Do men read romance?

Hi all!

I was intrigued to see this question at facebook one day. An author friend asked – a romance author – do men read romance?

I hadn’t really thought about it. For me romance has always been rather a woman-centric generation. There’s no ban on anyone picking up a romance of course. But are men really interested in reading about girls being swept off their feet by billionaires?

I think the whole genre of romances is projected and even written with the women reader in mind.

Recently things have changed. As humans, we are aware that previous conceptions and cliches won’t do for us. So just like woman have begun to go for motorbikes, men also have started exploring more – romance books are a case in point.

There is another, a whole different genre, love stories. But are we talking of that?

Hmm, no. We’ll talk about men and romance fiction today.

As an Indian author, I have not faced as much demarcation of men versus women readers of my work. This is because most Indians love Bollywood and Bollywood romance films are the heart of the cinema here. So men are more accepting and even avid in romance reading.

If I had to take into consideration a generalization about men’s tastes in reading, I would say they like thrillers and horror more than women do. Of course like every generalization, this could be way off the truth.

Romance is not for everyone. What is different about the romance genre is first of all the predictable ending. A Happy Ever After. That ensures there is no suspense. One might even ask why the genre is so popular if the endings are all the same.

What romances offer mainly is escape. Like other books do. But romances are more make-believe. At the same time, the powerful draw is the conflict between two characters. In this case, unlike most thrillers, both are the positive characters. There is usually no antagonist. But they are on the opposite sides of the situation. Then it’s the author who has to work hard. Build up unique situations, even professions, have witty dialogue and a wonderful voice which consists of world view, humor, a cadence and command of words and others factors which will keep the reader sticking to the book. More prominent in romances is the internal battle of the characters. Introspection is less detailed in the latest books, where dialogue is mostly used, but whatever is there has to be engaging and meaningful.

With romances, it’s not what, it’s how.

Romances offer something more which is only available in the literature books. That is the descriptions. I have read category romances and other books, thrillers etc. – I love to read mysteries – but the words and the adept use of them is best seen in romance fiction. These authors have – broadly speaking – mastered the art of metaphors and descriptive writing. In a thriller, the cues are more immediate and brief – according to the need of the story. You would not need to linger on a scene or a place, taking in the visual in detail or breathing of the scents and aromas as though you were there. I think of it as immersive writing. I think every author should spend some time going over the romance genre, if only to learn how to perfect the descriptions and the phrasing and also the internalizations.

Of course, you should take care to pick up good ones in the genre. There are all types of books in every genre. While peculiarities of taste are there, bad is just bad.

If you are a romance reader, share your view about romance. What is the best thing about romance reading? Do men read romance? Do share your take on that. Answer either of the questions as a comment on this post and I’ll put you in for a giveaway of my latest book, Darker Than Desire, ebook released recently at kindle store.

Blurb:

Rashida married Khaled to get out of her country and save her brother. But the plan backfired when she began to fall for Khaled. She found he was nothing but a playboy who had married her to save his reputation as a high placed diplomat. Desperate to escape him, she left him.
But now Khaled has found her. She cannot keep running away from him, especially when he holds the key to her brother’s safe return. Torn between staying and leaving him, she finds the magnetic attraction he held for her rearing up again. Across Parisian avenues and Icelandic seas, she accompanies Khaled, held silent by her deceit, yet swept away by the passion only Khaled can ignite inside her. He will surely know the truth one day, and he would never forgive her.
Then she realizes she is trapped, and not just by Khaled’s alluring handcuffs…

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#BookReleaseDay #DarkerThanDesire #sensual #romance

Hi all!

Today is a verrrry exciting day with an exciting event…you guessed it. Darker Than Desire, steamy, sizzling tomance set against the background of a little kingdom Enzra gets released today – or to be accurate has got released.

Let me share about the book here:
Blurb:
Rashida married Khaled to get out of the little kingdom of Enzra and save her brother. But the plan backfired when she began to fall for Khaled. She found he was nothing but a playboy who had married her to save his reputation as a high placed diplomat. Desperate to escape him, she left him.
But now Khaled has found her. She cannot keep running away from him, especially when he holds the key to her brother’s safe return. Torn between staying and leaving him, she finds the magnetic attraction he held for her rearing up again. Across Parisian avenues and Icelandic seas, she accompanies Khaled, held silent by her deceit, yet swept away by the passion only Khaled can ignite inside her. He will surely know the truth one day, and he would never forgive her.
Check it out at Amazon.

