Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Analysis of the Romance Novel


By Katie Harper


I love romance novels. Love to read them, love to write them. While perusing my local mega bookstore/stationary store/gift center/kid’s playground/legal addictive stimulant dealer, I started to feel like I had read the same cover several times. It seems like some romance authors have adopted a formula to writing and then shared that formula on every blog and social networking site on the planet.In fact, the back of most romance covers could read like this. 

Bricker (because all men in romance novels have names that sound like last names or dog names) is an ex- special forces operative (because no real romance man would be an accountant) who has lost hope in humanity. His time spent serving his country has left unseen scars on his soul (because PTSD is way sexier than the loss of a limb or a gunshot wound to the belly). Bricker is troubled by unseen demons (being haunted by the spawn of Satan is much cooler than having bad dreams and flashbacks). His life is turned upside down when he meets the beautiful (because romance women are all cast from the same mold as Angelina Jolie) Kevin (because all romance women have male names). Kevin is a successful attorney (because while all romance men barely passed their GED, romance women all went to Harvard on an academic scholarship) who has dedicated her entire life to her career (because all romance women are workaholic spinsters at the age of 24). When the client of a pro-bono murder case (because all romance men are demons and all romance women are saints) becomes obsessed with her, she must rely on Bricker to save her life (because romance women always put their lives in the hands of total strangers). Will their love be able to survive when things take a turn for the worst (because it can always get worse than being hunted by a homicidal maniac)?

So, what did I do when faced with the same basic story? I did what any self-respecting reader would do. I bought every single one and devoured them in less than a week. What can I say, I love romance even if I have read the same story hundreds of times. Going through the emotions of falling in love, or lust, never gets old. It is my drug and I will continue to use it until people stop writing it.

12 comments:

Maureen said...

I'm sure you and Bricker will go on to lead a very happy life...

Love the cartoon! ;-)

Barbara Elsborg said...

Darn it, you've stolen my story!!
Very funny!!

Valerie Mann said...

Bricker can eat crackers in my bed anytime. But he'll have to ditch the camo. The gun can stay.

I did not just say that. :D

Katie Harper said...

Yes, you did Val! I agree 100%. You can't strip a man of his....weapon.

The Sweater Curse said...

Thank you for this humorous primer, Katie.
Long shall you write. : )

Decadent Publishing said...

I think I love this 'Katie'. SHe's not going anywhere, she has me laughing almost daily now.
Just sayin'.

Jessica Subject said...

I love my HEAs, and how they get there is the fun part. :)

nix said...

Its true....I must read the books to get hints on how to meet/heal my own Bricker :D

Weissdorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
P. Kirby said...

Actually, I'm in the process of writing a synopsis/outline for a novel where the hero is an accountant. And I'm doing the marriage of convenience thing, only where he has to marry the heroine, not the other way around.

I "likes" being contrary.

Great blog post. In our family, dogs get real names. So there are many regular names (Dillon, e.g.) that to me, are dog names.

kathleen said...

How true, Katie! Love your post and the cartoon, too! I think every woman asks her husband the same question.

Mardel said...

As a recovering Romance reader, I laughed and laughed with this post (and your romance cover post).

I almost want to start reading them again (the romance covers) - almost. I do have fond memories of some of books - especially the books by Julie Garwood and Catherine Coulter...oh! and Lynn Kurland....