Um…Yeah…No.

Reading is subjective, wouldn’t you say? What is on one readers “auto-buy” list just won’t be another readers cup of tea. I read all kinds of romance, but I especially love time travel. And a creepy house with some mysterious backstory that the hero and heroine must discover in order to put ghosts to rest and get their own happily ever after? Gimme some of that!

I read the first 50 Shades book. Had to. I mean, everyone was reading it, so I had to see what the hype was about. Yeah, I’m still trying to figure that last part out… Hurting for pleasure. Um…nope.

Back when Interview With A Vampire came out (the movie), I couldn’t get enough of vampire romances. After Twilight (again, the movie, because…Taylor Lautner!) I was all about wolf shifters. Johanna Lindsey sucked me in to historical romance (I still don’t know the difference between regency, victorian, etc.). I’ve experienced an obsession with Highland warriors, long hair and (swoon!) kilts.

But there are subgenres and tropes that just don’t do it for me. Billionaires. Don’t ask me why. I feel weird enough as it is. But to me, there is nothing sexy about a three-piece suit. I know, I’m a freak, right? A sexy Greek Tycoon wants to take me out on his yacht? I should be packing my bag already. Nah. Now a scruffy dude in a tight white t-shirt and a tool belt? Yeah, baby! You picked up a pizza for dinner? And picked me flowers? Oh, you are getting lucky tonight!!!

What about all the other shifter books that have come out? Dragon shifters are HUGE. So clearly there is a market for them. But I’m sorry, all I can think about is scales and teeth and…ew! I did a search for shifter romance and saw that horses are a thing. I’ve heard of “hung like a horse”, but literally? Oh, hell no! And I bet everyone has seen the dinosaur romances. Yeah, probably shouldn’t even lump them with shifters, as it’s women with…dinosaurs. No shifting involved. But I’m lumping all the non-humans here.

The last one I’ll take a pass on – royalty. When I was a little girl, I didn’t want to be a princess. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a mom. I’ve never followed Kate and William. She’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong. And I’m sure theirs is a true fairy tale romance, but it’s just not my thing. I’ve tried binge-watching Reign. I wanted to love it, but…eh. Guess I’m just a practical peasant. 😉

Okay, I’ve told you some of the subgenres that I love, and those I’ll pass on. Now it’s your turn. What are your “auto buys” and what do you do your best to avoid? (You can say small town romance. I promise you won’t hurt my feelings.) The great thing about romance is that there is something for everyone. And there is no wrong answer. When the right authors and their particular readers find each other – it’s magic! They get each other. The writers are writing what they are passionate about and the readers are gobbling it up and clambering for more — which fuels the author to write faster — which gets the book in the hands of the reader faster. Wait…I went off on a tangent, didn’t I? Subgenres. Favs? Not faves? And…go!

Jumping On The 50 Shades Bandwagon

Yeah, I’m not too proud to capitalize on a market trend. Writers have to do what they can to be seen in an industry as oversaturated as the romance genre. Right? Cool. If you’re looking for my opinion on FSoG (the book), that’s not what I intended to post about. Nor will I be reviewing the film (I have no interest in seeing it – no strong opinions, just no interest.)50shades

What I wanted to discuss is the spectrum – the wide scope of choices in romance that range from inspirational to erotica and beyond, and where I fit into things. Yes, I say beyond. There is 50 shades… and then there are the stories being published about dinosaur sex and unicorn sex. Seriously. It’s out there. And I think “beyond” is exactly how to describe that particular subgenre. *shudder*

Trying not to judge... but seriously - who reads this stuff???

Trying not to judge… but seriously – who reads this stuff???

Ever since I learned I was to be published, back in the summer of 2013, my RWA chapter mates referred to my books as “sweet”. “Jenn writes sweet romance.” “Oh, Jenn’s books are so sweet.” And while I never told them that, I found the term offensive. I write sex scenes. They’re detailed. There might be only one or two in a book, but they’re there. Legally, my publisher has to classify them as “sensual” to warn readers of graphic content. So how could my friends call them sweet?

Me... apparently.

Me… apparently.

I was recently asked to join a few other chapter members in a magazine interview that explored the romance genre from the writers’ perspective. http://www.theeastsidescene.com/news_features/290581411.html When I read the final interview, I realized the journalist did a great job choosing authors from a wide variety of subgenres – and that really gave the article an authentic representation.

This made me stop and think about what I write. Does it matter if I’m labeled sweet? If I am writing what I want to write, what I feel comfortable writing, then no. I read some erotica. I read m/m. I read menage. There are certain levels of heat or content that I shy away from. I feel like I should be up front about this because I made a vow (a New Year’s resolution to myself) to try to review every book I read this year.) So while it might look bizarre for a “sweet” small town contemporary author to review something out of her writing range, the author that was brave enough to write it still deserves a review that helps them reach their own unique group of readers.

Channing Tatum. Yummy, much?

Channing Tatum. Yummy, much?

Everyone has preferences. And everyone knows what they are willing to read and what is just too much for them. The great thing about the romance market is that there is something for everyone. And instead of feeling offended that I’ve been labeled “sweet”, I ought to feel confident that I have found my niche in this market. I need to embrace it and spend my time looking for readers who enjoy a quick sex scene or two, instead of a book that wouldn’t be complete without the hero and heroine hooking up in every chapter. To each his own. Let’s just enjoy the heck out of reading, in general.

What is your favorite go to in the romance genre? I *love* time travel romance and have to give major props to authors that can pull it off. That’s my guilty pleasure because I KNOW I could never write a time travel. I leave it to the professionals. 😉 Way to go, ladies (and men). Thank you for the countless hours of reading enjoyment.