“Actually, TORAHTID, respectfully, most romance novels are not written simply from the female POV. Most are, I'd say, approximately 60/40. And generally, the conflict in most modern romance novels isn't about the power struggle or assumptions. I would agree that was a common construct 10-20 years ago, but these days, most romance novels are, as I said, a version of the hero's journey -- sometimes for the hero, sometimes for the heroine - but the core of the conflict is usually something the couple must face together, and each must overcome their own internal struggles before they can form the bond that allows each of them their happy-ever-after - each other..
I'd encourage you to read Sarah MacLean's One Good Earl Deserves A Lover, or Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Natural Born Charmer.
Honestly, I am happily married to a man who thinks what I do is terrific, but he has no interest in romance novels. The lovers' journey really doesn't interest him, and that's fine. Tom Clancy leaves me cold, because he doesn't examine that relationship the way I want it to be explored. If romance novelists wrote books that appealed to most men, I'm not sure they'd appeal to most romance fans. But not because the book don't ever show the male POV. Most of them do. But it's our version of the fantasy "ideal lover" POV. And that's okay. That's what makes us love them.”
TORAHTID on Aug 2, 2013 at 17:51:18
“I always welcome a good recommendation so i will check out the two you mentioned. Thanks!”
“Hi, Hayley - I hope you'll keep reading. As far as I'm concerned, romance novels are one of the best representations of the Hero's Journey from the female perspective. Business-wise, they are also one of the few billion dollar industries that are basically by women, for women, revolving around a topic that is of interest to women - and not to men.
Romance matters. It is hopeful, optimistic, fun - and involves compelling problem solving and conflict resolution that many more celebrated "literary" books fail to include in their arcs.
If you're truly interested in understanding this wonderful genre and its many fans, I hope you'll visit ReadARomanceMonth.com during the month of August. Thanks for the essay. My nutshell response would be, sorry it took you so long. xoxo
TORAHTID on Aug 2, 2013 at 15:57:22
“"........revolving around a topic that is of interest to women - and not to men. "
Actually, i find this to be a major problem with romance novels: the entire story told from the female character's POV.
While this was the 'norm' back in the day of the 60s and 70s of the romance novel, i find that the more enlightened novelists and publishers of romance novels, tell the story from both main characters' POV.
Because if we agree that "At the heart of the romance novel's central conflict is a struggle between two individuals intent on negotiating how power will be divided and/or shared between them" then how do we justify being told just one of those two person's POV.? Its sexist.
(And btw, i dont agree that thats at the heart of the conflict. Its certainly one of the major themes but not the central. I find that the misconceptions/preconceptions/misunderstandings/assumptions made by both main characters about each other to be THE central theme of the stories. Because once these get cleared up, then we have the denouement. And very often in the end, the female character has NO problem being the kind of wife that the male character wants).
And i strongly believe that this is definitely THE reason men dont read romance novels. In fact, the romance industry could become even bigger, netting more billions, IF they include the other 50% of the population that their books are about.”