’ve seen sooooo many book lists that claim to contain romance novels, when in reality, only a few of them would really qualify. It seems to stem from the misconception that a romance novel is just a book about a man wooing a woman. (I got that one from Reader’s Digest, y’all)
Some folks seem to think that if there’s a love story involved, it’s a romance novel. That’s a concept that’s so patently ridiculous that I’m not sure whether to laugh or roll my eyes. Using that logic, you could call The Terminator a romantic movie because Kyle Reese loved Sarah Connor and travelled across time for her. Clearly, it’s NOT a romantic movie. (Totally off topic, though: Props to 1984 Michael Biehn who was totally hot in the role of Kyle Reese. Well done, sir. Well done. But I digress...)
So, what IS a romance novel? Glad you asked.
Romance novels place their primary focus on a relationship and romantic love between two people and they MUST have an emotionally satisfying, optimistic ending.
That “optimistic ending” is key, folks. So is that bit about the primary focus being about the relationship. That means that just because a story happens to contain a beautiful example of romantic love, that doesn’t automatically make it a true romance novel.
With all that in mind, here’s a list of books that are often totally misclassified as romance novels.
(Side note: Please keep in mind that I’m not judging these books in any way. I’ve read most of them and think they’re brilliant. Some of them even contain haunting, beautiful romances. But that still doesn’t make them romance novels.)
Well, what do YOU think? Let’s hear it!