I found myself surprised at how funny I found—for the most part—her commentaries, and even more shocked at how much I agree with some of what this Leanne Bell person has to say. Yes, a lot of it are mostly uneducated guesses about a literary (yes, Leanne, LITERARY) genre she doesn’t know, and another good portion is copy/pasting repetitive views of those who believe romance is trashy, badly written and formulaic. But while taking shots in the dark, she stumbled upon some truths that I believe most romance readers and authors try to pretend don’t exist.
Here’s the article (with some of my observations) for your consideration.
Romance Novels: Marriage Manuals
Any man who wants to know what women really want should read a romance novel. They are as close to a marriage manual for men as you’re never going to get. (Trollop: Quite agree!)
You only need to read one. They’re all the same. Go to any thrift or second hand store; you’ll see scores of them along the back wall, and each one will only set you back about a quarter. Buy one of the thin, discreet ones with the red covers, and if you’re too embarrassed, rip off the cover. No one will ever know. (Trollop: I could write pages on end about ignorant people that like to comment on things they know nothing about. *sigh* Wonder how many romances this woman has read to say they are all the same? And if they are indeed all the same, couldn’t we say something similar for murder mysteries, detective stories, holocaust and WWII themed books as well?)
If you do read one, you won’t be alone. If you sneak a glance at what the women on the rush-hour subway are reading, chances are you’ll catch sight of titles like “Passion’s Sweet Embrace”, “My Irish Love”, or “Donovan’s Bed”. That’s because in spite of what feminists would have you believe, romance novels are phenomenally popular, so much so, in fact, that they make up nearly half of all paperbacks sold worldwide every year—and net their publishers nearly $3 billion annually. (Trollop: “Donovan’s Bed”? JFC, I almost fell off my chair laughing when I read that! If any of you lovely bitches are reading books with names like these, I shall be forced to disown you! LOL)
Women’s fantasies? As much as some men would like to believe that women, like the ones they see depicted in pornos, fantasize about having sex with each other, the reality is that most women fantasize about three things: passionate lovemaking, marriage-worthy love, children by the men they adore. (Trollop: I thought this was so funny because that’s exactly what my BF thinks women do. LOL)
And that’s precisely what romance novels deliver. A gorgeous, sexy, intelligent and warm hearted man falls madly, hopelessly in love with an independent, fiesty, beautiful young woman. They flirt, tease, and eventually make explosive love to each other. The story ends with either a proposal or an actual wedding, and sometimes a pregnancy. And they live happily ever after. The end. (Trollop: Now, that she has down to a T. Romance novels are not the same in plots, themes, characters or the way they are written or developed but the truth is, that paragraph up there pretty much sums up the genre—and an even bigger truth is that that’s what we readers want and we do not want it to change.)
But here’s the rest of the story... Romance novels are sexually graphic, politically incorrect, and more often than not, describe seduction scenes in which the heroine is totally, helplessly submissive to a dominant, sexually experienced man. They describe everything from oral sex to full penetration, sometimes bondage, sometimes safe sex, sometimes wild abandon. The heroes are unashamed of their desire and the heroines are flattered by it, and the stories are held together by breathless, butterflies-in-your-stomach passionate love. If you want to step out of the reality of a feminist-controlled world and into a time where women are "taken" by their mad-with-desire lovers, and like it, then get your hands on one of these books. And if you see a woman reading one of them, believe me, this is someone you want to date. (Trollop: Yep, right again. I think this is slowly changing in newer contemporary romances but, for some reason, even if the heroine is experienced sexually in romance books, the hero is still the great dominant seducer. I like it, so authors can keep that story line coming. *g*)
These books are admittedly too simply written, too predictable and melodramatic, too one-dimensional even to ever be considered literature, but the sentiment behind them is admirable: the unapologetic pursuit of values like love, sex, marriage and children. Women want these things desperately. Given the plethora of reading material out there, they are drawn over and over again to these simple stories of passion and seduction, love and marriage, to the escapism of a world populated by women they want to emulate and men they can adore. (Trollop: Sadly, I have to agree on some of this. A good portion of romance novels ARE “too simply written, too predictable, too melodramatic, too one dimensional” to even be considered decent writing! I don’t know how some of these books get published, to tell you the truth. But, ladies, when a writer gets it right, in my humble opinion, there is NO better genre. I would say that 50-60% of the Rbooks I read are pure rubbish. Around 20-30% are entertaining and well written enough. And then, there’s the magic 10%; those are sitting in my keepers shelf.)
The sad thing is that the majority of romance novel readers are married women, women who, for whatever reason, get their fill of love and romance from the pages of pulp fiction rather than the arms of their husbands. Whether this is a failing on their part or on that of their husbands, I don’t know. Maybe more women need to acknowledge their true desires and seek out men who arouse these feelings in them, instead of curling up with a book while the man they’re married to slumbers on. Maybe more women need to admit that this is what they want from marriage and stop worrying whether they’re betraying so-called feminist ideals by fantasizing about tumbling into love. (Trollop: Now that’s just pure BS. Neither Harlot nor I are married and we love reading romance. And even if we were, what does that even mean? What about men reading biographies; does that mean they want to live the lives of the people they are reading about because something is lacking from theirs? Or if they like to read detective novels, are they all frustrated because they wanted to be a cop and never made it?)
Labels: romance baby