Romancing The Male

Edith_layton2_3

Men should read Romantic novels … if they want to romance women.
I’ve always thought that, and now more strongly than ever.
And not just because I think that if men could overcome their fear of being ‘girly’ they might enjoy such books. But because a good romance writer understands the female psyche, and that understanding would be better for male/female relations than a room full of therapists and closet full of Dr. Phils.

There are cultural differences between men and women. But some of it goes beyond that. Some of it is hard wired. A good writer intuitively knows that. The way they express it has a lot to do with what their audience wants. There still is Unisex literature. Then there are the genres, and books aimed at men or women. A well written novel can please both sexes. And you can learn a lot about what the opposite sex wants by reading those books aimed specifically at them.

Read a good old fashioned popular Western novel pitched to men, and you’ll find females giving their all for the Hero the moment after they clap eyes on him. Then they clap a whole lot more on him. It’s sudden, fast, and fulfilling for both of them. After which , of course, he tips his Stetson, says ‘Thankee Ma’am’ and rides off into the Sunset, while she waves a damp hanky at him, grateful for having had him, even if just for a little while. (Hello, Bridges of Madison County.)

The James Bond syndrome still thrives in modern suspense novels – those written by men. There you will find brilliant and stunning women so eager to have the Hero that they just can’t help themselves. They go all to pieces, or at least, their clothing does. It is brief and tumultuous, but she thinks that’s great. There’s more and more, and then when he has to move on, she too says a brave good-bye. (If she’s still alive.)

Great male sex in these books equals fast, easy sex without consequences.

In Romance fiction, women fall in love at first glance too. But it usually takes a while for the Hero to get his love down the mattress. Once there, it’s he who has all the right moves. He’s a living, breathing Karma Sutra. He knows what responses to go for, and he gets them. He has patience, style, control and endurance. And afterward, he’s the one who can’t forget her. What’s more, he doesn’t have to. We have a match.

Great female sex in romances equals: an expert partner, and lifelong consequences.

I think every women should give her man her favorite Romance novel to read. And then they should discuss it. But all I ever see is in the Romance Section of the bookstore is smirky teenage boys thumbing through romances for the “good parts” and reading them aloud as their girlfriends giggle. If they actually read the “good parts” they’d find a surer way to make the girls smile.
It’s all there in the pages of the romance novels, ready to be read by anyone.

Do you have any ideas about how to get more guys to read romance? Then, the ‘good parts’ would be good for both men and women.
And which books would you recommend?

140 thoughts on “Romancing The Male”

  1. You know, I tried to get my husband to read one of my favorites, and it gave him the idea that I was into rape fantasies. Which, considering the book was one of Jo’s, still thoroughly baffles me.

    Reply
  2. You know, I tried to get my husband to read one of my favorites, and it gave him the idea that I was into rape fantasies. Which, considering the book was one of Jo’s, still thoroughly baffles me.

    Reply
  3. You know, I tried to get my husband to read one of my favorites, and it gave him the idea that I was into rape fantasies. Which, considering the book was one of Jo’s, still thoroughly baffles me.

    Reply
  4. You know, I tried to get my husband to read one of my favorites, and it gave him the idea that I was into rape fantasies. Which, considering the book was one of Jo’s, still thoroughly baffles me.

    Reply
  5. You know, I tried to get my husband to read one of my favorites, and it gave him the idea that I was into rape fantasies. Which, considering the book was one of Jo’s, still thoroughly baffles me.

    Reply
  6. I’ve slipped my husband some Janet Evanovich, but I don’t think that really counts. Actually, he wants to read the stuff I’ve written, and I absolutely forbid it. He might find out what I’m really thinking, and there go decades of marriage *g*.
    I think your proposal to share romance books is really good, though, and has made me consider gifting a bride and groom with something to read if they get bored on their honeymoon!

    Reply
  7. I’ve slipped my husband some Janet Evanovich, but I don’t think that really counts. Actually, he wants to read the stuff I’ve written, and I absolutely forbid it. He might find out what I’m really thinking, and there go decades of marriage *g*.
    I think your proposal to share romance books is really good, though, and has made me consider gifting a bride and groom with something to read if they get bored on their honeymoon!

    Reply
  8. I’ve slipped my husband some Janet Evanovich, but I don’t think that really counts. Actually, he wants to read the stuff I’ve written, and I absolutely forbid it. He might find out what I’m really thinking, and there go decades of marriage *g*.
    I think your proposal to share romance books is really good, though, and has made me consider gifting a bride and groom with something to read if they get bored on their honeymoon!

    Reply
  9. I’ve slipped my husband some Janet Evanovich, but I don’t think that really counts. Actually, he wants to read the stuff I’ve written, and I absolutely forbid it. He might find out what I’m really thinking, and there go decades of marriage *g*.
    I think your proposal to share romance books is really good, though, and has made me consider gifting a bride and groom with something to read if they get bored on their honeymoon!

    Reply
  10. I’ve slipped my husband some Janet Evanovich, but I don’t think that really counts. Actually, he wants to read the stuff I’ve written, and I absolutely forbid it. He might find out what I’m really thinking, and there go decades of marriage *g*.
    I think your proposal to share romance books is really good, though, and has made me consider gifting a bride and groom with something to read if they get bored on their honeymoon!

