vacation or even to the doctor’s office without a romance novel, or several, in hand. As I think about the thousands of novels I’ve likely read to this point, I realize what an important role they have played in my life.

               One of the best parts of a romance novel is the predictable happily-ever-after ending that can be counted on when you open page one. I can’t underscore the importance of this convention of the genre enough. There’s always a sense of emotional safety when reading one of these novels, which allows you to emotionally invest in the main characters, know them, love them, relate to them, all the while knowing that no matter what problems they face, it will turn out all right in the end. You can leave them behind knowing they’ve been taken care of as you turn the first page of your next book. Real life has enough drama, angst, uncertainty and pain, without having to add to it in my choice of literature. Being able to read a great book that will leave me feeling happy and fulfilled is simply delightful.

Romance has always had a healthy medicinal quality. What genre is more soothing after a rough day at work? What genre is more comforting? Romance is a sure way to help me let go of stress and reach for peace and contentment. Reading about love, watching the interactions between a rough and tumble cowboy and a feisty city girl, or a quirky 19th century heroine trying to tame the wayward habits of a rogue, gives me a vicarious thrill, a way of becoming part of another world I’ve always wanted to live in that doesn’t allow me to enter with the problems of my real world. My mind and body can find a calm place, which is more healthful all around. I call it reading therapy.  

Most significant in my life, the romance genre has high standards when it comes to its heroes, their values, and how they’re expected to treat women. This was a wonderful way for a young girl to gain an education in what to require of a relationship with a man, and to have it reinforced year after year, book after book, starting from a crucial age. Respect. Tenderness. Friendship. Passion. Support. Courtship. Too often in today’s society, women allow themselves to be treated without care, without gentleness, as though they aren’t the most special person to their spouse or partner. I’m thankful that I was so influenced by the novels I’d read because, though it took some time to weed through the frogs, I was patient and refused to settle for someone who wouldn’t treat me as we both deserved to be treated. I met my prince, and we’ve been worshipping each other for fourteen years.

Thanks for stopping by today. Tell me your thoughts! What does romance mean to you? Do you remember your first book? Author? I’d love to hear from you.

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 Danube Adele wrote her first romance at the age of seven when she penned the story of her dogs falling in love and having puppies. She’s been dreaming up romantic tales ever since. A lifetime resident of southern California, she spends time playing at the beach, camping in Joshua Tree National Park, and hiking Mammoth Mountain. Always a lover of adventure, she and her husband took their sons on a cross country road trip to Florida and back in an old VW Westfalia, that had no A/C, in the month of July, and still, it continues to be the best trip they ever took. Extensive travel and trying new things has kept the creative spark alive. Danube lives in Claremont with her biggest fans, her loving husband, amazing and wonderful identical twin sons, and a teddy bear of a Rottweiler. Her debut novel, Quicksilver Dreams, Book 1 of the Dreamwalker series, was released January 6, 2014, and Dreams of a Dark Summer, Book 2 of the Dreamwalker series was released June 9, 2014. Currently, she’s anxiously awaiting the release of her third book of the series, Dreams of a Wild Heart which will be out December 15th..
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Coming soon!!!
Book #3, Dreamwalkers
Release Date: 12/15/14
Pre-order links:

5 comments:

  1. Terrific post! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  2. Thanks! It's just such a unique genre. (-;

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  3. Ooops! Someone who "would" treat me as ... Accidentally put wouldn't at the end, but I'm at work and can't fix it. (-;

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  4. The happy ending is a promise that the author makes. Nor is romance the only genre that makes a promise to the reader. In mystery, not only must the mystery be solved but there must be justice. In fantasy, the forces of good pretty much always defeat the forces of evil.

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    Replies
    1. It's good to be able to count on those conventions unique to each genre. They're comforting, like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket.

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