Love in Literature

Happy Valentine’s Day! I was going to get a review out today but instead decided talking about romance would be a nicer post for the day. So let’s talk love.

As it turns out, books involve a lot of romance and many people have opinions on this. Myself included. Romance novels of varying kinds are some of the highest selling genres and more and more it seems to seep into other genres such as fantasy and science fiction, as people’s reading tastes are always changing with the times. While it’s not one I like to consider a romance personally, you only have to look at the overwhelming sales of the likes of 50 Shades of Grey and other erotica novels to see this. People want a balance of swoon-worthy romance and something else.

My personal favourites when I get in a romantic mood have to be paranormal romances with many sexy-times with dark but caring heroes, and nice light-hearted chick lits in which the lady protagonist overturns her life to do what she loves and a nice guy hero comes and sweeps her off her feet. Sometimes we all need a little romance to give us that warm feeling inside and leave us with smiles on our faces.

However, it doesn’t always have its place and more often than not I’d much rather focus on a uniquely rip-roaring adventure of a story than kisses and coy looks. Epic fantasy is a big one here. While fantasy romance can be a wonderful genre, epic fantasy is very heavily story based, often with a lot of darkness and more often than not a budding romance in one of these novels can come across as a little silly and unfitting. It really depends on how the story is handled, but the likes of Frodo starting a budding romance midway on his quest to save the entirety of Middle Earth from such a dark evil just wouldn’t have worked in my honest opinion.

That’s not to say it can never happen, though. There is so much genre crossover these days with steampunk fantasies and magical chick lits with a side order of urban fantasy dystopia comedy that you never know exactly what’s going to work until you try it, and sometimes a bit of love in a good book can be just the lift it needs.

Do you ever find romance in certain genres misplaced? Or do you gobble up all the coy looks and sexy times you can find happily?


  1. You know, I’ve never read a book where the romance particularly *bothered* me, but it makes sense that it doesn’t have as much place in an Epic Fantasy. I mean, I like it, but it has to be done JUST RIGHT. Otherwise you end up with way too much story to tell and have another Wheel of Time series lol! Great discussion!
    Anne’s most recent post ..Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight

  2. Reading this post made me realise how little I actually enjoy romance in books. I mean, sometimes it’s there and it’s fine, and sometimes I can appreciate that it adds to the story but usually I really don’t want to see it.

    It’s just that so many times they get it wrong! How many awful InstaLove sub-plots have you read? Or when they lose sight of the original, interesting plot to constantly go on about the badly-done romance?

    So, uh… Happy Valentine’s Day? :)
    Hanna @ Booking in Heels’s most recent post ..Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

    • I have a tendency to avoid the sorts of books that feature insta-love I guess? xD Not to say I’m good at avoiding it completely but.. yeah. Sometimes I find romance gets in the way of a good story, others it can be a nice humble little backdrop. Really depends on the genre, author, style, everything.
      Hannah’s most recent post ..Love in Literature

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