I've decided that I need to actually start doing posts about books that aren't reviews on a regular basis...so I am now introducing a Monday feature called 'My Thoughts On...' I'd love to know anyone elses views on the subject for the week too :-)
This Weeks Topic: Romance in Other Genres
This isn't about romance as a genre on it's own (which I normally count as contemporary) but rather romance that is included in a book that falls under a different category. For example romantic sci-fi, or romantic fantasy, would fall under sci-fi and fantasy respectively for me. This is also including books that are targeted as just sci-fi or just fantasy (or paranormal, historical etc) that don't advertise romance as the genre.
For me, romance is generally a necessity for me in a book. It doesn't have to be the central theme to the book, but if there isn't any romantic interaction between any of the characters at all then I don't like it so much. This doesn't have to be all out stellar romance moments, it can be subtle looks and words, and ultimately doesn't have to even involve a kiss. Prime example would be the Courtlight series by Terah Edun, which is YA fantasy, in book 1, Sworn to Raise, the main characters, Ciardis and Sebastian don't seem to be romantically inclined towards each other, and yet there is a connection there that could easily turn into romance. Other great series like this (in fantasy) were the True Reign series by Jennifer Anne Davis (Book 1: The Key) and The Lost Child saga by Saffron Bryant (Book 1: The Fallen Star), both of which concentrated on other aspects of the story while building up a connection with the characters.
Sometimes I like my romance to be complicated, and not just if I'm reading a contemporary book. Whether the romance is complicated by differences in customs, such as in Warp World by Kristene Perron and Joshua Simpson, and Lilith Enraptured by Michelle M Pillow, or complicated because of the emotional state and circumstances of the characters, such as in The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle Taylor. This is generally the case if the romance is more central to the story line than in the previous books (and in the case of Lilith Enraptured the romance is the story line) and the development of the relationship between the two characters has to be believable. I also really don't mind if characters have more than one romantic relationship (or in fact sexual relationship as I've found in some contemporary romances), my mind imediately springs to Sophie in Queen of Someday by Sherry D Ficklin. Again I think that this adds a level of believability to characters.
Now...romance as the central theme to another genre. This one is a tricky one. I don't like it if the romance is the main aspect and it could happen without the other genre being present, an example would be Give Me Reason by Zoey Derrick, though I did enjoy the book and the series my only real problem with it was that the series seemed to change genre from romance to paranormal half way through. An example of it being done well was the ES Siren series, which is romantic sci-fi. There was a real risk that the books in this series could have been set anywhere, but the authors (there's three) actually managed to pull this one off, not only because of the futuristic earth they portrayed but the fact that they had their heroines, and their heros, actually fighting something off (in the first three books, Yours to Uncover by Mel Teshco, Yours to Command by Shona Husk and Yours to Desire by Denise Rossetti, this was a new drug called sexmeth, whereas in the second three Mine to Hold by Shona Husk, Mine to Keep by Denise Rossetti and Mine to Serve by Mel Teshco, deal with a metoroid strike. The last book I'm yet to read though!)
So there we are! In case you're interested to find out what genres the books I've mentioned are (to see if you're interested!) they're listed below.
Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun (Free on Amazon)
The Fallen Star by Saffron Bryant
The Key by Jennifer Anne Davis (Free on Amazon)
Give Me Reason by Zoey Derrick
Queen of Someday by Sherry D Ficklin
The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Warp World by Kristene Perron and Joshua Simpson
Lilith Enraptured by Michelle M Pillow
Yours to Uncover by Mel Teshco (Free on Amazon)
Yours to Command by Shona Husk (Free on Amazon)
Yours to Desire by Denise Rossetti (Free on Amazon)
Mine to Hold by Shona Husk
Mine to Keep by Denise Rossetti
Mine to Serve by Mel Teshco
The inclusion of so much Sci-Fi on that list was completely unintentional! So what about you? Do you think that romance is an important part of other genres? Or do you think it would be better without?