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- Hide Preview | 49 Comments | submitted 4 months ago by [deleted] [Post Locked]

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?

[-] Banincoming 37 Points 4 months ago

Thoughts on some claiming that romance novels have the same effect on relationships as porn? In that they can cause unreasonable expectations etc.

[-] Kara__El 14 Points 4 months ago

Even the steamiest erotica predominately ends in marriage and children. It's a major component of the fantasy for most women. The same can't be said for porn.

[-] AleaIacta666 3 Points 4 months ago

that's why I eventually quit reading those books for the most part because the plot is always similar.

Usually you have troubled man because he's got a dark past, was cast out by his tribe, is known to be problematic and dangerous. Of course he's either a wealthy Chad or he's poor but actually a prince who got scammed by some evil antagonist and in the end he will get back what's his.

The woman is innoccent yet sassy and she's so special "the one" and will get him out of his shell and connect with him. She has tamed him and is the only one being able to do so. of course he only has eyes for her and the relationship is mongamous. But it usually ends with that. They get each other and the book is over. What happens within the next 30 years is irrelevant.

[-] sw167947 9 Points 4 months ago

My mom is into reading, and they’re mainly the romance novels with the “spice”. It can have the same affect. I’ve “caught” her multiple times.

[-] [deleted] 3 Points 4 months ago

I think most women realize these stories are fantasy. I suppose it could be harmful to a relationship if a woman compares her mate to the hero and finds him lacking.

[-] immaculacy 2 Points 4 months ago

There's no way a book can be as harmful as porn. The Savanna Principle tells that part of our brains can't differentiate things we invented after we evolved. Porn makes us think we're really there, watching people have sex in front of us. At first, that thought it like whaaat? But then it's common sense... we think that about all screens. Horror movies are scary sometimes because they could be right there. Porn makes us think the people are in front of us, real people we are right next to being so extremely promiscuous, and that is harmful. Romance novels shouldn't hurt unless there are other things going on. The romantic personality an avid reader can get would probably play out onto the man they love... in a good way. They would want romance and think their husband is a prince. Nothing wrong with that.

[-] merel-- 8 Points 4 months ago

I think that's bullshit. Porn has a bad influence on young men because they don't learn about 'normal' sex. Most women know relationships are very different from romance novels because everybody around us has relationship problems. Relationships are normal to talk about but sex is still a taboo.

[-] immaculacy 1 Point 4 months ago

Of course.

[-] loneliness-inc 8 Points 4 months ago

There's no way a book can be as harmful as porn. The Savanna Principle tells that part of our brains can't differentiate things we invented after we evolved. Porn makes us think we're really there, watching people have sex in front of us. At first, that thought it like whaaat? But then it's common sense... we think that about all screens. Horror movies are scary sometimes because they could be right there. Porn makes us think the people are in front of us, real people we are right next to being so extremely promiscuous, and that is harmful. Romance novels shouldn't hurt unless there are other things going on. The romantic personality an avid reader can get would probably play out onto the man they love... in a good way. They would want romance and think their husband is a prince. Nothing wrong with that.

This is utter bullshit for several reasons.

  1. Porn, Instagram, videogames and romance novels don't create unhealthy expectations, they merely accentuate them. All those unhealthy ideas are already in the male and female psyche.

  2. I think it's silly to compare porn to romance novels. The two aren't at all the same. I'd compare porn to Instagram and Facebook etc. Men want sex from women, women want attention from men. Porn gives men an unhealthy, exaggerated, unrealistic dose of virtual sex and Instagram does the same for women with male attention.

  3. Whether someone thinks they're really there or not is irrelevant. Who cares? Why is this an issue? Especially if they don't have a partner to have their needs fulfilled.

  4. I watched plenty of porn and had plenty of sex. They aren't the same. Not even close. Not comparable at all. Real sex is so much better than porn. If someone chooses porn over real sex it's usually because there's a ton of bullshit to Wade through to obtain real sex, making the juice not worth the squeeze.

  5. The real serious harmful element of promiscuity is that which has been brought upon us by the sexual revolution. The prevalence of porn is just a symptom of this, not the cause.
[-] immaculacy 5 Points 4 months ago

Your comment was almost 100% irrelevant to what I said. The only relevant part was when you said "who cares" if people think the tv is going on in front of them.

