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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guest Blogger: Carolyn of Book Chick City

Full Name: Carolyn
Birthday: 25th April
Location: United Kingdom                 
Blog Content: A speculative fiction review blog with book reviews, interviews, lots of features, contests and more!

 Describe a book premise that you wanted to read but can’t seem to find any one who has written it yet:

Umm… How about a gorgeous, headstrong female protag who’s a vampire slayer and stakes vampires for a living, but accidentally falls in love with one? Oh, been done? Okay, well, how about a woman who’s bitten by a werewolf and has to come to terms with her new life but falls in love with a werewolf along the way? What? Been done as well?! I’m gonna have to think on this some more it seems…

I can’t think of one, how come I got the difficult question?! Only kidding! Thanks Pat for inviting me to guest blog, it’s great to be here.

When It Comes To Romance Why Does Genre Matter?

If you read my blog you will know that I don’t often read romance. However, I have noticed that lately I am enjoying a bit of romance in my urban fantasy, or the odd paranormal romance and, a more recent find, science fiction romance. It’s becoming a guilty pleasure.

I’m not sure why this surprises me so much as I have always loved romance in my movies - I’m a sucker for a good romcom - and I am a total romantic at heart. As a lover of the strong, totally kick-arse heroines, I think I had the misconception that all romance heroines were pathetic, submissive women that needed a man in their life to feel complete. After reading a few PNR books, the most recent being Wicked Enchantment by Anya Bast (which was great by the way), I realise now that this isn’t always the case. But I did notice one thing.

Why is it, to enjoy a bit of lovin’ my characters have to be ‘not of this world’? That’s to say a vampire, werewolf or some other creature or entity. Maybe I’m trying to escape from the ‘normal’ aspects of life? I did read a book a few weeks ago for Mandi at Smexy Books  called Can’t Stand the Heat, by Louisa Edwards, which is a contemporary romance, and I found myself enjoying it, I must have as I gave it 8/10, but I know I won’t go out and buy more books like that and if I wasn’t asked to review it I wouldn’t have seeked it out in the bookshop.

I do, however, when the fancy takes me, actively seek out paranormal romance, and when I’m in the bookshop looking for my normal fare of horror and urban fantasy, I always find myself in the PNR section and end up with at least one book in the basket.

I have noticed that this way of thinking is not just me. I’ve had conversations with other book lovers who turn there noses up at PNR and will only read contemporary romance. But it’s basically the same thing isn’t it? A man and a woman getting it on and falling in love.

So, why do we enjoy romance in one genre but not another? 

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment for Carolyn.


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Super Guest post! Carolyn I agree with you on the romance books - I dont really read them either but like a good romantic comedy! (My Best Friends Wedding, You've Got Mail...)

I have no idea why that is....

GABY said...

"So, why do we enjoy romance in one genre but not another? "

I ask myself the same question and still I don't have the answer.

Great post

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Haha, I'm one of those people who can't stand PNR but love contemporary romance! Personally, I just don't like all those paranormal elements and I guess I'd focus on them too my and just wouldn't be able to enjoy the romantic story as much? Just a guess! ;)
Anyway, lovely little guest blog! Thanks, BCC! :)

PeaceLove&Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PeaceLove&Pat said...

All I used to read was Chick-lit (rom-com) and contemporary lit. I won't even look at the other sections in the book store.

This might sound extremely lame but my PNR addiction started with Twilight. Then the intrigue on reading the paranormal intensified. tsk. tsk. Maybe you're right I guess I am trying to avoid the normal too. After all imagination knows no boundaries

Thanks again for guesting.

thetruebookaddict said...

Great to see you here Carolyn! You made some really great points. I'm not much on PNR because I am not a fan of explicit sex in books. No, I'm not a prude and I'm not a Bible thumping Christian...I just prefer my books with a smidge of romance, if any at all. I just do not think all that is necessary to tell a great story. That said, one of my favorite reads, The Time Traveler's Wife, had some explicit sex in it and that turned out to be my only beef with the book. Oh well, call me Polly Pureheart, if you'd like...LOL!

Pat, thanks for having Carolyn here today...she is a truly outstanding blogger!

Book Monster said...

Love the post! I love her blog as well :)

Book Chick City said...

Sheila - Thanks! It's weird isn't it, how we can like something in one genre but not another, or even one medium but not another?

Gaby - It puzzles me too :D

BR - Hehe, I think you were the one I was thinking of when I wrote the post :D

PLP - I used to read chick-lit but can't anymore, I find most of the women just ditzy. Well, I'm even lamer 'cos I didn't start reading PNR until a few weeks ago! LOL

TTBA - I'm not a fan of some of the words used in PNR either, they make me squirm in my seat and cringe with embarrassment LOL But some books are not too bad and I've really enjoyed them :)

BM - Thank you! :)

Ivy said...

I love this post! I fell in love with PNR after Twilight. I have been reading it ever since. I don't think I will ever give it I also read contemporary romance here and there. :D

Marilyn said...

I think the main problem with PNR is that there is a measure of inequality in the relationship. The supernatural person in the relationship is always the more powerful one (usually a male character) and tends to dominate the non-supernatural person (usually a female person).

On the other hand, I notice more that contemporary romance authors (especially Nora Roberts - ie. The In Death series) have women that are strong in their own right and have a lot to bring to a relationship and/or to the solving of a problem or mystery.

I am a teacher and have recently started reading PNR because it is a popular genre with teens. What I find really disappointing so far is a lack of really strong empowered female characters. Maybe I'm not reading the right books. If you have any recommendations of good YA PNR books with strong female characters that have more of an equal opportunity in the relationship please let me know.

Book Chick City said...

Ivy - although I have to admit that PNR has now wormed it's way into my life, it is not a genre I will read too extensively but I do enjoy it.

Marilyn - I have heard this about YA para-rom, but I don't think it's as much like that with adult books. I have only read a few PNR books and they have had a pretty strong female protag.

Fiction Vixen said...

Ugh, I just typed out a comment and it's gone! Poof! Darn it! Trying again:

Carolyn, just wanted to say I'm a romance junkie and I used to read PNR exclusively for the escapism. Sometimes contemporary hits a bit too close to home and ruins the fantasy for me. However lately I've dipped my toe in the contemporary pool and have really enjoyed it. Not a genre I'll read often but a nice change. I must say though, my favorite genre is romantic urban fantasy. I like a strong female protag with a bit of romance thrown in.

Nice guest post Carolyn, you're even prettier than your pink haired cutie. :)

*wave hello to Pat!*

Anonymous said...

hi. great post.

Book Chick City said...

FV - I totally agree with you I think I prefer a bit of romance in my urban fantasy the most as 1. it's not usually too explicit and 2. the female is always a strong one and they're my favourite ;)

Anon - Thanks! :)

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