So many people scoff at the idea of romance books, claiming the kind of love portrayed in those stories gives people a false sense of love. They try to tell us the love authors create between the hero and heroine doesn't really exist, which is why love stories are fiction.
I feel sorry for those people because they just don't get it.
I write sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy romances. I know a winged angel from an alternate world will never appear to literally sweep me off my feet. Or that a man in gold armor will risk his life for mine. But to imagine that sort of love is what gives us belief in love. It's what gives us hope that such a love, in a more mundane world, can exist.
We don't read and write love stories just because we enjoy them. We do it because love is one of the greatest gifts anyone can share with another being, human or otherwise. Love helps us to face the day and all the difficulties it can bring. Love gives us the courage to meet our obligations. Loves makes us happy. And when real life interferes and tries to drag us down, escaping into a love story reassures us that, although the book is pure fiction, the story that's told is based on a true emotion. A positive emotion. An uplifting and often life-saving emotion.
Why do millions of readers read love stories? Because they bring a smile our faces. Because they make us laugh and cry, and heave sighs of satisfaction. And in the end, they make us crave more.
True, not every person will meet their perfect soul mate, but fictional love stories give us the hope there might be that one special someone waiting for us.
And love makes it all worth it.