Friday, July 20, 2018

Tea Party Talk: Stop Undervaluing Romance Books and Shaming Romance Readers

In the last few years, I've been making an effort to expand my reading interest! This was an exciting and fun change that has led to a bunch of awesome books. Through this, I have discovered a love of romance novels! I've always been drawn to books that have romantic subplots so I was thrilled when I picked up my first romance book and found that the focus was on two people finding love. I found so much comfort in these stories, especially when I was going through times that I found emotionally difficult. They've helped me through some dark parts in my life and hold a special place in my heart. But since becoming a romance reader, I've wrestled with some ridiculous (but harmful) reactions from others. 

It wasn't until I began really falling into the genre that I was confronted by some of the not-so-great consequences of reading it (i.e.: people thinking you're dumb/not a "real" reader because you enjoy a good romance). I was honestly shocked that people were so harsh on the romance genre and its readers. I would go into the romance aisles at bookstores and catch the judgemental stares of other people browsing throughout the store (but, of course, staying faaaar away from the romance aisle). I got the impression that people thought I was somehow a lesser reader or not as intelligent because I was holding books in my hands that focused on romance. 

I honestly started feeling self-conscious and embarrassed whenever I found myself standing in the romance aisles. My kindle began filling with these titles because I felt better about buying them online rather than in the store (no one to judge you when you buy online). I hated the way other people made me feel, like I had something to be ashamed of just because I enjoyed this genre. It was infuritating, if I'm being honest. I've read widely and voraciously for many years -- everything from classics, to Young Adult, to high fantasy and beyond. And I've read romance novels that were just as (if not more) well written than books in those genres. Romance novels that tackled tough and nuanced subjects, that had three dimensional and complex characters, that brought up interesting and engaging questions to me as a reader. 

I have never seen romance as a "lesser-than" genre and it pisses me off that some people think of it that way and for what reason? Because there's kissing? Because they often end in a happily ever after? What is wrong with that? Sometimes a happily ever after is necessary (especially with all of horrors and negativity in the world right now -- if I want to read a book that will leave me happy, I damn well will).   

I'm tired of people (both in and out of the industry) not taking the romance genre seriously and looking down their noses at the readers. I'm especially tired of letting them make me feel ashamed for reading these stories! So, no more of that nonsense. Here are some absolutely amazing romance stories that you should check out because they're incredible.

LGBTQ+ sports romance that is so awesome I'm still flailing about it weeks after finishing. The MCs are so amazing and Gavin Brawley is my favorite and he needs to be protected at all cost. Add it on Goodreads.

Unproblematic fav and another sports romance. I loved the progression of the relationship in this one and the lack of unnecessary drama and angst. Read if you want to smile a whole bunch. Add it on Goodreads.

A romance full of awesome representation and diversity. The heroine has Asperger's and the hero is Vietnamese and Swedish and they are literally so amazing together. This was one of my favorite books of the year so far and I think everyone should read it. Add it on Goodreads.

This is one that I can read over and over again and never get tired of. I related so much to the heroine when I read it and fell head of heels for the hero. Seriously, Crosbie is so amazing and sweet. Add it on Goodreads.

I can't not add this book to a list of awesome, must-read romance books. I've read it only about a million times and plan to read it more. If you're a fan of enemies-to-lovers romances, you should read this one. Add it on Goodreads

What are some of your favorite romance books? This only barely scratches the surface of my favorites but these are a good start! Have you ever experienced judgement from people who found out you read a certain genre? How did you deal with it? I'd love to hear from you!

Leave your comments in the comments below!


  1. People are just the worst sometimes. You really shouldn't judge someone based on what they read. Honestly, I think it's amazing when I hear someone reads, so I don't really care WHAT they are reading. I have a friend that really loved the 50 Shades books...but it also got her interested in reading other books too, so yay for that! I mostly read m/m romance when it comes to romantic novels and I love L.A. Witt, Annabeth Albert, Megan Erickson, Josh Lanyon, etc.


    1. They really are! I don't understand why people tend to look down on the romance genre, I really don't. Like you said, I'm just happy when I see someone picking up a book to read!

      I don't think I've read many books by those authors but I'm adding them to my list :) Thanks for the suggestions and thanks for stopping by!


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