Pink Heart Society columnist Kristina Knight talks about why romance novels hold a special place in her heart.
Last week, an author friend of mine mentioned that someone - a friend - had told her that she would never read her books because romance novels give women 'unrealistic expectations' about romance and relationships.
I'm not going to lie, I've gotten my share of these comments, and 9 times out of 10, the comments aren't is response to something I've asked or said...it is just offered as if there is something wrong with romance novels. As if romances should be hidden away or covered with old paper grocery bags. I remember a meme, and a lot of comments when e-readers first came into vogue, that the readers would make it easier for women to read romances, but to pretend that they were reading something more 'worthy' of their time and energies. I remember being frustrated by that thought, and a little angry. I've never been ashamed or even embarrassed by reading romances, and I'm not ashamed that I write them, either. I love romances and I'll tell you why: they give me realistic expectations of what I want my life to be like.
Did romances make me think I would marry a billionaire? No. Did they make me think I should only date cowboys? No, but, really, I've known a lot of cowboys in my life, and if I'd fallen in love with one, I would be a happy woman, let me tell you.These are just a few of the expectations that romance novels have given me:
1) Good men (and women) are kind to the people around them, especially the people who they might have 'power' over - the cleaning staff, waitresses, puppies and kittens.
2) How to ask for what I want - in bed and out of it. Because, really, who wants to live a life eating only bologna-and-mustard sandwiches when there is a smorgasbord of steak and chicken and pumpkin pie? Same goes for sex. Who wants to always be in Position A when there are fifty other options to try?
3) Consent is the key to, well, a good relationship. Real men don't manhandle women without consent. Real women don't manhandle men without consent. Consent might be the sexiest thing in romance novels - and in life.
4) Sexual pleasure isn't a dirty thing. It is a beautiful, compassionate and passionate event. Women have been repressed for centuries, and men, too, to some extent. Letting go of those inhibitions and hangups is a glorious thing.
5) Women come in all shapes and sizes and the right man (or woman) will see beauty in our flaws.
6) Everyone deserves to have that one person who is always there, who will stand by them, lift them up, and carry them back home. Love is deserved, by everyone, and working to find and hold on to love is worth every obstacle we have to climb to get to it.
7) 'Happily Ever After' is only the beginning. So the hero and heroine have declared their love...that isn't where the story ends, and that is why I love, love, love series books. Getting those small glimpses into how my favorite heroine and hero are navigating life after 'I love you' while their friends and struggling just to get to the 'I love you' is a beautiful thing - and it reminds me to keep working on my own relationship.
Okay, readers, what have romance novels taught you? Share in the comments!
Kristina Knight's latest release, What the Gambler Risks, released October 3 from
Twenty-something ice queen Sabrina Smith enjoys fame and fortune writing about her life of celibacy. The fact she's the Oldest Living (Supposed) Virgin in Vegas? Just keeps her readers interested in how she juggles dating, working and friendships in Sin City.
Jase Reeves knows Sabrina's secret – that she's not nearly as cold as she would like people to think – and he's through keeping it. He didn't intend to have a one night stand with the Vegas Virgin but he can't get her out of his head.
When Jase returns to Vegas, Sabrina has one goal: stay away from the handsome gambler before he melts her career – and her heart.
Amazon B&N KOBO iBooks
You can find out more the book and Kristina on her website, and feel free to