Friday, September 23, 2011

Falling in Love with the Romance Genre...Again!


UPDATE: The randomly chosen winner of a copy of IMPROPER GENTLEMEN is Di! Please contact me through my website with your mailing info.

To everyone else, thank you for commenting. I hope you'll pop by and enter my contest where you'll have a chance at winning an ARC of SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER (Jan 2012)!


from Mia Marlowe
I've always been an eclectic reader. Even though I write romance, I'm just as likely to pick up a mystery or a fantasy novel for my private enjoyment. I've even been known to burn through one of my DH's techno-thrillers.

But for the past few months with my book club, I've been dipping a toe into the murky waters of mainstream fiction. You know what I mean. These are quasi-literary tomes. They're Oprah picks and the darlings of the media.

While they're admittedly well-written, they are also almost universally depressing.

It makes me wonder afresh why the romance genre takes so many hits from the media. I used to think it was because of the sensual component in our stories, but I don't any more. My book club titles have sex scenes aplenty, but they tend to be joyless, coercive and demeaning. I'm more likely to say "Ew!" than "Ah!" after reading one.

I think the world discounts romance because of our insistence on a "happily ever after." My book club novels are not at all safe on this score. There's no guarantee that a satisfactory ending will be achieved. In fact, it's almost certain things will NOT end well. Sometimes, the author has to go to extreme lengths and make his character behave stupidly in order to insure there can be no HEA.

So I'm wildly in love with romance. No matter how terrible things seem, I can count on the romance author to figure out a way for everything to turn out right. In an uncertain world, I'll take all the certainty I can get.

Sebastian Blake, the Duke of Winterhaven, has good reason to mistrust women. It's why he never keeps one longer than three months. With each turn of the season, he dismisses his mistress with a generous parting gift as per their agreement and finds a replacement. Until Arabella St. George bursts into his life. She's the most intriguing woman he's ever met, and since she won't sign his three month contract, the most irritating as well.

If you're looking for a guaranteed HEA, give A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS a try.


What book have you fallen in love with lately? Leave a comment for a chance to win my latest release IMPROPER GENTLEMEN!
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35 comments:

  1. I've said that I'll read everything from Faulkner to the back of the Cheerio's box and enjoy it all but I have to admit I lean more toward romance and mystery and never read the back of a granola cereal box. Hoping that when my woman's fiction hits the shelves next fall that it changes your mind on those dark, depressing reads with no HEA's!

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  2. Hi Mia! I totally agree. I love romance too. And even when I read other genres, I'm secretly hoping for some romance. How silly is that? When I write Urban Fantasy, romance always creeps in and then I end up wondering if I just completed a paranormal romance instead. Long live romance!

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  3. Carolyn--Women's fiction is different than what I'm talking about. WF stories are about relationships of all sorts--mother/daughter, friends, as well as romantic ones. The field is a bit wider in the books I've been reading. I doubt you have a scene where the protagonist has a meaningful relationship with his couch. No kidding, one of the "ew!" scenes in THE CORRECTIONS involved a blue velvet loveseat and a guy by himself.

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  4. Casey--Romance in some form finds its way into almost all other genres. Even my DH's techno-thrillers have some stilted guy-style romantic components. In a recent post-apocalyptic fantasy I read, the author felt compelled to add a "Thanks for saving me from the cannibals" sex scene between the male and female protagonists. Sheesh! Can't a couple just come together for love?

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  5. I tend to fall in love with 99 percent of the books I read. But lately, Thea Harrison grabbed my attention. I read her "Dragon Bound" that captivated me so much that I went out and got "Storm Heart". And this is a book series with a great deal of romance in it. I wouldn't want my books any other way. ;)

    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

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  6. I'm i9n a book club and sometimes the books are so depressing I don't finish them. I don't mind a sad book once in a while, but not every month. I am really enjoying Ashley March's ROMANCING THE COUNTESS.

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  7. Mia, I'm so with you. I don't want to be depressed after I finish reading a book or seeing a movie. I am totally a happily-ever-after kind of girl. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy general fiction I do but if I've heard a book is depressing I don't buy it, and I don't buy horror. That stuff scares me to death! :-)
    Amelia

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  8. Mia, when I was growing up I loved literary fiction, including the dark, depressing stuff. But lately, I just don't see the point in spending my precious reading time contemplating the sad stuff. There's enough of that in real life! And just because a book has an HEA doesn't mean it can't have depth and meaning!

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  9. Don't enter me as I am to receive your book although I am waiting for it to arrive :) I too read a variety. My daughter is really into Oprah picks, and some are quite "draining" reads. I don't require a HEA but they are nice. Sometimes it is the ones that aren't so HEA that stick in my head the longest (not always a good thing). I recently discovered Katheryne Kennedy's Elven series and have fallen in love with it!

