Giving Up On Romance?

*Heavy sigh* Recently, (as I’m working, teaching as a volunteer, dealing with life in general, writing fan fiction and crit fiction, and continuing to attempt to finish novels like Oracle) I read about five romance stories available on Amazon for my Kindle. All of them were by white writers and half of them were historical romances. At the behest of my friend, I also started reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. But for right now I want to talk about the romances I read.

I’m glad I didn’t pay for four of them. The fact that four of them were offered for free has no reflection on their quality. The fault lies in the genre of romance and the publishing market itself.

Romance, as much as I love it, appears to be a pitiful genre. A pitiful genre fluffed with toxic disappointments and ignorant white fantasies. I mean, J.R. Ward pretty much destroyed my desire to read anything for almost ten years. That’s not an exaggeration. I literally never wanted to pick up another book again, especially not a romance. It wasn’t just because of what Ward chooses to write in her books (and what she actively chooses to exclude), its because I lost all faith her as a writer because of things she posted on her blog and her cloud of brainwashed flunky readers backing up her every word. I lost faith in all authors at that point. Even myself.

With the extreme deficit of general love in my life, I’m not sure my brain is wired to want literature devoid of that sweet pulsing vein of erotic, romantic passion. As long as writers are pandering to a specific pattern, a marketable trend, romance can never be what I need it to be. And I’ll never be satisfied with the way things are.

Faced with an impossible choice: Ween myself off romance and find something more fulfilling? Or have faith that underneath all the crap there’s a few shining jewels of romantic literature worth the time its taking to find them?

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Preferred Tongue: Romantica or Erotic Romance

I did not know that Ellora’s Cave trademarked the word “romantica”. I just read about it in a thread on Goodreads. Wouldn’t put it past them so I’m running with it.

In late middle school and high school, I was really into Ellora’s Cave so I imagine I might’ve read the term romantica on their website. I quickly fell out of love with Ellora’s Cave when I realized that many of their publications and the so-called HEAs include questionable race (and gender) politics, like most of the mainstream media and the romance market itself.

I always thought romantica was a general portmanteau for Romance and Erotica. For a minute, I was confused about whether it was something I started using for the afore mentioned reason or if it was Spanish term that meant something else and I was using it incorrectly. Hearing that the word has been trademarked, I can’t help but think how ridiculous it is that people can use the government to say they own a word.

Saying erotic romance works just fine for me.