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What Kind of Man Reads Romance Novels?

by Bob Valleau  
7/15/2010 / Humor

I don't know them personally, but I know "of" them -- men who read romance novels. I don't get it. I love storytelling in just about every genre: fiction, non-fiction, drama, adventure, thriller, sci-fi, westerns, etc. But a romance novel? Come on. Why would a man find romance novels fascinating?

Caution. Rant ahead: Isn't a romance novel basically about a woman who falls in love with a billionaire, oil tycoon, or some guy with a cowboy hat, a southern drawl and walks with a John Wayne swagger? Why can't a romance novel be about a love between an overworked, underpaid night waitress and the local guy named Bubba who drives a sanitation truck?

I know romance novels are big business. They appeal to women who imagine being ravished by some hunk in a faraway exotic or intoxicating locale, or who have high hopes of having a fairytale relationship -- pure escapism at its best. On the other hand, though, I had a friend who had a male friend who did quite well as a romance novelist. This makes me wonder how many male authors write romance novels under a pseudonym? Topic for another article, I guess.

Still, I've never been able to make myself read a romance novel. I did try once. I barely made it through the first chapter because it was such an emotional roller coaster ride. I went through half a box of Kleenex before throwing the book down.

Maybe someday I will attempt to read a romance novel again. Maybe not. Now, please go away while I set up my TiVo to record one of my favorite cable channels. It's airing a Nora Roberts movie marathon this weekend, and I don't want to miss it.

Bob Valleau has over 30 years of writing experience for the Christian market. He was once named Christian Writer of the Year (San Antonio, Texas) by the American Christian Writers Association. He is the author of four books.

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