I didn’t become addicted to romance novels until later in life. I married young and had three children by the time I was thirty. I did not even attempt to read until my youngest was in half day preschool because I was the person who could not put the book down and return to daily responsibilities. I knew this about myself before I even discovered romance novels. I was hooked on Brave New World, Steppenwolf, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Catch 22, and other works of fiction.
I went back to work full-time to my previous career as a teacher when all my children were at school for the whole day. After a year or so I got into the habit of coming home from work and allowing myself the luxury of reading for an hour and a half to decompress before I tackled my responsibilities at home. Romances novels fit the bill. They took me to another place, and surrounded me with characters I loved. They were the distraction I needed to tackle the rest of my day and they gave me something else to think about in place of my worries while I made dinner and loaded the dishwasher.
I loved these novels because they had strong men, stubborn women, faithful companions, and a happy ending. In these stories, the hero often believes that he has won the battle of the sexes to obtain his bride, but the female reader recognizes that the heroine let him win because she fell in love with him in spite of himself. She fell in love with the soft interior behind the hard shell. I believe most women want that soft interior.
Does this mean the hero caves and loses frame? No. The heroine only sees this vulnerable side of him because she has won his trust. The romance novels that I got hooked on were published in the late eighties before they became infected with feminism.
I am telling you about them because I Think some RPW might enjoy them. Start with an old Julie Garwood romance for a quick, easy, very enjoyable read. If you like it I can suggest others.
So did reading these novels have a detrimental effect on my marriage and my view of men? No. I recognized they were fantasy. I would never want a hero for a husband. I would worry myself sick about his welfare and I would resent his placing limits on my freedom. At the same time, reading these books did make me appreciate his alpha qualities.
So are there any other romance novel fans here? What do you recommend?