I wanted to say these things from the bottom of my heart to romance writers out there. This is done out of love--love for the genre of romance. Love for romance books. Love for authors who write these books. There are things I just don't get about the distressingly common trends. Some of this will come in the form of questions. This may continue onto other blog entries. For now I'll tackle the biggie for me.....
*Sleeping with other people:
Please explain to me how this romantic for the hero to spend most or a significant part of the book with his mistress, who is not the heroine, particularly when he's been married to the heroine for years?
One might argue that love conquers all and there is a huge obstacle here. To me, it just shows a man who's inconstant. If he can't confine his sexual needs to the heroine when some obstacle occurs in their relationship, I don't think love is going to change this puppy's heart. What if something else happens. Is he running off to his mistress again? Probably.
How can the heroine's magic vagina get the completely promiscuous hero who's slept with more women than he can count cause him to fall in love with and only desire her?
I'm aiming this at the erotic/sensual romances where the heroine is the hero's next and last (and miraculously best, even after hundreds of women) lover. All of a sudden, because the sex is so great, he can imagine spending his life with one vagina for the rest of his life, because hers is so magic. Really? Nah! Not very likely. Now, if the author can show that there is much more than sex, that sex isn't even what drew him, then maybe I can buy that a hero will change his previously slutty ways for good. But, otherwise, I have this feeling that he's going to start getting 'familiar vagina syndrome' and he'll stray (off camera from the end of the book, of course.
How is a romance book romantic when the hero and heroine are separated for years and are sleeping with other people?
Does the magic wand just get waved to wipe away all the ugly memories of all the other people who shared their bodies with your spouse? I don't think so. That's years of emotional damage crowding the figurative marriage bed. That's a lot of people in bed with that married couple. When your husband tries a move that he learned with the ten women he slept with while you were apart, please try to tell me that it won't stick in your craw. Vice versa. I'm sorry, but I can't suspend disbelief that love is going to win out in this case. I admit it--I am too darn possessive to share a man. Ever! If he slept with others before me, I guess I have to deal with it. But once he's my husband, that's it. When I read this in a romance, that's the record that's playing in my head. No "happily ever after" birds are trilling their song here.
Since when is one man not enough for a heroine?
I don't get the whole menage thing. How this is considered romance. I can see how this is ultimate fantasy fulfillment from an erotic sense. But, for a lasting relationship based on love and respect, how can a threesome (or in some case, foursome) be considered a satisfactory romantic conclusion? Has something changed? Does it really take three men to satisfy one particular woman? How is that even physically healthy and comfortable or beneficial to a woman's well-being to have three-four continual, ongoing (often at the same time) lovers? And what about kids? What kind of family dynamic is that for a woman/men/children not to know who is the father of any given child? Okay, maybe I lack imagination, but I can't suspend disbelief.
Disclaimer: I realize that it's a matter of personal taste. I really do. I know that I like the whole dangerous hero thing. But that doesn't negate the ability to believe in true love. In fact, it's a demonstration of love in its purest form. That a woman's love can redeem the worst kind of man. That's glorious. I can totally deal with a hero who's an assassin, yes, he kills people. Well, let's hope he stops because of his love for the heroine. So long as he doesn't cheat on the heroine. Then, well he's in the doghouse.
Inquiring mind here who just wants to know!