Monday, February 10, 2014

The Mystery of Romance Fiction

One of the biggest complaints about romance fiction from people who don't read it is that romances are so predictable.  You know that the couple are going to get together in the end, which makes the books boring, say the detractors.

That's true, as it is in mystery fiction, biographies, and a number of other genres.  But I contend that romance readers are into the genre for the ride, and in order to get the most out of the ride (watching person A get together with person B), we go into the books thinking in this one romance the unthinkable might happen: There won't be a happily ever after.  And it's this self-deception that makes the book even more enjoyable.

Lane Hayes in Better Than Chance destroys even that little bit of self-deception by making his first person narrator tell the ending the of the story before relating the story itself.  If you'd asked me before I reviewed this book, if I thought revealing the ending of a romance book would bother me, I would have said no.  But it did.

All the way through I kept waiting for something to surprise me, but nothing did.  And when I finished reading, I kept wondering why the book felt so blah to me.  I finally figured out that I like the little bit of suspense when I'm not quite sure that person A really will end up with person B or if this time, there will be no happy ending for anyone.

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