    Reply
  11. I save my favorites for my hubby. The main problem is that he has so little time to read fiction except on vacation. Right now my DH is reading Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” series and enjoying it a lot. It’s fantasy but has a strong romantic interest. In the past he also read and enjoyed the first several of the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. He has read the Stephanie Plum series and laughed like a loon. We like to discuss the books we are reading.
    But I have to say that he doesn’t need an instruction manual on how to please a woman. Even as a 17 year old he had a caring heart and a listening ear. He had me after “hello.” 35 years of marriage has only deepened the love and sharpened the skill.

    Reply
  12. I save my favorites for my hubby. The main problem is that he has so little time to read fiction except on vacation. Right now my DH is reading Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” series and enjoying it a lot. It’s fantasy but has a strong romantic interest. In the past he also read and enjoyed the first several of the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. He has read the Stephanie Plum series and laughed like a loon. We like to discuss the books we are reading.
    But I have to say that he doesn’t need an instruction manual on how to please a woman. Even as a 17 year old he had a caring heart and a listening ear. He had me after “hello.” 35 years of marriage has only deepened the love and sharpened the skill.

    Reply
  13. I save my favorites for my hubby. The main problem is that he has so little time to read fiction except on vacation. Right now my DH is reading Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” series and enjoying it a lot. It’s fantasy but has a strong romantic interest. In the past he also read and enjoyed the first several of the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. He has read the Stephanie Plum series and laughed like a loon. We like to discuss the books we are reading.
    But I have to say that he doesn’t need an instruction manual on how to please a woman. Even as a 17 year old he had a caring heart and a listening ear. He had me after “hello.” 35 years of marriage has only deepened the love and sharpened the skill.

    Reply
  14. I save my favorites for my hubby. The main problem is that he has so little time to read fiction except on vacation. Right now my DH is reading Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” series and enjoying it a lot. It’s fantasy but has a strong romantic interest. In the past he also read and enjoyed the first several of the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. He has read the Stephanie Plum series and laughed like a loon. We like to discuss the books we are reading.
    But I have to say that he doesn’t need an instruction manual on how to please a woman. Even as a 17 year old he had a caring heart and a listening ear. He had me after “hello.” 35 years of marriage has only deepened the love and sharpened the skill.

    Reply
  15. I save my favorites for my hubby. The main problem is that he has so little time to read fiction except on vacation. Right now my DH is reading Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” series and enjoying it a lot. It’s fantasy but has a strong romantic interest. In the past he also read and enjoyed the first several of the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. He has read the Stephanie Plum series and laughed like a loon. We like to discuss the books we are reading.
    But I have to say that he doesn’t need an instruction manual on how to please a woman. Even as a 17 year old he had a caring heart and a listening ear. He had me after “hello.” 35 years of marriage has only deepened the love and sharpened the skill.

    Reply
  16. A gem, Kathy! You have got yourself a gem!
    But one note: Romance novels aren’t instruction manuals – or at least, they shouldn’t be. They are for the heart as well as the body, and are about mood as much as method.

    Reply
  17. A gem, Kathy! You have got yourself a gem!
    But one note: Romance novels aren’t instruction manuals – or at least, they shouldn’t be. They are for the heart as well as the body, and are about mood as much as method.

    Reply
  18. A gem, Kathy! You have got yourself a gem!
    But one note: Romance novels aren’t instruction manuals – or at least, they shouldn’t be. They are for the heart as well as the body, and are about mood as much as method.

    Reply
  19. A gem, Kathy! You have got yourself a gem!
    But one note: Romance novels aren’t instruction manuals – or at least, they shouldn’t be. They are for the heart as well as the body, and are about mood as much as method.

    Reply
  20. A gem, Kathy! You have got yourself a gem!
    But one note: Romance novels aren’t instruction manuals – or at least, they shouldn’t be. They are for the heart as well as the body, and are about mood as much as method.

    Reply
  21. Edith, I’ve just had the most startling vision: Just me and my husband. A long car trip through the mountains. A Stephanie Laurens audiobook (perhaps “A Secret Love”) on the CD player. Frequent stops for refreshment.

    Reply
  22. Edith, I’ve just had the most startling vision: Just me and my husband. A long car trip through the mountains. A Stephanie Laurens audiobook (perhaps “A Secret Love”) on the CD player. Frequent stops for refreshment.

    Reply
  23. Edith, I’ve just had the most startling vision: Just me and my husband. A long car trip through the mountains. A Stephanie Laurens audiobook (perhaps “A Secret Love”) on the CD player. Frequent stops for refreshment.

    Reply
  24. Edith, I’ve just had the most startling vision: Just me and my husband. A long car trip through the mountains. A Stephanie Laurens audiobook (perhaps “A Secret Love”) on the CD player. Frequent stops for refreshment.

    Reply
  25. Edith, I’ve just had the most startling vision: Just me and my husband. A long car trip through the mountains. A Stephanie Laurens audiobook (perhaps “A Secret Love”) on the CD player. Frequent stops for refreshment.

