Romance novels. Personally I haven’t touched one since we used to pass them around 7th grade algebra with the dirty parts highlighted. But yesterday I was sitting in my local grocery store Starbucks and the only available seat was right across from the Series Romance section of the little bookstore. All I could think was "No wonder chicks are messed up!" There were clear trends, which in turn revealed some very disturbing things:
Sub-genre #1 – The rich man. Many titles featured "CEO" "Sheik" "Playboy" "Surgeon" "Prince" and "Tycoon". The premise of course is a lovely but naive girl is swept off her feet by rich man. She resists him at first because of course she’s "spunky" but then she gives in and lets him call all the shots and buy her sparkly things. It’s the only route to happiness of course. Barf.
Sub-genre #2 – Babies. I know this seems implausible, but I swear to you there were 15 books of this type on the one shelf I examined. The premise is: dude and chick have one-night stand. She gets knocked up. She has a baby and this leads the dude (who of course is fabulously weathly, famous and/or royal) to realize that his baby mama is the true love of his life and he marries her and they live happily ever after. Any concerns about the teenage pregnancy problem? No? The message here is if you can just get a hold of his sperm he’s yours forever.
Sub-genre #3 – God. There was a whole bunch of "Inspirational" romances. I can only imagine that these involve longing glances, hymn-singing and verse-quoting. Can’t imagine there’s a lot of sex in these.
Anyway. I found Sub-genre number 1 to be unsurprising but pretty damn backwards, number 2 to be downright dangerous, and number 3 just plain odd.
I know that women really do buy these things and devour them… but I don’t know any of them personally. I’m curious…what’s the appeal to grown women?