Insta-love, Insta-sex and Werewolf bondage.

I am on a mission to read erotic romances because I think I should learn some of their techniques. Invariably I run into werewolf romances which tend to be of the erotica and the ridiculous variety. There’s an obsession with alpha werewolf men  and the heroine almost always has been fated to be bonded to him (to be his mate as it’s called).  Of course the heroine will in time come to fall madly in love with the alpha werewolf because he’s alpha.  She will come to enjoy his dominance because he’s alpha.  She will have irrepressible sexual urges for him only  because, well, he’s alpha.  Then you realise that words like fate, soul mate, bonded from time immemorial, are key words that cue you to the author’s lack of characterization skills. Curiously these heroines would balk from an arranged marriage. Aren’t arranged marriages just as fated as being bonded to an alpha werewolf?

I find sex in romance fiction to be a crutch.  It is easy to write sex scenes rather than show the laborious task of two characters falling in love.  Even easier, if love and sexual urges are decided by ‘fate’ or other paranormal constructions of ‘fate’. Here’s a tip,  if you’re writing an erotic romance, take out the sex scenes.  If readers can enjoy relationship, then the sex adds to it.  If the readers can’t understand the relationship, then sex detracts from it.

I get it.  Romance genre is a fantasy for the american female reader. Sadly it’s a fantasy, I just don’t understand. The obsession with alpha male heros I don’t understand. It doesn’t help that I find it hard to read the often exaggerated prose in romance fiction. They take “show don’t tell” to the heavens.   Every touch tingles, every look burns.  In the literary fiction, sex is supposed to be bad because the main character has a bad case of  the ‘human condition’. In romance sex is always awesome.  Feelings tend to exaggeration.

Now I don’t mind reading love stories. I especially like them if they are written from a distant frame of reference.  You don’t need to try your damnest to showcase the love because love by itself is a powerful emotion.  A slight touch is enough to draw the reader, especially me. Piling on the emotion just makes me feel yucky.  Yeah, that’s what I feel after trying to read a bunch of romances, yucky.

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