When I was a teenager I used to love to read romances. Seriously, I was a Harlequin addict. I thought men were supposed to be tall, dark, and brooding. Now I have stacks of YA books to read (have to keep current on the genre) and a stack of books my friends have written (because my friends are cool) and, oh yeah, I’m supposed to be writing books not reading them. Still, I love romance. I miss romance. I don’t read contemporary romances because most of them are hot enough that they singe your eyebrows right off when you read them. But the other day I wanted some nice, mindless romance. A hot guy and witty banter.
The last romance I tried was an inspirational romance. There was plenty of inspiration, a lot of information about the shipping industry, and no discernable romance. I don’t think the characters ever kissed. They just went out and helped the poor then decided to get married at the end.
I felt cheated.
This time I picked up a regency romance figuring that they couldn’t have been too steamy in the regency era as they had chaperones and what not. (I know, I know, stop laughing at me.)
I’m not sure how steamy it was because I had to stop reading before I got that far. The writing was bad but the writer made up for it by throwing in lots of exclamation points. After saving the heroine from the advances of another man, we read:
The duke’s eyes softened for a moment then regained their habitual gallantry. (Really? Whose point of view are we in? If we’re in hers—and we must be because he can’t see his own eyes, how does she know they’re habitually gallant? She’s just met him.)
She asks, “You know my name, sir?”
And he says, “Indeed I do, fair creature! May I lead you in?”
Fair creature? Did men ever talk that way? I’m imagining my husband coming home from work and saying, “How was the day, fair creature?” Nope. It just doesn’t work in dialogue.
See, now that I’m a writer I have to analize the writing. It has totally ruined for romances. My guilty pleasure is gone.