I’ve been reading romance novels for a very long time. I won’t tell you how long as that would give away my advanced years but I will say I started snitching my mom’s Harlequins from the time I was twelve. It was okay, though, since back then you didn’t get much racier than a kiss. Any sex that happened was totally behind closed doors.
Back then I read any romance that was lying around but today I guess I’m a bit pickier about the books I read. There are certain things I like in a romance and some things I’ll never touch. One of the things I have a hard time understanding is the longing of so many women to read about princes and sheiks and tycoons, oh, my!
I do understand that some women want this fantasy story, the fairy tale, so to speak. I do too. But for some reason I never got into the stories where the guy is rich, famous or royalty. And he’s usually very arrogant and demanding and treats women like scum. Well, at first. Of course all these stories must have a happy ending so eventually this hero will come around and become the most perfect male specimen in the world. Right!
I couldn’t even teach my husband to put his clothes in the hamper. Some woman is going to wipe away years ( or generations) of arrogance and disdain in about a week’s time (that’s usually the time period of these stories)? Of course he is. That’s what women want, a man who will change for them. Me too. But a prince?
See, here’s where I jump ship from the rest of the fawning public. I’ve never met a tycoon, a prince (or even a duke or earl) and certainly never a sheik. The chances of my ever meeting one are less than slim to none. This isn’t realistic to me. And I guess that’s why so many women read this stuff. They want to escape from reality. And I will admit it is very popular. Obviously many women love this fantasy.
I guess part of it is I don’t read romance to imagine myself in this situation. I’m happy in my marriage. I do love seeing two people fall in love. But I don’t live in a world where you have a yacht, a mansion, wear expensive ball gowns and have tons of money to spare. Would that be nice? Sure, I guess. But it’ll never happen. And I can’t relate to it at all. So reading a story about some lucky girl who falls in love with a prince and lives happily ever after, just isn’t real to me.
I’d much rather have a cop, soldier, fireman, or even a carpenter. That to me is something I can imagine. These are the real heroes and the ones I can identify with. These are the heroes who make my knees weak and my insides quiver. So keep your sheiks and tycoons, I’ll take all the regular men. The real ones.