When I was a teenager ( 175 years ago!), my taste in, and selection of, romance books was a tad different from what it is today. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers were my top reads back in the day and this little sheltered Catholic girl learned a whole lot about love, sex, and romance ( you thought I was gonna say Rock and Roll, admit it!) from those talented writers. In a world before the Internet, cell phones, reality TV and fame for fame’s sake, these books educated me in the ways of seduction, foreplay, and the real difference between men and women. Being transported back to the times when manners mattered, words could be used to seduce or slay, and women came to a marriage bed untouched and unknowing was fun to read.
Flash forward to the present day and I’m invested in, and now read a, different kind of romance story. While Regency tales of naughty noblemen and lascivious Lords are still fun for me to loose myself in, I know all about sex now, firsthand (!) so my eyes don’t need to be opened from reading about it, and I have a different perspective on what I want to read in today’s romance book.
Contemporary romantic fiction runs the gamut from sweet (no sex) tales of Amish women finding their true loves, to mild ( some sex, bedroom door closed) stories of women embarking on new life challenges; from sensual (sex with bedroom door wide open) stories of women discovering the meaning of their lives, to spicy (LOTS of sex in every place imaginable!) tales of women who are discovering their sexual – and personal – identities.
The common denominator in all the books I like to read now? The word contemporary.
I lovelovelove reading about present day women of any age who are struggling, trying to make a better life, wondering if they will ever find their own happily ever after. Contemporary women in the here and now are my tribe. They live their lives with passion, fight for the ideas they believe in, aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and would do anything for, and sacrifice everything for, the people they love. The men they let into their hearts may not always be deserving of such a place of honor in the beginning of the tale, but by the end of it, my contemporary girls have brought about a profound change in them – and in herself – that it facilitates their lifetime love. Their own happily ever after.
The contemporary romances I read – I will freely admit – run from sensual to spicy. Unlike when I was growing up, women can have sex freely these days without the dread of being burned at the stake ( don’t laugh – it happened), without fear of being abandoned by family and society, and without worry about getting pregnant – although this last one is a popular romantic trope to this day ( the unplanned OOPS baby). They can engage in behavior that at one time would have lead to their banishment from society, their public censure, and their economic downfall. And they can have fun doing it now. Some of my favorite books to read are romantic comedies where the laughs equal the sexy parts, measure for measure.
In my youth, the heroines I read fell into a very small category: ladies of noble birth or not. No in between. No shopkeepers, governesses, scullery maids.
Today, the heroines I read about are brilliant doctors, powerful lawyers, CEO’s of their own companies, tech executives. They are nurses, teachers, veterinary techs, bus drivers, race car enthusiasts, television producers. And they are stay-at-home moms, policewomen. writers. They are all the women I know.
So, in the past several decades I can truly say I have evolved as a romance reader.
But I have to admit I still love a Regency rake!
Since I love contemporary romances, here’s where you can find the ones I write – stories about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. Amazon author page
My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS.
Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.
Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.