Friday, September 29, 2006

And they lived happily ever after

I was blog hopping a bit last night and catching up on entertainment and literary “news” when I came across a debate going on at a very popular book blog. For the most part, the discussion in the comments section has nothing to do with the actual post, which was very interesting on its own, but, though fascinating, has derailed to the point I had to go back and read the whole article to make sure we’d all read the same one LOL.

In any case, one of the gazillion “mini” discussions going on is the HEA in the Romance genre and whether readers want it or not. Now, I’m sorry but, WHAT THE FUCK?


“I’m willing to accept the HEA if I can only have some more ambiguity, thoughtfulness, provocative themes and characters and issues, complexity, moral contemplation, and subversion in my Romance.”


This is the sentiment expressed by some romance readers in the argument and I have to say that what you, personally, are willing to accept *snort* and what the genre, by definition, entails are two completely different things! Also, as Harlot pointed out to me, what the hell does that mean; that only well written novels deserve a HEA and the rest should be punished with no HEA because they’re bad? I have to say I’ve read many a stupid thing, but this one... well... this one is pretty stupid LOL.


A romance novel is a novel from the genre currently known as romance. The genre has two strict criteria: the story must focus on the relationship and romantic love; the end of the story must be positive, leaving the reader believing that the protagonists’ love and relationship will endure for the rest of their lives.

To be considered of the romance genre, a novel should adhere to the following criteria:
  • the story must focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people.
  • the story must have an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.
HEA - an abbreviation of “[and they lived] happily ever after,” the phrase which traditionally ends fairy tales; it refers to the happy ending that romance novels MUST have.


Now, I believe I have been very vocal about what displeases me** about the romance genre (if not, do let me know and I’ll do my best to bitch some more LOL). And yet, despite all these things, I read them. Why? Because every once in a while I find a romance novel that is so wonderful, so poetic, so perfect that it makes up for all the previous bad ones.

And between the one hundred bad ones and the ever eluding good one? Well, I’ll usually read other genres. I love historical fiction and biblical conspiracy theories. I also love mythology and children’s books. So does that mean the romance industry has to have books to cater to my every mood and whim? Must they publish a category that includes heroes that are mythological gods falling in love with biblical secret hunters who act like twelve-year-olds? NO, it fucking means that *I* have to go read something else!

I loved Nora Roberts answer to these “romance doesn’t need a HEA by definition” claims. It’s classy and tasteful in a way that mine could never be, so I thought I’d share. (Could you guys pretend I wrote it? LOL I mean, that’s exactly what I was trying to say, and mostly the same thing minus all the “fucks” I used. :P)


“If you’re not satisfied by what’s out there under the Romance umbrella, on any of its varied spokes, it may be the fault of the writers. We’re not finding enough fresh ways to address those constants or creating characters compelling enough that you’re pulled into their story.

Or it may be that you need to step out from under the umbrella for awhile.

If you don’t have the HEA, the story slides off that umbrella of Romance into another area. And that’s fine.

I guess I don’t understand why any reader, dissatisfied with the framework, the form, the constants of the genre feels the genre itself should adjust for her needs, rather than she seek her satisfaction in another area of fiction.”


I’ll leave you with a quote that I love by J. Crusie on the topic of HEAs, and two questions:


“... best romance novels always show a woman coming to her strength and fullness as a human being, and part of the reward for the fulfillment of that quest is a strong, equal life partner. The old “I can’t live without you” always seemed so weak to me; I like the more modern “I can make it without you, but just by existing you enrich my life so much I’ll never want to.”


Do you consider a book without a HEA part of the romance genre?

If authors decided to start writing books where the H/H don’t end up together for whatever reason (hate, adultery, death, etc) would you still read romance novels?

**Summarizing: I find that a lot of it is repetitive and badly written, not to mention my huge pet-peeve about stupid characters that I swear are part of 99% of the books I read.

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46 comment(s):

Blogger Harlot said...

Yes, only the best can have HEA. Really, it's the same as only perfect people deserve happiness. *snort*

9/29/2006 06:53:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Btw, LUB Jen Crusie's quote. And Nora Roberts response! She's so classy but what she meant was, "You don't want HEA? Fuck off and read something else." LOL

9/29/2006 07:02:00 AM  

Blogger Jordis said...

LOL, this is funny. I mean, of course Romance has to have HEA! It's part of the formula of romance novels. Who would like to read a romance where the hero ends up, say, eaten by a shark? I'm sorry, that's not exactly what Romance is all about and not what romance readers want.

When you buy a romance, you might not have any idea how you will get HEA but for sure, you'll end up with one. Maybe not everything will get a resolution but HEA is a MUST, whether it's only implied, or directly stated. If you don't have HEA, that's another genre already.

Now for the second question, I've yet to read a romance where the H/H didn't end up together (is there such a book?). HEA is what sets romance apart from other genre. I would feel like I was cheated by a romance author if I get an ending without HEA because as a romance reader, that's one of the reasons why I read the book!

9/29/2006 07:24:00 AM  

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

I think romance has the theme of "love conquers all". This and its formula of HEA are what separate romance from other genres like chic lit and women's fiction. Let's look at another example, erotica. You read erotica with an expectation that you would get sex scenes. The same with romance and HEA.

For me, I don't really expect the "fairytale" ending most people want. I don't mind if the H/H don't get married in the end. I don't need a baby too, or a pregnancy, to make it a HEA. Not everyone wants children and who knows, maybe the heroine is barren. As long as the H/H stay happy together, that's fine with me already, I'm already getting what I want from reading romance. But when a "romance" author ends a book with, let's say, the hero ending up with another woman, I'm sorry, for me, that's not what romance novels are all about.

9/29/2006 08:10:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No I don't need the heroine preggers and married to her one and only prince in the end, but I do expect her to be with him at least.

So yes, I want a HEA in my romance novels.

Without them they are just fiction and should be filed as such.

9/29/2006 08:58:00 AM  

Blogger Vixen said...

I agree with C. I don't need the H/H to be married with loads of kids on the way I just HAVE to know they will be together. I read romance for the same reason I love a romantic comedy movie. It will end in a way that I am satisfied. HEA is a big part of a story for me. I read other genres if I don't care about the ending. But in all honesty no matter what genre, I would love a HEA in them all. I can't help it, I like things to be happy. But I do know that going into other books I won't necessarily get the HEA but with Romance there is comfort in knowing I will.

Love JC's quote and NR's response. That's why their books are so good, they know the genre and they know what women want to read.

Great post Trollop.

