3 Reasons You Need Romance Novels Right Now
Okay friends, even if you think you don’t like romance novels, I need you to stick with me here. I’m asking you to push aside all your preconceptions about romance novels and trust me. Contemporary romances are not old fashioned bodice rippers, Fabio is no where to be seen on these covers!
Up until a year and a half ago, my experience with reading romance came almost exclusively from my mom’s Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon books when I was a teenager. Then I met a book seller who has been my Romance Guru.
I’ll spare you the details here, because my journey was a long one with lots of heartbreak. Let’s just say I had zero belief in happy endings.
In the time since I met my Guru, I’ve included a lot of romance in my reading selections. Since this coronavirus crisis hit, I’ve read romance almost exclusively. I fly through them one after another. Why? Because they make me feel good. Since “good” is pretty broad and subjective, here’s why you need some romance novels in your l life right now!
3 Reasons You Need Romance Novels Right Now
1. They’re predictable.
There’s enough unpredictability in the world right now. It’s nice to pick up a book and have a feel for what’s going to happen. Initially I was frustrated by how it was so obvious who’s going to end up together. Now I enjoy going along on the personal journey of the characters and appreciate their development. Knowing they’re going to end up together is a soothing balm for my tender heart.
2. They’re hopeful.
You know you’re going to get a happy ending. As my wise guru says, “It might not be happily ever after, but it’s a happy ending for now.” It’s okay to let my heart be vulnerable and become emotionally attached to the characters. Everyone deserves a love story, and we all need hopeful stories, now more than ever.
3. They’re sexy.
Not all romance novels include sex. The physical aspect can be anywhere from hand holding to kissing to vaguely referenced sex, to full on sex scenes. As far as I’m concerned, the sexier the better! I’ve found well written sex scenes make the love story more believable and realistic. As a woman who grew up experiencing body shaming and slut shaming, discovering these sex positive stories has been really liberating. Plus, let’s be honest, it’s fun to read steamy scenes under the sheets. An unexpected benefit to reading romance has been a libido boost for me!
*note* There’s a difference between romance and erotica. Romance novels include a love story that is central to the plot, this may or may not include sex. Erotica is written specifically for sexual arousal and may or may not include a love story. (To clarify, Fifty Shades is not a romance.)
Now that I have you talked into trying out a romance novel, here are my recommendations:
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
If you don’t want a light, fluffy story, this one’s for you.It addresses tough topics such as infertility, grief, and military deployment. It’s the most realistic romance novel I’ve read so far. It’s a beautiful story of not only romantic love, but friendship and self love. It’s an emotionally complex story, funny and heartbreaking within the same page. A follow up just came out this month and it’s almost better, but you should read them in order.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This story is straight up sex, and it’s also smart and charming. It’s kind of a reverse Pretty Woman scenario. Our protagonist Stella is a brilliant 30 year old professional woman with Aspberger’s Syndrome. She needs sexual experience, So she hires a male escort to teach her in the ways of relationships and bedroom techniques.It’s steamy, and it’s also a lesson in unconditional love and acceptance, and is wonderfully sex positive. The second in this series isn’t as sex heavy, and also contains an autistic protagonist (male.)
Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Ann Long
If you’re into historical fiction, this one will be more up your alley. This is a story of two young widows who are determined to live their lives without ever again needing to be cared for by a man. The main male character is at first as big of a dolt as the women suspect. Gradually he comes aware of how these women had been brought down by shady men in their lives, and becomes determined to not do the same.
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
This is the first in a series about a group of men who read romance novels to become better partners. This is a lovely change of pace in the romance genre. I appreciate that it’s about a married couple, instead of two young people falling in love which is so common. Here you have a professional athlete turning to his male teammates for support, which is refreshing. It’s not only about this couple whose marriage is in trouble over sexual issues. It’s about family histories and how they show up in our relationships even when we don’t realize it.
I hope I’ve convinced you to give romance novels a try. I’d love to hear your thoughts!