Five Awesome Romance Things

bookofawesome3dIntroduction first: In case you were unaware of the 1000 Awesome Things blog, Neil Pasricha was at a down point in his life a couple of years ago, and decided to cheer himself up by blogging about the good, often unnoticed, things in life.  When gas prices go down just as you need some gas.  When you turn a pillow onto its fresh side.  The fact that we exist.  When a cashier opens a new cash line.  You know – awesome things.

1000 posts and 3 bestsellers later, the blog is over.  In (belated) honour of the 1000th post, I decided to write about the awesome things in romance.  It’s been a good exercise, because too often I focus on the annoying or tedious in romance novels.  But despite the bad stuff, there are many reasons I stick with romance novels, and they’re all awesome (in my opinion, anyway).  So here, counting down, are my Five Awesome Romance Things.

5. You can’t please everyone, but you can please someone. Publishing is a transient business.  Just think of all those thousands – no, millions of books that clutter used bookstores, books that are in and out of print, remembered and forgotten.  But what’s great about romances is that even 999 people think a book’s absolute crap, there’s probably at least one person who finds it awesomer than Kraft Dinner.

4. The 50-cent find.  You’re at a garage sale in northern Ontario.  You’re rummaging through piles of books, dirt in your fingernails.  There’s another copy of a Nora Roberts, and there’s yet another Barbara Cartland.  But wait…is that – no.  Can’t be.  It is – it is!  It’s that Incredibly Hard-to-find Romance that sells for $50 on eBay!  And it’s only 50 cents on the side of regional road 60!! That moment, people, is pure awesome.

3. The Warm Fuzzy Feeling.  The ending of Reforming Lord Ragsdale, when Emma sees John.  When Wulfric pops his head out of the water and Freya hugs Christine in Slightly Dangerous.  The Sondheim and Elvis restaurant moment in Bet Me.  Whatever and whenever it is, it reaffirms the conviction that these two people are made for each other, and that everything will turn out wonderfully, and awesomely, for them.

2. Taking chances, and getting dividends in spades.  Hey, we can’t read everything.  I’m sure everyone’s had at least one experience of trying out an old favourite or new hot thing, and finding that it’s just not working for them.  But sometimes the gamble pays off, and oh, the benefits we reap.  If it’s an old author, then you have the pleasure of a lengthy backlist to anticipate and relish.  And if it’s a new author, then just think of all the awesome books to come.

And the number one Awesome Thing in Romance Novels is…

1.  They exist.  Think about it.  We have European aristocrats, cops, architects, authors, sculptors, market analysts, vampires, entrepreneurs, farmers, thieves, hawk shapeshifters, soldiers, assassins, ghouls, apocalyptic horsemen, and debutantes.  We can read in the city and country, in the Hebrides, Alberta, Seattle, New York, Marseilles, Hong Kong, Sydney, Auckland, South Africa, Egypt, Albania, Bath, Portugal, and Barbados.  The stories are set in 960, 1812, 2012, 2079, or none of the above.  Books that have lots of sex, and books that have no sex; stories with gore and stories without.  Suspense, historical, contemporary, paranormal, inspirational, western, futuristic – we have it all, and no matter how they turned out, they were written to give a little happiness to our lives.

There’s no doubt about it: Romance novels are awesome.

There are so many more reasons, but now it’s time for your turn.  What’s awesome about romance?  (And by the way, you don’t have to chip in with an awesome at the end.  But if you did, it would be, you know, awesome.)

- Jean AAR

20 thoughts on “Five Awesome Romance Things

  1. We can LEARN things from romance novels, whether it is how we would like our significant others to treat us, or how to pluck a chicken (Yup–don’t remember the title or author). And that’s awesome!

  2. We can LEARN from romance novels how to beguile a beast and how to
    tame an impossible rogue, this knowledge is very handy don’t you think?
    The one thing I don’t think I will be able to LEARN to do is “shapeshift”.

    The wonderful thing about romance novels is it takes you away from television and 24/7 news.

  3. Romance books bring us together for fabulous discussions. After reading a book that I have questions about or just want to talk about, I can come to AAR and that’s awesome!

  4. The happy ending. I love the joy of a happy ending. And the love stories – when well told a love story re-captures the magic feeling of falling in love. What could be better?

