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At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them. Continue shopping. Item s unavailable for purchase. Not likely. In addition, I fail to see how you can come up with "facts" about category romance when you don't category romance.

If you would, you would know that not all category heroes are rich, nor are all category heroines terribly young. Yes, due to the format, the subplots are usually reduced, but that does not necessarily result in cardboard characters. Why would readers love specific authors so much if this were the case?

Would Nora Roberts have become what she is now if she had produced cardboard characters in her Silhouette romances? To imply that category authors just "cut and paste" is not only insulting in the extreme, but also not much better than some of the comments which Flesch dissects in the theory chapter of her study on Australian romances and which probably culminate in the more than ludicrous idea that "[t]here is a thoroughly developed computer program into which a set of plots and situations is fed.

It only remains for the author to put in the names of heroes and the place of action" It's not art publishers sell, but books -- products.

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Just think of the very distinct covers of the Penguin Classics line. The older heroine could be single, divorced or widowed, with or without children. I'm not convinced that the lack of adventure is a problem, because when younger heroines get involved in an adventure it tends to be linked to the romance i.

If the adventure is caused by an external force, there's no reason why it couldn't happen to an older heroine. Re the acting foolishly, why is this OK in any heroine? Given that the term TSTL has often been applied to silly heroines, I'm not sure how many readers really appreciate them. Yes, but to be fair, Jennifer was commenting on my blog entry, in which I'd given examples of how the publishers explicitly state that they want the characters to be role models, and the relationships to be the ones to which readers aspire.

Mixed Messages (Mills & Boon M&B): First edition – Mills & Boon UK

That's the publishers making assumptions about readers. Also, to be fair to the publishers whose guidelines I quoted from, these are only some of their lines. They have others in which they give the authors much more leeway, and none of the guidelines under discussion were for fantasy. I'm a bit puzzled here. Why can't something be both a product and art? Who wouldn't dream of this? Girls who love horses would love it. I think it would be fantastic to communicate telepathically with my cats. I used to read category romance when I was younger. I liked the exotic locales and I liked some of the stories about young girls being swept up by fascinating older men, because I was a young girl myself.

But I got tired of them. Most of the heroines lacked what I would call a personality and the heroes usually had nothing but money and good looks to recommend them. But if that's what women like, if that's what sells, then I can't really argue with that. I think "American Idol" is awful too. I'll just state that don't like to be manipulated by a conservative corporation that thinks it knows what women want to read.

Yes, but Penguin didn't tell those authors what to write about. It just put a cover on them. Do they do it to make all the books look good lined up in your bookcase? I don't know.

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Yes, but do they care more about the product than the story? If an author writes about a girl who communicates telepathically with a horse in a Harlequin Marry a Millionaire series, will they say, "Sorry, our readers don't want to read about that kind of thing. Turn the horse into a little sister who needs expensive treatment for leukemia, so the heroine has to marry the rich guy against all her moral and ethical principles. That the stuff that sells!


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  • Many books are written around the premise that if the heroine had acted sensibly, she wouldn't have gotten involved with the hero. And if the hero had any sense, he would have not gone to Almack's to be terribly bored, he would have kept his cozy bachelor lifestyle. It can, but it's a question of designing something great that everyone wants to buy, and a committee who decides what everyone wants and assigns people to come up with it.

    Romance writers themselves have expressed dismay at being told to tailor their stories to the current fashion. The result is a lot of readers dissatisfied with what they're being sold. Laura, this was in the guidelines for one imprint which, judging from the guidelines, is much more conservative than Harlequin's other imprints and for one line. And the guidelines for this line explicitly state: "Although grounded in reality and reflective of contemporary, relevant trends, these fast-paced stories are essentially escapist romantic fantasies that take the reader on an emotional roller-coater ride" emphasis mine.

    And most heroes from that line behave in a way no woman would ever want her real-life partner to behave. These men are not anybody's real-life ideals of masculinity, they're pure fantasy. Just like people who write for more conservative publishers know their characters cannot drink alcohol.

    Even if it's a Regency-set romance and drinking and whoring was what upperclass Regency men did.