“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” – Are Romance Genres Biggest Complaints a Warning Flag For Authors Everywhere?

By Heather Dahlgren 

Most of the books we read are about romance. There are a ton of different genres that romance falls into, contemporary, YA, paranormal, suspense, comedy, erotica…it’s endless. There is one thing that is the same in each and every genre, we have our main characters who will somehow throughout the course of the book end up together. (Hopefully)

Now, depending on the type of book you gravitate to, depends on your likes and dislikes. What we can all agree on is that there are things that we love and hate about the romance genre in general. I took it to Facebook in a post to see what you all thought.

“In the romance genre what is your #1 complaint and what is your #1 love?

You know you roll your eyes at some stuff and other stuff makes your heart skip a beat! I want to know what they are!”

I wasn’t sure what the response was going to be. Being an author, I was hoping that I would gain some insight into what the readers thought. I was surprised that even though a handful gave me some things they loved about the romance genre, more wanted to talk about what they hated.

The NUMBER ONE thing that readers said they hated reading about was a weak heroine. They are tired of seeing a leading lady that is dependent on the man. They are rolling their eyes at the whinny, pushover, and clingy heroine. The damsel in distress is a thing of the past. They are tired of a woman NEEDING a man, instead of WANTING a man. Big difference.

Readers are looking for a strong woman, who is self-dependent. Readers are wanting a woman who rules the world, kicks ass and is strong. They are looking for women who speak their minds, not women who are spoken down to. No longer is there the need for a man to hold her hand through life, SHE should be holding his.

Now, I’m not saying I agree or disagree. I like to think that books are our escape and if a reader isn’t loving the escape, then something needs to be done. However, I don’t believe that all authors are going to just start writing strong females. I, personally, think it depends on the book. Some books would not make sense with an overly strong female lead. I’m not saying keep a weak lead, but I love seeing a character grow throughout the book. Sometimes it takes a strong male lead to show her how amazing she truly is. If written well, I think it can be very romantic.

Don’t throw stones at me. I’m not saying I like weak women. I’m saying I like to see growth. There have been plenty of times I want to reach into my kindle and slap the heroin around.

There was another big one, which surprised me. While some readers absolutely hate it, others absolutely love it and that is insta love. You know what I’m talking about. They see each other, talk for a minute and boom in love. Some readers love that, they love the instant connection. They love the idea of the story moving quickly and love at first sight. For every reader that loved it, another hated it. They said it felt like the story was rushed, that is was too unrealistic.

Now, I’m not sure how I feel about it. While I see both sides, I once again believe it depends on the book. Sometimes it does make the story feel rushed, but other times it works. Like every book, I think it depends on how the reader perceives it.

I guess what it comes down to is that everyone has something they are tired of reading about in the romance genre. Just remember, every author writes a story differently. It’s different words, different plot, different characters. If you think a book sounds good, give it a chance. There is always something that could potentially make you roll your eyes, but hey it could also make your heart skip a beat. I don’t think it’s a reason to dismiss the chance at reading a great book.

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