    Reply
  26. Hello Wench Edith! Great topic.
    My dh of 20 years picked up his first romance novel about nine months ago. Since then he’s burned through all of Pat’s contemporaries and read Jo’s LADY BEWARE before I did. I am forever finding him sniffing around my bookshelves asking, “Got anything good?”
    Last week he picked one up on his own that wasn’t so good (non-wench, of course). He went back to his westerns until the next WW release.
    I haven’t let him read my favorite romance novel and don’t think I will. He’s figured out too much already.
    Nina

    Reply
  27. Hello Wench Edith! Great topic.
    My dh of 20 years picked up his first romance novel about nine months ago. Since then he’s burned through all of Pat’s contemporaries and read Jo’s LADY BEWARE before I did. I am forever finding him sniffing around my bookshelves asking, “Got anything good?”
    Last week he picked one up on his own that wasn’t so good (non-wench, of course). He went back to his westerns until the next WW release.
    I haven’t let him read my favorite romance novel and don’t think I will. He’s figured out too much already.
    Nina

    Reply
  28. Hello Wench Edith! Great topic.
    My dh of 20 years picked up his first romance novel about nine months ago. Since then he’s burned through all of Pat’s contemporaries and read Jo’s LADY BEWARE before I did. I am forever finding him sniffing around my bookshelves asking, “Got anything good?”
    Last week he picked one up on his own that wasn’t so good (non-wench, of course). He went back to his westerns until the next WW release.
    I haven’t let him read my favorite romance novel and don’t think I will. He’s figured out too much already.
    Nina

    Reply
  29. Hello Wench Edith! Great topic.
    My dh of 20 years picked up his first romance novel about nine months ago. Since then he’s burned through all of Pat’s contemporaries and read Jo’s LADY BEWARE before I did. I am forever finding him sniffing around my bookshelves asking, “Got anything good?”
    Last week he picked one up on his own that wasn’t so good (non-wench, of course). He went back to his westerns until the next WW release.
    I haven’t let him read my favorite romance novel and don’t think I will. He’s figured out too much already.
    Nina

    Reply
  30. Hello Wench Edith! Great topic.
    My dh of 20 years picked up his first romance novel about nine months ago. Since then he’s burned through all of Pat’s contemporaries and read Jo’s LADY BEWARE before I did. I am forever finding him sniffing around my bookshelves asking, “Got anything good?”
    Last week he picked one up on his own that wasn’t so good (non-wench, of course). He went back to his westerns until the next WW release.
    I haven’t let him read my favorite romance novel and don’t think I will. He’s figured out too much already.
    Nina

    Reply
  31. Such a lovely idea, Dame Edith! My husband already has a good clue of how to deal with me and I don’t want him figuring out anyone else. “G” But if only I could get my son to pay attention…. But like most males, I suspect he’ll skim to the “good” parts and never understand the rest. Not sure what I did wrong there!

    Reply
  32. Such a lovely idea, Dame Edith! My husband already has a good clue of how to deal with me and I don’t want him figuring out anyone else. “G” But if only I could get my son to pay attention…. But like most males, I suspect he’ll skim to the “good” parts and never understand the rest. Not sure what I did wrong there!

    Reply
  33. Such a lovely idea, Dame Edith! My husband already has a good clue of how to deal with me and I don’t want him figuring out anyone else. “G” But if only I could get my son to pay attention…. But like most males, I suspect he’ll skim to the “good” parts and never understand the rest. Not sure what I did wrong there!

    Reply
  34. Such a lovely idea, Dame Edith! My husband already has a good clue of how to deal with me and I don’t want him figuring out anyone else. “G” But if only I could get my son to pay attention…. But like most males, I suspect he’ll skim to the “good” parts and never understand the rest. Not sure what I did wrong there!

    Reply
  35. Such a lovely idea, Dame Edith! My husband already has a good clue of how to deal with me and I don’t want him figuring out anyone else. “G” But if only I could get my son to pay attention…. But like most males, I suspect he’ll skim to the “good” parts and never understand the rest. Not sure what I did wrong there!

    Reply
  36. There was once, and may still be, for all I know, a type of therapy called Bibliotherapy. I never delved into it, but the name suggests that the idea was for the patient to get the catharsis s/he needed by reading a book that induced it, perhaps in sympathy with a character who was experiencing it?
    With that in mind, I wonder if a man who resists commitment because he’s not ready to grow up would benefit from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ *Nobody’s Baby But Mine*? A tough guy with abandonment issues could be steered toward *Lord of Scoundrels*, while a man who sees no need to be faithful could read Edith’s lovely Christmas story about the guy who finds a lost Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. (I know you didn’t name the breed in the story, Edith, but I had one of them when I first read it, so I recognized not only the markings but the personality!)
    One thing those three tales have in common is a lot of the hero’s PoV; I don’t know whether something that’s told mostly from the woman’s side would work so well.
    Of course we often could use a little catharsis ourselves!

    Reply
  37. There was once, and may still be, for all I know, a type of therapy called Bibliotherapy. I never delved into it, but the name suggests that the idea was for the patient to get the catharsis s/he needed by reading a book that induced it, perhaps in sympathy with a character who was experiencing it?
    With that in mind, I wonder if a man who resists commitment because he’s not ready to grow up would benefit from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ *Nobody’s Baby But Mine*? A tough guy with abandonment issues could be steered toward *Lord of Scoundrels*, while a man who sees no need to be faithful could read Edith’s lovely Christmas story about the guy who finds a lost Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. (I know you didn’t name the breed in the story, Edith, but I had one of them when I first read it, so I recognized not only the markings but the personality!)
    One thing those three tales have in common is a lot of the hero’s PoV; I don’t know whether something that’s told mostly from the woman’s side would work so well.
    Of course we often could use a little catharsis ourselves!

