Friday, February 4, 2011

#4: the last book I read, or, bodice-rippers and the women who love them

I love romance novels.  Or, as my father calls them, "bodice-rippers."

Some people read to enrich their minds.  Not me.  The books I read are the equivalent of candy.  Light, airy, sticky candy floss.  No nutritional or educational value whatsoever.  But highly entertaining.

When buying books, I generally limit myself to a few authors that I have been reading for years. Nora Roberts, Julia Quinn, Amanda Quick, Elizabeth Lowell, Charlaine Harris and Kresley Cole are who I will shell out money for.  Everyone else I will read at the library first.  

The guiltiest pleasure, though, is Harlequin Romance novels.  You can get them at Target for about $5, or if you go to Walmart you can get the previous month  publications for less than $3.  Or you can go whole hog and just have them delivered to your house every month, like me.

Harlequins are akin to eating a box of cotton candy.  Plots you can drive a truck through (wait, they have plots?), little character development, tropes and stock characters galore.  Generally, the plot looks like this:  boy meets girl, boy misunderstands girl (thinks she's a prostitute/golddigger/drug addict/bad mother), boy treats girl like crap yet wants to have mad nookie with her, at the end of  the book girl proves to boy that boy was wrong, boy begs forgiveness, they get married and live happily ever after. Because you know, you need to get married in order to be happy.

The best (and I've read thousands, I should know) are usually the girl-gets-unexpectedly-pregnant or girl-gets-makeover variety.  Do I cringe at the predictable "you need a man to be happy" themes throughout the books?  Yes.  But I devour them anyways.

I love happy endings.  I hate reading books where bad things happen to nice people.   The Mister has been reading the George R.R. Martin series for a while now. I picked it up and started reading it, and about fifty pages in, a young boy gets thrown off a roof.  On purpose. I thought to myself, nothing good is going to happen to these people.  I flipped to the end, and lo and behold, I was right.  I stopped reading that series right there and went back to my romance novels.

In the last week I have read In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz and The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larssen. In the past month I have re-read the Harry Potter series, and I started watching True Blood on Netflix, so I pulled out the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I also have fourteen free romance novels loaded on my Kindle at the moment, waiting to be read.  I have also read 12 Harlequins but cannot remember the titles, authors or plots of any of them.


  1. I've never read a romance novel, but I think I would easily get sucked in....

  2. Thank God there's someone else out there who reads for FUN! While I don't read Harlequins, I can't count how many times I've reread the Shopaholic series. I decided about 5 years ago that I was done putting any effort into reading. From here on out I just want to be entertained :)


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