#Review The Taming of a Wild Child by Kimberly Lang #Harlequin

I recently read the Harlequin romance, The Taming of a Wild Child by Kimberly Lang. I’m going to share the review here.

Before I review this book, I wish to say something about the incessant effort of the romantic films and books to glorify the state of being drunk. It is disgusting and infuriating that imbibing alcohol is considered a great start to put people in the situation of either accidental marriage or accidental sex. In reality, alcohol intoxication is sickening and leads to serious disturbance in reason and health, so I really hate that authors use it time and again as an excuse to trigger off a romantic situation. It is needless romantising of what is actually a potential addiction and even a life-threatening condition. Can we stop glorifying being drunk? This is what irked me about the beginning of the book.
I know this is escapist fiction and that was probably what kept me reading. Once I got past the annoyance, I found the author’s writing quite interesting. I especially liked the banter and the metaphors. The first half was a breezy read because the story flowed quite well.
Regarding the conflict, I had several misgivings. *Warning spoilers ahead* The heroine sounded like a proper snob at places. Although the author meant to convey her mindset, it still is shocking and certainly doesn’t warm you to her. At one place, she thinks, “he was like tequila, not a good idea unless she wanted to make a fool of herself.” This is because he is not upto her society standards. This part comes right after she reviews her careful planning regarding her love life and balancing her family’s good opinion. “It had been a careful balancing act designed to let her have the most amount of fun with the minimum amount of hassle.” To me, she just sounded cold.
The author evens this out later by somewhat explaining how difficult she finds not being accepted. But it’s still hard to buy into the idea.
I know we no longer like romance heroine to be goody-two-shoes and they must have flaws to make them relatable, but in this case, the flaws came close to tipping the scales towards dislike rather than empathy. It is also not clear what worthy objective she has achieved other than being seen at a lot of social events. I wish the author had worked a little more on the heroine’s character.
I still liked the book. That was mainly because of the author’s writing style. I wouldn’t mind reading another book of hers. The somewhat harsh review is because I just couldn’t ignore these points. All in all, it was an enjoyable read.

Here’s the book link at Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16000996-the-taming-of-a-wild-child

An excerpt and a recipe

Hi all,

Today I’m sharing the blogpost at Karen’s blog, featuring an excerpt from my book and a breakfast recipe, popular in North India. Head over there to check out both.

http://www.karendocter.com/karens-killer-fixins-author-special-with-too-much-into-you-entice-contemporary-romance-author-samara-dev-recipe-parantha-aka-indian-flatbread/

Hope you enjoy. Do leave a comment what you think.

Ciao!

#Coverreveal #DarkerThanDesire #sensual #romance

Hi all,

I am very excited to share the cover reveal of Darker Than Desire, new release, up for preorder.

Blurb:
Rashida married Khaled to get out of her country and save her brother. But the plan backfired when she began to fall for Khaled. She found he was nothing but a playboy who had married her to save his reputation as a high placed diplomat. Desperate to escape him, she left him.
But now Khaled has found her. She cannot keep running away from him, especially when he holds the key to her brother’s safe return. Torn between staying and leaving him, she finds the magnetic attraction he held for her rearing up again. Across Parisian avenues and Icelandic seas, she accompanies Khaled, held silent by her deceit, yet swept away by the passion only Khaled can ignite inside her. He will surely know the truth one day, and he would never forgive her.
Then she realizes she is trapped, and not just by Khaled’s alluring handcuffs…

***

Grab it at 99 cents, preorder now.

Amazon link:

Cover reveal first posted at https://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/2019/02/14/coverreveal-extract-darker-than-desire-by-samara-dev-romance-samaradevauthor/

#Sharing #sexysnippet #TooMuchIntoYou #romance

Hi all!

Today I’m sharing a steamy snippet from newly launched Too Much Into You. Hope you will enjoy a peep into this sensual romance in rural setting.

***

He cupped her cheek, palm warm, dry, and calloused. It was meant to comfort. And then he moved it, and felt her tense, his fingers skimming near her mouth and she shuddered. Comfort turned to something primitive. His hand tightened on her nape and he began to draw her towards him for his kiss.