    Reply
  38. There was once, and may still be, for all I know, a type of therapy called Bibliotherapy. I never delved into it, but the name suggests that the idea was for the patient to get the catharsis s/he needed by reading a book that induced it, perhaps in sympathy with a character who was experiencing it?
    With that in mind, I wonder if a man who resists commitment because he’s not ready to grow up would benefit from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ *Nobody’s Baby But Mine*? A tough guy with abandonment issues could be steered toward *Lord of Scoundrels*, while a man who sees no need to be faithful could read Edith’s lovely Christmas story about the guy who finds a lost Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. (I know you didn’t name the breed in the story, Edith, but I had one of them when I first read it, so I recognized not only the markings but the personality!)
    One thing those three tales have in common is a lot of the hero’s PoV; I don’t know whether something that’s told mostly from the woman’s side would work so well.
    Of course we often could use a little catharsis ourselves!

    Reply
  39. There was once, and may still be, for all I know, a type of therapy called Bibliotherapy. I never delved into it, but the name suggests that the idea was for the patient to get the catharsis s/he needed by reading a book that induced it, perhaps in sympathy with a character who was experiencing it?
    With that in mind, I wonder if a man who resists commitment because he’s not ready to grow up would benefit from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ *Nobody’s Baby But Mine*? A tough guy with abandonment issues could be steered toward *Lord of Scoundrels*, while a man who sees no need to be faithful could read Edith’s lovely Christmas story about the guy who finds a lost Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. (I know you didn’t name the breed in the story, Edith, but I had one of them when I first read it, so I recognized not only the markings but the personality!)
    One thing those three tales have in common is a lot of the hero’s PoV; I don’t know whether something that’s told mostly from the woman’s side would work so well.
    Of course we often could use a little catharsis ourselves!

    Reply
  40. There was once, and may still be, for all I know, a type of therapy called Bibliotherapy. I never delved into it, but the name suggests that the idea was for the patient to get the catharsis s/he needed by reading a book that induced it, perhaps in sympathy with a character who was experiencing it?
    With that in mind, I wonder if a man who resists commitment because he’s not ready to grow up would benefit from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ *Nobody’s Baby But Mine*? A tough guy with abandonment issues could be steered toward *Lord of Scoundrels*, while a man who sees no need to be faithful could read Edith’s lovely Christmas story about the guy who finds a lost Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. (I know you didn’t name the breed in the story, Edith, but I had one of them when I first read it, so I recognized not only the markings but the personality!)
    One thing those three tales have in common is a lot of the hero’s PoV; I don’t know whether something that’s told mostly from the woman’s side would work so well.
    Of course we often could use a little catharsis ourselves!

    Reply
  41. Edith, your post reminded me of this lovely blog I discovered quite by accident. Some of you will recognize it because I posted it on another cyber hangout soon after I discovered it. I read it again, and it still makes me sigh.
    http://blogs.salon.com/0003935/stories/2004/08/12/tenWaysToBeALover.html
    By the way, my brother, a sports-channel-only TV viewer and as macho as only a former all-conference football player can be, has started reading romance. 🙂

    Reply
  42. Edith, your post reminded me of this lovely blog I discovered quite by accident. Some of you will recognize it because I posted it on another cyber hangout soon after I discovered it. I read it again, and it still makes me sigh.
    http://blogs.salon.com/0003935/stories/2004/08/12/tenWaysToBeALover.html
    By the way, my brother, a sports-channel-only TV viewer and as macho as only a former all-conference football player can be, has started reading romance. 🙂

    Reply
  43. Edith, your post reminded me of this lovely blog I discovered quite by accident. Some of you will recognize it because I posted it on another cyber hangout soon after I discovered it. I read it again, and it still makes me sigh.
    http://blogs.salon.com/0003935/stories/2004/08/12/tenWaysToBeALover.html
    By the way, my brother, a sports-channel-only TV viewer and as macho as only a former all-conference football player can be, has started reading romance. 🙂

    Reply
  44. Edith, your post reminded me of this lovely blog I discovered quite by accident. Some of you will recognize it because I posted it on another cyber hangout soon after I discovered it. I read it again, and it still makes me sigh.
    http://blogs.salon.com/0003935/stories/2004/08/12/tenWaysToBeALover.html
    By the way, my brother, a sports-channel-only TV viewer and as macho as only a former all-conference football player can be, has started reading romance. 🙂

    Reply
  45. Edith, your post reminded me of this lovely blog I discovered quite by accident. Some of you will recognize it because I posted it on another cyber hangout soon after I discovered it. I read it again, and it still makes me sigh.
    http://blogs.salon.com/0003935/stories/2004/08/12/tenWaysToBeALover.html
    By the way, my brother, a sports-channel-only TV viewer and as macho as only a former all-conference football player can be, has started reading romance. 🙂

    Reply
  46. I guess it depends of how honest you want to talk to your partner about your sexual fantasies. If giving him a book you find stimulating is a gentle way to introduce the topic, so be it. But IMHO the best way is to have a partner you can be dreaming up sexually stimulating situations with, then go on discussing how to make them real (there may be sometimes safety items to consider, sometimes the dream scenario is just not a comfortable one – which can be very annoying- , and then there’s the important point to discuss about how to stop it when something goes wrong).
    For all that practical stuff reading romance together can only be an invitation, an opener to exchange ideas. To make a “played out fantasy world” really enjoyable and safe, you need to plan it together. At least that’s my opinion, as I don’t believe in instinctive knowledge but in thorough advance planning. And I’m a thoroughly happy wife with a husband who knows (because I told him and he listened) how to make my secret erotic dreams come true. Can recommend this way to advance the topic!

