Sometimes readers will tell me they don’t understand why anyone would enjoy genre romance novels. Sometimes they’ll even grimace and shudder. I can tell you a couple of reasons why these are such great books:
They Make Sense
Some books don’t make sense. If you read book reviews, you’ll see that a plot not making sense is a frequent complaint. As for everything making sense, perhaps my faith (or personality) helps me not to be bothered when, “things don’t make sense,” whereas others (even other devout Christians) may tend to ponder these issues. I’d rather fry an egg than worry whether the chicken or egg came first. (I think Genesis answers that question anyway.) So I give authors a wide berth here, although I do appreciate loose ends being tied up. For example, don’t leave me hanging on a big issue with a character you’ve made me care about unless all is revealed in a subsequent book.
In a genre romance novel, the hero and heroine must overcome both internal and external conflicts that are in the way of their romance. The way they overcome these conflicts needs to make sense to the reader. The reader may be struggling with similar conflicts and, through fiction, can see one way of coping. Or the reader may just be looking for an inspiring story where conflict is overcome and all is right with the world. Either way, everyone wins.
The Endings Are Always Happy
Years ago I watched a movie with extended family and couldn’t believe when criminals got away with a large sum of stolen money. My father-in-law, a pastor, joked, “They’re going to give it to the church.” He knew I’d like that thought. Because of my moral compass, criminals freely riding off into the sunset was an ending I didn’t like.
I don’t often read novels where all ends badly. That doesn’t mean others can’t or shouldn’t enjoy these books; they just don’t usually appeal to me. Readers of genre romance know they’ll be getting a happy ending. This is the contract the author makes with the reader. Some people criticize the genre for not being realistic because not all love stories end well, but that’s not what the genre purports to accomplish. Do you want stories of love gone terribly astray? Take your pick of celebrity tabloids. Do you want stories of Christians seeking God’s will for their lives? Read Christian romance. Just sayin’.
Whatever you enjoy, happy reading!
What are some other good reasons to read romance novels?
What are good reasons to read Christian romance in particular?
What Christian romance author and/or novel would you recommend?