I have a love/hate relationship with romance novels. As humans, we strive for acceptance, companionship, but mostly love. Anyone who says otherwise is probably a sociopath. Romance novels have always had a huge impact on the way couples perceive relationships, from sex to interpersonal communication. Seriously, think of how many times people reference romance novels for…well anything.
Bottom line: women love them because they want the loving companionship the couples in the books have; guys hate them because they are a completely unrealistic standard for them to have to measure up to.
I mean seriously? Have you ever actually examined the covers in the romance aisle? Every single man looks like Fabio (whether it’s historical or not) and the girl is always clinging to, splayed across, or being gripped/pinned down by him all while wearing a ridiculous face of ecstasy on her face as if the mere touch of his gross (in the German sense) muscles drive her to…uh…that.
I don’t know about you but I am not a fan of the overly bulky muscles. However, you give me something like these fine gentlemen below and I can guarantee you I would turn into the self-conscious mush brained women that are usually depicted.
But moving on…..
There are a lot of things wrong with romance novels, particularly historical romance novels. Unrealistic heroines are a big one. Seriously. If women in the past would have acted like these “strong, independent women” from the novels, they wouldn’t be seen as fiery or passionate. They would have been shunned. And what about pregnancy and STDs. Where are all the STDs and bastard children? The way these men gallivant about spreading their seed, you think there would be a lot more missing daddy’s about. And these men make sure the syphilis keeps their memory alive every time the woman tried to move on.
Before I get too ahead of myself on things that this article isn’t suppose about, I should get to the point. I can deal with the inaccuracy of society, behavior, and venereal diseases along with unwanted pregnancy for the sake of it being a romance novel.
So…what is my real beef with romance novels?
Yes, you read that right. Bathing. I have picked up novel after historical romance novel and essentially every single one of them has one thing in common (besides the straight white couple feature) and that is the woman always ends up taking a bath at some point in the story. And every single time, it destroys any hopes I had for enjoying the novel.
Why, you may ask? Why would I care about such a small minuscule scene among so many others? Because it is so unrealistic that it make me want to punch the nearest person. These romance novelist just love to write bath scenes, so much so that it has undoubtedly become a cliche. More often than not, the reason the female ever bathes is so that it can somehow cause a scene between the couple. Whether it be a fight or sex, or maybe a fight than sex, or maybe just sex…Regardless, there always seems to be some tension that is created from said bath scene. I assume this is because the author isn’t creative enough to come up with anything else.
After awhile, I just want to shake these editors and demand why they keep printing such material.
I should probably stop now while I am ahead…
What do you have a serious problem with when reading?