Today’s post I am so excited to share with you all. It is another guest post but this time it is from the wonderful Jill from Myth and Magic book club. She discusses with us her love of fantasy romance novels and how she would like to reduce the stigma around them having to be a guilty pleasure, because if we are being honest who does not love a little fantasy and romance all rolled into one book. As always I have included her links below and would love for you all to go and check her out.
Explore the countless articles from Forbes, NPR, and others highlighting the popularity of romance books in troubling times. Or think about Netflix’s Bridgerton, a romance show taking ‘most watched in the first 28 days’ in their catalog of shows. Whether it’s now, amidst the Covid pandemic, or the 2008 financial crash, when times are tough, it’s easy to turn to romance books to escape. Reading itself is a relatively cheap pastime, even cheaper if you can get the books from your local library. So when the world around you seems to be falling apart, it’s a safe bet you can find a book to sweep you away. I’ve found fantasy romance books to be my genre of choice.
In March 2020, as the world was shutting down, my favorite author published a new book, Sarah J Maas’s Crescent City House of Earth and Blood. I’ve always been a big reader, and always liked fantasy, but this book at that moment hit me. It was the perfect escape. It got me out of my book reviewing slump. Since then I’ve unashamedly dove even deeper into the fantasy romance genre. I can’t help it, the beautiful worlds to explore, strong female leads to admire and rich fantastical characters dealing with very human emotions.
What still bugs me and what I hope can change is the perception that reading romance books is somehow less worthwhile than reading other genres. I do it less now, but used to call these books ‘guilty pleasures’ or felt I had to justify them when talking to friends and family, especially with more traditional ‘literary fiction’ readers.
I like reading fantasy romance books, and that’s good enough for me. I think the part I like the most are the heroines. Who has more swagger and confidence than Celaena Sardothien? Who has more strength than Elena Deveraux? Or is more of a badass than Rachel Morgan? The answer is probably that there are so many more fantasy romance books for me to read and characters to explore that I just haven’t found them all yet, but my point is that these books tend to have a strong female lead. She’s not always perfect, thank God, but she’s always figuring out how to move forward.
I want to move forward from the assumption that just because a book is in the romance genre it’s not a story worth reading. My fantasy romance reads are not guilty pleasures, or books I don’t talk about. They are books that I love and enjoy talking to others about.
I hope you enjoyed today’s guest post, as always I loved reading this and I have to agree it is a topic that I would love to know more peoples thoughts on.
What do you think of fantasy romance novels? Guilty pleasure or something to be embraced?
A massive thank you again to Jill from Myth and Magic book club for guest posting for me. It was such a pleasure to have you on the blog and I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. I have put her links below please go and give her some love.