Dangerous Men & Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance

Dangerous Men & Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance

Dangerous Men & Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance

Dangerous Men & Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance

Synopsis

In Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women, Jayne Ann Krentz and the contributors to this volume-all best-selling romance writers-explode myths and biases that haunt both the writers and readers of romances.

In this seamless, ultimately fascinating, and controversial book, the authors dispute some of the notions that plague their profession, including the time-worn theory that the romance genre contains only one single, monolithic story, which is cranked out over and over again. The authors discuss positive life-affirming values inherent in all romances: the celebration of female power, courage, intelligence, and gentleness; the inversion of the power structure of a patriarchal society; and the integration of male and female. Several of the essays also discuss the issue of reader identification with the characters, a relationship that is far more complex than most critics realize.

Excerpt

Few people realize how much courage it takes for a woman to open a romance novel on an airplane. She knows what everyone around her will think about both her and her choice of reading material. When it comes to romance novels, society has always felt free to sit in judgment not only on the literature but on the reader herself.

The verdict is always the same. Society does not approve of the reading of romance novels. It labels the books as trash and the readers as unintelligent, uneducated, unsophisticated, or neurotic.

The fact that so many women persist in reading and enjoying romance novels in the face of generations of relentless hostility says something profound not only about women's courage but about the appeal of the books.

No one who reads or writes romance expects to be able to teach critics to appreciate the novels. As any romance reader or writer will tell you, a reader either enjoys the novels or she does not. If she does, no further explanations of the appeal of the books are necessary.

The same is true of the other genres. A reader who does not intuitively respond to horror or science fiction novels cannot be persuaded by logic or argument to enjoy either genre. The difference is that the person who does not like to read horror or science fiction is unlikely to criticize the genres or chastise and condemn the readers who do love them but simply shrugs and accepts the fact that the stories hold no personal appeal.

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