Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day - True Romance

Hey all, 

As mentioned in a previous blog, for the first part of the month, due to Chinese New Year and family visiting, the blogs between now and February 21st will be recycled ones but are some of my very favorites.  Enjoy and I'll see you again after my vacation.

 True Romance

So, just what is romance and how has it changed over the years?  Now this can be a hot topic for some people, and those who read romance have strong opinions on the subject. At the risk of alienating some people, I too have a strong opinion, but I'm pretty sure if you've read one of my books, you'll already know the answer.

For me, Romance is a story between two committed people and will always , always, always end with a Happily Ever After, or at the very least, a Happily Ever Now.

Now I know that others feel differently, but for me, I feel cheated if a book that is touted as a romance, doesn't have these elements. I remember Nora Roberts said during an interview that no
matter how the genre may change, an HEA will always be a must. And I have to agree with her.

I will fight to the death the right for authors to write any type of book they want, but for me as a reader, I want a happy ending and I always
write what I would want to read.

So that being out of the way, what is it exactly that makes a book romantic? Sex? Em
otion? Committment? Love? Or is it all of the above.

In my humble opinion, a true romance book needs to have a couple who fall or are deeply in love with each other. While sex can be a wonderful addition to the story, I've read some truly wonderful books that weren't erotic in the slightest.

It's the emotion that drives a true romance book. Love, pain, angst, however you want to say it, we read these types of books to feel along with the characters. When the heroine weeps, we want to weep with her, and when the hero takes out the bad guy, we want to feel his passion and his anger. And when they finally celebrate their love, whether it's with a kiss or hot sex, we want to feel that triumph and satisfaction.

Has romance changed over the years? I don't think so. No
t really. The stories are still about couples finding each other and falling in love. There are still problems and angst with them being together, and there will always be some type of resolution--that Happy Ever After I mentioned earlier.

The only difference I see is the way it's being told. Books are more explicit and sex is a big part of the equation. The types of couples have changed. Love can be found with those who are of the same
sex. And now you can find true love with a vampire, a witch or a shapeshifter just as easily as you may find it with the boy next door.

Romance is the one genre that accepts everything and ignores nothing. Look around at the books available and you'll see a crossing of genre lines in our stories that is rarely seen in any other. I love being a romance writer because I can explore parts of myself and my imagination I might not be able to do anywhere else.


So what do you think? What does romance mean to you? Has it changed in your opinion? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Hugs and have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

The meaning of true romance has changed for me through the years. I think when your with the same person for a long time you learn what romance means between the both of you. What is important is that has to have meaning and feeling behind it. To me a good romantic book has to have the HEA. It definitrly has to have Sex, Emotion, Committment *S* Maybe I'm wrong both the needs of both in the relationship need to grow and change within that romance as well. If grows stagnent and meaningless. Of course all this is IMHO *S*

Phylis said...

Gotta have the HEA. Otherwise why bother to read it. IMO. I mean, I get enough real life as it is. I need to get out of this world and into another! Anyway, my idea of romance has changed since I got married. For example, today I sent flowers to my hubby and before, I would have expected it to be the other way around. He walked into our break room ( I was at lunch) and gave me a great big hug and kiss! I did good! lol

CJ England said...


Excellent points! And like you, without the HEA, I don't think of it as romance.

CJ England said...


Real life is always there. That's why I love to write fantasies! LOL