How did 2015 go? Contemporary Romance.

Sarah Mayberry Julie James Contemporary Romance Book Covers

How did my wishes for contemporary romance for 2015 match up with how contemporary romance in 2015 actually turned out?

My number one wish for contemporary romance for 2015 was for authors to stop being so bloody misogynistic.

Did they do this? Some are great, and I’ve been really happy with some series that celebrate the female characters at least as much as the male characters:

Win Me (The Outback Bachelor Ball Book 1) by Joan KilbyWoo Me (The Outback Bachelor Ball Book 2) by Karina BlissWait for Me (The Outback Bachelor Ball #3)  by Sarah Mayberry

But the subgenre as a whole? Nope, not really.

I read some books that were truly horrifying and made me disgusted with women writers for hating their own gender so much. Such as this one.

Something reading romance teaches you is exactly how many women are misogynists, and how many fantasise about bad things happening to other women. We’re not at war with each other, and if your male characters don’t act like this, the women sure don’t have to.

This needs to change.

Category Romance. No more home renovation. No more ageing parents going into homes. No more bakers. No more etc. etc. etc.

I was sick of the same themes and occupations over and over and wanted more variety.

Did I get it? Well, publishers themselves have been starting to put out calls for more variety. No more home renovation and no more ageing parents (why people in their twenties would be putting their parents into nursing homes is beyond me!). Publishers are tired of reading about bakers – and so am I.

PLEASE no more traumatised navy SEAL cowboys returning to small town Texas. PLEASE. I beg you!

Change doesn’t come fast though, but I have hope that this is something that IS changing. I’ve read some more modern and relevant contemporary romance this year. It’s just a matter of dumping the traditional Harlequin tropes and recognising the real world is a whole lot more interesting than that.

I wanted contemporary romance to tackle real world issues.

It’s utterly bizarre how contemporary romance tends to ignore reality. So much is going on in the world and there are so many places and issues that books could deal with. A lot of readers steer clear of contemporary romance because they find it too mundane.

It doesn’t have to be.

I think this might be changing gradually too.

I was sick of all the sex and wanted this amazing little thing called a PLOT to return.

This is a generalisation, and it depends on the author and the book. However, I know I’m not the only one who has said this recently. The sex-obsession has actually sent me in the direction of Christian fiction. I don’t want to be preached at or converted, but I also appreciate the time taken to develop a relationship before everyone jumps into bed.

Yes, I read some good contemporary romances in 2015, but I also didn’t read all that much of this subgenre this year. Hopefully I’ll do better next year, and hopefully I’ll discover that the issues I have are being changed!

5 thoughts on “How did 2015 go? Contemporary Romance.

  1. I haven’t read much contemporary romances for a lot of these very reasons. The repeating hero/heroine occupations and hatred toward other female characters in the stories got old.

    I’ve been mostly sticking with Julie James who has fantastic female characters and they haven’t been nasty to other women in her books yet. Also, I love that her heroines are usually attorneys. However, I’m getting tired of the hero being an FBI agent, which it seems like she’s been doing a lot lately.

    1. I really like Julie James’ books, but I haven’t read the last couple! I tend to forget to buy the books I don’t get as review books, which means I’ve been missing out on some of the best authors.

      The women-hating seems to be getting worse and worse in this subgenre, and I have no idea why. It makes no sense to me.

      1. That’s sad that it’s getting worse. I’m not sure what could be spurring that either! But wish it would stop.

        I understand about forgetting to pick-up books with all the review titles. James is always one I forget about too. I think I’m one or two books behind on her stuff right now.

    1. I’ve been reading less and less contemporary romance, but I go through stages where I binge on it. Sometimes it’s REALLY well-written, and then other times it seems a little mundane (or irritating – for the reasons in this post!). 🙂

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