Half a Romance

It’s a familiar disappointment. You stumble upon a romance that actually has two complex, yet sympathetic characters, flowing dialogue, a racing plot and chemistry popping sparks out of the Kindle. And then… Halfway through the book they’re already in love and you know the rest of the book is going to be a series of manufactured obstacles to their Happy Ever After. Sometimes it’s unnecessary danger – that really bugs me. Why does she have to have a dangerous stalker for no particular reason? Sometimes you can already tell from the blurb that this is going to happen. You know the drill:

He’s a small-town guy who wasn’t planning to fall in love. But he does.

She’s new in town and trying to keep her head down. But she can’t ignore his hotness.

But then her past catches up with her and all the suckers reading the book have to sit through some contrived criminal activity and the hero being all distraught and macho before they can get their happily-ever-after.

I’m not intending to mock a genre which gets mocked too often as it stands. But if I want to read a romance, I want to read a romance. So I’m done halfway through. It doesn’t work for me unless the emotional tension is sustained throughout the plot. That’s the challenge I’ve set myself.

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