  5. The world can be unpredictable, crazy, and sometimes cruel. In Romance books, no matter how tortured the hero/heroines histories, I know I will get a happy ending.
    And that is awesome!

  6. They help you relax. There is something so very satisfying about knowing a book is heading to a HEA. Sometimes, life requires a bit of an escape and there is no better place to go than a romance novel where you might have a bumpy ride, you might end up crying, but things will always work out in the end. Love it.

    Also, about the Learning theme, yes! Absolutely. A few weeks ago, someone asked “what do you call a hat maker? There must be a word for that” and, like any reader of historicals, I was able to answer “a milliner” without skipping a beat. I looked very smart.

  7. I have a few books I keep close at hand to read when I feel blue. They’re like old friends, no matter how long it’s been since we last met we get right back into the groove of BFF. Romance novels take me on a journey of love, adventure, friendship and even sometimes heartbreak. I started reading romance during my residency where I sometimes needed short intervals of rest and escape. I read such drivel back then, but I also discovered Georgette Heyer, Carla Kelly, Robyn Carr and many others whom I think of as the “Mothers” of my best pals.

    It is a great day when I have a new romance novel from a beloved author, a long bus ride or a free day and everyone is out of the house so I can read to my heart’s content.

  8. It’s awesome that libraries carry romance novels.
    It’s awesome that so many romance authors are historically accurate in their writing so I can learn history while I enjoy a good read.
    It’s awesome that new high-caliber romance authors keep appearing (think Sherry Thomas, Courtney Milan).
    It’s awesome that Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn are still going strong.
    The AAR website – now that’s REALLY AWESOME!!!!

  9. They last. Books from decades ago are still cherished and raved about — which is why we have those incredible 50 cent moments. And it’s a 2 for 1 — you get that incredible rush when you find the 50 cent copy of The Windflower and then you get that incredible rush when you read it and damn, it is a great as everyone said! (Of course this is not infallible, but wth, if the book doesn’t work for you, you can pass it on and make someone else’s day.

  10. Romance novels often cheer me up. When my grandmother was ill i read a romance novel and it made me feel better.

  11. They are great for rereading. I waited 10 years before I started rereading.Sure, some don’t pass the test of time, but for me, many have and it’s been a lot of fun.

  12. I especially agree with number 4. There’s no feeling quite like finding that one out-of-print book that everyone’s raved about for ages; case in point, I found The Windflower for 50 cents at a library sale. I also found a lot of old Carla Kellys at a used bookstore that I got for credit and only had to pay tax. Now that is awesome. Also…finding that an author that did not work for me a couple of years ago drawing me in now. Non-romance readers are missing out.

  13. Number 4 hits home for me. I still remember 8 or 9 years ago the feeling I had when I found Suzanne Brockmann’s non Harlequin very old backlist (before they were re-released) at a thrift store except for the one selling for $50 on ebay. I was wanted to tell the the cashier do you know what I found. I went home and I think I read them all that weekend.

  14. One of the most awesome things about romance novels, to me, is their focus on relationships. Not just romantic relationships, either, but also relationships between friends, family members, or even mortal enemies. In fact, since I know I’m always guaranteed a HEA for the main couple, sometimes I find the other relationships in romance novels even more interesting.

  15. The incredible number of things I learn from romance novels especially about other cultures and times. And to feel with the characters knowing absolutely well that at the end there is a HEA is awesome

  16. The escape to a different world where men were men! I love reading historical romance for that reason! The heroine could rely on her hero to take care of everything for her and protect her always. Today we have so many freedoms but along with that comes so many worries! I like to escape to this fantasy world where men are almost always rich, powerful and incredibly handsome! Awesome!!

  17. Another thing I love about romance novels is the values they portray like honor, friendship, loyalty, fidelity and above all Love :)
    All of that and still exciting! Awesome…

  18. I found SEP’s The Copeland Bride at our local Salvation Army. I know it’s going for more than she thinks people should pay.

  19. I couldn’t agree with you more! My fab five romance list is: 1) happy endings, 2) exotic places I’ll probably never see, 3) a man that even my mother can like, 4) a great escape from an otherwise boring afternoon 5) living vicariously!

    And if it makes me laugh, that’s a plus!

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