    Reply
  47. I guess it depends of how honest you want to talk to your partner about your sexual fantasies. If giving him a book you find stimulating is a gentle way to introduce the topic, so be it. But IMHO the best way is to have a partner you can be dreaming up sexually stimulating situations with, then go on discussing how to make them real (there may be sometimes safety items to consider, sometimes the dream scenario is just not a comfortable one – which can be very annoying- , and then there’s the important point to discuss about how to stop it when something goes wrong).
    For all that practical stuff reading romance together can only be an invitation, an opener to exchange ideas. To make a “played out fantasy world” really enjoyable and safe, you need to plan it together. At least that’s my opinion, as I don’t believe in instinctive knowledge but in thorough advance planning. And I’m a thoroughly happy wife with a husband who knows (because I told him and he listened) how to make my secret erotic dreams come true. Can recommend this way to advance the topic!

    Reply
  48. I guess it depends of how honest you want to talk to your partner about your sexual fantasies. If giving him a book you find stimulating is a gentle way to introduce the topic, so be it. But IMHO the best way is to have a partner you can be dreaming up sexually stimulating situations with, then go on discussing how to make them real (there may be sometimes safety items to consider, sometimes the dream scenario is just not a comfortable one – which can be very annoying- , and then there’s the important point to discuss about how to stop it when something goes wrong).
    For all that practical stuff reading romance together can only be an invitation, an opener to exchange ideas. To make a “played out fantasy world” really enjoyable and safe, you need to plan it together. At least that’s my opinion, as I don’t believe in instinctive knowledge but in thorough advance planning. And I’m a thoroughly happy wife with a husband who knows (because I told him and he listened) how to make my secret erotic dreams come true. Can recommend this way to advance the topic!

    Reply
  49. I guess it depends of how honest you want to talk to your partner about your sexual fantasies. If giving him a book you find stimulating is a gentle way to introduce the topic, so be it. But IMHO the best way is to have a partner you can be dreaming up sexually stimulating situations with, then go on discussing how to make them real (there may be sometimes safety items to consider, sometimes the dream scenario is just not a comfortable one – which can be very annoying- , and then there’s the important point to discuss about how to stop it when something goes wrong).
    For all that practical stuff reading romance together can only be an invitation, an opener to exchange ideas. To make a “played out fantasy world” really enjoyable and safe, you need to plan it together. At least that’s my opinion, as I don’t believe in instinctive knowledge but in thorough advance planning. And I’m a thoroughly happy wife with a husband who knows (because I told him and he listened) how to make my secret erotic dreams come true. Can recommend this way to advance the topic!

    Reply
  50. I guess it depends of how honest you want to talk to your partner about your sexual fantasies. If giving him a book you find stimulating is a gentle way to introduce the topic, so be it. But IMHO the best way is to have a partner you can be dreaming up sexually stimulating situations with, then go on discussing how to make them real (there may be sometimes safety items to consider, sometimes the dream scenario is just not a comfortable one – which can be very annoying- , and then there’s the important point to discuss about how to stop it when something goes wrong).
    For all that practical stuff reading romance together can only be an invitation, an opener to exchange ideas. To make a “played out fantasy world” really enjoyable and safe, you need to plan it together. At least that’s my opinion, as I don’t believe in instinctive knowledge but in thorough advance planning. And I’m a thoroughly happy wife with a husband who knows (because I told him and he listened) how to make my secret erotic dreams come true. Can recommend this way to advance the topic!

    Reply
  51. I got two men in my life to read at least two romance novels:
    my grandfather–he wanted to see what had me and my grandmother giggling so much when I visited. I gave him a Jenny Crusie book and he actually liked it. He’ll also read ‘the good parts’ if my grandmother points them out, but not much more these days.
    my husband–I got him to read Jayne Ann Krentz’s “Gift of Gold” and “Gift of Fire” by describing the subplot of the running battle between the homebody/achiever/vegetarian heroine and her world traveler/slacker/booze and burger-loving father. The father *could* do more, but was happiest drinking and writing futuristic westerns. 🙂 Hubby said that made the story more layered than he expected from a romance, so he read them.
    I haven’t been able to get hubby to read any more since then, but I keep trying. Someday I may succeed again! 🙂

    Reply
  52. I got two men in my life to read at least two romance novels:
    my grandfather–he wanted to see what had me and my grandmother giggling so much when I visited. I gave him a Jenny Crusie book and he actually liked it. He’ll also read ‘the good parts’ if my grandmother points them out, but not much more these days.
    my husband–I got him to read Jayne Ann Krentz’s “Gift of Gold” and “Gift of Fire” by describing the subplot of the running battle between the homebody/achiever/vegetarian heroine and her world traveler/slacker/booze and burger-loving father. The father *could* do more, but was happiest drinking and writing futuristic westerns. 🙂 Hubby said that made the story more layered than he expected from a romance, so he read them.
    I haven’t been able to get hubby to read any more since then, but I keep trying. Someday I may succeed again! 🙂

