I’m known to read more than one book at a time due to the fact that I work at a library and keep seeing books I want to read and then I put them on hold and then they all come in at once and I have no choice.
During one of these multi-book sprees, my roommate looked at the three books I was reading and went, “Oh my God! Everything you’re reading is chick-lit! You’re reading more romance than I am! Who are you???”
In my defense, the two books I’d finished right before that were death-related: one was on crime scene cleaning and the other was about people who made death their profession (embalmers; funeral directors; grave diggers, etc.). And of the three “chick-lit” books I was reading at the time, one had serial killers, one had witches, and one had queers.
However, my roommate was not wrong to point out the obvious.
I’ve become a reader of romance.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before (and I’m going to do it again because this is my blog and you can’t stop me), but romance has long been a genre that has eluded me. While my friends in high school were swapping bodice rippers, I was reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Romance did not appeal to me and it seemed like every attempt I made to find something I liked ended in disappointment. Straight (some pun intended) romance and romantic suspense or thrillers are pretty much impossible for me to read. Try as I might, I just don’t like them.
And then I discovered the joy that was queer romance. Clearly this had been my hang-up all along. Too many hets. My director actually made sure to order all of the books in the Written in the Stars series because she knew I liked them. I’ve since read just about every single queer romance my boss has gotten for our collection, plus several that she didn’t.
Once I’d established that I dug queer romance, I decided to give straight romance another shot, but only because it featured a fat woman protagonist. Turns out, I loved that one, too. So, I found out that I could read het romance so long as there was a fatty. Groovy.
Inevitably, I found myself pushing those boundaries once again.
I chose a romance that didn’t explicitly advertise any queerness or fatness (turns out the protagonist describes herself as having big hips), but it did promise serial killers. I did the same thing with another book, but there was witches. And as of this writing, I have another het romance on my hold list that includes a ghost.
So, it seems that I can enjoy a het, not explicitly fat romance and be interested in reading them so long as there’s some major quirkiness and/or potential horror element involved. It stands to reason considering two of my favorite “romance” films are not actually straight-forward romances.
I cannot tell you the joy this has brought me and I think will continue to bring me. It makes me very happy to know that I have these cozy books to cuddle up with when I’m in the mood for something lighter. It has opened up a whole new happy part of my brain and I am so thankful for that.
Who am I?
A romance reader. And I will not be shamed about that. Especially given how many books I’ve read on how to properly dispose of a corpse.
I may have found my romance joy, but death, murder, and horror was here first.