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BellaOnline's Romance Novels Editor

What Do Romance Readers Want?

Hello, and welcome back! I hope you're all still getting in plenty of reading time. Old Man Winter isn't quite ready to give up the ghost here, but there are signs that spring is close by, and I can't wait to be able to take my books out under the tree and read in the shade while the birds are singing. Soon enough.

The article I did a couple weeks ago on The Changing Focus of Romance Novels has gotten so much interest, that it got me to thinking. Wondering what the average romance reader wants in her reading material. What she (or he) hates. So I made up a short survey to find out. There's nothing at all scientific about it, just me wanting to know what readers want. The plan is to collect survey responses until April 30, 2003, and then I'll compile all the answers to do a follow-up article in May. I won't use any personally identifying information in the article, but I may use some quotes. I hope you'll take part in this. I suspect it may get as much attention as the last article and, depending on whether any industry folks see it, that can't be a terrible thing, can it? If you have any questions, please email me.

I do have one book to share with you this week, Christine Feehan's Dark Symphony (Jove). Byron Justicano has finally found his life mate in Antonietta Scarletti. Now he just has to persuade her to see him as something other than an oddity--because Byron is Carpathian. Let me just start off by saying I'm not at all into most vampires/undead/whatever-they-call-themselves, but I figured, so many people love the books in this series, there must be something there. Unfortunately, I don't see it. I had high hopes for Antonietta--she's a successful blind musician, practically second-in-command in her family, so she should be a strong woman, but with Byron rushing in to rescue her all the time, it was hard to tell how she got to be so successful. I have no problem with Alpha males--love them, especially Linda Howard's and Elizabeth Lowell's--but Byron is beyond Alpha. I'm not even sure what to call him. I just know I didn't enjoy this at all. I'm only borrowing one of Cupid's arrows for this one.

Don't forget to check out the survey, and pop into the forum to chat with us about romance novels! Until next week, happy reading!

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