genre talk romance

Genre Talk: I am Unapologetically Writing Off an Entire Genre

I know that writing off an entire genre is an awful thing to do. There are so many books in a genre that can be amazing, even if others weren’t my thing. But I don’t care. I’m doing it, because I’m sick and tired of picking up books and promptly DNF-ing them.

Romance novels are not for me. 

In the past few months I keep hearing about amazing books with an amazing love story (because we all know I am obsessed with love stories), so I pick it up with my expectations sky-high. When I finally sit down to read it, I barely get 20% in before I’ve had enough and have to DNF it. Most recently this happened with the following two:

Genre Talk: I am Unapologetically Writing Off an Entire GenreHonor's Splendour by Julie Garwood
Published by Avon on January 1st 1970
Genres: Romance
Pages: 374

This classic medieval romance from New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood is a fan favorite—a beautiful lady needs rescue from a knight in shining armor, and gets an alpha warrior instead.

In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for...Honor’s Splendour.

Genre Talk: I am Unapologetically Writing Off an Entire GenreThe Winter King by C.L. Wilson
Published by Avon on July 29th 2014
Genres: Romance
Pages: 595

After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.

Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom—and her first taste of overwhelming passion.

As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion—she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.

And here’s my (maybe not so great?) reason why.

Both of those romance novels were so shoulder-shruggingly meh. I have found that while I really, really enjoy love stories, I HATE romance novels, because there’s no authentic tension between the couple. I WANT TENSION! I don’t want easy romance, because then I won’t care about the relationship. I literally fell asleep during one of the “steamy” scenes (which is supposed to be the fun part, right?) in The Winter King because I didn’t care about the characters or their relationship. I don’t care about gratuitous sex scenes! I want a wonderful love story!

So anyway, I’ve decided to just write off the genre. I don’t care how much someone raves about a romance novel, I’m not reading it! If I even dare to pick up another one, someone just slap it out of my hand because I’M NOT GOING TO LIKE IT.

I’m not saying the romance genre is bad. I’m just saying it’s not for me.

Is there a genre that you know you hate and refuse to read?

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  1. Hey, there are way too many books to read to spend time on a genre that just don’t work for you. I don’t read a lot of straight up romances – though if I do, they tend to be m/m fiction and I LOVE those. There is usually a lot of tension, etc. so it works! But as for a genre I won’t read? I have to say I’m not at all interested in anything Western related.
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    1. I’m not really a Western person either, though I did recently read a YA Western and really enjoyed it! I don’t think I’ll be picking any more of those books up, though…

  2. I don’t think I hate romance novels…it’s just that I’ll probably never pick one up because the covers really put me off! Same with really big fantasy and sci-fi novels…once they get too technical in language, with different names that aren’t what I’m used to, a whole new galaxy/way of life, I find myself getting overwhelmed, and eventually have to DNF 🙁
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    1. OMG I 100% agree with the covers! They are SO AWFUL! XD And yes, too much technical language can sometimes be off-putting if not done well.

  3. I don’t think writing off an entire genre is an awful thing to do. It’s your time and money being spent on the books, so you should read or not read whatever you want! So go you for not apologizing 🙂 And I completely agree that I don’t like easy romances, I like when there’s tension.
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  4. There are several genres I don’t read. they just don’t work for me. I do occasionally dip my toe back in just to see if I feel the same and yup! I usually lol

    You aren’t doing this – but the only thing I don’t like, is shaming other readers who do like romance, YA or whatever genre they like.

    There are so many books and genres to choose from. Everyone should read whatever make s hem happy and not waste time on what doesn’t.

    For What It’s Worth

    1. I totally agree about the shaming! I was nervous about writing this post, because I didn’t want people to think I was hating on the Romance genre. I’m not hating on it, it’s just 100% not for me!! Some genres are for everyone, and that’s why it’s a good thing there are so many readers out there to read it all (:

  5. I fairly actively avoid horror. Because I don’t like being scared.
    I don’t go after romance novels (i went through a phase in high school where I was eating them up, though…) but every now and again I end up reading one and QUITE enjoying it. I got one in a subscription box a couple years ago and liked it so much I picked up the rest of the series (was a 4 book series) and they were such fun and quick reads I considered giving romance novels a chance again…. but then there’s just so many genres I enjoy MORE.

    1. What was the series you enjoyed (I’m always looking for good recs!)? I really enjoy romance themes and love stories, but just hate when the romance is too forced :-\

      1. “The Rules of Scoundrels” by Sarah Maclean. Four books, I really enjoyed the first 2, 3rd was meh, 4th got back to the fun of the first 2. It is complete trashy romance… but I really liked the characters. And maybe because I don’t read much romance it seemed there were some different characters. Sassy, strong females and actual roles for the secondary characters.

        (I spent a summer living in my cousin’s bedroom with a bookshelf that was nothing but romance and i read SO MANY based entirely on covers… so I read some super questionable trash which may have lower my standards… this series was my first foray back into romance since that summer…)

        1. Hahaha, that actually sounds like kind of a fun summer. With nothing to read but smut. It’s like a lottery! I’m glad you found some that actually worked for you!

  6. Hahah Ali, I so completely agree with you! I’ve read multiple Romance books over the years, and absolutely none of them gelled with me. They weren’t swoon-worthy, or amazing, and definitely not 5 stars. They were just really ‘meh’ as you put it. I just don’t really get the genre, the romance is always too easy, and more often than not there’s nothing else to the story.

    I love slow burn romances that are a by-product of the real story. When a story is centred around the romance, I get so bored!
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    1. Yes, I think it’s that it’s often missing a really good plot (I mean, I’m sure there are some romance novels out there that have a super good plot)– and usually the romance comes before most of the plot does, and that’s just not my thing! Slow burn romances are the best!