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BellaOnline's Romance Novels Editor


Satisfied With Today's Romances?

Guest Author - Elizabeth Darrach

Hello, and welcome back! Due to some technical difficulties, our server went down over the weekend, and all of the reader surveys I had received so far are lost. That'll teach me to keep hard copies. So I'm sending out a call to all of you who'd sent me a response to please resend them. Please! I won't be able to do my follow-up article without them.

I'm still trying to get rid of my cough, but am feeling a little better this week--well enough to start digging into my teetering TBR pile again. What I'm seeing, though, has got me to wondering again: am I the only one not loving much of what I'm reading lately?

We talked a few weeks ago about the changing focus of romance novels, and about what readers want, but I'm still pondering both. Clearly, some publishers are listening to the readers' demands (ie, Silhouette with their new fantasy line Luna, due to debut in another year or so), but it seems to me that more are not yet. Speaking as a writer, I know publishing moves slowly. Far slower than the occasional snail I get in my gardens. But are they moving too slowly to satisfy their readers? And what's going to happen to the market if readers start abandoning the genre because they're not getting what they want? This has been troubling me since I heard from a reader who said she's reading much less romance now for some of these reasons. Surely she's not the only one. This can't be a good thing for the romance industry. Just some food for thought. And I'd love to hear from all of you on this issue.

Anyway, I've got two new books to share with you this week. The first is Lauren Royal's Lily (Signet), the second in her "Flower" trilogy. Lord Randal Nesbit has come to court Lily Ashcroft's sister Rose, even though he was charmed by Lily when they met years ago. Lily plans to do the right thing and help her sister land her man, despite Lily's own feelings for him. In theory, this sounds like a terrible dilemma for a couple, but in practice, it wasn't so bad or wrenching as it could have been. The bigger problem is Rand's father and his insistence that Rand marry his ward Margery, who was to wed Rand's late brother. The wedding issue seemed to me to drag on longer than it should have, so by the time the resolution came, I was past ready for it to end. The story is pleasant enough, but not a keeper for me. I'm only borrowing three of Cupid's five arrows for it.

The second book this week is Lisa Jackson's Impostress (Signet). Kiera of Lawenydd has just married her sister's husband, Kelan of Penbrooke. Sort of. She was to stand in at the wedding and for the wedding night, and then Elyn would take her rightful place and her new groom would never know she wasn't a virgin. Except that Elyn is gone, and Kiera is stuck. It's hard to imagine how anyone could carry off such a deception, though in days when marriages were arranged without the bride and groom knowing one another, perhaps not so difficult to understand. It's also hard to imagine how you can possibly cheer for a heroine who's lying to her hero. I found that aspect of the story difficult myself, though I did enjoy the book as a whole. I'm giving it three and a half arrows.

Don't forget to check out and complete our reader survey , and, as always, join us in the forum to discuss this week's books, or your fave authors or anything else about romance novels that's on your mind. And until next week, happy reading!

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Content copyright © 2015 by Elizabeth Darrach. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Elizabeth Darrach. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Val Kovalin for details.


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