My ode to romance novels:
To the books that I have been reading since I was twelve,
To the books that offered me comfort, warmth, worlds upon worlds to explore and escape to,
To the books that have shown me complex, loving, and meaningful relationships between two individuals,
To the books that have shown me women who have agency, who are complex, who are strong, smart, beautiful, determined, resilient, compassionate, and resourceful, who chose what’s best for themselves, who can have it all,
To the books that have empowered me, who have given me hope, who have taken me on the most personal and angst-ridden of stories an always assured me of happily ever afters, or at least happily for nows,
To the books that bring the lives of women to the forefront,
Thank you to the amazing and brilliant authors, who continue to write, to fight, to survive and thrive in this world of ours,
Thank you for moments of laughter, moments joy, moments that make me blush, moments that make me hot, moments that make me shout “YASSS!!”,
Thank you for being you, romance novels,
I do love you.
I do love romance novels. I love them a lot actually. I love reading them. I love discovering new ones. They are just a pleasure to read, and they were increasing the books that I turned to last year when the real world became increasingly dreadful and dark.
They are not only portals of escape, but also reflections of the world that we live in, and the fight that many of us fight on a daily basis to not only survive but thrive as well.
I’ve seen numerous individuals and articles throw shade at romance over the years, and it’s completely unfounded. Romance is not what it was decades ago, romance isn’t what it was five years ago. Romance is changing and changing for the better. Romance is also a billion-dollar industry, so y’all haters can sit down.
They are increasingly become more diverse and inclusive and representing the true makeup of the world that we live in. I’m grateful for that, I’m thankful for that, and I cannot wait to see more of that. Because if there’s anything I’ve learnt in the past two years, it’s that increased representation matters and matters greatly.
I love seeing characters come to life on the page and see their stories unfold in front of me. Romance takes you on the most personal of journeys, journeys not only of self-discovery for the heroines and heroes, but also the journey to find that one person who can make you cry from laughter, who pushes you and believes in you and stands by you when you need it most, who can give you that zing in your step from seeing their smile first thing in the morning. Romances do that, and they do it brilliantly.
Romance novels empower women and propose this crazy idea that women have rights, rights to their own lives, their bodies, their choices, their everything, and I love that.
I love romance novels. I will probably always love romance novels.
Starting next week, I will start posting my Spotlight series on the romance authors I absolutely adore. First one up will be on Courtney Milan.
Thanks for reading!