9/29/2006 09:22:00 AM  

Anonymous Desiree said...

When you read mystery novels, you have to accept the fact you'll get crimes, dead people, spy or conspiracy, etc. When you read romance novels, you know you'll be getting stories of love, commitment, HEA. Why remove HEA when it's one of the framework and structure of a romance novel? Nora roberts is right. If you want to read something else, read another genre.

9/29/2006 09:44:00 AM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

It's won't be romance novel. I can take all their stresses, as long as I am safe in the knowledge that one way or another, they'll be together in the end. If I can't be assured of that, then authors who write without HEA, should published their book as romance. There's a perfectly good market out there for chick-lit in which you're not assured of HEA or even general fiction or whatnot.

I want my romance novel to stay the way it is. Make it a painful, horribly terrible journey, but make it to HEA or I am one pissed reader.

9/29/2006 09:55:00 AM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

I meant if the book doesn't have HEA, then they SHOULD NOT published their books as romance. Publish it somewhere else, leave my romance books and it's ultimate-HEA- formula the fuck alone.

9/29/2006 09:57:00 AM  

Anonymous 2nd Amdt said...

A book without HEA is not romance; it can not be a part of the genre simply by definition.

I have stayed away from category lines that lack a sound HEA. For example, Harlequin Bombshell does not always have a HEA, but more of a "let's-keep-seeing-each-other-and-see-what-happens" ending. Not acceptable, IMO.

Heck, unless I picked up a title because of a message board post, I always skim the ending to make sure it's enough of a HEA for me, (as well as guarding against wall-bangers).

If someone wants sex in their book without the HEA, stick to erotica (which I distinguish from romantica).

9/29/2006 10:38:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

Romance, like any other genres, follows a structure. For anyone to suggest that HEA should be optional in romance obviously doesn't know what the genre is all about. Love Jenny's quote and Nora's reply. Great post, Trollop!

9/29/2006 10:40:00 AM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I'm in a huge hurry and didn't read the whole artical or anyones comments so if this has been explained excuse me but what the hell is HEA? be back to read the rest later!

9/29/2006 11:04:00 AM  

Blogger ~Anonymous said...

I read a book where there was no HEA, mind you... not a very good book. And the dude was left to take care of the baby after the heroine died. It was sad and horrrible and I hope i never read one like that again. It goes against the principle of the genre. But most of all, I get attached to the characters. When its a secondary character you know that they mint die. But witht he main characters.. doesnt happen.

Well... it did and it was horrible.
~Heather-Lynne

9/29/2006 11:38:00 AM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

OMG, now that I had some lunch and came back to read this I figured out HEA! I had a flake moment. Sorry.

9/29/2006 12:07:00 PM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

Ok, to summarize what a flake I am, I didn't know what HEA was, then I went to lunch, came back to read the full article and after I began the first paragraph its meaning dawned on me and I was so happy to answer my own question I hurried to leave a comment that I figured it out. Then I finished the article, which CLEARLY states what HEA was, so now I look like a big moron.

In my defense, it's Friday, I drank last night and only got 5 hours of sleep.

Anyway, to answer the question, would I enjoy a romance novel without the HAE?

Nope. That would be like reading a murder mystery with no dead person. WTF? There is only one “romance” that ended up with the hero leaving the heroine at the end that I like; that is Gone With The Wind. Now, I never read the book but I saw the movie 1,000,000x over and I just stop the movie before Rhett says he doesn’t give a damn and I finish the movie in my head of Rhett laughing and says, “Well it’s about time, Scarlet, that you finally figured out you are mad in love with me.” And then they live HEA.

OK, so I’ no writer and I’m sure my ending might be a little lame, but no lamer than Rhett leaving! Get off me! LOL.

9/29/2006 12:26:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

GWB,

Glad you found out about HEA lol, the first time I saw that I was like: what the hell is that? LOL

Anyway, GWTW is not a romance book. It's historical fiction with a romantic interest as a secondary story. The book is really about scarlett, how strong and selfish she is and how she comes of age as an independent woman. Sadly, the yummy Rhett is no more a main character than mammy or Ashley are.

I agree that HEA shouldn't always include kids and marriage but it should most definitely include the H/H together in the end! If not it is NOT a romance novel!

Now, I just went back to "very popular book blog" and read some replies that have kind of pissed me off *GRRRR* Will address them here as to not start a blog bitch-slapping fest on someone else's turf LOL :P

Someone wrote:

"Although I don’t believe the HEA is definitionally required by Romance (albeit expected by many readers)"

Trollop says:

I disagree with your beliefs then, as I'm sure most readers and writers of romance would. Though in truth this isn't a matter of opinion. Romance novels are identified by a couple falling in love and having a HEA, if not its not a romance but something else.

Again with this *JFC!*

Same person repeats:

"I’m willing to accept the HEA if I can only have some more ambiguity, thoughtfulness, provocative themes and characters and issues, complexity, moral contemplation, and subversion in my Romance."

Trollop answers:

Huh? Now, this is verra confusing. So you keep insisting a HEA is only acceptable to you if the book is "thoughtful, provocative, complex" and all the other things that you mentioned? So if it doesn't have those requirements a romance novel can't have a HEA, that it doesn't deserve it? That HEAs should only be for books that are well written and include moral contemplation and bad books deserve couples that don't end together? I think, perhaps, romance is no the genre for you then LOL

Now this IDIOT, err I mean, this person really pissed me off!

“It IS possible to create romances like those described by Robin and Bebe, and still follow the 2 “great rules of romance” as defined by RWA. If anyone wants to believe the opposite, I’d say this person is only trying to belittle and stifle romance as a genre.”

I think this comment is uncalled for, and quite frankly offensive, especially if she is referring to Mrs. Roberts who is not only one of the biggest names in romance, but also an advocate and a precursor of the genre.

And in any case, why would the rule of a HEA belittle and stifle the romance genre? Perhaps she should look for the definition of belittle and stiffle before running her mouth in public like that *sigh* Just a friendly suggestion *wink*

9/29/2006 12:55:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

There's a difference between a romantic novel and a ROMANCE novel. Romance is a genre like chit lit, whilst the other is a theme. ;)

I love historical fiction. One of my favorite books evah, as many of you know LOL, is THE BRONZE HORSEMAN. I will always think that book is one of THE most romantic book i've ever read (TROLLOP, NO COMMENT! GRR!). But is it romance? Definitely not! God knows just all that war stuff would make you disregard the thought LOL.

