I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.
I have just been through every review I posted on GoodReads and of course I couldn't help reading them as I went along. It slowed me down a bit, but I also noticed some patterns. Most of them were no surprise. A few made me stop and think. I'm in a really upbeat mood today so I'm going to focus on the positive.
These are things that make me love a romance novel. These are things that make me add books to my favorites collection, make me want to read more of the author's work and make me add "I loved this" to my reviews…
- Determined heroes
- Strong, resourceful (but not bitchy) heroines
- Settings that are portrayed realistically and descriptively enough that they come to life
- Love scenes that either develop the characters further or enrich and contribute to the plot rather than those that are gratuitously tacked on
- In a series, characters that stay true to the character as written in previous books in the series
- Characters who actually deal with their problems rather than solving them with sex
- Characters who openly exhibit remorse when they have hurt someone
- Shapeshifters whose behavior references the animal they shift into
- Heroes with short hair, heroes who wear suits (or uniforms ;) ) and especially heroes who do both
- In romantic suspense, a suspense plot that is written as well as the romance
- Plots that make sense
- Plots that are completely nonsensical, but only if it's extreme and tongue-in-cheek
- Consequences for bad behavior
- In kinky romance, at least some sort of passing nod to the reality of kink
- In ménage romance, moments when the characters stop to think, "how the heck is this going to work?"
- In historical romances, a lack of obvious anachronisms
- Fleshed out secondary characters that serve a purpose in the story other than info dumping and serial bait
- I am a sucker for best-friend's-big-brother/big-brother's-best-friend romances and my favorites of these have heroes and heroines who support each other rather than pushing each other away
- Heroines (especially BBW heroines) who don't constantly put themselves down
- Book covers that depict really sexy men in suits or uniforms (or better yet partly in suits or uniforms)
- Did I mention determined heroes? I really love determined heroes
What makes you love a romance?
(Also, this is one of the things I like most about BookLikes - the individual blogs where we can review but we can also ramble about books generally and our friends can join in the discussion or ignore it as they wish.)