    Reply
  53. I got two men in my life to read at least two romance novels:
    my grandfather–he wanted to see what had me and my grandmother giggling so much when I visited. I gave him a Jenny Crusie book and he actually liked it. He’ll also read ‘the good parts’ if my grandmother points them out, but not much more these days.
    my husband–I got him to read Jayne Ann Krentz’s “Gift of Gold” and “Gift of Fire” by describing the subplot of the running battle between the homebody/achiever/vegetarian heroine and her world traveler/slacker/booze and burger-loving father. The father *could* do more, but was happiest drinking and writing futuristic westerns. 🙂 Hubby said that made the story more layered than he expected from a romance, so he read them.
    I haven’t been able to get hubby to read any more since then, but I keep trying. Someday I may succeed again! 🙂

    Reply
  54. I got two men in my life to read at least two romance novels:
    my grandfather–he wanted to see what had me and my grandmother giggling so much when I visited. I gave him a Jenny Crusie book and he actually liked it. He’ll also read ‘the good parts’ if my grandmother points them out, but not much more these days.
    my husband–I got him to read Jayne Ann Krentz’s “Gift of Gold” and “Gift of Fire” by describing the subplot of the running battle between the homebody/achiever/vegetarian heroine and her world traveler/slacker/booze and burger-loving father. The father *could* do more, but was happiest drinking and writing futuristic westerns. 🙂 Hubby said that made the story more layered than he expected from a romance, so he read them.
    I haven’t been able to get hubby to read any more since then, but I keep trying. Someday I may succeed again! 🙂

    Reply
  55. I got two men in my life to read at least two romance novels:
    my grandfather–he wanted to see what had me and my grandmother giggling so much when I visited. I gave him a Jenny Crusie book and he actually liked it. He’ll also read ‘the good parts’ if my grandmother points them out, but not much more these days.
    my husband–I got him to read Jayne Ann Krentz’s “Gift of Gold” and “Gift of Fire” by describing the subplot of the running battle between the homebody/achiever/vegetarian heroine and her world traveler/slacker/booze and burger-loving father. The father *could* do more, but was happiest drinking and writing futuristic westerns. 🙂 Hubby said that made the story more layered than he expected from a romance, so he read them.
    I haven’t been able to get hubby to read any more since then, but I keep trying. Someday I may succeed again! 🙂

    Reply
  56. Great topic, Edith! I think perhaps men who are ready to read a romance cover to cover are already most of the way there, so I’m not sure one is going to help the totally clueless.
    I remember one thing a man said to me — a man who reads my books. He said he likes the romance novels where the man isn’t superhunk. That intimidates him. He wants the man to have some doubts and insecurities, even if he doesn’t admit them to the world, and he particularly likes it if the man has a little bit of performance anxiety, especially the first time. Not performance per se, perhaps, but getting it “right”, pleasing his woman etc.
    What does anyone think about that? I know some of my heroes are like that.
    Jo

    Reply
  57. Great topic, Edith! I think perhaps men who are ready to read a romance cover to cover are already most of the way there, so I’m not sure one is going to help the totally clueless.
    I remember one thing a man said to me — a man who reads my books. He said he likes the romance novels where the man isn’t superhunk. That intimidates him. He wants the man to have some doubts and insecurities, even if he doesn’t admit them to the world, and he particularly likes it if the man has a little bit of performance anxiety, especially the first time. Not performance per se, perhaps, but getting it “right”, pleasing his woman etc.
    What does anyone think about that? I know some of my heroes are like that.
    Jo

    Reply
  58. Great topic, Edith! I think perhaps men who are ready to read a romance cover to cover are already most of the way there, so I’m not sure one is going to help the totally clueless.
    I remember one thing a man said to me — a man who reads my books. He said he likes the romance novels where the man isn’t superhunk. That intimidates him. He wants the man to have some doubts and insecurities, even if he doesn’t admit them to the world, and he particularly likes it if the man has a little bit of performance anxiety, especially the first time. Not performance per se, perhaps, but getting it “right”, pleasing his woman etc.
    What does anyone think about that? I know some of my heroes are like that.
    Jo

    Reply
  59. Great topic, Edith! I think perhaps men who are ready to read a romance cover to cover are already most of the way there, so I’m not sure one is going to help the totally clueless.
    I remember one thing a man said to me — a man who reads my books. He said he likes the romance novels where the man isn’t superhunk. That intimidates him. He wants the man to have some doubts and insecurities, even if he doesn’t admit them to the world, and he particularly likes it if the man has a little bit of performance anxiety, especially the first time. Not performance per se, perhaps, but getting it “right”, pleasing his woman etc.
    What does anyone think about that? I know some of my heroes are like that.
    Jo

    Reply
  60. Great topic, Edith! I think perhaps men who are ready to read a romance cover to cover are already most of the way there, so I’m not sure one is going to help the totally clueless.
    I remember one thing a man said to me — a man who reads my books. He said he likes the romance novels where the man isn’t superhunk. That intimidates him. He wants the man to have some doubts and insecurities, even if he doesn’t admit them to the world, and he particularly likes it if the man has a little bit of performance anxiety, especially the first time. Not performance per se, perhaps, but getting it “right”, pleasing his woman etc.
    What does anyone think about that? I know some of my heroes are like that.
    Jo

    Reply
  61. Argghhhhhh! Typepad is doing it to me again! Disregard previous non-comments, please.
    This is what I tried to say:
    Ah Jo, I think it depends on the hero. There are some who wuld never queston themselves, and so it’s fun when the heroine makes them do it. And others where the hero is inscure – until he meets the heroine. Is this the old “Alpha” and “Beta” male theme? Dunno.
    (And yes, Elaine, you are spot on! – or Rover on. I wrote two Christmas novellas about that magical dog litter, and they were Bernese Mountain Dog pups, like my late great Georgette.)