Now, i believe different genres follow certain styles/structures that help the literary world define one's work. Like in mystery, as Desiree has mentioned, you get crimes, etc. In romance, the structure is a love story between the H/H who in the end will have that HEA. It doesn't necessarily mean marriage, kids and all that rainbows, but in the end they SHOULD be together, happy and in love.

To say that the possibility of not having HEA in romance would make some kind of variety for the genre, i think that is just idiotic. I mean, come on! There are a lot of ways you can have romance with different plots without sacrificing HEA, which actually defines the romance genre itself.

9/29/2006 01:00:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

"If anyone wants to believe the opposite, I'd say this person is only trying to belittle and stifle romance as a genre."

That woman who said that to NR either doesn't know who NR is LOL or she's an idiot. I'm sorry but she is.

9/29/2006 01:09:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

HEA is a MUST when I read romance. Actually, that's one of the reasons why I read romance at all. Romance for many readers is an escape. HEA is a non-negotiable and shouldn't even be thought of as an optional thing. That's just absurd.

9/29/2006 01:28:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

I think these people demand a more "realistic" turn on romance? That the possibility that the H/H might not end up together or not everything would wrap up in la la land is something they think would advance the genre? Very confused. LOL

For me, when I read romance, I already expect that the H/H will end up together. I will invest my time, emotion with the story building up an anticipation that the characters will end up together. That's why if you give me a "romance" book without HEA, that will end up in the trash.

9/29/2006 01:45:00 PM  

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

Trollop, who was that crazy woman who insulted Nora Roberts? Did she actually said that? Some people are just not thinking! I mean, correct me if I'm wrong: Isn't NR THE biggest name in romance genre today? LOL

9/29/2006 01:49:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

"And in any case, why would the rule of a HEA belittle and stifle the romance genre? Perhaps she should look for the definition of belittle and stiffle before running her mouth in public like that *sigh* Just a friendly suggestion *wink*"

Good points, Trollop. And btw, that woman who insulted Nora Roberts obviously doesn't know what she's talking about. LOL

9/29/2006 02:21:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

CB,

At this point I would even say NR IS the romance genre LOL She's hugely popular, her books are well written, she publishes like a gazillion and three books every year.

Even someone that knows nothing of the romance world would recognize her name.

Also, whoever posted that ignorant "belittling/stiffling" comment must not know all that NR has done for the genre including walking out on the 2005 RWA ceremony b/c of her great respect for the genre!

9/29/2006 02:38:00 PM  

Blogger Dylan said...

Yes, I need for my heroes and the heroines to end up together, either married or not, but at least together and happy and in love.

I like my books to end on a happy note and if they're not going to, then they shouldn't be called romance, but just regular ol' fiction.

9/29/2006 06:02:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

I want HEA in my romance. Without it, why will I bother with romance then? Romantic novels/themes can be found in different genres not just in romance, but only in romance can I have the assurance that the main focus of the book will be the love story between the H/H and that I will get that HEA in the end.

9/29/2006 06:05:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

We all want HEA in a Romance novel because it is an escape from the real world where HEA seldom exists. What dumb asses want to change it to reflect more real life - defeats the damn purpose of "escape" in the first place?? They should become members of
BMIADA (Brains Missing In Action Dumb Asses)
Go visit a library dumbies and choose another genre - if you're so dumb you can't find one yourself - ask the Librarian. And really if you're that dumb, you probably can't read anyway.

9/29/2006 09:03:00 PM  

Blogger are you asking me to dance? said...

Would I consider a book without a HEA part of the romance genre? Maybe. I don't see why it couldn't be. OTOH, I'd also say that Gabaldon's books (of which I know some here are most adamantly not fans ;-) ) would not be considered romance novels by most people here for the lack of a guaranteed HEA (among other things, I'm sure).

I read most of the comments from the other discussion and I agree with most of what Robin (who also wrote the first quote in the blog, which I took to mean that she'd like to have good writing/complex stories and characters, etc. leading up to and including the HEA, not that only good stories deserve a HEA) posted. She clarifies her position a bit more:

Here’s where I’m coming from on the HEA debate: when Jan Butler came forward arguing that by definition Romance was about one man and one woman, the RWA definition was forwarded as rebuttal. So now, when I argue that Romance does not, by definition, require an HEA, and I put forward the RWA definition, which only requires an “optimistic” and “emotionally satisfying” ending, I’m guilty of torquing the genre to fit my own requirements? No offense, but I have a problem with that.

If having an ambiguous or complex ending means the book is no longer a romance novel, that's fine with me. I only want to know where it's shelved so I can find it. :-) But I wonder if maybe this is partly why romance novels seem to be looked down upon - that they all have to have the same type of ending would add to the appearance of formulaic-ness, I would think; I mean, for me, I tend to have slightly different/lowered expectations when I pick a romance novel (although I've been pleasantly surprised a few times by several authors). I tend to think of a lot of them as "brain candy", which is not exactly the most flattering of terms, but I think it's hard not to when they're easy to read and very similar to one another.

I also don't see why a not entirely HEA - i.e., an "optimistic" or "emotionally satisfying" ending - wouldn't be allowed; it seems to be part of the definition, as Robin has pointed out. I didn't even know there was an official definition until now. I've had a general idea of what makes a romance a romance, and as much as I love a HEA, I think it has to be earned and feel true to the characters. If a hopeful or bittersweet ending seems to fit better, I'm fine with it too (and would probably prefer that kind of ending to a tacked-on HEA that didn't make much sense, except in that it's a romance and therefore must have a HEA). I also want characters and stories with depth, even if it meant that the fairytale ending couldn't exist in such a world. But maybe this all comes down to (what I would consider) good vs bad writing.

Would I want to read a book where the h/h didn't end up together? Probably not. But it's not only in the romance genre that the main characters end up together; although, what ends up (or not) in the romance section doesn't always make sense to me - why isn't Crusie shelved in romance, for example? I would think hers follow the pattern/expectation more than Gabaldon's do.

I think there's also quite a spectrum in between HEA and broken up. I wouldn't mind seeing it explored, e.g., having the h/h end up together, but not in the easiest of relationships, or in a relationship where "I love you" doesn't cure everything. But maybe this is what Nora Roberts was getting at when she wrote that one might want to look outside the genre? Which I do...

Most of the books I read outside the genre also have a romantic element and something of a HEA - it is what I like, after all, and part of what draws me to romance books, but I don't like overly sappy endings either. Mostly, I just want the ending to fit the story, and not have to follow a formula. Still though, why can't romance books have the h/h end up together without their future being spelled out? Why can't couples of previous books who appear in subsequent ones be portrayed in a non-fluffy (dare I say "realistic") relationship while still with the sense that they'll stay together?