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  10. I enjoy a depressing book every once in a while, because I love that books can evoke all emotions. I do prefer HEAs for the most part, though. I recently read Don't Mess With Texas by Christie Craig and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  11. I've recently read several that I've Loved - they have the Romance & the HEA: Nora Robert's Bride Quartet series & Madeline Hunter's Lord of Sin + Lady of Sin.

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  12. Lady Vampire--That's when you know the book moved you--when you go out and track down the author's backlist!

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  13. Mia,
    Carolyn, here again, and "ewww" is right on that scene. YUK...don't think I want to read that one, and I've never seen a couch that damn sexy!

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  14. Hi Mia - I read pretty broadly - everything EXCEPT Oprahesque/mainstream, it seems! - but the last books that made me bounce up and down in my tennies like a little girl were Julia Quinn's JUST LIKE HEAVEN and Anne Stuart's latest House of Rohan book, SHAMELESS. I don't mind dipping into the dark side, and love seeing heroes and heroines pulled through the emotional wringer, but I really want that HEA ending.

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  15. Shana--Not all the book club picks have been horrible. I really enjoyed PILLARS OF THE EARTH--a big meaty doorstop of a historical. It's the nihilistic contemporaries that make my eyes cross.

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  16. Shana--Not all the book club picks have been horrible. I really enjoyed PILLARS OF THE EARTH--a big meaty doorstop of a historical. It's the nihilistic contemporaries that make my eyes cross.

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  17. Hi, Mia! I read other genres sometimes, but I am a 100% romance fan girl! Even when I'm reading something else, I'm always lookin' for a little love :-)
    I read my first Jill Shalvis book the other day and I LOVED it! It was Simply Irresistible-- and it was, indeed, simply irresistible! :-)

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  18. Amelia--I'm with you on the horror, though I do enjoy a good suspense story. I just don't like it when horror writers go for the gross out!

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  19. Joanne--Absolutely. Some of the deepest insights I've ever read were in some of Sherry Thomas's romance novels.

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  20. Catslady--I love Kathryne Kennedy's Elven world too. If you're one of my recent readers, would you please email me with your mailing through my website and I'll check to make sure your book is on its way.

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  21. Anne--I still remember the deep, visceral sickness I felt the first time I read Outlander and Jamie had been so horribly abused. I couldn't see how Diana Gabaldon could ever get her characters over that trauma, but she managed to heal them and their relationship. And delivered an HEA to boot.

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  22. Di--I love Madeline Hunter too. She makes me forget I'm a writer.

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  23. Tamara--Me too. I can follow a hero and heroine through almost anything as long as it all turns out right in the end.

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  24. Chelsea--Jill Shalvis is great, isn't she?

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  25. Chelsea--Jill Shalvis is great, isn't she?

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  26. I fell in love with Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas, Beauty and the Duke by Melody Thomas and My One and Only by Kristan Higgins. The thing about books is that falling in love with many is actually a good thing.

    Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  27. Hi Mia!
    I am definitely a reader who love's love in my stories:) Life can sometimes have too many disappointments and moments we can't control... at least with the books I read, I have some control and I always look for the HEA. A book that I've fallen in love with recently is... Waking Up With the Duke by Lorraine Heath. It's a fantastic story!!!

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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  28. i think all things we can say we fallen in love :
    1. we can't stop reading the book and it's happen when i read catherine anderson's books.i don't know but seem like there's a magnet that attracted me to continue reading till the end and something it's not enough n want more
    2. we like being in the book n see firsthand the scenes that in the book when i read julie kagawa - iron fey
    3. adorable hero - johanna.l n lisa. k
    4. scene humor - julia.q

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  29. There's a kind of literary fiction that's sitting on top of the bestseller's list for months that is NOT a downer, but I'd still rather read romance.

    The more I write romance, the more I appreciate how complex and challenging "the formula" is, which just makes me appreciate books like "The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie" by Jennifer Ashley all the more. Terrific premise (the Scottish Victorian hero has a version of autism) beautifully executed.

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  30. I mostly read romance every now and then I will switch off. I also enjoy reading a sad book from time to time because we all need a good cry every now and then. I have been in a reading slump lately and nothing has really jump out at me. I am still enjoying the books just need a good aaaaah moment in a book.

    lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

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  31. Na--I got to spend a little time with Kristan Higgins at the CTRWA meeting I spoke for last Saturday. She's just as wickedly funny in person as she is in her fiction.

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  32. Yadkny--Just the title WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE makes me smile!

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  33. Eli--I haven't read Iron Fey but the title is intriguing.

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  34. Grace--I so agree about Lord Ian. Who would have thought to have a historical hero with Aspergers? Jennifer Ashley handled it realistically and sensitively. I haven't talked to anyone who's read the book who wasn't pulling for Ian to find happiness in a big way.

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  35. Virginia--I understand the value of tear jerkers. They are cathartic. But after Message in a Bottle, I'll never read Nicholas Sparks again. He committed the cardinal sin, IMO when he had his hero behave in an uncharacteristic and frankly stupid manner in order to avoid an HEA.

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