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Guest Post: If Romance Novels Taught Me Anything

By Jennifer Porter

When I discovered a “If romance novels have taught me anything” thread on Twitter recently, I was delighted. It all seemed to start with this tweet from Felicia “Ray” Davin (@FeliciaDavin):

“if romance novels have taught me anything, it's that whoever takes over that used and antiquarian bookshop is about to have a sexy secret agent wreaking havoc in their life” (

If you’d like to read through more, please check out the thread via Jen (@JenReadsRomance),

These tweets are full of fun, tongue-in-cheek comments about inns with only one bed, the distinct smells of romance novel characters and all of the snowstorms (with only one bed).

As I was reading all of the tweets, I started thinking about the many real life lessons that I learned from romance novels, and I started my own thread. The original Twitter thread can be found here -

With no further ado, if romance novels have taught me anything, they have taught me the following:

  • They have taught me to read whatever the hell I want--and not to apologize for it. It is no secret that romance is an oft-disparaged genre. However, I am not interested in literary fiction, classics, etc. and I will not apologize for reading romance. Ever.

  • They have taught me that women can and do have sexual desires. And this is nothing to be ashamed of.

  • They have taught me that romance and HEAs mean many different things to many different people. I am a staunch defender of the requirement of the HEA (Happily Ever After) in romance. But your HEA may look very different from mine. We need all types of optimistic endings in romance that fit everyone who wants them.

  • They have taught me that romance, relationships, and society's views of these things change over time. We shouldn't want to escape our past but understand it and learn from it. HEAs from the 1980s may not meet our expectations today. But they were important then, just as today’s HEAs will be important in 40 years when our views of what romance should be will be very different.

  • They have taught me that so many of its readers are passionate, intelligent and highly invested in the genre. Like everything, romance has its fair share of problems. But romance readers as a group are strong and intelligent and worthy of respect. I am proud to count myself among the romance reader population.

These are just some of the reasons why I love reading!

Jennifer Porter is a recovering romance reviewer who spends more of her time these days talking about romance novels on Twitter as @JenniferRNN


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