Monday, March 22, 2010

Romance snobs?

So... last month, I went on a cruise w/my sister. She has read romance as long as I can remember. But when I pulled out a book to read, she commented how I was reading that "trash", just like Mom. Turns out, my book was a historical. At the time, she was reading Fern Michaels. Apparently, my sister believes that the following are appropriate reading, and not to be considered "trash":
Nora Roberts
Fern Michaels
Debbie Macomber
Danielle Steel
Jennifer Crusie

You get the idea, right? Contemporaries only, and only from high profile authors, apparently.

Don't get me wrong. I'm kind of on a contemporary kick right now. I love contemporaries. But does reading someone other than a NY Times bestselling contemporary by some of the most famous romance authors ever make it trash? I accused my sister of being a romance snob, and she is. As romance readers, we have a hard enough time moving out beyond others' stereotypes. Do we really need that from people who read romances? While they hold a romance in their hands?

Now, no offense to any of these incredibly famous and prolific authors on my sister's list, but they don't float my boat. Nora? Well, I've never been able to get into her books, although I love the In Death books. They have a totally different flavor. Fern Michaels and Debbie Macomber bore me to death. Not sure why, but I think their books are too sweettame for me. Jennifer Crusie? I know I'm pretty much alone in this, but her books don't do it for me, either. Odd, I know. And Danielle Steel? OK, she wrote my first real "adult" romance, The Promise. Oh, how I loved that book. And the next 3 or 4 that followed. But after that? Ummm, yeah. Do I need to elaborate?

I thought to myself that I should pick out the most sex-filled book I could find from my e-reader - you know, multiple partners doing the really nasty with some BDSM mixed in - and give it her to read. Or maybe a really hot m/m romance. I wonder how long it would take me to go from reading trash to also being a pervert. And can I say? My husband likes me that way. He thinks the day I found my first EC book was the best day of his life, LOL. Hers? Well, they'd both have to get up off the couch long enough to make it to the bedroom. Because sex should be had on a bed. At night. In the dark. In order to avoid being trashy, you know.

What do you think? Are there some genres that you consider trashy in romance? Or are you happy, like me, to read across genres and let the story guide you? I've certainly read some books I'd call trashy, but no genres or authors in particular. How do you respond to a romance snob?

On a totally different note, here's what I saw in my Amazon recommends today. No trash there!


  1. This is a topic near and dear to my heart - and one that drives me batshit crazy. I swear sometimes that romance readers are their own worst enemies.

    My favorite? The romance reader who "justifies" her reading by saying something like "But it's not like I read Harlequins." Usually said while they're toting around a book by Nora, JAK, Crusie, Sandra Brown, Suzanne Brockmann, Iris Johansen - or some other author who used to write category romance. Head, meet desk.

  2. Personally, I think the authors that she's reading are very good to start off a romance reader, but if that's only what you read, well it's pretty sad. It seems to me that NY Times bestselling goes hand in hand with contemporary and tame sex scenes... Isn't that sad?

    LOL, no offense to your sister, Lori... but I think she hasn't evolved as a reader :P I'm not saying that it's bad to read these authors, hey I love Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber and Jennifer Crusie... but that's not a lot of variety. It's almost as if she was reading the same story over and over again ^_^;

  3. I like reading romance and I read all different sorts. My mum is a romance snob - she's one of Wendy's "at least I don't read M&B". I tell her that it's really hard to write a shorter book well and her new fave, La Nora started off doing that very thing. Imagine her surprise!

    There are certain books I don't think much of, ones I'm not interested in and some subgenres that are less compelling to me than others, but reading is great and I think if people are reading books, any books really, that is a good thing. I don't diss them for their choices and I invite them not to diss me for mine. (How do ya like my tuff talk? *grins*).

  4. I don't think people necessarily need to evolve as readers. If there is something that you enjoy, by all means, then that's what you should read. Even if it's only 4 or 5 authors. But that still makes you a romance reader. I'm only thinking that we should be accepting of the genre as a whole. If you're a romance reader, then you're a romance reader. Period. It shouldn't matter if you're reading Nora Roberts or a total unknown who publishes ebooks and isn't known to the big bad world at large. IMHO.

    Kaetrin, I totally agree. Any book that encourages you to read is a good thing. Excellent tuff talk *g*

  5. I can't think of any genres that I consider trashy. About the only thing I won't read is horror, even if there's romance in it. :) But I don't consider it trashy, just not for me.

    I wish people wouldn't discard a certain sub-genre, author, publisher etc. w/o trying them first. I did that with Harlequins, I didn't think I would enjoy the shorter format. Wow, was I wrong. I've now got Harlequin authors that are auto-buys for me. Just goes to show you.

  6. I agree that romance readers are often our own worst enemies. Just as frustrating for me are the romance readers who announce they read romance like announcing some dirty secret.

    I also agree w/ Lori that reading 4 or 5 authors is fine- but don't turn your nose up at those of us who read more then.

    Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

  7. I think that people see historical romance novels/covers and immediately think bodice ripper--sigh. How ridiculous is that? But it is fact... and the really ridiculous thing? Most contemporaries are more risque than the historicals. It is one of those controversial subjects that will never be agreed upon.

    *waves to all*


Have you read it? What do you think?

Related Posts with Thumbnails