I think these people demand a more "realistic" turn on romance? That the possibility that the H/H might not end up together or not everything would wrap up in la la land is something they think would advance the genre?

Yes. If only to develop a little more complexity (see above). Which is not to say that writers aren't doing it now and pulling off the HEA. But then again, maybe it's like what someone else pointed out (I *think* it was NR) and it's not so much the HEA or formula that's the problem, but the lack of good writers who can be creative within the confines of the genre (or stretch the boundaries without breaking past them).

Yikes. I didn't mean to go on and on.

9/30/2006 12:56:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Hey AYAMTD!

she'd like to have good writing/complex stories and characters, etc. leading up to and including the HEA, not that only good stories deserve a HEA

I think, unless you're Trollop or a masochist, everyone wants a good story. Really, who wants to read a badly written book? LOL Anyway, we used that specific quote as a reference because it implies that HEA is only acceptable *IF* a book is well written. Which, as Trollop mentioned in the article, i disagree with. That leads us to the other point: Should HEA be optional in romance?

Why can't couples of previous books who appear in subsequent ones be portrayed in a non-fluffy (dare I say "realistic") relationship while still with the sense that they'll stay together?
I also don't see why a not entirely HEA - i.e., an "optimistic" or "emotionally satisfying" ending - wouldn't be allowed


I'm not sure exactly what "optimistic" and "emotionally satisfying" means since everyone has a different definition of it. For me, HEA means "couple happy together". It doesn't mean it should be perfect and unrealistic (why does perfect means unrealistic anyway?) or should include weddings/kids/getting rich beyond their imagination. So who's to say that a couple staying together content and in love isn't a "happy ending" already?

But I wonder if maybe this is partly why romance novels seem to be looked down upon - that they all have to have the same type of ending would add to the appearance of formulaic-ness, I would think

Like what Trollop mentioned, why would HEA "stifle" the romance genre? Because it's "formulaic"? Formulas stifle a certain genre? Hmm, correct me if i'm wrong but aren't all genres, in one form or another, have a formula to follow?

Whatever book it is, no matter what its form, there's always a resolution. I bet readers would complain if a mystery would just end with "and the protagonist continued to look for more clues" LOL. The same thing with romance. It has its conclusion which is the H/H ending up committed with each other; this is afterall a love story, all about two people falling in love.

So should HEA be optional? According to some, yes. Why? Because it makes romance predictable and therefore others look down upon it? LOL, i've yet to hear someone say, "OMG romance sucks! Look at how they always end up together!"

I think if there's something that stifles romance (or any genre) HEA shouldn't be the one to look into since a story's development does not depend on the conclusion, but on how the story was told (is it well-written with good characterization, etc). In any case, I just don't understand why *knowing* that the H/H will end up happy together HOLDS back romance. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

As Trollop pointed out to me, people will complain about any book in ANY genre if the book sucks. So the fact that H/H are together or apart doesn't matter. It's certainly NOT what makes romance good or bad. Or is it?

Hero eaten by a pack of wolfs and heroine raped by gang of rabid midgets now pregnant and with aids in mental institution. = GOOD

Hero and heroine in love and happy. = BAD? Yes. Because it's predictable. LOL

9/30/2006 05:12:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Re: why can't couples of previous books who appear in subsequent ones be portrayed in a non-fluffy (dare I say "realistic") relationship while still with the sense that they'll stay together?

I actually agree with you here. But that doesn't really have much to do with the HEA issue. They had their HEA in their own book and then their life goes on. I don't want to read about say Matt and Meredith killing each other, or Matt ending up an abusive alcoholic beating the crap out of Mer. Or Mer cheating on him with the pool boy and engaging in farm sex, and lets be honest here, those things happen and might be quite usual and realistic, but do I want my romance characters behaving in such ways? NOOOOOOO!

Now, SEP has great "roll over" characters. She makes them real and sweet and in love and yet they disagree and have arguments and sometimes might even have a bit of a separation during a subsequent book and I like that. As you say, it makes them real but its also cute b/c they resolve this issues and get a brand new and even better HEA! :D

So yes, in romance a HEA is a must; it's absolutely non-negotiable.

You want more "real" situations? Read Nicolas Sparks. All the couples in his books end up dead or sick or apart for something or other. His books are about romance but they are NOT romance novels.

And in the "real" department, why is HEA not realistic? My parents have been married for 30 years and they act like they're still in the courting stage of their relationship. I've seen this kind of love and relationships in MANY couples in my life so to me that is real. Why is real only pain and suffering, or people hating each other and dying, cheating and being abused/abusive? I never get that :/ Who says that nice and happy isn't real?

I think, as NR said, it all comes down to good writing. Romance doesn't get a bad name b/c of HEAs (this is actually the first time I've heard any reference of this :/) it gets a bad name b/c of the covers and the older versions where all the women were raped and used and the men were male pigs who wanted a maid and not a partner. And most of all, inside the genre readers it gets put down b/c of the appalling writing and ridiculous/repetitive plots. And yet HEA has nothing to do with it! A book can be fresh and new and have a wonderful HEA (like Bet Me). So the problem isn't that HEA's follow a structure or are repetitive, is how authors get there that is the problem.

And most of all, inside the genre readers it gets put down b/c of the appalling writing and ridiculous/repetitive plots. And yet HEA has nothing to do with it! A book can be fresh and new and have a wonderful HEA (like Bet Me). So the problem isn't that HEA's follow a structure or are repetitive, is how authors get there.

Now, lets say romance authors start a no HEA trend and their writing is just as bad and repetitive, the characters as idiotic and the plots ridiculous. Will that make the books good just because there is no HEA? I don't think so. FIX THE WRITING and then maybe we can talk about something else LOL

Oh god, that’s a lot of rambling up there LOL :P

Anyway, welcome to all the new posters :) Love hearing everyone’s opinions!

P.S. Outlander = bad bad book and in no way to be considered a romance novel. Sadistic, disgusting and vicious? YES! Romance? FUCK NO! LOL

9/30/2006 05:53:00 PM  

Blogger are you asking me to dance? said...

I'm not sure exactly what "optimistic" and "emotionally satisfying" means since everyone has a different definition of it.

Actually, I think that's kind of the point. I think there's a lot of range between:

Hero eaten by a pack of wolfs and heroine raped by gang of rabid midgets now pregnant and with aids in mental institution. = GOOD

and

Hero and heroine in love and happy. = BAD? Yes. Because it's predictable. LOL
:-) And I wouldn't mind if some books ended with a little more complication. Is there not room inside the romance genre for more than one type of ending? Or one type of ending with variations (and I don't just mean whether they get married or have kids)?

