Originally Posted by Elfwreck
I agree that most of these aren't "Romance" in the normal genre sense. I don't mind that; romance characters and tropes can be off-putting to people outside the genre, and there's no shortage of good discussion of the genre itself at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
. As a long-time avid romance reader, I'm plenty happy for February's selection to be "books with strong romantic elements" rather than "books that almost everyone agrees belong on the /romance/ shelf." I would rather romance got some indirect attention than that the genre was excluded entirely because most people here don't care for it.
I wish those who know and love romance novels would suggest some books which are solid fits. What are must reads in the genre?
I get the impression that there's an element of shame or embarrassment about romance books that doesn't apply to crime or sci-fi or westerns or what have you, which doesn't seem just. I assume as with any genre category, there are the well-written books and then there's the typical dreck (which can be entertaining enough, not judging). Is it because women are the target audience, as opposed to other genres which appeal either partially or mostly to men?