The Case for Romance Books

For so long I was cynical and dismissive around romance books. Unapologetic is a genre with attractive couples in passionate embraces on the cover and various cute and corny titles and I struggled to see the appeal. Though I admit to being a convert.  

What I only learned about after some impulsive exploration into the genre, is that there are romance books for everyone. The inclusivity of the genre was what opened me up to reading published romance work while I was seeking books about a wide range of people. From LGBTQ+ to disabled characters to exploring cultural differences and all the things I could think of, I could find easily in romance than a lot of other genres.  

Along with the passion and highs and lows the genre explores, all the books I’ve read so far have also been entirely human and down to earth, giving nuanced portrayals of the everyday challenges that people deal with. Unexpected but entirely welcome in picking up a book with very defined abs on the cover to then encounter a very earnest and realistic portrayal of a person adapting to their recent diabetes diagnosis or how they manage their chronic illness.  

Arguably the defining highlight of the whole genre is wish fulfilment in all its forms. One of my best discoveries has been HEA- Happily Ever After. A classification guaranteeing you a happy outcome for your warring couple. If only real life had such a thing. While I appreciate books that can and absolutely do rip my heart out, there is something deeply pleasing about those that will do the opposite and give me exactly what I want.  

Another favourite element of mine is tropes and cliches. Seeing the same concepts, I enjoy explored in different ways or turned on their head can be lots of fun. My deep abiding need to consume enemies-to-lovers content need never go unfulfilled. Even exploring those that I wasn’t sure I’d find appealing has been extremely fun. ‘He’s secretly a prince of a distant country but is just trying to blend in and explore a normal life’ help almost no appeal to me, but when I ended up reading ‘The Princess Trap’ by Talia Hibbert I loved to see the exploration of how keeping something like that from the person your pursing can break trust and cause issues for them when they suddenly come to the attention of a whole country.  

The inclusion of trigger warnings and different warning classifications was also a joy to discover. Mindful of issues reading certain things may cause people to read and catering to what level of content you’re willing to encounter is something often prioritised within the genre.  

I could write for days on the highlights of the genre but to cut a long story short, there is a story for everyone. Giving some romance books a try might just bring a little bit of joy to your life.