So should HEA be optional? According to some, yes. Why? Because it makes romance predictable and therefore others look down upon it? LOL, i've yet to hear someone say, "OMG romance sucks! Look at how they always end up together!"

It's not so much that I think HEA should be optional (although I wouldn't mind if they were), but that there can be different types of HEA, including not-so-HEA. If that makes sense. I think a mystery that leaves the mystery unsolved can still be a mystery book - how satisfying would probably be up to how it's written, I think - but a romance without a HEA? I can see why people are so opposed it. Me, I'm more opposed to the supervillain, the Mary Sues, all the superlatives attached to the h/h, the Big Mis and other obvious plot twists... If having a more complicated cast of characters means that there will be an incomplete HEA, in order for the ending to fit the story, I think I'd find the not entirely HEA preferable to a HEA that isn't earned.

I think the predictability is sometimes a problem, as much as it is a selling point. Most of the time I read romance too because I know there's going to be a HEA, but very seldom do I hold the romance books I read in as much regard as other books I read. I don't know if it's because of the constraints of the genre or because I haven't come across many authors/books in the genre that I love. Or maybe it's just that I read a lot of romance so I'm bound to come across more fluff/dreck than I am in other genres where I seem to be a lot more selective. It's not often I come across a romance book that I'm just dying to talk about; although I seem to have plenty to say about the genre as a whole ;-) .

I actually agree with you here. But that doesn't really have much to do with the HEA issue. They had their HEA in their own book and then their life goes on. I don't want to read about say Matt and Meredith killing each other, or Matt ending up an abusive alcoholic beating the crap out of Mer. Or Mer cheating on him with the pool boy and engaging in farm sex, and lets be honest here, those things happen and might be quite usual and realistic, but do I want my romance characters behaving in such ways?

Well, I wouldn't want to see it either. I don't mean that I want the complications to go to quite that extent, but surely there's some ground to cover between "and they lived happily ever after" and "they're cheating on each other"?

Now, SEP has great "roll over" characters.

I don't think I've read any of her books. Any recommendations?

You want more "real" situations? Read Nicolas Sparks. All the couples in his books end up dead or sick or apart for something or other. His books are about romance but they are NOT romance novels.

Under duress, I watched "The Notebook" and if his books are like that, I don't think they're for me. It's not that they were kept apart or that anyone died, it's how overly sentimental everything was. Ick.

And in the "real" department, why is HEA not realistic?

It doesn't feel realistic to me when it all seems too pat - sometimes the resolution is too convenient, I guess. I don't really care whether or not the ending or situations the h/h get themselves into are actually realistic, but I would like it to feel authentic - even if it's only within the story - when I'm reading.

And most of all, inside the genre readers it gets put down b/c of the appalling writing and ridiculous/repetitive plots. And yet HEA has nothing to do with it!

I think the HEA has a little to do with romance following a formula. I also think it is a little limiting if the ending is already spelled out - they _have_ to have the HEA, no matter how they get there, which I think might have something to do with the "ridiculous/repetitive plots" to fill the pages or prevent any of the characters (except the villain, of course) from becoming too dark or complicated because if whatever damage they have has to be healed within one book in order to serve the HEA, and make it believable.

OTOH, like you (and others) have said, maybe it is the lack of good writers who can write good stories within the frame of the romance story and not so much the HEA. Or maybe it's both.

P.S. Outlander = bad bad book and in no way to be considered a romance novel. Sadistic, disgusting and vicious? YES! Romance? FUCK NO! LOL

Heh. I thought it was here where someone was upset that Gabaldon didn't consider her books romances. Eh, it was probably somewhere else.

9/30/2006 07:23:00 PM  

Anonymous Serendipity said...

In my blog someone said:
I obstain from romance novels....only because I feel like life is too short to read brain candy. I want to LEARN something or FEEL something spectacular when I read. Other people just want to give their brains a break and their libido a boost. You go girl!

Now ladies, I wrote http://boredbitchyangel.blogspot.com/2006/09/my-name-is-serendipity-and-i-am.html and this is one of the reply.

Tell me ladies, do we learn anything in romance?

Do we feel anything in romance?

Huh?

9/30/2006 07:55:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

AYAMTD,

I think your points are very interesting and well explained, but again, most of them would be solved with good/creative writing and not with a non-HEA ending. If a writing is bad, the ending will be bad no matter if its happy or not.

Then again, I hate most endings to books :/ LOL so maybe I shouldn't be discussing any of this at all!!!!

Re: I thought it was here where someone was upset that Gabaldon didn't consider her books romances. Eh, it was probably somewhere else.

Yes, it was here LOL. It wasn't complaining about her not wanting her books to be categorized as romance that was the problem, but the fact that she was putting down romance as a genre AFTER she had marketed her first books (conviniently) as romance novels (which they never where). So she became popular and rich promoting Outlander as a romance (or at least her publishers did) and then she bashes the genre?

SEP:

SEP is fabulous, but a bit of a hit and miss.

Stay away from her earlier books: Glitter baby, Honeymoon (one of the worst books EVAH!), Hot Shot, Just Imagine, and I'm not a big fan of Kiss an Angel (the hero wears a cape; who the fuck wears a cape anyway? LOL) but Harlot loves it -she's weird like that!.

Lady be good is one of the funniest books I've read. It has a classic scene that will have you ROTFL!

Her Stars series is good/funny/interesting except for Dream a Little Dream (I'd rather be tied, gagged and peed on than read that book again!!!) I especially like Heaven Texas and This Heart of Mine. Her latest book, Match me if you can, was loved by many, but the hero had serious isues with anatomy and sex a.k.a. he'd never heard of nipples or a clit, or anything that wasn't his cock to be honest. Bloody selfish bastard. Not even a paragraph of foreplay! But hey, I'm in the tini tiny minority on this one LOL

Ain't she sweet is, to me, one of the best written romance books. I can't tell you that I loved it (because I didn't!), but the story is very different than what you usually find in the genre.

Out of all the books I read, romance is only around a 15-20% and most of it sucks LOL But there are some books that are wonderful and will always be in my Keepers shelfs.

If you want more recs on other genres let me know :)

9/30/2006 08:11:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Shosh,

I don't know about others but I learn from every single thing I read. Even the cereal boxes. It's ignorant to believe that any book/genre wont be able to teach you anything!

