XOXO: Fangirling about Romances is a new feature where Kelly (at Effortlessly Reading) and I (at The Novel Hermit) discuss anything (and everything) about romance novels. It will occur twice a month and we will alternate posting it on our blogs. You see this post on my blog, you’ll see the next one on Kelly’s blog.
What is this feature? We are big fans of romance novels. We don’t get to talk about it as much on our blogs because they’re very geared toward YA books, so this feature is our way of fangirling over romance novels.
Kelly and I thought it was great idea to kick off this feature on Valentine’s Day! We had intended to talk about a particular romance book today, but unfortunately, things got in the way that prevented us from reading it and discussing it. Instead, we will just talk about why we read romance. Let me tell you, this conversation veers into a very…weird direction.
Why do you read romance?
KELLY: For the boys. Duh. -thinks of Etienne St. Clair and sighs wistfully-
CEE: Uh hmmm, you call the leading men in historical/contemporary romances “boys”?
KELLY: FINE. For the hot boys (in young adult) and the sexy “men” in those “grown up novels.” ;DD
CEE: Can you see that I’m shaking my head at you?
KELLY: Yes, but you love me anyways. <3
CEE: Straight-up romances is so different than YA romance because of obvious reasons.
KELLY: Yes. They are like 40% romance, 50% sex, and 10% plot. LOL, did I get that right?
CEE: That’s about right. Though I would give more percentage to plot.
KELLY: Fine. Correction: 40% romance, 40% sex, 20% plot.
CEE: Don’t you think it’s all on an even playing field though?
KELLY: What do you mean by “even playing field”?
CEE: Like there is usually an equal amount of romance to sex to plot ratio. I don’t know. I feel like we are straying away from the question!
KELLY: Which question? I see…1, 2, 3 questions up there.
CEE: *shakes fist at you*
CEE: To the main question, I read romances because it’s like an outlet for me when I get tired of reading YA books. They’re lighter and a much faster read than any other books. And I’m a big romantic at heart. So gimme that romance.
KELLY: Agreed. I also read romance books when I’m tired with young adult. They’re fun, most of the time not serious, and there are always the hot boys. Romance books are my guilty pleasure – so fluffy and no note-taking!
KELLY: I used to review romance books on my blog, BUT NOT ANYMORE. Freedommmm! :D Until this feature. But this will be a FUN random feature review thingy.
CEE: Discussion, Kelly. The word you’re looking for is discussion.
KELLY: Pshh, discussion then. I like the word “random” so I just have to use it. :P
CEE: I don’t review romance books, purely because I am pretty crap at articulating whether it’s good or not. Sometimes I like cheese, but then other times, I am having none of that shit. How am I suppose to express that? And I do get embarrassed when I like a romance book I feel I shouldn’t like, but gahhhh, the romance kills me.
KELLY: Ohh, what books? Examples? ;D
CEE: I have a shit memory! I really can’t name one. But when the language of the book employs certain cliches, but I don’t give a fuck because it’s enjoyable (even if it’s harmful to my ears). ;D
KELLY: Hmmm, I don’t think I’ve read any romances like that. In my defense, I read the ones I know I’ll love because everyone else loves them: Lisa Kleypas (ahhhh Marcus Westcliff and Jack Travis!), Jeaniene Frost (Bones!), Julie Garwood (a HUGE thank you to whoever recommended her to me), and Linda Howard to name a few.
CEE: Seriously? Even with favorites, you don’t read a book where you found yourself cringing because the characters acted or said things that was super cliche or embarrassing?
KELLY: I don’t think any of those characters said anything super cliche or embarrassing. If they did, I didn’t notice it because when I read romances, I’m in a cheesy mode and prepared to read any cheese that comes up.
CEE: Well, I can’t deal with all that cheese and those farts. ;D
KELLY: Speaking of farts, do characters ever fart in romances? Or pee? ARE THEY HUMAN? -gasp-
CEE: Oh, poor naive Kelly. They obviously carry around a urine bag with them. ;D
KELLY: This is kind of off-topic (okay, it IS off-topic), but Mike Mullan’s Ashfall had the main characters peeing A LOT. It was refreshing.
CEE: ACTUALLY CACKLING. WUT.
KELLY: STOP IT YOU’RE MAKING ME LAUGH TOO.
CEE: Why would you find peeing refreshing? I honestly do not care to read somebody peeing, especially in romance. It just takes me out of it. I have all these thoughts that I wouldn’t wish to think of when I’m reading like do they even wipe? Does pooping exist? How is that romantic?
KELLY: Because peeing proves that the characters are human and that they can fall for one of *us.* I mean, all those romance guys we read about are nearly perfect – their only flaw is that they’re overbearing. And dude, I’m not saying that Ashfall or ANY of the romances has to have it in detail. No, you can have something along the lines of “and so and so went to the bathroom.”
CEE: But usually peeing has nothing to do with the plot. If it did (like a character stumbling across another one and gets all embarrassed or whatever), then fine, I guess. Scenes like “they went to the bathroom” and that’s it are absolutely useless. We know they’re human. And we really shouldn’t be talking about peeing and pooping in the midst of discussing romance. I reiterate: how is that romantic? ;D
KELLY: Grr, now it’s time for me to think of a valid excuse. Hmm…
CEE: Tell me how peeing can be romantic. I dare you.
KELLY: I KNOW. While one is “heading to the bathroom,” it gives the love interest time to think of some cheesy thoughts or sexy moments or whatever. ;DD
CEE: But they aren’t straight-up peeing, Kelly. Heading to the bathroom is not the same as peeing.
KELLY: To me, heading to the bathroom implies they will pee. Or gossip. But yes, pee.
CEE: Or pooping. But I don’t think gossiping in the bathroom was a thing during that time period. They usually gossiped in the drawing room.
KELLY: Oh well. Time for a quick subject change…
CEE: I sincerely thought you were going to say “Time for a quick bathroom break.” I was already guffawing.
KELLY: …Wait, WHAT? LOLOL, I don’t know how to react. Should I be offended?
CEE: ACTUALLY CRYING RIGHT NOW. We were talking about bathrooms!
KELLY: -shakes my head and slowly backs away from you- Anyways, back to the topic: this week (or some week in the future), we’re going to read Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas! I’m recommending it to Cee and she BETTER LOVE it. -side-eyes her-
CEE: Excuse you, I have read it. I liked it. Better than the other books in the series. I just can’t remember everything that went on.
KELLY: -horrified gasp- Jack is one of my favorite Travis boys! Okay, he IS my favorite Travis boy. How can you just “like” the book when he’s in it? ):
CEE: Shhhh. We’ll save this discussion for next time when we will be on your blog!
KELLY: Okay! Tune again next time to see/read more about peeing and uh….
CEE: Look forward to our discussion on Smooth Talking Strangers in the close-distant future. I hoped you enjoy this talk of romancing whilst peeing. :D
KELLY: I bet our audience is thinking “THEY ARE SO WEIRD!”
CEE: Your fault.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Regardless of whether you like the day or not, I hope you have an awesome day.
What did you think about our discussion? Do you find peeing scenes refreshing? (You can blame that all on Kelly for bringing it up btw.) Is there anything you would like for us to discuss about romance books?