You don't have to be so rude, especially when you're not even going to talk about what I wrote. You almost completely agreed with me except to say "who cares," and you didn't even explain why there's no difference.

[-] Kara__El 2 Points 4 months ago

I actually love your comparison of porn to social media. Dead on. My husband and I don't watch porn or engage in social media for exactly these reasons.

[-] loneliness-inc 1 Point 4 months ago

????????

[-] __Some_person__ 2 Points 4 months ago

A lot of these things (porn, violent video games) change your pulse, breathing rate, adrenalin and even affect brain chemistry. Studies regularly show that. Thing is, if you measure it half an hour after things go back to normal for almost all adults. This is something studies show but no one zeroes in on as it's not as interesting of a fact. For a small percent of people though, it's much different and they develop addictions usually.

[-] WonderfulandValuable 2 Points 4 months ago

I think truly expecting a "hero" (What is your definition of one one anyway;) ) shows a complete lack of maturity and feeble mind.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

Don't understand why you were down voted. I laughed at your comment. Totally agree with your statement.

[-] WonderfulandValuable 1 Point 4 months ago

I do not mind the downvotes. Maybe my tone was too sarcastic.

[-] Zegiknie 14 Points 4 months ago

Historical romance novels are the solution to the feminism-infected ones! Some even feature time travel to increase the feminism vs alpha male thing. Fun :-) As for unreasonable expectations, that one doesn't happen for me (my husband is always way cooler than the hero of the story), but I also know a woman who threw hers out after getting a LTR because she felt they held her back. It ís porn-ish enough, I think, to be a bad influence. But you can also use it to boost a low libido and improve your relationship.

I think the good or bad influence just differs a lot per person.

[-] [deleted] 3 Points 4 months ago

Not all romance novels are erotic. Some are quite tame. I like a novel that taps into the emotional aspect of sex more than one that describes the physical act. I think it is the sexual tension in these stories that appeals to women, especially if you have been with one man for a very long time.

[-] xosomeblonde 12 Points 4 months ago

I love romance novels, and I also write them. Big fan!

[-] [deleted] 3 Points 4 months ago

I also write romance!!! Hello!

[-] xosomeblonde 2 Points 4 months ago

Hi!!! We should be romance writing friends!

[-] [deleted] 3 Points 4 months ago

Yes!!! I hang out at /r/eroticauthors a lot because r/romanceauthors is generally very slow. I also joined my local RWA chapter recently and it’s okay, though I feel odd because I’m the youngest person there by 10 years so idk if I’m gonna go back

I’m always looking for romance writer friends! I am also self published :P

[-] xosomeblonde 1 Point 4 months ago

Yay, that’s awesome! I don’t have many author friends so this is exciting. I’m only 23 myself, so we’re probably in a similar boat there, too.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

Have you had any luck in getting them published?

[-] xosomeblonde 3 Points 4 months ago

I self-publish! I currently have two out. They’re doing shockingly well for zero marketing/ads.

[-] [deleted] 2 Points 4 months ago

That is terrific! Congrats on success in a very competitive market.

[-] xosomeblonde 1 Point 4 months ago

Thanks so much!

I really want to improve and write more so that I can do that and have a passive income. Makes for good housewife stuff in a day and age where that’s so hard to afford. Plus, when kiddies come, I can write around naptimes and whatnot.

Always thinking, lol. My man is super duper supportive of my silly dreams, though! :-)

[-] AleaIacta666 7 Points 4 months ago

I only read them when I was young because the plot is quite similar in most cases. But I understand the underlying patterns and their appeal.

​

I still remember a few titles but I don't know if you can still get these books today because it has been ten years or more since then.

- The Irish Princess by Karen Harper and the following books from that series

​

- Julia Quinn - How do I Marry a Marquis

- Kinley McGregor - MacAllister Series

​

- Lara Adrian - Midnight Breed Series

​

[-] MrsRaulDuke 2 Points 4 months ago

The MacAllister series is amazing!

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions. I will check my library for these books.