‘No!’ Denial swept through her and she took a deep breath, resisting him. ‘This is just madness. Frustration. We’ve been alone too long. Besides, there isn’t such a thing as overpowering passion. It’s just an illusion…’ She stopped, as though she didn’t want to give herself away too much.
‘Give me one night, and I’ll prove it to you.’ His deep rumble resonated through her.

***

Blurb:
Mel has been Ria’s friend for years. Ever since the earthquake that rent their little village of Panna.
They were three friends, Mel, Ria and Ian.
Mel wanted Ria but she chose Ian. They have been a couple since high school. But Ian left the village, taking a job hundreds of miles away. He never asked Ria to go with him. She’s been left hanging all these years, awaiting his whim.
Mel wants her to stop wasting her life for Ian. More dangerously, he wants her to wake up to the sizzle of the chemistry between them. The old attraction has flamed hotter and stronger. Aware of her as never before, he can no longer ignore the blaze of the desire flaring between them.
Ria wants him to be the stable, safe presence in her life. She might hate him for breaking her bubble. But she cannot deny that things have changed. Will she be able to get Ian out of her mind and life? Will she get over losing Mel’s friendship? And how can she forget that deep inside, Mel has always been a loner. He might want her, but would that be enough for her?
Caution and reason get razed by scorching desire when Mel ties her up in silken ropes and transport her to a dark, sensual world she cannot say no to…
Amazon link:

Chapter Length in Fiction Books: How Long is Enough?

Hi all,

Today we have a wet and cold day, here in North India. I had tea and got busy in work. After dealing with a few issues, I’m taking a break. As you do, I started to think of writing and out popped the question in my mind about the chapter length.

How long is long enough?

What’s the first thing to keep in mind when you plan the chapter length of your fiction work?

I can think of a few. You can also add your thoughts in the comments.

I think first and foremost, reader interest is THE most important factor.

Now, it has been found that shorter chapters make for pacy page turners.

The Dos: If you want to stick to tight, pacy, tension filled writing, it’s best to keep the chapters short.

If you want to shift from one situation to the next, it’s best to start a new chapter.

If you introduce new characters and want to avoid head hopping, then it’s best to have several short chapters rather than jumping from one scene to the next.

The Don’ts: You don’t want short chapters in a story where you are following a leisurely pace.

For instance, most romances don’t need short chapters. The romance readers want to spend some time with the pov (point of view) character. They want to see the world through their eyes and experience their reactions and thoughts. So if you write 500 words and shift to next scene, a romance reader may not take it well.

Literary works also don’t require tightly paced structure and are best structured in one pov and with long chapters.

I’ll call it immersive reading as opposed to action reading.

So here we are. If you want the thrill to be apparent to the readers, or have the younger gen in mind while writing, shorter chapters are the choice.

If your novel is belonging to women fiction or any literary category, then go for longer chapter length.

How long is too long?

Clearly we must know the word limit for short and long.

Here’s my take:

Short should never be shorter than 1000 words. Your story might be action packed but to make sense to the reader, stay in the same scene for at least 1000 words. Otherwise, the reader may get disoriented shifting from one situation to the other. Even if you favor pithy writing, you can’t hope to fill in the details of setting in any scene less than the said word limit.

Long should never be more than 5000 words. Preferably, keep it in the range 3k- 4k but I’ve seen 5000 words chapters are perfectly fine to read and don’t seem long at all, as long as the story is interesting. If your chapters are of longer length, do ask yourself, whether you are keeping the characters in the sane situation for too long? In that case, examine if the information you are sharing can be split into two scenes taking place in different setting. That will allow your reader to have a balance of action and immersion and your story will retain the interest and readability.

What other factors are important while determining chapter length?

– You should not skip to an entirely different setting in the same chapter.

– Usually begin a new chapter when some time has elapsed in the novel.

– End the chapter at an interesting note to keep the reader turning the pages.

– If you are writing multiple povs, then follow one pov per chapter or at most two. This is to make sure the reader doesn’t get confused.

So these are my two cents worth based on my writing and reading experiences. What are your thoughts? Do you write short or long chapters? And why?

I write sensual romance usually with two point of views, which are of the lead couple. I try to alternate between both. I have followed 2k to 4k chapter length for Too Much Into You and 2500 to 3500 words for Darker Than Desire. I rarely consciously divide the chapters, mostly stopping randomly when some important turning point shows up or when a setting change is required. With time and practice, it becomes easier to do. Or sometimes not!

What is your big problem while deciding chapter length? Do share in the comments!

All the best with your writing!

Samara