**spoiler alert** Gave up on this one. Romance is really just not a genre for me, I guess, at least for reading. Every holiday season, I get sucked in**spoiler alert** Gave up on this one. Romance is really just not a genre for me, I guess, at least for reading. Every holiday season, I get sucked into the somewhat sappy Christmas romance movies that Hallmark Channel comes up with every year, and so that, for some inexplicable reason, makes me think that giving the holiday romance genre another try is a good idea. It's never a good idea. Never.
These stories were okay. I really only read the first one all the way through—it was kind of sweet and luckily not smutty or overly graphic like so many romances are, and there was even a hint of a plot line other than just straight up romance: two characters getting together just to have copious amounts of graphically detailed sex. I gave up reading the second one after the female character of the story, a woman named Anna who seemed pretty tough and not the swooning-over-a-man type, literally lets go of the reins of her oxen during the middle of nasty blizzard so she can start making out with a guy she just met. I started the third one and probably read half but then just put the book down totally, deciding not to continue.
Another problem I have with romances—besides the aforementioned reasons—is the repetitive phrasing, circuitous plotting, and/or lack of editing. The author repeats the same thing that was just said not one sentence ago, but just in slightly different way. Or, pages later, you the reader are being reminded of something that was already stated but that you have apparently forgotten because you the reader are so dumb you can't possibly remember something that was mentioned two or three pages ago. This was a big hang up about the first story in the book for me. Maybe it's not that the readers are that dumb but perhaps the characters are that thus, such ridiculous repetition is warranted. For example, in the first story, it's mentioned that the cowboy's first wife, who was really too young to be a good companion for the cowboy, passed during childbirth two years ago (I forgot the name of the cowboy already). Later on, perhaps a few short chapters on, Maggie, the female character/love interest in the story is wondering why there aren't any feminine touches in the cowboy's house, so later, she asks the cowboy about it, and he replies that it was because his wife was so young and because she died two years ago. Basically, the whole thing is repeated—why? Because Maggie is moron, because the author thinks her readers are morons, or because there was lack of a good editor or just a good storyteller?
Anyway, this was, as they say, not my cup of tea. I think that one of the reasons I'm enticed by these stupid romance books time and time again is because I keep thinking there will be an actual plot. In the sappy but lovable (at least to me) Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, there's actual plot and conflict that goes along with the romance or really more the "G rated" two characters falling in love scenario. If you like the plot and the characters, then of course you don't mind having some romance mixed in. At least I don't. I've been surprised by books that I had no idea were romances or had sex in them but ended up loving them in spite of, or sometimes, because of that angle. (I think of "Ghost Planet" as a good example.) I suppose that's another reason I try out these romances every now and then, but I know I should probably stop. (Especially since, while I do love the Hallmark movies at Christmastime, the rest of the year I could do without them.) ...more