    Reply
  62. Argghhhhhh! Typepad is doing it to me again! Disregard previous non-comments, please.
    This is what I tried to say:
    Ah Jo, I think it depends on the hero. There are some who wuld never queston themselves, and so it’s fun when the heroine makes them do it. And others where the hero is inscure – until he meets the heroine. Is this the old “Alpha” and “Beta” male theme? Dunno.
    (And yes, Elaine, you are spot on! – or Rover on. I wrote two Christmas novellas about that magical dog litter, and they were Bernese Mountain Dog pups, like my late great Georgette.)

    Reply
  63. Argghhhhhh! Typepad is doing it to me again! Disregard previous non-comments, please.
    This is what I tried to say:
    Ah Jo, I think it depends on the hero. There are some who wuld never queston themselves, and so it’s fun when the heroine makes them do it. And others where the hero is inscure – until he meets the heroine. Is this the old “Alpha” and “Beta” male theme? Dunno.
    (And yes, Elaine, you are spot on! – or Rover on. I wrote two Christmas novellas about that magical dog litter, and they were Bernese Mountain Dog pups, like my late great Georgette.)

    Reply
  64. Argghhhhhh! Typepad is doing it to me again! Disregard previous non-comments, please.
    This is what I tried to say:
    Ah Jo, I think it depends on the hero. There are some who wuld never queston themselves, and so it’s fun when the heroine makes them do it. And others where the hero is inscure – until he meets the heroine. Is this the old “Alpha” and “Beta” male theme? Dunno.
    (And yes, Elaine, you are spot on! – or Rover on. I wrote two Christmas novellas about that magical dog litter, and they were Bernese Mountain Dog pups, like my late great Georgette.)

    Reply
  65. Argghhhhhh! Typepad is doing it to me again! Disregard previous non-comments, please.
    This is what I tried to say:
    Ah Jo, I think it depends on the hero. There are some who wuld never queston themselves, and so it’s fun when the heroine makes them do it. And others where the hero is inscure – until he meets the heroine. Is this the old “Alpha” and “Beta” male theme? Dunno.
    (And yes, Elaine, you are spot on! – or Rover on. I wrote two Christmas novellas about that magical dog litter, and they were Bernese Mountain Dog pups, like my late great Georgette.)

    Reply
  66. If only we could make it a law that nobdoy gets to slam Romance novels without first reading a good one! (I say good, because there are a lot of stinkers out there that would, I am afraid, only confirm their sneering attitude.)
    As to which book I’d recommend, I think Loretta’s _Lord of Scoundrels_ or _Mr. Impossible_.
    ~Sherrie, dying in shock that I wrote such a short comment.

    Reply
  67. If only we could make it a law that nobdoy gets to slam Romance novels without first reading a good one! (I say good, because there are a lot of stinkers out there that would, I am afraid, only confirm their sneering attitude.)
    As to which book I’d recommend, I think Loretta’s _Lord of Scoundrels_ or _Mr. Impossible_.
    ~Sherrie, dying in shock that I wrote such a short comment.

    Reply
  68. If only we could make it a law that nobdoy gets to slam Romance novels without first reading a good one! (I say good, because there are a lot of stinkers out there that would, I am afraid, only confirm their sneering attitude.)
    As to which book I’d recommend, I think Loretta’s _Lord of Scoundrels_ or _Mr. Impossible_.
    ~Sherrie, dying in shock that I wrote such a short comment.

    Reply
  69. If only we could make it a law that nobdoy gets to slam Romance novels without first reading a good one! (I say good, because there are a lot of stinkers out there that would, I am afraid, only confirm their sneering attitude.)
    As to which book I’d recommend, I think Loretta’s _Lord of Scoundrels_ or _Mr. Impossible_.
    ~Sherrie, dying in shock that I wrote such a short comment.

    Reply
  70. If only we could make it a law that nobdoy gets to slam Romance novels without first reading a good one! (I say good, because there are a lot of stinkers out there that would, I am afraid, only confirm their sneering attitude.)
    As to which book I’d recommend, I think Loretta’s _Lord of Scoundrels_ or _Mr. Impossible_.
    ~Sherrie, dying in shock that I wrote such a short comment.

    Reply
  71. Jo… here’s a real live answer to your “getting it right” question. Yes, says my dh. A hero is more believable (and more readable) when he has “getting it right” concerns. And much less readable (a whole lot less believable) when he never bats and eye and goes all night like Old Faithful.
    🙂

    Reply
  72. Jo… here’s a real live answer to your “getting it right” question. Yes, says my dh. A hero is more believable (and more readable) when he has “getting it right” concerns. And much less readable (a whole lot less believable) when he never bats and eye and goes all night like Old Faithful.
    🙂

    Reply
  73. Jo… here’s a real live answer to your “getting it right” question. Yes, says my dh. A hero is more believable (and more readable) when he has “getting it right” concerns. And much less readable (a whole lot less believable) when he never bats and eye and goes all night like Old Faithful.
    🙂

    Reply
  74. Jo… here’s a real live answer to your “getting it right” question. Yes, says my dh. A hero is more believable (and more readable) when he has “getting it right” concerns. And much less readable (a whole lot less believable) when he never bats and eye and goes all night like Old Faithful.
    🙂

    Reply
  75. Jo… here’s a real live answer to your “getting it right” question. Yes, says my dh. A hero is more believable (and more readable) when he has “getting it right” concerns. And much less readable (a whole lot less believable) when he never bats and eye and goes all night like Old Faithful.
    🙂

    Reply
  76. Edith, I think the link Janga provided is a pretty good argument for NOT giving a guy romances to read. It proves that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Being a guy, he just doesn’t get it. I found the improbabilities he listed hilarious, especially when I thought about the kinds of guy books you talked about: instant sex, no consequences, no commitments. Some men are just naturally romantic, some get it, but overall, I doubt that reading romances will get them on our planet.

