Why People Really Read Romances

Yes, it’s an escape from daily life. For those who have never experienced love, it’s a great way to be introduced to it, for those who have and have no one to love, it fills in the gap, and for those whose true love is snoring beside you…it reminds you why you fell in love.

The act of falling in love is a hormone, pheromone, and endorphin driven thing. When it happens, we feel good. When we’re hooked on the feeling, we want to feed it, to make it happen again and again – to happen all the time. That’s a romance junkie!

You get to pretend you are someone else. You’re beautiful, fabulously rich, and every man for miles wants you. You get to wear sexy leather skirts, red lace panties, or beautiful silk dresses that barely skim the shoulders, or maybe a skin-tight, metallic number that hugs every curve while you fight the bad guys with laser accuracy. That swashbuckling captain of the pirate ship really is a good guy. He’s just pretending to be a pirate because he wants to trap the real pirates and get back the fortune that was stolen from his family. Have another peppermint patty, because it’s only in a book.

Reality check!

Go to your Facebook page and check messages. I probably get at least two requests each month to be my friend from men who obviously don’t speak English, but swears I am the most beautiful woman they have ever seen. Oh, do they need a pair of glasses.

Believe it or not, my daughter left behind a leather skirt in the closet. It fits me. Am I supposed to expose these super white roadmaps I call my legs? My gams are so white they’d probably glow in the low light of most bars and restaurants.

I have spent most of my life keeping my underpants out of what they are covering. Why would I purposely wear something that is supposed to go in there? Besides lace is rather scratchy or itchy. No thanks!

A friend does re-enactment stuff. She swears, while wearing a corset, if for any reason you wind up on your back, you will feel like a turtle that is desperately trying to right itself. No thank you! I don’t want anything tight on my body.

And as for wearing a size three? Laughable. I didn’t wear that when I got married and I only weighed 105 pounds of solid muscle stretched over a tall, thin frame. Those sizes were something little, tiny, petite girls wore.

I’ll admit I had a daughter who didn’t fit into a girls-size ten. Someone suggested a try the store for petite women! Yep , triple zero! OMG, her clothes were expensive!

Yes, I have heroines who wear thongs. Seems most young people today do. Why is beyond me.

End of reality check.

Romance reading is fun. No one is going to test you on your comprehension skills. For some readers, comprehension skills are sorely lacking. A fellow author and I were looking a terrible review she had on a book. It was hysterical. It was as if the reviewer had mixed another book with it. I have one where the review is very nice but she has the names and places confused. Oh well, at least she enjoyed the book.

No matter what we write, there will be people who don’t like it and those who do. Even loyal fans will dislike a particular story for any number of reasons. I write contemporary urban, contemporary western and historical western. I have readers who will read anything and readers who will only read my westerns. But I have my own preferences when I read, too.

But the concept of a great guy is always part of any M/F romance and the thought of having him wrap his arms around you is what it’s all about. The xemenia and jacob 433_pewhole fall-in-love sensation that romance readers want. We get to do it over and over again. It’s not a betrayal to the man we do love because it’s fictional. Sometimes we transpose our guy into the hero. For a few hours, he can wear a gun and ride a horse, or save us from a burning building.

It’s the feel good ending. It’s the bad guy gets it and the good guy wins. It doesn’t cure any ills, or make us a better person. There’s no magic formula tucked in there to bring world peace. But a few extra endorphins floating through our system makes us a little happier. And just maybe that allows us to cope with squabbling children and a crappy job, or it just makes us feel better about ourselves for a little while. Because you aren’t going to find the same happily-ever-after any place other than a book. Movies come close but it’s not quite the same.


2 Responses to Why People Really Read Romances

  1. fionamcgier says:

    I so agree that movies aren’t the same! With any kind of visuals, your brain is on passive mode, and the images wash over you. With a book, you need to have an active brain that can imagine all of the action, as well as the appearances of all of the characters. And in doing so, during those intimate moments, it feels like it’s YOU participating…which is okay because you’re not sharing the feeling with a theater of strangers. It’s only happening in your head (and other body parts.) Books are magical.

    And yes, romances are a special kind of magical. Men who make fun of them probably have disgruntled, unsatisfied wives who wish their man would STFU and read one of the books to see where he’s falling woefully short of making his woman happy. As for women who make fun of them? It’s sad to have internalized the prejudices of the ruling class in our society so much that you truly believe them. I don’t accept that things men like are inherently superior and things that women like are inherently inferior.


    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks for stopping, Fiona. You’ve brought up some excellent points. I totally agree with the movie v book points. I get so bored with movies and I feel so trapped in a theatre. And if you’ve read the book, the movie almost always never compares. I’ve sat through some movies totally lost because they dropped too much of the book or added some sexy scene that wasn’t in the book.

      And as for gender differences, thank goodness that is going away these days in MOST books.The resurgence of male superiority in so many erotic romances and the super sweet romances really bothers me. Did we bust our butts for nothing? We fought for equality in jobs and pay only to have it go away in the bedroom?


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