[-] Kara__El 1 Point 4 months ago

Check the downloadable titles. A lot of times libraries have to pull older titles for new ones, but have them available digitally. Try Kristen Ashley. She writes great alpha males.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

Okay I will check for Kristen Ashley. Thanks for the tip. It is great to hear from a librarian. I have a good friend who is a retired librarian and I just love to hear hear her brag about her archives. It is fun to hear from so many women who read. Romance novels are one genre of literature ( and there my be some who do not classify them as literature) which does seem to reach across a broad spectrum of readers.

[-] silvernikki 5 Points 4 months ago

I love romance novels, but I only read regency romance and BDSM-themed romance. Oddly enough, they're pretty similar in terms of character, even if the plots are wildly different, as you can imagine! The men tend to be strong willed, stoic and protective, while the women start out as either innocent and closed off or aggressive and unladylike. Either way, after meeting a man both attracted to and well-suited to them, they find love and happiness by learning to show their submissive, feminine side.

After a dozen or so, the stories do get a little predictable, but I could read a million of them and not get tired.

Favorite regency authors: Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn

Favorite BDSM authors: Anna Zaires, Shayla Black/Jenna Jacob/ Isabella LaPearl (the Doms of Her Life series -- I've never read their solo works)

[-] [deleted] 2 Points 4 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions. I will check out Anna Zaires as someone else recommended her also.

[-] immaculacy 5 Points 4 months ago

Romance novels are really fun!

[-] [deleted] 2 Points 4 months ago

I agree. And I think they are also harmless to most women. I think they could fall into a self-care category because they bring a little bit of fun, adventure and excitement into a woman's quite ordinary day. I suppose it is a matter of living vicariously through someone else for just a little while. It is fun to be there as a reader, but it would not be fun to be there in real life. I recognize that I am warm and secure and comfortable while I am reading about the heroine who is usually freezing, frightened,or thoroughly pissed off.

[-] MrsRaulDuke 3 Points 4 months ago

I absolutely love romance novels, especially historical ones. I would recommend anything by Mary Balogh. The best way to read these is a library card. My local library allows kindle books online to check out.

[-] [deleted] 2 Points 4 months ago

I love my local library. Also find many good books at used book stores and garage sales.

[-] AleaIacta666 2 Points 4 months ago

a very good read I came across was a gay "romance" if you like that too maybe this one could be for you too.

It's basically an Epos and includes three books (Soldiers, Mercenaries, Veterans)

It's a love story (even though it doesn't start like it) about a Russian Spetnaz Soldier and a british SAS soldier who meet during Afghanistan war in the 1980s. The autor has lots of military knowledge and the story is very brutish and includes sexual violence but it's very well written and the characters are well developped.

the ebook is free to read and has a small but loyal fan community.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7842653-special-forces---soldiers?ac=1&from\_search=true

[-] [deleted] 2 Points 4 months ago

Thank you. I will definitely check out this book. Readers on this link raved about it.

[-] AleaIacta666 1 Point 4 months ago

I'd be interested to know how you liked it when you're done.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

There is a web site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books some of you may find interesting.

[-] Toby243 1 Point 4 months ago

I usually watch romance anime and imitative what the characters do. My favorite is citrus. Yuzu is so relatable. She is confused about romance like I am. (I’m 15 by the way.)

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

I am not familiar with your favorite characters because I am much, much older than you. I too was confused about romance when I was 15. You are very young and have a lot of time to figure out what you want in a mate. You have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of men and make good decisions to find a man you will be happy with for life. Don't rush growing up. Use your youth to learn so you make the right choices in life. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

I’m a huge fan and I started writing romance about a year ago. For me it helps me get in touch with my feminine/submissive side. I live a very “masculine” life otherwise and I miss that part of myself if I go too long without tapping into it. It’s the same reason I love cooking elaborate meals and baking. I can see how for some people they could be bad but for me they are almost like therapy.

[-] [deleted] 4 months ago
[-] AleaIacta666 1 Point 4 months ago

there is one more gay romance book I can recommend

Shades of Gray

it's about a criminal who is about to testify against his ex-boss and he has to be taken care of by a cop so he won't get killed before court starts. The cop thinks he's straight, the other guy is openly gay. Good tension.

[-] Chaudhary25 1 Point 4 months ago

Checkout sunset at izilwane by Yvonne whittal

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

I will. Thanks