Is Romance in Books a Must? – An After Hours Discussion

» 5 October, 2015 » Discussion » 9 comments



I think it’s safe – and fair – to say that we all have our favorite genres, troupes etc in books. Personally, my favorites change with the tides and I get stuck in a genre or ironically enough, I pick up several books with the same story-line/troupe.

But. I do feel that there are genres, or even individual stories, that don’t NEED a romance. Often times when I see reviews complaining about a LACK OF ROMANCE in.. let’s say a mystery, it boggles my mind a bit.

Example – when I read an Urban Fantasy I am not looking for a romance. In most cases anyway, the romance is slow going and building up throughout the series; ie Chicagoland Vampires… Kate Daniels.. Mystery & suspense too. You wouldn’t believe how many reviews I see going on and on about a lack of romance in these genres. Yes, they are nice to have. It adds passion (for me) and I love those heartfelt moments. But c’mon. You want romance? Read a romance novel.

You want romance? Read a romance novel. Click To Tweet

This can also be said for the lack of HEAT in a novel. There are authors that I know do not write long, drawn out sex scenes (for whatever reason) and I expect that from ALL of their novels. And then there are those that write good, intense scenes and I expect that as well. SO again, it boggles my mind when I see comments about lack of detail or lack of whatever, when it’s NEVER been something that particular author has written before. Yes, it could be the first time that person has read their novels, I get that.

This is what I ask myself — If I took the romance OUT, would the novel hold on its own? In the genres I am talking about — the answer is YES.


I Turn the Spotlight On You

  • Is romance a MUST in all novels you read? Why or Why not?
  • Have you found that there are particular genres that typically have a lack of romance, or slow building?
  • What about specific authors? Have you found some that “close the door” and douse the heat?
Share your thoughts in the comments!



Tonya is a 30 y/o mom, wife, avid reader, coffee junkie, junk food addicted workaholic and blogger.

9 responses to “Is Romance in Books a Must? – An After Hours Discussion

  1. Kim

    I won’t say that ALL the books I read have to have romance but it’s a bonus. I like kissing in books. (And sometimes, er often, more than kissing. *eyebrow wiggle*) But since I primarily read romance, there’s usually plenty of kissing in my books.

    • tonyalee

      Lol I suppose you’re right. And I like romance, love it. But there are times it feels forced or added for no reason and then seeing complaints about lack of one is ughhhh lol

  2. Lola

    In general I do prefer to read a book with soem romance at least, but I don’t think that every book needs a romance. But if there is some romance and I want more I do mention it, although this often stems from the fact that I love the romance so much and would’ve liked to see more of it. And if a book does include romance I do want it to be well done. I do think it has to fit the book and feel realistically and there are also books without romance that don’t need it either. I actually like the romance in books that aren’t mainly romance books as the romance often develops slower and I love a good slow building romance and the romance can still be one of my favourite things about the book. In my opinion if the romance is well written it’s part of the plot and the characters and you just can’t remove it. If a book has romance and you can remove it so easily, then the romance isn’t well written in my opinion.

    • tonyalee

      I can see what you mean about loving the relationship/romance that you want more of it. But with certain books, genres etc the romance is a bonus, not the focus.

      So I disagree that if you take a romance out “so easily” it’s poorly written. A story doesn’t NEED a romance to survive.

  3. S. J. Pajonas

    I remember when I didn’t like romance! FOR SHAME! Now I do like to see some in a lot of my novels but I don’t EXPECT it, you know? For me, if I pick up a mystery and the mystery and the characters and the plot and everything is awesome, it’s awesome. If it added in some romance too, then I’m swooning. So it’s like an added bonus. But that’s just me. I’m okay without it too (unless it’s SUPPOSED to be a romance and then I darn well expect it. Lol.)

    • tonyalee

      I love romance but I feel it’s becoming what “most” want in books and it’s so frustrating. Many, many books could go without a romance and the “need” readers have for me sometimes grates on my nerves, ya know? Like you said — if I pick up a mystery I don’t expect it. It’s a bonus

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