Can I Just Read Romance Novels With a Clear Conscience?

I did an hour of weeding at 7 a.m. before it got too hot, and then wrote three slightly awkward / difficult e-mails I’ve been meaning to write for some time! I am feeling very proud of myself!

Surely I have accomplished enough for the whole day now, and can spend the rest of it reading romance novels with a clean conscience?

I made the mistake (?) of starting an Emma V. Leech romance series with 19 books in it (!) on the plane Saturday. I have read 7 books in the last 3 days, and am on to book 8 now. I finally signed up for Kindle Unlimited to read these, and I have to admit, this is exactly what this business model is made for, ripping through an addictive series without feeling guilty about spending too much money on each book.

They are quite fun, though books 7/8 are maybe a little more ‘hurt/comfort’ than I normally read — not sure what I think about the gender dynamics there. (Book 7 focuses on a war hero with PTSD, book 8 on a man who witnessed the violent deaths of his parents at a young age, and developed severe OCD as one result. Both of the men are quite violent.)

I mean, I did have massive crushes on both Spock and Battlestar Galactica’s Apollo when I was a teen, so it’s not like I’m immune to the hurt/comfort trope. But this takes it further, where the men are very very broken and lashing out at the start of the book.

Actually, I guess a lot of romance gets its charge from women with ‘dangerous’ men who could and sometimes do treat them very badly, but then are very very sorry afterwards. Hm.

I can see why this is a seductive and sexy trope, but it also seems somewhat dangerous to young women who are forming their ideas about what healthy relationships should look like. I’m not sure I’d pass these on to my teenage daughter.…/dp/B06XF78DKQ/ref=sr_1_4…

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