Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels
Sourcebooks, Oct. 1, 2011, $14.99
Take a dashing hero with a heart of gold and a mullet of awesome. Add a heroine with a bustle and the will to kick major butt. Then include enough contrivances to keep them fighting while getting them alone and possibly without key pieces of clothing, and what do you have? A romance novel. What else? Enough lessons about life, love, and everything in between to help you with your own happily-ever-after.
Romance means believing you are worthy of a happy ending
Learning to tell the prince from the frog
Real-life romance is still alive and kicking
No matter how bad it is, at least you haven’t been kidnapped by a Scottish duke (probably)
Straight from the heart of influential romance blogger Sarah Wendell, this inventive gift book provides the best wisdom about love that the romance genre has to offer. Laced with signature witty commentary and peppered with thoughts from bestselling romance authors (Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, Debbie Macomber, Eloisa James, Robyn Carr, and lots more) and avid readers, these pages will reveal what every romance reader already knows: while romances are certainly steamy, they have more to offer than just a sexy hero. In fact, they might have more to say about love than we give them credit for. Sarah Wendell is cofounder of one of the top romance blogs, SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com.
Do you know what it takes to have a happy, loving, lasting relationship? Does anyone? Well, what if I told you a could possibly get better relationship advice from the romance section of your local bookstore—that is if you can find one—than the latest self-help guru? I mean, how many times has he or she been divorced anyway?
But in Everything I Know About Love I Learned Through Romance Novels, Sarah Wendell offers thorough examples, first-person accounts, testimony, and even fictional heroine advice, proving there are valuable life lessons between them there clinch covers!
I can’t tell you how many folks came to mind as potential gift recipients as I was reading this book; first off, to all those naysayers and folks who over the years have given me the side-eyed glances as I happily pulled out my book with a heaving bosom cover or the one with the torso full of man boobs that yes, honestly, even my bra couldn’t fill out. This book answers the question “What is the value of the romance book?” so much more eloquently than I ever could.
To some the romance book is nothing more than a fairy tale expanded on and written for grown women. And all fairy tales must have a dashing hero, and then don’t forget your damsel in distress. In truth, nowadays ye old damsel is likely to be a detective or CEO herself, but I won’t go there. At least not now (oops, I did). With the same funny charm and wit that Sarah Wendell brings to her Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog, she proves those people wrong time and again.
In chapters like “We Know Happily Ever After Takes Work,” “We Know Good Sex” (of course we do), and my favorite, “We Know Who We Are And We Know Our Worth,” Sarah proves what so many romance fans have known for years: Substance and power are abundant in the romance genre.
Fun and useful advice is offered from your favorite romance authors, including Nora Roberts, Courtney Milan, Robyn Carr, and others, offering a mini guide to love, seeing past the dash and flash to the heart of the story. And that’s what we are all truly there for, the heart. The conflict and then ultimately the resolution. It’s what brings the story to us and our real life. Where we get the lessons that are so important.
Sarah also brings us many heartfelt quotes from romance fans. Some show how romance has given much needed sexual spark to a dwindling ember in a safe and healthy way, and what could be wrong with that? Others show how reading romance has taught them valuable life lessons about what they will and will not accept in a relationship. I mean, if you’ve read about one too many arrogant asshat alphaholes (Sarah’s word; look it up), you’ll know him when you meet him in person—and know to stay clear.
The book also tells stories of readers who have now, through romance, learned what to look for and what to model in a healthy relationship. Important lessons in conflict resolution and, yes, how to really spot Mr. or Ms. Right from across that crowded room or desk or produce stand. But it also shows that now we are not all wrapped up in the fantasy of it all. Our significant other may not be a pirate chasing, secret duke, Navy SEAL, billionaire CEO, but if he or she gives us the respect, honesty, trust or humor that we are looking for, a title doesn’t matter. It’s the happily ever after that’s important.
Kwana Jackson is a writer of Women’s fiction and Young Adult, a former fashion designer, a wife, and a mother of teen twins who has a love of knitting and a strange obsession with “reality” TV.