Musing Mondays: My Problem with Romance Novels

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Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted at The Purple Booker which asks you to answer either the random question or one of the following prompts:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

This week’s random question: What do you think about books being made into movies or tv shows and do you always read the book first?

I’m currently reading a paranormal romance novel which is part of a series recommended to me by my best friend. We’ve known for ages that we have very different taste when it comes to books but reading this series has made me realise how different we are when it comes to reading.

Let me start by saying this: I don’t hate Romance novels. I really don’t. I just find some of them a bit cringe-worthy I guess and most of the books that I find cringey are part of the the paranormal romance genre.

The book I’m currently reading is Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh and I’m not really enjoying it. I have read and reviewed the first book in the Guild Hunter series, Angels’ Blood, and I actually rather enjoyed the first book but the second book is getting on my nerves. Both of the lead characters, Elena and Raphael, are just so annoying and I really hate their dynamic. Elena is sex obsessed and while there’s nothing wrong with that it does diminish some of her better characteristics from the first book. She seems incredibly one-dimensional at this point in the book and that’s probably because there’s no hint of a plot yet (and I’ve read almost a third of the book!). Raphael annoyed me in the first book and I hate him in the second book. He calls Elena his pet and constantly degrades her, saying that she’ll never be his equal because he’s a high-and-mighty archangel. I’m just sick of their relationship and I’m only 100 pages into the book.

I think my main problem is that everything is very cliched. He’s incredibly masculine with his perfect body and perfect face, almost to the point of being a caricature of ‘typical’ masculinity, and for some reason masculine equals cruel and heartless in this book. He looks on his lover with disdain, she’ll never be equal to him in his eyes, but she fawns over him like he’s the reincarnation of Apollo or something. Also, they can’t have sex in case he hurts her because she’s so weak and he’s so powerful but they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. It’s just a really boring cliche that I hated in Twilight and I hate in this book too.

I’ve been told that I must continue reading the books because there’s less of Elena and Raphael in the later books (from book 4 onward apparently) but I’m struggling to make it through this book. I’m probably going to say all of this again in my review of the book but hopefully a plot will appear at some point in the novel and I’ll be able to talk about that too.

So, to conclude, I don’t hate romance novels. I just have a problem with how romantic relationships are sometimes portrayed in these novels. I’m sure there are lots of romance novels that don’t have this type of unhealthy relationship but it seems to be a constant in the paranormal romance genre.

What do you think about books being made into movies or tv shows and do you always read the book first?

I always try to read the book before the adaptation comes out which is why I still haven’t seen the film version of The Martian. I’ve just finished the book, which is fantastic by the way, so now I can watch the film. Yay!

However, sometimes adaptations lead to to books that you wouldn’t have even considered reading before. This has happened to me twice in the last few years and both adaptations have been BBC mini series’. The first was the adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell which was so good that I just had to read the book. The book is very long so the adaptation had to pick which scenes were important but I loved both the book and the adaptation. The second time was the adaptation of The Night Manager which initially I only watched because of Tom Hiddleston. I loved the series so much that I had to read the book as soon as it was over. The BBC adaptation made some fairly big changes to the story, including the ending, but I really enjoyed it.

Do you enjoy adaptations?


14 thoughts on “Musing Mondays: My Problem with Romance Novels

  1. The Martian movie really does a great job of taking things from the book. I really enjoyed the adaptation. Nothing wrong with watching the series for Mr. Hiddleston 😉 he is one of my favs and so proud the won so many Globes yesterday. Sometimes it can be fun to be introduced to a new book by seeing the tv/film version first.


  2. Your blog captured my attention! I have published books in another genre, however, just recently co-authored a book in the Romance Genre. Something I never thought I’d do…but I loved it! I was always the book nerd that loved intense novels- Steven King & the like….but, there is something to be said about those guilty pleasures!


  3. I understand the romance novel thing. I have never been very big on it, I thoroughly enjoy Science-Fiction, and often find the plots of romance novels to be lacking and characters development quite, well bland. There have been occasions though that I find these wonderful romantic writers that leave me breathless.

    Of all things I am writing a romance, I wanted to create one that I would enjoy reading. So I am thinking from the viewpoint of someone who doesn’t necessarily enjoy them and adding the elements that I find are usually missing but at the core it is a romance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that I need to find a romance writer that I click with properly. I love the idea that you’re writing a romance even though you’re not normally a fan of them. Your perspective will be so different and I think that it’ll add another level to your book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It came as a huge surprise to me. There are many options in romance you will find one. What I noticed is that I read for content it is difficult to separate dessert reading that is meant to be a guilty pleasure from substantive works. Maybe it’s just the wannabe academic in me. 🙂


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