That title alone should tell you exactly what is wrong with romance novels today. The main reason I started this blog was to review the literary abomination that is 50 Shades of Grey. The result was me reading scores of equally shitty romance novels that were self-published or by breakout authors. For the most part, these books are mundane but occasionally, you find a gem that’s worth reading. This post is not about those finds.
Are women really so shallow and predictable that authors know to only write about chiseled, man-hunks with soft grey/blue eyes with designer stubble, a penchant for leather jackets and a sordid past? It is a tired, boring trope that needs to be laid to rest. Moreover, the idea of the aforementioned man-hunk, or his richer (read billionaire here), war-ravaged Navy Seal, philanthropist, biker brother falling for an over-weight self-proclaimed whale-woman needs to stop. I’m not saying that this could never happen, and I’m definitely NOT fat shaming because if I were I’d be talking about myself, but what is unrealistic is that there are 7 million billionaires running around NYC and that they’re all falling for fat chicks. I know, I know. It’s about the fantasy and the escape. My question here is, why can’t you escape to a well-written, fantasy?
Just as there are terrible books and clichéd tropes out there, there are also authors who breath new life into those stereotypes. Take Tammy Falkner’s Reeds Brothers Series or Cristin Harber’s Titan Security Series or J.M. Madden’s LNF Series or J.S. Scott’s The Billionaire’s Obsession Series. Each of these authors approaches their subject matter differently. Read Falkner if you want the tattooed badboys with heart, check out Harber for military madness and strong female badasses who can hold there own, Madden does the damaged war hero with issues but has strong, likable, level-headed women and Scott does the billionaire thing with panache.
I cannot believe that authors are still riding the faux-BDSM wave E. L. James created. Be original. While we’re at it, why does every female protagonist have to be a virgin or have had only one sexual partner. We all know that this is highly unlikely. Give us new, innovative, story lines with unique characters. Please?