Do you like romance novels?

Are there any dopers out there who enjoy romance novels?

If so, what do you like about them? Do any guys like them? What about younger women? Which kind do you like or not like?

I’m not asking this to make fun of people or to try and change anybody’s mind. Nor am I taking a negative tone such as “why the hell do you people like those things?” I’m just curious.

My mom and I both read them from time to time. I’m 25 and she is 45.

I think the main reason I read them is because they are a really fast read, and you know they are going to have a happy ending. Not to mention, they are cheap and there are probably tens of thousands of different books that you can read. If you like one, you are probably going to like them all.

I love to read Diane Gabaldon. I dunno if her “Outlander” novels are classified as romance, but there’s certainly some bodice-ripping moments in it.

I like them because:

1)I like the way she writes…although she does go a little dramatic on the metaphor at times

2)Its got sex, adventure, romance, mystery, danger, with a little sci-fi thrown in for good measure

3)Its not deep at all. I’m not meant to learn a thing from it. It simply exists for pure enjoyment. I appreciate this when reading in the bathtub

Surely! A good romance is tons of fun to read. It’s a quick read and great for giving your brain a break after reading something more complex.

And you gotta know there are different levels of romance.

There are the little ones (like 150 pages and under) which are pretty straight forward - “I love you. I hate you. Hate, love, hate, love, sex, love, hate, love, sex and eternal happiness.”

The middlers at about 150-350 pages are a little more complex - “My brain hates you for these specific reasons, but my body wants you. Hate, politics, love, sex, etc.”

And the biggin’s (4, 5, 6, 7, 800 pages plus) which prolly started out being marketed as romance cuz they are written by women, there are relationship issues in them, and they just don’t know how to classify them.

Diana Gabaldon is a fabulous example. The woman is writing huge historical fiction novels (time travel included so there’s some sci-fi), but she is also writing, in depth, about the lives of her characters and hey, love and sex do happen. They apparently stuck her in romance cuz she just didn’t fit into any other category. This may also be the case for Sara Donati.

Anyway, my advice to anyone is give romance a try. And if you would like something extremely unique to read, try Gabaldon’s Outlander (the first novel what may end up being a 7 book series). I’ve even talked to men who have liked them!

And please… don’t be ashamed to stand in the romance section! :smiley:

Yeah, I read romances every so often. I won’t for a long time, years even, and then suddenly I say to myself, Self, I say, let’s read us some sleaze.

I do wish they came with a better indication of how much hot sex there was going to be in them, though. I hate being, um, disappointed.

I second everything everybody else has said - they’re fast reads, they’re fun, they’re a LOT of fun to laugh at (there was a talking whale in my Viking time travel crap once. Goodness me.) They’ve got a little porn in them. They’re an indulgence, like dessert - not nuanced perfectly textured creme brulee, but more like a Little Debbie. Fun and satisfying. And I do love to work at my books - Umberto Eco is my friend, but then again so is whoever wrote The Lady’s Tutor. Robin something? Mmm, mmmm.
It’s like a literary Ho-Ho.

I generally don’t, but love a good regency romance, and, as several of the other posters have said – when that’s what you’re in the mood for, that’s what you’re in the mood for.

There’s one author I like – Jayne Ann Krentz, who writes regenices as Amanda Quick. She writes good sex scenes and has a sense of humor, so if I see one of her books in the library, I will always pick it up.

Love 'em. Even those cheapy series ones. Check out my website.

I have particular authors that I like to read - Jennifer Crusie and Connie Brockway mainly, and Judith McNaught as a guilty pleasure.

I don’t really care about the sex scenes and will usually skim through them and completely skip them when re-reading. I read romances for the same reason that I watch romantic comedies - they’re usually light, airy and fun, and an easy way to pass the time.

My favourite books are:

As You Desire - Connie Brockway
All Through the Night - Connie Brockway
Crazy For You - Jennifer Crusie

Er, much as I hate to admit it in public, yes, I do read them, occasionally. I also write them, and have for 21 years. :slight_smile:

Love 'em - bubblegum for the brain. I’m reading the “In Death” series by JD Robb (Nora Roberts, actually, but instead of latterday bodice rippers they are futuristic, kickass-female-detective bodice rippers. See? Different!)

