Romance novelists are a secret, epic army

Let it be known: we men must rethink our natural manly instinct that romance novels are something to ignore or avoid, like SEX AND THE CITY 2, which is indeed worthy of scorn, and woe unto any man whose girlfriend or wife coerced them into wasting two hours of their life to see that stupid thing. No bribe is sufficient.

Romance novelists are not only smart and funny, but many can write circles around most writers I know. These women are more talented than many folks writing about serial killers, elves or dinosaurs in spaceships (yes, this is a thing, try the googles) simply because there is so much freaking competition with romance novels.

Are there bad romance novels out there? Sure, just like any genre. But with so many books and writers, it’s like throwing 10,000 authors into the Thunderdome, tossing in a single chainsaw and refusing to unlock the door until there’s only one woman left. That woman is going to kick tail. She will be a writing goddess.

And the message is good. Romance novels don’t want men to be to be office drones, worried about TPS reports, or moody, over-educated basket cases like the men you read about in literary novels.

Romance novels want men of action and charm, packing swords if not guns, and sometimes guns and swords. Any man can learn this from hitting checking out romance novel covers. IT IS AN EDUCATION.

romance novels, fabio, romance novelists, rwa
Fabio and a sword is all you need. Shirts are optional.

Another bonus: romance is the largest part of the book business, which we need more than ever. If you care about books, literature and ideas instead of whatever is on the glowing tube today about the Kardashian idiots, you want to keep a healthy foundation of romance in the world’s fortress of books.

If we are truly men of action, we should band together, pool our resources and give romance novels serious tax subsidies. I’m not kidding here. Because romance authors and readers are a secret army doing a $16.5 billion public relations campaign for men everywhere. And, yes, the genre is bigger than that. It’s a big push for love of all stripes, which is a good thing, damn it. Life isn’t about having the biggest pile of dead presidents. It’s about family and who you love. As a husband and father, I get that.

So, romance novelists and readers, I am holding a mug of Belgium beer, which I raise your direction. Keep up the good work.

Vini sinks DEEP BLUE by Kat Martin

Guest post by Vini 

There is no surprising plot in a romance novel.  That is both their sin and secret. 

A romance novel offers the comfort of fantasy where love and life ends well.

So the success of a romance novel lies in its twists in plot, in the dialogue, in character development, in its writing. 

What it cannot be is boring and simplistic in its handling of the plot.

I have read 50 pages of Kat Martin‘s re-released book DEEP BLUE (2005) and I cannot read another page. 

It is agony. 

I am going to get my $7.99 back. Plus tax.

Kat Martin has written good books. This is not one of them.
Kat Martin has written good books. This is not one of them.

As an avid reader of romance novels, nothing tolls the death of a book faster than heated glances, a random emergency which sends the heroine to the Caribbean to hook up with an ex-seal treasure seeker who is attached to an archeologist?! 

If you dabble in implausibility, the characters better sing off the page.  But Martin’s Hope Sinclair is a heroine who is poorly developed and is a loser.  She is paperboard thin.

Hope is a reporter.  Her home is ransacked and it is her editor that thinks of the reason why:  a story that she is working on.  Ta-da! 

Her reaction to her home in shambles — or being pulled from a hot story — creates an equally vapid response.  This investigative reporter on the brink of a major corruption story has no instincts, no nose for the story and blissfully goes off to a happy piece in the Caribbean.

The journalist I know would sell their Granny to stay on the scent of a truly hot scoop.  I remember going on errands with my husband — a former reporter — who would follow the lights and sirens of any fire or police who crossed our path. Reporters have a calling, which makes them like crazy rabid dogs (but in a good way).

That is why Hope Sinclair is a wash-out.  And if you can’t love the heroine, there is nothing else to attach to and the story is lost. 

Kat Martin knows how to write a good book, and I own about five of her novels which are good, but she did not do so with the DEEP BLUE. 

Verdict: The book deserves to be returned.