As for feeling, well that's another story LOL

When romance novels are good, they make me feel a lot of things. but for the most part the only feelings I get during bad romance novels are those of desperation and an insane desire to jump out a window or crack my head against a wall LOL

9/30/2006 08:58:00 PM  

Blogger are you asking me to dance? said...

Re Endings:

Maybe it all does come down to good and bad writing. I wonder if less genre restriction will encourage more good writing. Or, if as you said, we'll end up getting as many badly written books with unHEAs.

Despite some of my objections and wanting certain things, I think I wouldn't want anyone to write for me. Authors asking what readers want make me a little nervous.

Yes, it was here LOL. It wasn't complaining about her not wanting her books to be categorized as romance that was the problem, but the fact that she was putting down romance as a genre AFTER she had marketed her first books (conviniently) as romance novels (which they never where). So she became popular and rich promoting Outlander as a romance (or at least her publishers did) and then she bashes the genre?

Ah, I see. I guess I never saw it as genre bashing so much as wanting her books shelved where it would be most appropriate - I discovered them in the scifi/fantasy section of my library - and considering that many people don't seem to consider them romance novels, I would think they'd be for it too. Although, in light of this discussion, I don't think I'd mind if the definition of romance could include books like that ('course, I like the books/her writing ;-) . Not that I don't have issues with some of it, but for the most part, I like what goes on in them).

Thanks for the SEP recommendations and warnings. I'm jotting down the titles to check out.

When romance novels are good, they make me feel a lot of things. but for the most part the only feelings I get during bad romance novels are those of desperation and an insane desire to jump out a window or crack my head against a wall LOL

Tee hee. I know the feeling. The good thing is I've learned that it's okay not to finish every book I start. LOL. And to be more careful with new (to me) authors.

I think about 20% of the books I read are romance/chicklit, 15% scifi/fantasy, 40% YA and the rest is everything else.

I'm with you on learning something in pretty much everything I read, even if it's what not to do or what I don't like. Or maybe the reaffirmation of some basic truths/themes that come up in stories that are retold, like "love conquers all" ;-) .

Speaking of books/authors to get excited about (okay, we weren't really, but I needed a lead-in), have you read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight? It's YA, gothic, romantic and lovely. [/plugging]

9/30/2006 10:00:00 PM  

Blogger T-girl said...

You know, this is the stupidest thing I have heard today and if you have read my blog today you know that is pushing it! Seriously, wtf are they talking about? Romance with no, well, romance at the end? Lord love me I have heard it all now!

I like NR's response, go read another genre then.

I am exstatic that Romance has come as far as it has in the years since I started reading. I will admit if we were talking about 80's romance then maybe we should be talking about upping the anti so to speak, the novels of that time... well most were atrocious, although a few were rather good and live on my shelves. I love the fact now that Romance has changed, thanks to writers like JC, to incorporate a more strong characterization along with better plot. I love that a hero can be a REAL asshole and her a real bitch and yet they can come to terms with that in a more real manner... not that it is "real" but you get my drift. I don't WANT it to be real life, hell I have one of my own to live, BUT I do like to feel like it is real. There is nothing better then reading something completely sappy and asking yourself in the end... that was fiction right? I mean you know it is total bullshit but it makes you FEEL GOOD! What is wrong with that?

Personally anyone who wants thier romance novels to have a crappy ending may need to get some therapy becuase that is SAD. Can you imagine if THIS was your idea of "romance!" UCK!

9/30/2006 10:38:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Hey ARYAMTD!
Am very sleepy LOL then saw your post. :P Anyway, i agree, it all comes down to good VS bad writing. *sigh*

Btw, i love SEP and i love KISS AN ANGEL (don't listen to Trollop and her obsession with a cape!). Though for you, i think you'll like her "Stars" series better. :) I agree with all of Trollop's recs especially with LADY BE GOOD, THIS HEART OF MINE--verra verra funny! MATCH ME, not saying it's bad (i actualyl liked it better than AIN'T) but it was ruined by the poor sex scenes :S (never thought that could happen to me!).

I'm with you on learning something in pretty much everything I read, even if it's what not to do or what I don't like. Or maybe the reaffirmation of some basic truths/themes that come up in stories that are retold, like "love conquers all"

I know i've pimped this book like a gazillion times already LOL, but have you read Paullina Simons' THE BRONZE HORSEMAN? It's not "romance" but i would choose it over 99% of all the romance i've read because, not only will it show you that love really conquers all, but it was so well written, sooo good, that you will feel it too (that rarely happens to me). Amazing, AMAZING book. Hope you'll give it a try, and please tell me if you like it or not. :D

About Diana Gabaldon, i've been bitching about her here on our blog as much i've been pimping TBH. :P It infuriates me when it's actually authors who make romance genre appear like it's embarassing. I mean, WTF? I'm sorry but there's no way i'm going to think highly of authors who do that. Ms Gabaldon "I Do Not Write Romance" has been writing her Outlander series for years now; it does have all that history and sci-fi thing *snort* but her first books were marketed as romance. They're spoken of, constantly, in the context of romance (i heard they even gave out copies at the RWA conference).

What the hell is so bad about the romance genre that some people treat it like a deranged leper maniacally spreading his disease? Ms Gabaldon might be right that she is, er, a "serious" woman fiction writer (romance writers are not then?) but who freaking cares where your books are shelved? (She refused to sign books in a particular bookstore until they had removed her books under romance and shelved it somewhere else. :/) Her publishers CLEARLY made the right decision as she's famous now not to mention a bestselling gazillionaire.

I'm not saying she is a bad writer because she's not, though i'm not saying i like her writing either LOL because i despise the continuous rape in her books. We get it! Rape was rampant in that freaking time of history! But does she has to always have rape in her oh-so-important books? Ack. I heard the latest book has Claire repeatedly rape (is that true?), that poor idiotic adulteress. I don't want to think she enjoys it LOL. Anyway this is another topic already!!! :P



Hi T-girl!
I mean you know it is total bullshit but it makes you FEEL GOOD! What is wrong with that?

So agree LOL. HEA in romance, in whatever form, should not be a product of good writing. HEA is not optional and its most definitely non-negotiable.

9/30/2006 11:27:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Interesting discussion but I'm with the BBs about HEA in romance. I don't want to read a romance novel without HEA! Ugh! It's actually one of the main reasons why I love the genre. And as Trollop pointed out, how come HEA is considered non-realistic? Personally, I think HEA and romance should always go together because that's what the goal of a love story anyway, for couples to be happy in love together and committed to each other.

10/01/2006 12:18:00 AM  

Blogger are you asking me to dance? said...

