Dangerous Hero Addict Support Group discussion

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Food for Thought > Has the defintion of romance novel changed over the years?

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message 1: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9734 comments Mod
What would you define as a romance novel?

How has that changed? Has it changed?

Have you read books that really aren't romance but are put in this category? How do you feel about that?



message 2: by Pamela(AllHoney), Danger Zone (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 1706 comments Mod
What would you define as a romance novel? To me a romance is where romance is the main element and always has an HEA (Happily Ever After).

How has that changed? Has it changed? I see a lot of serials and a lot of HFNs (Happily for now). And of course, I sometimes see a tragedy listed as a romance. Pfffttt! There are also a lot of books that may have a minor romantic element in there and they too are often listed in romance.

Have you read books that really aren't romance but are put in this category? How do you feel about that? Yes, I have and I hate it!


message 3: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 181 comments Obvious answers... They still end with the HEA and the relationship arc is the central story

Differences: sexier, gender mixing, racial diversity, paranormal, women are not so passive.


message 4: by Katya (last edited Aug 14, 2015 03:23PM) (new)

Katya | 327 comments I wanted to comment on how Romance has changed over the years I have been reading it.

When I was an older teen, my grandmother passed on her used Barbara Cartland novels. And they where short, unbelievable, eye rolling - even then. I found the heroine not much of a heroine and more a timid female who was like a dry leaf blowing about in a wind storm. She had no control over her life, mainly because she took no control over her life. I know these were historicals but they just were so lacking. The heroine's never seemed to have any real personality. I never got very sold on the story and quickly moved to horror and other genres.

In my late twenties I was broke and read alot of "bodice ripper" novels....alot of sex, over the top turmoil, danger and women who seemed to be running from something....these women were brave in that they at least took some sort of action against the inequality and infliction of pain in their life but ran from it and had to be rescued...she just could not do it on her own.

Now, I think women in romance novels face adversity head on for the most part. They fight, they stand their ground. They still need rescue but are willing to fight until it comes...even in the shape of a tall, beefy man.

I also think some authors are starting to and willing to write imperfect heroines/heroes. I think the fantasy of being "saved" back in the day is moving toward a more realistic, albeit fantasy sometimes, of a woman getting out of trouble with the help of a man but having options.

Now for every point I make there is a proof in some story that will counter my opinion.....I am making generalizations here. And there are some wonderful romances from yesteryear where the heroine is brave and strong and wonderful.......

I think you also see more and more where the woman saves the man....with her strength, love and yes even brawn. She gets up and stands tall after being beaten down and isn't afraid to go outside what is expected of her.

I wonder if the way women have been depicted in romance novels is a reflection of how women see themselves in the world. It is interesting how different the flavor is of a male written romance verses a woman. Most of the romance novels I read are written by women.

I think today, the idea that the hero comes in, swoops down and picks her up and carries her to safety is not one that has changed over the years - but that only happens now after she has stood, fought and kicked danger in the nuts.


message 5: by Cindi (new)

Cindi (ourtrumpcard) | 381 comments My obvious answer: the covers! Seriously, the covers show all the changes ya'll have described...we are not timid anymore! And I think Romance now has many, many subgenres such as PNR, Romantic Suspense, Historicals, etc. In the good old days I thought there was Bodice Ripper ;) and Women's Stories, then came chick-lit, etc. But thought it all weaves HEA. Thank God, because life is tough enough without a good Romance!


message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 181 comments I wanted to insert a wonderful historical I just finished because it embodies many of the changes of recent times. The Ringmaster's Daughter It was set in the Georgian era of England which I've read many of. Usually they feature the nobility. But this one was about commoners as both hero and heroine. They both had jobs--that they needed. She was strong, callused, worked up a sweat. She was no virgin. She saved herself from the villain. But he redeemed himself by admitting his fault and THEN doing a physical rescue thing. But mostly it was because of his mental ability and character. I loved it! It still had the atmosphere of the period, but was different enough to intrigue me.


message 7: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9734 comments Mod
I like seeing more diversity in romance characters and stories. It's nice to know you can find a little of anything in romance.

I feel that some things shouldn't change about romance:

happy ending, true love, a firm commitment between the leads.

Like Pamela mentioned, I'm questionable about happy for now.


message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 181 comments Katya, I don't think we necessarily can tell the difference between a male- or female-written romance. Pseudonyms can blur the picture, for one thing.


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