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BellaOnline's Romance Novels Editor

Romances Forever!

Hello, and welcome back! I hope all our southeastern U.S. readers are staying safe and dry with all these hurricanes coming onshore one after the other--and finding a little reading time. I've had plenty of reading time here where we've been mostly dry, and I can't wait to start sharing the October releases with you.

If you haven't been by the forum lately, you've missed out on the first chances to qualify for our latest big giveaway! All the rules and details are posted in the forum--and you must be a registered user to participate, so hurry on over and get registered so you don't miss out on this one!

Also in the forum, I've started a 'round-up' of chick lit releases. I get an awful lot of them with the romances, and I've decided not to review any more of them here. Instead, I'll just list the new ones I get in the designated thread in the forum to let anyone interested know what's available. We've also had some discussion about our feelings on chick lit vs. romance, and we'd love to hear more opinions on the subject.

So, why won't I be reviewing anymore chick lit, you might ask? Good question.

First of all, everyone seems to have an attitude. A bad attitude. There's more whining going on in these books than I've heard in a roomful of two-year-olds. And about petty things that real-life folks just suck up and get over. The problems the characters have are shallow--I don't know any young women as shallow as these. I'm not saying they don't exist, just that I haven't come across any. So, who can care about whiny, shallow characters? Not me.

And whining sure isn't heroic. I don't want to cheer for these people to overcome their problems. I want characters I can care about and believe in. I can do neither with the characters peopling the chick lit I've read in the last year or two. So why do I want to waste my time reading their stories when I end up annoyed with both the story and the loss of good reading time?

Another thing I've noticed is these books try way too hard to be funny. There are some hilarious romances out there--Sandra Hill's Vikings spring to mind--where the author doesn't have to push and try to make the reader laugh, but just simply tell the story and let the characters do the funny stuff in ways that don't strain your credulity.

And what about a happy ending? Probably not here. I want some closure to a story, to know that the characters have grown and reached a better place in their life, to believe when I close the book that they'll live happily ever after. With chick lit, they're likely only to be happy until Mr. Right Now drops his dirty socks on the floor. Or until they find a better pair of shoes.

Give me heroes and heroines who are flawed but believable, who are trying to improve themselves. Give me a story I can lose myself in, that'll make me laugh and cry with the characters. A story that will make me sorry when I reach the end, sorry that it's ended, not sorry I've wasted good reading time. Give me romances!

Until next time, happy reading!

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