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?
Stacie C. says
Bahaha! Oh my gosh you guys are hilarious!!! I almost sprayed out my coffee when I read this. I never thought about peeing in books. Now that you mention it, I don’t think I know of any book where they pee LOL! This seems like an interesting post! I can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for romance novels. I never read any so this might be good for me too look up. Happy Valentine’s Day guys! Now I must go pee! (LOL JK!)
Kelly L. says
YOU SEE CEEEE, EVEN STACIE AGREES WITH ME!
Thank you Stacie! ;D<3
Happy forever aloneness day you mean (-winks-) and have fun in the bathroom!
Ummm, read her comment again. Carefully. She didn’t really agree with either of us. She just said it’s something she never thought about. Not that she wanted to see it. So there you go!
I was dying after we typed it! I’m sure I’ve seen peeing in other books like YA or just literary fiction, but never romance and I’m okay with that. :D
My ex-boyfriend from a very long time ago saw a porno where a chick was taking a dump. I was like DUDE NOOOO!!! That is so gross. I don’t want to hear or see people doing that! Sorry that came up lol
I don’t understand some people’s fetishes with poop. It’s super gross. Like if I want to see poop, I’d look at my own. LOLLLL.
LOLs at this post! You guys had me laughing so hard. About farts though, On Dublin Street (by Samantha Young)–the MC Jocelyn farts in front of one of the hottest guys in NA or any romance at that–Braden Carmichael. And he laughs about it and when she’s like.. really embarrassed, he makes it seem like nothing and never brings it up. So, yes :D there is fart in romance haha. I’m not sure though if any hot guys do it in romance novels since I haven’t encountered it so far. Real life is way different than romance novels in this area lol. Happy Valentine’s Day, ladies!
Kelly L. says
Thank you Siiri for helping me prove Cee wrong LOL. Farts can be romantic – the guy you like witness you in your embarrassing moment, but they like you anyway and is nice enough not to mention it. ;D
Happy forever aloneness day Siiri! <3
EXCUSE YOU. I never said I didn’t like farts. My reference to “cheese and farts” was a joke. *shakes head* I think farts are fine, especially at portraying the relationship between characters like in On Dublin Street.
Oh my god! Yes! I totally forgot about it! I loved that scene. It was cute because Braden wasn’t grossed out by it. He was totally comfortable and didn’t really make fun of her for doing something so natural. You know he’s a keeper. :D
OMG I am dying over here. You two are just too cute and funny together.
But I think I have to agree with Kelly about the bathroom thing. I always assume they are going in there to do their business. Unless someone else goes with them to specifically do something, like gossip, it’s all business.
Kelly L. says
Ha ha, we tried. The conversation could have EASILY been longer. ;D
YES, hello new ally! :D
But in romance, Ashley? Straight up romance with all the sex and whatnot? You want to read about peeing and pooping? D:
Do I want to read it? Not really. I do like my characters to be real people but actual details about what goes on in the bathroom? No thanks. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that’s what happens when it’s mentioned though!
Wendy @ Book Scents says
OH MY GOD this was freaking hilarious. Okay, to be honest, I’ve actually thought about this peeing thing mostly because I drink a LOT of water and I pee like all the time. And i”m like, do these characters pee? I mean, obviously they do, but what if they do and it totally throws off the sexy mood? that could be a funny scene right? :) haha, great feature you guys!
Kelly L. says
YESSS! AGAIN, YOU SEE CEE, I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS THAT!
I’m pretty sure I’ve read a contemporary romance in where the woman goes to the bathroom before having sex because she was afraid that she will pee when having sex (it was her first time I think). That scene wasn’t made to be funny though, just normal. :P
*deep sigh* I never said nobody would agree with you!
That’s true. When we talked about peeing and stuff, I kept thinking of historical romances instead of contemporary. That’s so weird, right? Ha!
All this talk about peeing makes me want to do it!
I don’t really want to think about those questions because it does lead me to a severely gross territory. I want to be immersed in the romance. Not bathroom stuff. ;D
Jon (Scott Reads It!) says
The only books where I’ve read that characters go to the bathroom are written by males. I think the characters in Grasshopper Jungle go to the bathroom, but I’m not sure. Next time, I’m reading I’ll be sure to look out for this… Thanks for giving me a good laugh, Cee and Kelly! I’m looking forward to this feature!
-Jon from Scott Reads It
Kelly L. says
Yep – Ashfall is by a male author.
And Grasshopper Jungle has peeing in it? Refreshing! :D (I might have to read it now.)
Jon (Scott Reads It!) says
I’ve read Ashfall, but I need to read the sequels. Just so you know, Grasshopper Jungle is very sexual.
I agree! Though, peeing and pooping in YA or literary fiction is absolutely normal and I don’t have any beef with that. It’s in romance books that I’m like DDD: I don’t want to be taken out of the romance!
I’m really excited to read Grasshopper Jungle!
DOES POOPING EVEN EXIST? I LOVE YOU, CEE.
I don’t need peeing mentioned most of the time, but I do wonder about it if characters are, like, on a long journey. Or when they just wake up because, sorry, I’m most likely going to have to pee before engaging in any other activities!!
Anyway, I don’t mind the cheese in romance usually, but sometimes I do get bogged down in awkward language and it slows me down.
IN AN ALTERNATE WORLD, IT DOES! <3
Oh definitely! A long journey definitely makes sense. I wouldn't mind a bathroom scene since I feel like it's a plot point! I just don't need bathroom scenes that transitions to another. It's really unnecessary otherwise.
My ability to handle cheese really depends on my mood. Eek! Yes, awkward language takes me out and I'd be more likely to toss the book aside.
LOL love it! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
Angela C. says
You guys must be crazy to write a post about this. But that’s why I love you guys. <3 You guys already know what I think of this topic; I'M WITH YOU CEE. There are things I really DON'T need to know, i.e. when characters are pooping. TMI. Sure, all people do, but all the reason to NOT mention it. Plus that's super gross. I don't need to know when they need to take a dump. And Kelly, it doesn't need to say they're "heading to the bathroom" either. We, as readers, can assume they use the bathroom when they need to. -_- And really, what's romantic about the bathroom?? It's a ROMANCE novel. Like I don't mind reading it in say, YA, but romance? PLEASE. But I still love you guys regardless. <33