Don’t kill the fantasy in romance.

Hi everyone, Rosanna here. Please note the following post is a reblog. I wrote this last week for my own blog and it seemed to create a lot of interest so I wanted to share it here. I’d love to know your thoughts on the topic.


Recently, I’ve read several posts from folks who feel romance literature has become too much a thing of fantasy. That’s there isn’t enough realism in the genre. Here are a few of the complaints I’ve heard:

-Even when clearly flawed in some way, the heroes are too perfect. They don’t resemble real men.
-Those heroes give their women too many orgasms. (Yeah, someone complained about that!)
-The scenarios are too implausible. No one falls in love under those circumstances.
-The relationships are too intense.

Whew. This gave me pause. After all, I’ve always read romance for the sense of fantasy. Even when reading “realistic” contemporary romance, I want something more than a slice of life. I want better than real life.

It’s not to say real life can’t be grand, but don’t we enjoy those “implausible” scenarios because they take us away from our problems for a while?

As for those too-perfect heroes, bring them on. I am married to a wonderful real man. I wouldn’t trade him in for the world. I’d never expect my husband to bear the traits of my heroes, and I don’t need someone who looks like a GQ model. But when it comes to fantasy, yes, I want to be able to dream about the hunky dude with six-pack abs and rumbly voice. I’d be willing to bet when most men fantasize, they are dreaming about women who look like a young Sophia Loren. So I don’t feel so guilty about dreaming about my Greek gods.

Multiple orgasms? Yes, please. Again, real life does not always provide this luxury for many women. We’re tired. We’re busy. We have work and families and commitments. So yes, in my romances, women will always get multiple orgasms. 😉 They deserve every last spine-tingling one.

Are the relationships intense in romance novels? Yes, they can feel that way. However, in 200 pages, an author can only provide a glimpse of that relationship. Within those pages, we have to make the reader fall in love, right along with the couple. We have to deliver the emotion and a satisfying journey. I’m not going to tell you a story about a couple who meet under boring circumstances. I want to tell the story of the couple who meet and bam! Their worlds collide.

I can understand readers grow tired of reading certain elements in their books. However, does this mean I will ever stop delivering these crucial elements? No way.

The multiple orgasms stay.



15 thoughts on “Don’t kill the fantasy in romance.

  1. No doubt those that are complaining about not enough realism, etc. would complain equally as loud if you took out the fantasy and made things real. Their cry would turn to what you just said “I read books to get away from reality. I don’t want to read about ordinary people.” No pleasing some, and silly to even try.

    I’m right there with you about the hunky heroes and multiple orgasms Rosanna. Bring ’em on!


  2. Sheesh, someone actually complained about the orgasms?! Good Lord, what is the world coming to?
    Let them complain all they want, a true romance reader would never care for these things, Yes, sometimes, I do need a flawed fictional hero who might seem a bit more realistic, but that doesn’t make the other ones less enjoyable. And while I do avoid too-perfect heroes, I can say with certainty that those are only the exception to the rule, most writers nowadays make sure that their heroes have something to balance their looks and bodies.
    Therefore, ignore them. I’m willing to bet those people don’t even like romance, they’re just reading it in order to have something to complain about.


  3. Well said, I get those criticisms all the time. Since I was an avid romance reader before I began to write, I know I read to escape. I was a trial lawyer for chrissakes. After a day of trying to solve clients’ problems and dealing with hard-nose lawyers, I wanted to come home and ESCAPE.

    Do I have reality in my books? Sure, but even when they see it, some readers don’t believe it.

    So I write what I like to read. And I am thrilled that there are a lot of readers out there who like to read my books. So, now I write for my fans, too.


  4. I completely agree with all you’ve said. I read romance to escape. Yes, I like those that make me think about life and human relationships, but I read them to escape. I also write historical romance, specifically regency, and I have many people argue that my genre misrepresents the “reality” of the time period: people smelled and were hairy, they had syphilis, the wealthy were overweight, the men were short, many were missing their teeth, the women were docile, [insert your favorite foul thing here]. Well, I explain that I do not write historical fiction or nonfiction; I write historical romance – and that means that my books portray a romanticized view of the time period.


    • Thanks Amy. Boy, I hear you. Regency romances are my first love, but I admit, I shied away from them because I worried about this exact thing. I know historical fans are die-hards (as they should be) and I hated to disappoint them. Still, you have to draw a line in the sand. We don’t write textbooks. We write romance, which should be accurate, but also fun and fantastical. Thanks for your comment!


  5. Pingback: Links of Interest — Dec 30, 2014 - Chris

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