I read a lot. Normally may tastes run to horror, literary fiction, thrillers and a few history (human and mechanical) mixed with a dash of humor. Regardless, romance was never on my serving platter.
Or so I thought.
Upon reflection, I realized that many of the horror and thriller books had romance as a crucial component. Some even had sex, albeit the executions of the scenes were constructed with varying degrees of success. Granted, it wasn’t the absolute central theme but they were there. And you know what? Take them out of the story and the ride would have been less entertaining.
As my dozen or so followers know, I wrote an unvarnished view of the first published book that I would consider romance. Now granted, this book is so polarizing that many question what it is. For them, I offer the following link:
As the esteemed Ms. Lopez so eloquently illustrates, there can be a way to categorize fish, fowl, and…well…a different type of fishy fowl (flying fish?).
Now, I have had a couple great talks with this writer and I enjoy her view on the subject immensely. Adept at talking mechanics, style, emotion, never once was I ever made to feel embarrassed by how she addressed subjects. She approaches her selected craft with grace and intelligence, seeking no apology and offering none – nor should she.
But enough with the singing praise for J. Lea Lopez. She doesn’t need my fawning attention. This is (as usual) about me. i.e. I told you that story so I could tell you this one.
As one of five men in the known universe that has apparently read the first ’50 Shades’ book – and openly admitted it – I have since been extended the offer on no less than five occasions to read the sequels. These offers come to me with anticipation on the part of those readers that were captivated by the book (all hard copy, no pirating). Still, I have held my hand up while considering the offers. The look of disappointment on their faces is measurable, and I respect these people enough that it causes a touch of guilt. All these people are intelligent and professionals in their field. All were also analytical enough to admit that the writing style had (ahem) certain flaws. This is, however, beside the point.
I think I treated the book fairly in my analysis, even if I did present my findings with humor and some fiction (my wife has many reasons to be occasionally embarrassed by me, but humiliating her in a supermarket never happened. I only triggered an impromptu discussion group at the checkout line. It wasn’t like I was polling people while they were ruminating over which breakfast cereal to purchase). That being said, while I’ve defended the book in regards to the misconceptions about it, I’m sure there are better examples of romance I can peruse.
I know, I know. ‘Nice time to get picky, Revo. What’s the matter, are you afraid of a couple books?’
The short answer; no. The long answer; not in the least.
I’m not saying I won’t buckle to the pressure. I rather enjoy discussing books with people. Hell, Nelson DeMille and Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child should be giving me kickback for all the praise to other readers I’ve offered. When I like a book, I want to see if others share in the experience, if for no other reason than it provides something to discuss other than the weather (a constant overriding them in New England, BTW).
What I am saying – to go full circle – is that if I do read the sequels, I will do it with a far more comfortable mindset than I had before reading the first book. I am no longer on the outside looking in. I am not following biased opinion based on ‘excerpts’. Can you imagine if Tom Sawyer was presented to you by means of snippets with agendas? There would be maybe a half dozen copies left in this country.
No, I’ve stepped through the portal and took the first few steps into a new world, and thanks to passionate readers I know and writers like Ms. Lopez, my horizons are broadened for doing so.