Hey Harlot,

I've read TBH and the first sequel (I think it's called Tatiana and Alexander?). Haven't found the third book yet.

I liked it. I'm not sure it's a book I love, though. I liked it enough to look for the sequels and to read it more or less in one sitting, but I wasn't heavily invested in any of the characters. For me, it's on the same level as The Time Traveler's Wife, which I also really liked, but didn't love. I remember TBH making me cry and at times want to throw it against the wall, for reasons I don't quite recall now (it's been a few years since I read it), and simultaneously wanting to find out what happens next (mostly hoping that things will get better for Tatiana and Alexander). I didn't finish it and immediately want to discuss or re-read it, though, which is usually what happens when I come across a book that pings for me. I might have to read it again to see if I end up connecting with it more. Once in a while, I think I have to grow into a book or author.

I don't know why some books work and others don't. There are some things that really bug me about the Outlander series - All. The. Rape. being one of them (and yes, Claire does get raped in the latest book, which, gah!) - but I don't know... I still love her writing. No idea why it clicks the way it does for me. There's something about the way she strings her words together, regardless of what the story is, that I really like. And it's not Outlander that I love, but the later books (Drums of Autumn and The Fiery Cross), which I gather is somewhat unusual (it's entirely possible that I'm just strange). I think it's kind of the same way I feel about Joss Whedon. I'm really not a fan of horror and I like happy/hopeful endings. I don't quite know why I torture myself by watching his shows, especially when I know what his themes/issues are, but somehow I get past the monsters and embrace the pain (the pretty actors help). :-D As far as I've been able to figure out, it's his writing that I love.

I've never gotten the impression that Gabaldon finds the romance genre embarrassing or that she looks down on it (some of her readers might feel that way, but I don't think she does). I think she's said that her books sell better in the general fiction section (although I wonder if that would be the case of other more true to the genre romance books - because they're not under the romance stereotype umbrella anymore; ie, I wonder if Crusie sells better out of general fiction than romance).

I'm also not sure that her books would not be as popular as they are now if they hadn't been marketed as romances initially; after all, I found them in the scifi/fantasy section (not ever having heard of her or her books before) and wouldn't have thought they'd be in romance. I think she has said that the first book does follow the courtship/romance pattern, but the latter ones do not, which seems to also be a problem as by definition they wouldn't belong in the romance genre anyway. And her LJG books definitely are not romances (and certainly not male/female romance, if there is a love story in them), but that's where they're shelved. It seems I have come to the WWW a little late, though, so it's possible that I missed something re her attitude toward the romance genre; although, I did read about the not signing books at stores that shelve them in romance, but I don't really blame her for it - people say her books aren't romances (fans and non-fans alike), so I can see why she'd want them moved.

But it's stuff like this that sometimes makes me wish I know nothing about authors beyond what they write.

Re SEP:

Thanks for your recs, too! Now I have to read Kiss An Angel to see what it's all about. ;-) As an aside, I read one of your reviews on Judith Ivory's The Proposition - I think that's the title; it's the one with the moustache. Anyway, that d@mn moustache does have a life of its own; it kind of takes over the book... I was so relieved when it finally came off. I think I can deal with a cape better than a moustache. LOL.

10/01/2006 12:32:00 AM  

Blogger T-girl said...

Dance... I can answer your question about why it works and why it doesn't! Let's face it some authors although good in one area need to be more aware of their limitations and stay in that area. That is not to be mean but some are good... just not great. Now the FEW truly great authors well they touch it and it is fabulous. Some people just have a natural born talent at writing, some do not, some have to work a bit harder at it then others! That is just life in any job!

Hi back at you Harlot! I have missed you guys but life is just to firggin crazy right now!

10/01/2006 01:46:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

AYAMTD,
Gabaldon's earliest readers were, in fact, romance fans or, at the very least, people who enjoy juicy descriptions of bedroom gymnastics. Heh. Outlander even won "Best Romance of the Year" from RWA in 1991. I don't like genre labels really, just give me a fucking good book. And i do think that DG's books aren't romance, but she didn't have a problem with that when they first marketed it as one since romance is "by far the largest single market". :/

In any case, for a general fiction writer, she is very purplish. I mean really, "I made love to him at first like a sneak thief, hasty strokes and tiny kisses, stealing scent and touch and warmth and salty taste"? Oh LOL

Anyway, i think marketing as romance (of course when you write romantic books) is a good decision. According to the RWA, romance sells 54.9% of all paperbacks published, sells 39.3% of all fiction, which rakes in $1.2 billion per year for the industry.

This is why I think Jen Crusie sells more with romance readers especially when she is more known in the romance genre because there's where she started anyway. Of course this is all a guess LOL but many of my friends who don't read romance have never even heard of JC. :( So sad really since she is FANTABULOUS if you ask me.

About SEP, as much as i love KISS AN ANGEL, start with her "more" fun books first, THIS HEART OF MINE or LADY BE GOOD. ;) I really hope you'll like SEP since she writes wonderful love stories that are both very funny and moving. Judith Ivory, i love many of her books too. Trollop, on the other hand, doesn't--she's a heathen. Though have to say, she is right about that mustache LOL.

Joss Whedon? Oh, i lub him! Give me Buffy any day and i'll watch it with glee and popcorn! Firefly, didn't see the short-lived series since they didn't air it here but i really liked the movie (hope there would be a sequel!!! :D).




T-girl,
I was wondering where have you been. I heard from Liya that JM has a new BB. I'm guessing new BB but same people huh? What's the difference then? LOL Well, if they're having fun there, good for them really.

Oh, almost forgot! Trollop told me who your cousin is, and OMG I ALMOST DIED!!! LOL I swear, there was a time i was in lub with him. *shy* I just think he's very gorgeous, heh. Too bad he's married. If he's not, i think you might find a new stalker by me. LOL :P

10/01/2006 02:21:00 AM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

T-Girl,

Hi babe, what's up? We've missed ya'!!!!

RE: Amazing, AMAZING book. Hope you'll give it a try, and please tell me if you like it or not. :D

Anyone that believes this is truly delusional. She will shred you to pieces if you dare say anything about TBH, especially if you tell her the TRUTH about what a pig her "shura" is! So beware LOL It's preferable to lie!!!! LOL

Re: I discovered them in the scifi/fantasy section of my library - and considering that many people don't seem to consider them romance novels, I would think they'd be for it too.

Good God yes, shelve the far far away from the romance section LOL. Maybe in the sadistic rape and torture section? :P

I think that had I known Outlander was a historical fiction book, instead of believing it was the most beautiful romance ever, I would feel different about it.

