I find it odd that so many people associate romance novels with sex, or sex scenes. To me, that association belongs to the erotica category, romance belongs to the romance category. Not that some romance novels don't call for some sex scenes, or provide some great ones! I'm simply saying I have an entire different association when I hear the word romantic novel, one that can actually be accredited with being good for your health. Why? Happiness is very good for ones health.
I think romantic novels play an important role for most of their readers. I believe reading a romance novel should be a heartwarming experience for the reader. Yes, I'm talking happy endings, endorphin releasing joy that comes after the storm.
People have different ideas of what falling-in-love should look like, but the bottom line is that it should conclude with a happy ending, however you get there. In my opinion as a reader of all categories of writing as well as an author of a romantic-suspense novel.
Yes, real life doesn't always offer happy endings, but that's exactly why I (and most readers of romance) turn to the romantic novel. We are looking for our heartstrings to be pulled in all different directions then gently put back in place. This leads me to my title statement. I think romance novels are an important outlet for people to escape the sting of reality and be submerged in a world where the ending will leave us light on our feet. An escape from reality, from daily news and all the horrors of the world.
I'm not saying a romantic novel should be, or need be, fluffy and light at all. Personally, I love it when a story is going sour between the two lovers, my heart aches for them, but I fully expect for things to turn around before the end, so I can walk away filled with a completeness only a happy ending can provide.
People need (crave) romance and happy endings in a world filled with so many other endings. We thrive on the feeling of fulfillment a romantic novel can provide. So read them without guilt or embarrassment. The classics are good, memoirs are good, and so many other categories, but if you want to rest assured your reading journey into another life, another world, will leave you with a high only happiness can provide, pick up a romantic novel now and again. It's good for you! ;)
This is why I'm such a fan of Jane Austen. I admit I find reading books from that time-period a little on the difficult side, but I adore her sense of what falling in love looks like in all its glory and all its pain. I absolutely believe Ms. Austen told love stories as they should be told, for pure pleasure of the reader.
What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? And what are your favorite reading categories, and why?
But whatever you read and for whatever reasons you have, happy reading!! A well-rounded reader is a healthy reader. ;)