Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Harlequin Taught Me About Romance



I've been reading Harlequin romances since I was twelve, so they informed a lot of my ideas about what romance is. Here's a few things I learned in my thirty years of reading:

1. There's not always an immediate attraction, but there is an immediate emotional response. Whether positive or negative, the hero has a response to the heroine and vice versa. Maybe he loves the way the light hits her hair. Maybe she can't stand the way he holds his fork. Whatever it is, they have a response to each other from the start.

2. Opposites attract. But similarities make the romance last.

3. The road to romance is never ever smooth. There's always conflict and arguments and break-ups. But there's also making up and making love.

4. Sex is always amazing, but especially when it's between two people who have an emotional connection as well as a physical one.

5. The people in the hero's/heroine's lives can help and/or hurt the romance. And they may think they're doing one when they are really doing the opposite.

6. Anyone's life can be exciting and the subject of a story. Whether the character is a construction worker, a waitress or a billionaire, their life becomes more when romance enters the picture.

So what about you? What did you learn about romance by reading Harlequin novels?

8 comments:

  1. Great post Syndi! My first Harlequin read was an intrigue where the hero was thought to be the bad guy, and the heroine was falling for the actually bad guy-then of course all is revealed and the two end up together-but it taught me that sometimes we judge people unfairly and that we should dig deeper to see the real person underneath:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, I love that. It's amazing the lessons we learn from reading :)

      Delete
  2. Syndi! Fun stuff to think about. I believe Romance (I think it deserves an upper case R) will always be popular because, as you pointed out, it can show up anywhere, anytime, in any place between two people thrown together for whatever reason. It requires so little to take root, and while the adjustment to get it right requires a lot of give and take, the rewards are beyond imagining! I think readers love it because they can relate to the struggle to foster enduring love in their own lives, or because they haven't had that struggle yet and long for it. So, lets all keep writing! They need us out there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muriel, yes they do need us! We're the ones who believe that love conquers all. And in this world, we need more love.

      Delete
  3. Congratulations, Syndi on your amazing cover and this terrific post. I started reading Harlequins at a young age so they actually spoiled me for the regular teenage romances. I wanted to be swept off my feet and not have those feet stepped on during a sweaty school dance- haha. Although I didn't have a boyfriend in high school - if I had, I would have expected him to treat me like a princess- or make me one- Harlequin style :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, I was the same way. I was reading Harlequins and thought the teenage romances couldn't measure up. Now, I'll read some of the teenage fiction and wonder why they didn't write when I was younger LOL.

      Thanks for your lovely words about my cover :)

      Delete
  4. I came to reading Harlequin novels in mid-life even though I was an avid reader. For our small town we had a really great library. I loved Western romances. Odd the library didn't have Harlequin cowboys. I started reading them when my youngest daughter and her friends began to consume them and trade books. I had to see what they were reading. I found I loved the stories and think you're exactly right Syndi when you say the books can be about a fantastic range of characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz, I think the characters are what bring me back to a particular author. Especially if the books are a part of a series where I can revisit some of my favorites from previous books.

      And I must admit that I do love a cowboy :)

      Delete