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Romance novels have a…reputation. “Cheesy books”, “only old people read them”, “they are books for lonely women” and so on. Then why give them a chance, right? Good question! That is why I came up with five reasons you should start reading romance novels and which ones to try first.
These reasons come from my personal experience with reading romance novels. There was a time when I didn’t think they were worth reading. But, truth be told, I didn’t know much about the genre back then. Only the misconceptions I’d heard from others.
That being said, the question remains:
Why don’t people read romance?
I did a little research and here’s what I found:
- They are a huge, overdone cliché.
- It makes people tend to compare themselves or their life with what they read in books, where everything seems to be perfect or at least better.
- Only old people read those.
- Only women read those, so they must not be good.
- If I read that, it must mean I’m a certain type of person.
- People will judge me.
Sounds familiar? For a more detailed view of this topic, check this out.
I actually believe there are more people reading romance novels than they admit. But anyway, let’s see why you should start reading romance novels, in case you haven’t yet done so.
Reasons you should start reading romance novels
Here we go…
1. It’s a vast genre with a lot of book tropes that carry you through many emotions.
Arranged marriage, enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, age gap, second chance romance, shifter romance, high-school or college romance, mafia, historical, sports… These are some of the categories you can choose from.
There are quite a few books that stayed with me after finishing them. I felt that they told such a powerful, moving story. They make you smile, laugh; they make you sad and angry. Some authors really know how to keep you curious and invested in the story, and you end up caring about the characters. You’ll find yourself rooting for them.
If you’re a character-oriented reader, you’ll definitely appreciate some authors’ ability to create relatable and unforgettable ones.
To give you proof, I’ll leave below two books that had this effect on me.
TIP: If this is your first time purchasing a romance novel, I advise you to first download the free sample Amazon provides you. This will work if you have a Kindle. The reason is that not all books are your cup of tea, and you may not realize that from the blurb or from other reviews. But reading a sample from the book may help you figure out if it’s worth paying for.
2. They’re not all as you think they are.
I’ve only recently realized that some people view the romance genre in a certain way. Do you also think all romance novels are the same? Same clichés, same fairytale-ish, idiotic plot, same flower-power characters…
Well, let me tell you that after kind of involuntarily watching a few romantic movies these past few days, I think the same about romantic movies. They are plain cringe-worthy.
But while I’m not familiar with the movies’ take on this genre (so I may have the wrong impression), I do know romance books.
Trust me when I say you’ll find more than what you thought romance novels are. You can find flawed and relatable characters, complex and compelling plots, situations that will pull you into an emotional rollercoaster, and more.
Of course, there are books that follow the clichés you hate in a love story, books that aren’t good quality, but you’ve got the freedom to choose what you read.
3. They have a happy ending.
I know some of you might find this a disadvantage. But think about it! Are other genres not predictable at all? Depending on the genre, oftentimes you can anticipate how the book is generally going to end. Sooo, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather know there’s a happily-ever-after waiting for me (I mean the characters) after all that’s been said and done. Especially now with Covid…
4. The community
Romance readers form a sweet community. If you enter Facebook groups (there are tons of them, by the way), you can ask about other book recommendations or even more personal matters, such as real-life relationships. Usually, they are nonjudgmental people who can relate to you.
A lot of authors are also part of these Facebook groups or have their own ones. It makes it easier to get in touch with them. In their groups, they sometimes share unpublished content from the books they’re working on or post giveaways.
5. Because why not?
Seriously, why not? Most books are affordable in Kindle format, between $3-$7. Obviously, you can find pricier books and even free ones. So pick one, start reading and see what you think. You don’t enjoy it, you put it down. Maybe try another one. The truth is, not all of them are well-written, high-quality novels. That applies to products and services in general, not just this case.
So READ THE BLURB FIRST, at least!
After that, you will know what this is about. If you don’t like it, then that’s okay. You don’t have to like everything.
Which romance novels to try first
Finally, I came up with a list of romance novels you can try if you’re in the habit of not liking them. One of them I mentioned above: Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan. As for the other one, The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders, it’s an amazing novel, one of my favorites, but be warned that you may not like the hero at first.
Okay, here’s the list:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This one’s a classic; it almost doesn’t need an introduction. The book starts with a 10-year-old orphan Jane, whose uncle (and the rest of his family) mistreats her. As the story progresses, you get to witness Jane grow into a strong woman, despite not having the easiest life. You see her interact with other children/young adults and build emotional relationships.
Obviously, one of the main aspects of the novel is Jane meeting the wealthy Edward Rochester, when she is employed as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Their dynamic is exciting and at times emotional to read, but it’s what makes the book unique and unforgettable.
I have to say this is the first book I have ever truly called my favorite. It was the first time I got so sucked into a story that I felt I was living it. Do you know that feeling when everything around you disappears, and it’s just you and whatever has your attention?
By the way, if you’re a movie fan, I highly recommend the 2011 adaptation, with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.
Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Philips
This one’s an arranged marriage in modern days. Daisy’s father arranges for her to be married to humorless Alex, or else she goes to prison. Most of the action in this novel takes place at the circus the hero works at as a bullwhip expert.
So we have a feisty heroine, a handsome hero who believes he’s incapable of love, circus life, witty and funny banter, cute interactions between characters and animals, not to mention a lot of chemistry and sexual tension between Daisy and Alex. Oh, and some unconventional side characters as well.
To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first because of the whole circus thing, BUT I ended up loving it. Who knew reading about circus life could be so relaxing?
A little warning about what it may contain, just so you know what you’re getting into. Abused hero (though this isn’t the focus of the book; the consequences of such abuse are, though), sex, hero who pushes heroine away.
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole
Beware, this young adult romance WILL make you cry! Big time!
Rune (the hero) and Poppy (the heroine) form that poetic and pure connection that takes your breath away. You could say their story centers around the idea of soulmates, but it is well written and different from the basic cliché.
So here we have a strong heroine, a loyal hero dedicated to filling every moment they have together with love, a grandmother’s original gift to her granddaughter, and lots and lots of emotional moments. It’s a different kind of book, and sometimes you may find you have to suspend your beliefs, but it is a good one nonetheless.
I haven’t revealed many details about this because I risk giving you spoilers and, in this book’s case, they could alter your experience. HOWEVER, in case you’re that type of reader who wishes to know what you’re getting yourself into at least a little bit, I will leave a content warning. DO NOT read below if you don’t want to know!
Heroine has terminal cancer. You know what that means. The ending is somehow happy, but not in the usual way.
Okay, now all you need to do is start reading. I’m curious to know what you think about these books.
Have you already read any of them? Or at least heard about them?
Tell me below:)