Why do I love romance novels so dang much?
I have asked myself this question a bunch. It’s so funny to finally answer a question that I haven’t ever really challenged myself to stop and think about. Part of me wants to say, “because I just do.” Isn’t that enough? But another part of me is really curious. Why have I consumed more romance novels than I can possibly count? Why is my appetite for them insatiable? Why are they a constant in my life?
Maybe the answer is in that last question. Maybe it’s because they have been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. My first book bingeing memory is when I read “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” and I viscerally remember the sensation. I was lost so eagerly in the pages. I felt like I was a part of the world and it spoke straight to everything in my tween self that was confused, yearning, and excited all at the same time. Although it wasn’t a romance it ignited an appreciation for a feeling of transport within the pages of a book that has never left me.
My next book binges came around age thirteen in the form of historical Sunfire romances that I have now rediscovered after thinking maybe I’d made up their existence. They are each titled for the lead female character who is usually fifteen and in the midst of major historical moments (think a sinking Titanic, the Civil War, or the American Revolution) and the need to choose between two boys who represent very different paths for her. I consumed these like candy back in the day and they started an addiction that has followed and sustained me ever since.
For many years, I thought I would only ever read historical romance because of those early experiences. I was almost a snob about it, thinking that contemporaries had nothing to offer me. Boy, times have changed and I love contemporary romance just as fiercely. I wish I could remember the contemporary that changed my perspective.
Time to circle back around and really answer the question I opened with. I love romance novels because they are constant. They give me hope every single time. They are predictable in the way that I want life to be: with a happily ever after. I get to meet people who I might not meet in my real life and feel like I really know them--I know their fears, vulnerabilities, and hopes. Romance novels have been a refuge that I can always, always count on. And, I am so honored to contribute to the genre in whatever way I can--with my dollars and now my own work!!
PS: once I rediscovered the existence of Sunfire, I treated myself to three titles. Check out their covers! Classic!!