The Reader's Soap Box: Your answers to our questions
about the books we all love...
What do you, the reader, find yourself looking for in the romances you're buying these days?
-- I love to read Johanna Lindsey now a days. She writes historical romance, and her Malory books are my favorite. - Heather
-- I love Regency romances and historicals. I also get in the mood for romantic suspense. I feel so old-fashioned saying this, but I really like books where the main characters don't hop into bed together before the third chapter! They don't even know each other yet, but there they go! I enjoy books that are written in the Betty Neels style-innocent, "clean" love stories. I also love great dialogue as in Jane Austen. Am I asking for too much? - Jane T.
--Entertainment value and really good writing. That doesn't mean just sex scenes or just great dialogue, it means both. I've been an avid reader of romance since 1980 and have felt, over the years, that the trend towards the author being a great marketer is helping publishers shoot off their own feet. As a result, I've gotten way more picky over the years about what I spend my hard-earned dollars on. I read bios like resumes now before I'll buy. But as far as characters go I want real men (you know, the ones who actually make mistakes) but who are also the cat's meow. I mean, come on, any woman in love is going to see her guy as the best-looking thing since maple syrup. And I want real women too. I don't care if it's a suspense or a comedy and I don't care what kind of plot it is because as long as it's reasonably paced I'll read it. But I prefer a writer whose style is seen clearly in the book as well: i.e. Johanna Lindsey, Jude Deveraux, Elizabeth Bevarly, Garwood, Palmer, and the like. Because that tells me more than anything that the writer has practised the craft of writing long enough to develop it. Hey, I wouldn't go to a lawyer for accounting advice. Why would I want to go to a scientist for a good romance read? - DebPnk22@...
-- Here is what I would like to add....I really like books such as the ones that Diana Gabaldon has put out. Not cheesy romances, and a true love and soul kind of book. I enjoy the complex charaterization, and the not-so-stereotypical lead characters. I also enjoy the thick plots you find in her books, as that is especially rare in romance novels. Thank you for looking at this! -- Hildie
-- I love historical romance. I especially enjoy those set in England during the late 1800s. Johanna Lindsey is a personal favorite. Her heros are strong, passionate, frequently arrogant, and possess a hidden tenderness. Her heroines are strong-willed and intelligent, yet decidedly feminine. With her spicy characters contantly fighting their attractions for each other, she produces a powerful sexual tension. Also, her characters' witty dialogs promise constant laughter. Johanna Lindsey has also written some excellent western and futuristic novels. Unfortunately, I have read all of her novels. I would welcome any suggestions - Kristin
-- I really like paranormals and futuristics. Also, medieval romances-mostly set in Scotland. It seems like there are fewer and fewer paranormals, especially the futuristics, being printed/written nowadays. I guess the big movement in this category is over-at least to the editors. I wish they would offer another line in paranormals besides Lovespell. Lovespell does a very good job but there never is enough for me. Just my thoughts! - BR
-- I read just about everything, but the all-time best are the Georgette Heyer regencies. She had a special talent for presenting heroines that you had to love and that were funny, funny, funny! When I need a lift, I pull one out for re-read. I don't like any type novel that has endless sexual olympics. Much prefer good character development, good plots, and lots of humor. - JWS
-- I pretty much only buy regencies. Occasionally I'll like to read a western or other time period (1920s, 40s, etc). I don't like modern ones because I like to learn a little about other eras, cultures, etc. - AM
-- I want books with believable, sympathetic characters. The heroine should be strong not necessarily have to solve the world's problems. . .I like a hero who is able to stand on his own but is sensitive to others needs, who puts others before him and who is sexy but a gentleman in every way. - AL
-- My favorite genre is time-travel, I also read paranormal romances with angels in them, and Romantic suspense. . .I also read family sagas, exotic locales like Australia, Louisiana and Africa. - Allison
-- I look for heroines who are intelligent not missish, they are strong yet gentle as well, they know how to use weapons, how to ride horses and are the hero?s counterparts. I also look for heroines who have magical powers that are used for good. I like romance stories where the heroine always helps the hero in his quests. - AY
-- I read romances to escape everyday life. I don't mind the romances that are popular right now that have magic, time travel, etc., because those things are make believe and are a great escape. - Beth
-- Regencies and Regency-period historicals. I like time travel, but not vampires and occult stuff. - BH
-- I look for Historical Romances with simple covers, Lots of historical facts along with the fiction. - JS
-- Stories about real people facing real problems and meeting in real it-coulda-happened ways. I like the paranormal and the "other world" stuff a lot, but I don't like to read it as a steady diet. I like men who are men, women who are strong but definitely female, and neither of them perfect. Standard romances have become too predictable and too contrived and too unappealing. I'm tired of buying a book from the blurb and finding the blurb was the best writing in the book and obviously written by someone other than the author - LW
-- Lately, more contemporary, like Constance Flannery O'Day, anything by Debbie Macomber (especially her "Shirley, Goodness and Mercy" I re-read those all the time! Inspiring) - MF
-- I find myself looking, as always, for new books by my favorite authors, but I can't tell you how excited I become when a publishing company reissues out-of-print books. - MF#2
-- Right now I really like the Paranormal and Futuristic books of Romance. I seem to find I read in "circles" Futures, Regencies, Historical... - Nancy
-- Realistic heroines, strong, intense but realistic heros, good stories, a lot of sexual tension, and chemistry between the main characters. - NP
-- I enjoy books set in the medieval era. . .the heroine must be strong and stubborn and attempt to thwart her man at any available opportunity. I don't like the new paranormal, time travel books. . .I switch off when I read books that have insipid characters, not enough fire, adventure or mystery in the storyline, or not a good enough balance in the book. - Jenny
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