Is Romance Dead? A Book Review

romance review

Let me just start by saying I finished a book.  That fact alone is not only a miracle but also the realization of my own happiest day made real.  This Sunday, I had what we call a “pj day” in my household: a Sunday of not getting dressed until maybe 3 pm, and even then it is out of the PJs only to get into… sweatpants.  In otherword, a perfect Sunday! My husband kept popping his head in the room, asking if we were going to “do” something.


Wasn’t I doing something already? I did make the bed before I climbed back in and under the top blanket to start reading for the day!  Plus, in my world, finishing a book is no easy feat.  This morning, I was searched for, called after, snuggled with, asked to fetch snacks, wipe bottoms, change the channel (mother of the year!), and make lunch.  It was not a taxing day by any stretch, but you get a picture of why I need to stay on task of reading, to actually finish what I wanted to read- there are so, so many distractions.  But today was perfect.   Right around 4 pm, I finished my book.  Happy and ready to get dressed, I changed into sweatpants and a bra.  See? Reading alone, was an accomplishment in itself.

As far as the book I am reviewing…Let me start by explaining that it is not one that I would normally choose.  I will explain:

#1 I am not a book snob, but…I have no time (as explained) to finish books that I do not like; I will give a book as close to 50 pages before I give up on it.  That goes for audio too- If it is terrible writing, I have to stop…the pile next to my bed and written list of books that I ‘d like to read is WAY too long, to put up with a book that I dislike.

#2 I will try any genre, if it is good writing.  I will read most anything: fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, mystery, non-fiction, trade, young-adult- you get it! I just don’t like to be scared or morbidly scarred by by what I read- You know that scene in Psycho, where after you saw it, you never took a shower with the curtain completely shut again?!…Yea, I won’t read stories that have that same effect: no gore, no scary beyond scary books.

#3 I love recommendations, but I also am not swayed by mass-influence.  I don’t really care if it is the hottest book going…I like what I like, and conversely…stop reading if I can’t get into it!

So here’s where I have to admit, that I have never read….

A Romance novel.

I kid you not.  Not even the Harlequin Romances, and not even just the dirty parts when I was a kid!  I have read Historical Fiction that sort of passes in my book, for Romance (Philipa Gregory), and this is not because I conciously made this decision- I just didn’t think I’d like it- I am kind of a prude, or I have no idea, why really, but I just thought it would be too much sappy plot and cheesy characters…It could be the bad cover art- I could in fact, be a snob about cover art. I would atleast admit to that!

I started this post by saying, that I am not a book snob (see #1), but I kind of was! I think I thought Romance novels are all the same- but that is like saying all mysteries are the same- and I know they are not.  Sure there are typical story lines and plot sequences that normally happen depending on the genre, but I probably was a bit snobbish ruling them out entirely!

So, here I am thinking I am an “equal opportunity reader” and I went to a conference where a Romance author was speaking about her writing process and she was really smart…and interesting…and explaining how other great Romance authors write and who she loves to read…This author’s name is Julia Quinn, and she was at the Rhode Island Library Conference. It was fascinating.  Totally an eye opener for me and I had to read one of her books to see- to just test and see if I liked her books…and find out if I liked Romance books.

Enter today. I was reading The Duke and I.  It is one of Quinn’s Bridgerton Series books, and without having read the series at all, I have to say, I was worried about not knowing the whole character chain or plot sequencing up to this point…

I couldn’t put it down. It was so fun to read: A great setting, well thought out characters, an interesting plot-line, romance- not graphic, but fun and appropriate to the plot, and leaving me wanting more until I ultimately finished it in one day! It was FUN! It was entertaining! Not a brain-push, heavy lifting read, but one that got my mojo back in the reading area! I now feel ready to pick up another book- maybe one with more heft- but I like the light-and FUN! (did I say that already?) of this book.  She writes with humor too, so I could almost see this book as a series or movie.  I was laughing out loud and also reading the sexy exerpts to my husband!  I will definitely read another of her books.  I selected this one, because the Bridgerton series looked like one that I would enjoy- but it was written in 2000.  Her most recent book is Book 4 in The Smythe-Smith Quartet series, The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy. If it is nearly as much fun as the Bridgerton series, I will have to get up to speed.  I have to say it would make a perfect summer beach-read and recommend it to anyone who is looking for such a book!

Having read and rested all day, I did find it within me to put away some folded laundry, make some chocolate zucchini bread, some hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, and bathe my kids…Amazing. It all got done, and I wasn’t racing around. I didn’t spend any time out of my house. It was a home-body, lazy Sunday, and after an exhausting week, a perfect way to spend time for myself doing something that I usually find so indulgent.

Full Disclosure: I was not given a book or any compensation in any way to review this book and if I had, I still would have given you my 100% honest opinion. Yup. That’s just how I roll, people.

2 thoughts on “Is Romance Dead? A Book Review

  1. Marisa

    Congrats – I love a Sunday like that! Did you know my friend Adriana just got a 3 book deal for her contemporary romance? I’ll have to get you a copy when it comes out… Love you B!

    1. Post author

      I loved it so much- it has been WAY too long since I have done a day like this. I would love to read Adriana’s book! I had no idea she was a writer- that is awesome on her book deal!

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