Ripped from the Headlines: Romance Novels Highbrow Media’s Blindspot

To me romance novels represent days when I was exiled to grandmother’s with no library nearby and none of my own literary collection to peruse. Instead I was reduced to reading Harlequin novels. I quickly saw a theme by the fourth book- these women were almost raped by the hero the first time they had sex! What in Hades was this genre? Quickly I also deduced that the hero had to have money or some type of farm or inheritance coming to him, the heroine had to be a virgin unless her husband had died very tragically after only one night together or some other nonsense. Virginity and beauty and long hair ( much to my dismay again) were all prized. No wonder romance is the step child of literature. With all of the cliches and annoying tropes. I suppose we all need escape though. Even if it is from grandmother’s house..

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