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:
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.
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!