Why I like Romance by Anne Carrole
Of course, everyone likes a little romance in their lives but I am talking about romance novels.
I date the start of my love affair with romance novels to my college years when I was assigned Pride and Prejudice. I went on to devour Jane Austen’s other five novels, reading them multiple times before my husband introduced me to the novels of 19th century British novelist Anthony Trollope and I read all forty-seven of his novels, most multiple times. This brought me into my thirties and, having also consumed other “romance” novels by Gaskell, Elliot, Bronte, Wharton, etc., I was left searching for something new to read that would feed my romantic appetite. And that’s when I reached for the paperbacks of today’s romance novels—and became hooked.
What hooked me? The same things that hooked me on Austen and Trollope and other “literary” novels with the age-old plot of boy meets girl and chaos ensues.
1. The Characters: a good romance novel has characters that are multi-dimensional like Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. On first meeting Darcy few are charmed by him. He appears arrogant and a bit full of himself, but Austen has put in that certain something that begs us to take a second look. Exploring characters—their past, their growth, how they change, and how they remain the same is the mark of most great stories and so it is with romance novels. But in romance, the characters are the story so having interesting characters to explore is even more important.
2. The Happily-Ever-After: in a technologically connected world there is always someone somewhere facing a tragedy and often it is more than one person, more than one place. And then there are the difficult times in our own lives be it simply a demanding job or the more ominous situation where we or a loved one are facing tough choices due to illness or some other difficulty. At the end of a long day, I don’t want to read about someone else’s misery unless I know that at the end, it is going to be all right. In a world where so little seems in my control, I need to know it is going to come out right.
3. The Emotion: good writing, no matter what the genre, elicits an emotional response in the reader. We read to empathize, sympathize, feel for what the character is going through. One of my favorite book reviews received from a reader was this: “I have just finished reading Loving a Cowboy and I have to say they don't come any better than this! I laughed and I cried (happy tears).” Reading that review I felt I had done my job. And what is better than the emotional whirlwind you are in when you are falling in love.
When I first started reading romance (before writing romance) my husband asked me why I liked romances so much. I answered him honestly—it reminds me of the feelings I had when he and I first fell in love—as well as why I fell in love with him. In each romance novel I read and certainly in the ones I write, I relive that heady time of love and doubt and finally of a wonderful, satisfying ending when I can leave my characters in the good hands of each other.
Some people sniff at a romance saying the plot is formulaic because the ending is predictable. To my mind, that is absurd. When you watched the new Star Wars, (spoiler alert) didn’t you know that Ray was going to survive? When you read an Agatha Christie mystery don’t you expect the mystery to be solved? It is the journey that you are interested it. How will Ray get out of her situation? How will Hercule Poirot solve what seems like a perfect crime? So, too, in romances you wonder how the hero and heroine will find their happily-ever-after when there are so many obstacles in their way. And how will the characters change because of that journey?
That is why I read, write, and love romance. How about you?
Here’s more about the latest book in my Hearts of Wyoming series, The Maverick Meets His Match, which was recently released from Kindle Press:
Rodeos, wedding bells, and one crazy will! When Mandy Prescott’s grandfather dies, this determined cowgirl expects to head up the family’s stock rodeo company. But JM Prescott’s last will and testament not only gives that honor to Ty Martin, a man who broke Mandy’s heart a decade ago, it contains a crazy provision: to gain back control, she must agree to marry Ty Martin for a period of six months. Mandy has three days to decide—marry a man she doesn’t trust but is still attracted to, or risk her company being sold. Risking her company is one thing. Risking her heart is another.
Read more about The Maverick Meets His Match, 4.7 stars on Amazon, at: http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Meets-His-Match-ebook/dp/B019967OWC
You can sign up for my newsletter here: http://www.annecarrole.com/news.html
Anne Carrole writes both contemporary and western historical romances. She's an eastern girl with a western heart who was raised on a farm (yes, they have them in the East) with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and whatever other animals she could convince her parents to shelter. Besides reading and writing romances, she loves western history, rodeo, football, gardening, and tennis. Married to her own urban cowboy, she's the mother of a teenage cowgirl. She's co-founder of the western romance site http://www.facebook.com/lovewesternromances.com. You can also find her at http://www.annecarrole.com.