Re: have you read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight? It's YA, gothic, romantic and lovely. [/plugging]

"In Twilight, an exquisite fantasy by Stephenie Meyer, readers discover a pair of lovers who are supremely star-crossed. Bella adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love. But Edward is having a hard time controlling the blood lust she arouses in him, because--he's a vampire. At any moment, the intensity of their passion could drive him to kill her, and he agonizes over the danger. But, Bella would rather be dead than part from Edward, so she risks her life to stay near him, and the novel burns with the erotic tension of their dangerous and necessarily chaste relationship."

OHHHH that sounds like a book I'll love!!!! I really like vampire books. Thank you soo much for the rec. Want to order now, but afraid it wont get here before I move to madrid *sniff* I just hope I'll be able to get it there!!!


Re: No idea why it clicks the way it does for me. There's something about the way she strings her words together, regardless of what the story is, that I really like.

I agree with you 100% I think DG's writing is fabulous. It has a flow and a rythm that kept me reading all the way through the first AND the second book. Incredible how I was repulsed by the story but her writing style had me hooked!

Re: But it's stuff like this that sometimes makes me wish I know nothing about authors beyond what they write.

After we started this blog and I've seen what goes on in "blog land" with authors and writers and the things they say and do to each other I wish I knew NOTHING of them LOL I have a list nay long of authors (some I really liked) that I will no longer buy. I refuse to encourage their tasteless behaviour with my hard earned money LOL.

10/01/2006 03:31:00 AM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

Good discussion ladies. Personally, I think romance should always go hand in hand with HEA. I don't want to read a romance book without HEA and I especially don't want to read a romance where the hero or the heroine end up with another person! I also don't need kids and marriages but they're welcome if they'd be included.

10/01/2006 12:32:00 PM  

Blogger are you asking me to dance? said...

Hey Harlot,

In any case, for a general fiction writer, she is very purplish. I mean really, "I made love to him at first like a sneak thief, hasty strokes and tiny kisses, stealing scent and touch and warmth and salty taste"? Oh LOL

Heh. I guess I must like her shade of purple. :-D

If you get the chance, watch Firefly. It's wonderful. Different, a little, from the movie, which was great in its own way. As much as I love Buffy (and that would be, A LOT), Firefly has its own brand of specialness and I think might have had the potential to surpass Buffy in terms of the story, characters... pretty much everything, for me at least. I think it took Buffy until season 2ish to really come together; Firefly did it within a few episodes. And the commentaries are a hoot, as is the gag-reel (especially the extended version, which is probably still floating around on the net somewhere; it's not on the DVD, for some strange reason). Which is more bonus for getting the DVDs ;-) .

Have you seen this? It's Alan Tudyk speaking about/making fun of Wash and what happened in the movie (trying to avoid spoilers; there are also a few references to what happened in the episodes). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hb9sk16t14&mode=related&search=

Trollop,

Thanks for the warning. :-D

If you like Twilight, there's a sequel out called New Moon, and another one due out October 2007 called Eclipse. (Just plugging away ;-). Have you read Robin McKinley's Sunshine? It's a bit of a different sort of vampire story.)

10/01/2006 01:20:00 PM  

Blogger T-girl said...

oK, LADIES! STOP! Inform! LMAO I missed something here and there is just to much to go back yet again and try to figure out WHO the author is and the actual book names you all are recommending! Can you all be nice to a blond girl and put author name and book titles for me on one comment! LMAO I know, smack me around and call me lazy but I seriously keep going back trying to find it and I am so lost now I am not sure I can sign out!

Harlot- No comment! I don't go there actually, seriously since they moved bored I can not even lurk for reason I probably should not meantion here, so to be honest I have no clue who or what is there! Liya would be a better indicator of the people there! Oh, and the next time we talk I will make sure to plug your case for you! LMAO Seriously not sure how to bring that up btw. "So I know you all just had a baby but I met this girl she is from the PI, she'd like to bare you another one!" LMAO Not sure how to broach it, I will think on it and let you! LMAO

T- kisses! I have been thinking of you lately and your impending adventure! We have to "do lunch" (LMAO you like that?) before you go! Hum, maybe I should figure out a way to like, come and carry your bags and shit for you! I am so jealous!

10/01/2006 07:12:00 PM  

Blogger are you asking me to dance? said...

Books/Authors that have been mentioned:

- Gone With the Wind

SEP (Susan Elizabeth Phillips):
- Lady Be Good
- Star series (except Dream a Little Dream)
- Heaven Texas
- This Heart of Mine
- Match Me if You Can (w/ warning of bad sex)
- Ain't She Sweet
- Kiss An Angel (on which the vote is split 50/50)

Paullina Simons
- The Bronze Horseman, and its sequels (I believe it's a trilogy, at least for now), one of which is called Tatiana and Alexander. I can't remember the title of #3.

Jenny Crusie
- Bet Me
- and all the rest of them ;-)

Audrey Niffenegger (or something like that)
- The Time Traveler's Wife

Diana Gabaldon (ducks at the tomatoes :-D)
- Outlander, etc. (Although I also like her LJG books, which aren't romance at all)

Judith Ivory
- The Proposition (not my favourite of hers, but it was still readable/enjoyable except for the facial hair. I like most of her other books; I think I've read all of them except Angel in a Red Dress - which I believe is a re-issue of Starlit Surrender - and Bliss and Dance, both of which are out of print)

The vampire rec's:
Stephenie Meyer
- Twilight
- New Moon
- Eclipse (not out until October 2007)

Robin McKinley
- Sunshine

Oh, and Nora Roberts, of course, who has too many to list.

Also, Joss Whedon. Who doesn't write novels, but writes very good TV.
- Buffy (and Angel)
- Firefly (sigh)
- Serenity (the movie no one's heard of, based on the TV show no one watched. Still waiting for the sequel...)
- and a plug for the Astonishing X-Men comics (w/ John Cassiday)

Now I actually have to do some studying.

10/02/2006 01:09:00 AM  

Blogger Sparkling Cipher said...

I read romance novels for the HEA. That's the point. If I don't get that, then I'm very disappointed. The book has not delivered what I wanted from it. This was the case when I was given a book where the hero realized he loved the heroine, only to die, leaving her alone and miserable. When I complained that it was depressing rather than sweet, I was told, "Well it's a gothic romance."

Ugh, not the same.

Loooove the Nora Roberts quote. True, got her point across in a very classy way.

10/02/2006 10:36:00 AM