Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just Like Baskin-Robbins: The Different Flavors of Romance

Preparing for PassionPalooza, I tried to think of some neat posts that would kind of encompass all the things I love about reading romance and why I think it should be celebrated. I know I'm not alone in my obsession but I also realize that there are some out there who are new to the genre so I thought I might take a little time to share what a romance novel is and how even though it doesn't come with 31 flavors, romance truly is like Baskin-Robbins with a WIDE variety of choices of deliciously satisfying ice cream... I mean stories. There is something for everyone, for whatever their moods, appetites and needs are and all a person need do is reach out and try it. So let's get started before I get too hungry because this ice cream comparison has me drooling a little....

So I went looking online to see if anyone had a good definition of romance novels and I stumbled across something good 'ol Wikipedia shared. Alot of websites used it so I thought "Why not jump on the band wagon and include it in my post".

According to the Romance Writers of America, the main plot of a romance novel must revolve around the two people as they develop romantic love for each other and work to build a relationship together. Both the conflict and the climax of the novel should be directly related to that core theme of developing a romantic relationship, although the novel can also contain subplots that do not specifically relate to the main characters' romantic love. Furthermore, a romance novel must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending." Others, including Leslie Gelbman, a president of the Berkley Group, use a more shortened definition, that a romance must make the "romantic relationship between the hero and the heroine ... the core of the book." In general, romance novels reward characters who are good people and penalize those who are evil, and a couple who fights for and believes in their relationship will likely be rewarded with unconditional love. Bestselling author Nora Roberts sums up the genre, saying "The books are about the celebration of falling in love and emotion and commitment, and all of those things we really want."

It's a pretty good description but being the emotional junkie I am, I wanted to add a little something extra to it. For me, romance novels are all about the heart - the giving and losing it as two people find each other and feel that spark. It's about looks of longing, sweaty hands, butterfly stomachs and the nervous uncertainty felt when an attraction is realized. It's about the stumbling and bumbling that happens when you're trying to begin a relationship and the clash of wills that sometimes occurs when two passionate people collide. It's sexual tension so thick that you could choke on it. It's about finding the other person who drives you crazy insane in one breath but who you couldn't possibly live without the next. It's filled with tender, gentle moments when the couple is so in tune with each others needs and those hot and heavy times when a single touch causes you to explode and lust drives you over the edge. It's forging that connection you'll go through Hell to defend and finding the person you'd change your world for. It's a celebration of two people who touch each other deeply whether physically, emotionally or spiritually and THE best part of it all is you.. the reader... you get to witness it ALL. Romance is not porn. It is not smut. Romance is so much more than  mere bodice ripping entertainment. It is like a dance, one that pulls you close and as the music begins, sweeps you away until it leaves you dizzy and gasping for breath. It's an opportunity to FEEL alive and invest in something that makes you feel good. LOL hmm passionate much Belinda? You guys don't even know the half of it *grins*

So let's get back to ice cream. Yep, hopefully now I have you excited to read romance so let's talk flavors. There's alot of different kinds and no doubt I may overlook a few but here's a list of what's out there :

Adventure Romance
Chick Lit
Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Science Fiction
Time Travel
Urban Fantasy
Young Adult

Surprised a little by the variety, right? I know I was when I saw the list and I read the genre *smiles* Just looking at it makes me giddy because it tells me that there truly is something for everyone to find and enjoy. It's definitely a growing genre to read so you'll never run out of anything to read and honestly, it's so rewarding! Exhausting (you should see me after I've finished reading a romance that has made me run an emotional marathon)... but so, so worth it! So for those who are romancaholics like me - read on my friends and feel free to share your favorite book/series. If you're new to reading romance or uncertain- find yourself a book that catches your attention and give it a go. You have nothing to lose but so much to gain. Happy reading!!


Book ♥ Soulmates said...

Oooh, I'm a big romance junkie so I'm totally on board with Passion Palooza :) My faves are historical and paranormal!

Happy reading to you as well!

Kamery said...

Awesome post! ON with the Palooza my dear!! Woo HOO! :D

jackie b central texas said...

Belinda it is all about getting and "emotional" connection with the book and it's characters and story... Without that what would be the point of reading?