But why oh why did I start reading a series with 15+ titles in it???

I’ve loved them since I first picked up The Flame and the Flower about 27 years ago.
MissGypsy what name do you write under?

My buddy and I made a trade – she got me to read some of her romance novels, I got her to read Garth Ennis’ Preacher. Quite a change of pace for both of us, to say the least.

I read several, but only one was a real standout: Sandra Hill’s The Very Virile Viking. It’s about this viking (duh) named Magnus, who has eleven children – well, actually, he had 13 but two died. Their mothers have died, deserted, or divorced him. Things get kinda cramped on the family farm, so he packs up 9 of the surviving 11 and sets out for Vinland. On the way he and his brood get caught in a time warp and deposited in modern-day California, “The Land of Holly and Wood”.

A movie producer “discovers” Magnus and wants to hire him for his next project, a viking-themed movie. So he sets Magnus and the entire brood up at this old vinyard. It’s owner, Angela, is none-too-pleased with this, especially not this delusional actor with 9 kids who insists he’s a real viking.

I thought it was a scream. Magnus does stuff like tie all of his children to his leg to prevent them from running off. He and his sons are at a loss as to what purpose underwear serves. When one of his daughters asks to get a nose ring, he says “Not unless you plan on mooing and giving milk into a bucket three times a day”. Hill has a real gift for comedy.

Heh. Where I work that series is classified as ‘mystery/thriller’, although as has been mentioned Diana Gabaldone is in romance(and boy do the men reading it love that!).


I don’t as a rule but I’ve read two that I really enjoyed.

One was “Love Wild and Fair” by Bertrice Small.

The other, which I’m about to finish, is “Mr. Family” by Margot Early.
/useless trivia

My mom went to college with Jude Devereaux.

I read them - after all my heavy (Kuhlthau, Dervin and the like) reading for classes, sometimes I just need something that doesn’t require a lot of thinking - a diversion.

I’ve read anything from true “bodice rippers” that have the woman half out of her dress on the covers to Diana Gabaldon. Johanna Lindsey is one of my favorites for escapism. Just a decent (sometimes good) story line to destress.

I used to - quite frequently, in fact. But then the authors I liked either stopped writing or started churning out 4 books a year, all of which sucked (Jayne Ann Krantz), and I don’t very often. But still, every so often I’ll pick up a Harlequin Duets, and enjoy reading it for an afternoon.

And I still like a good regency.


My name is Shirley and I am a reader of Romances.

:::Hi Shirley:::::

Romance novels are addictive. I’ve read them for nearly 20 years, from the well described so well as

I think they are popular for a number of reasons:

  1. A fast read.

  2. The man is always perfect in bod and looks, unless he has a few major physc flaws that he needs to work out and poofthere she is “Little Miss Perfect Who Is Going To Drive Him Nuts Throughout the Rest Of The Book.”

  3. The woman never has a rather complicated job. They are mostly florists, teachers, librarians or quirky book store owners.

  4. Unless it is a historical romance, then the man is filthy rich, a pariah to society but very powerful and sexy too boot.

  5. And then the female is a comely lass who is as poor as a church mouse, but has loads of moxie.

  6. It’s like a mini vacation into the life you could have picked had you not married to knuckle dragger you did or had rich, well connected parents instead of the blue collar mom and dad named Stan and Barb.

  7. Their friends are loyal to the death and everything is fabulously dressed.

I would like to add that I have learned more about history and big word usage from romance novels than any other source.


You have just named two of my favorite books.

Have you read any Laura Kinsale (My Sweet Folly-is my fav.) or Rachel Gibson (Lola Carlyle Reveals All. - fun, fun, fun.)

Harlequin publishes a line with “Temptation Heat” on the cover. They are, um, steamy, without being graphic.

As a middle-aged guy who doesn’t read romance novels, I know this because I sort books donated to my local library before they are given to hospitals, the public, etc. One of the donated books was a “heat” romance. I started reading and, whoah, it was steamy.

I put in the box to be left at the gas station in one of the small towns that has a lot of fishermen come through. I can envision a group of (male) fishermen floating down the river with one guy reading out loud the hot parts.

And they are hot.