    Reply
  77. Edith, I think the link Janga provided is a pretty good argument for NOT giving a guy romances to read. It proves that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Being a guy, he just doesn’t get it. I found the improbabilities he listed hilarious, especially when I thought about the kinds of guy books you talked about: instant sex, no consequences, no commitments. Some men are just naturally romantic, some get it, but overall, I doubt that reading romances will get them on our planet.

    Reply
  78. Edith, I think the link Janga provided is a pretty good argument for NOT giving a guy romances to read. It proves that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Being a guy, he just doesn’t get it. I found the improbabilities he listed hilarious, especially when I thought about the kinds of guy books you talked about: instant sex, no consequences, no commitments. Some men are just naturally romantic, some get it, but overall, I doubt that reading romances will get them on our planet.

    Reply
  79. Edith, I think the link Janga provided is a pretty good argument for NOT giving a guy romances to read. It proves that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Being a guy, he just doesn’t get it. I found the improbabilities he listed hilarious, especially when I thought about the kinds of guy books you talked about: instant sex, no consequences, no commitments. Some men are just naturally romantic, some get it, but overall, I doubt that reading romances will get them on our planet.

    Reply
  80. Edith, I think the link Janga provided is a pretty good argument for NOT giving a guy romances to read. It proves that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Being a guy, he just doesn’t get it. I found the improbabilities he listed hilarious, especially when I thought about the kinds of guy books you talked about: instant sex, no consequences, no commitments. Some men are just naturally romantic, some get it, but overall, I doubt that reading romances will get them on our planet.

    Reply
  81. I love this column. I try, with no success, to get my husband to read romance all the time. I’ve even tried the old, “Well, just read the “good” parts,” spiel. I’m not giving up though.

    Reply
  82. I love this column. I try, with no success, to get my husband to read romance all the time. I’ve even tried the old, “Well, just read the “good” parts,” spiel. I’m not giving up though.

    Reply
  83. I love this column. I try, with no success, to get my husband to read romance all the time. I’ve even tried the old, “Well, just read the “good” parts,” spiel. I’m not giving up though.

    Reply
  84. I love this column. I try, with no success, to get my husband to read romance all the time. I’ve even tried the old, “Well, just read the “good” parts,” spiel. I’m not giving up though.

    Reply
  85. I love this column. I try, with no success, to get my husband to read romance all the time. I’ve even tried the old, “Well, just read the “good” parts,” spiel. I’m not giving up though.

    Reply
  86. Well. As you know, I read all kinds of books. Female authors, male authors, romance, non-fiction, poetry, Novels, and short stories.
    Men, if given the nudge (they HAVE to be READERS FIRST) will give Romance a try. I know it’s possible..It is something that two lovers of books can share, regardless of the material.
    Try reading aloud to each other, in bed. (This plays upon not only the “bedtime Story” of childhood, but is a great way to share your reading with a beloved)….
    …I’m not in a relationship now, but when I was, we enjoyed reading to each other.
    This was a delightful way to share our love of the written word.
    Cheers, Wenches.
    And, thanks again, for the signed book. It was wonderful. I loved the History, as well as the Romance.
    xx,Bill

    Reply
  87. Well. As you know, I read all kinds of books. Female authors, male authors, romance, non-fiction, poetry, Novels, and short stories.
    Men, if given the nudge (they HAVE to be READERS FIRST) will give Romance a try. I know it’s possible..It is something that two lovers of books can share, regardless of the material.
    Try reading aloud to each other, in bed. (This plays upon not only the “bedtime Story” of childhood, but is a great way to share your reading with a beloved)….
    …I’m not in a relationship now, but when I was, we enjoyed reading to each other.
    This was a delightful way to share our love of the written word.
    Cheers, Wenches.
    And, thanks again, for the signed book. It was wonderful. I loved the History, as well as the Romance.
    xx,Bill

    Reply
  88. Well. As you know, I read all kinds of books. Female authors, male authors, romance, non-fiction, poetry, Novels, and short stories.
    Men, if given the nudge (they HAVE to be READERS FIRST) will give Romance a try. I know it’s possible..It is something that two lovers of books can share, regardless of the material.
    Try reading aloud to each other, in bed. (This plays upon not only the “bedtime Story” of childhood, but is a great way to share your reading with a beloved)….
    …I’m not in a relationship now, but when I was, we enjoyed reading to each other.
    This was a delightful way to share our love of the written word.
    Cheers, Wenches.
    And, thanks again, for the signed book. It was wonderful. I loved the History, as well as the Romance.
    xx,Bill

    Reply
  89. Well. As you know, I read all kinds of books. Female authors, male authors, romance, non-fiction, poetry, Novels, and short stories.
    Men, if given the nudge (they HAVE to be READERS FIRST) will give Romance a try. I know it’s possible..It is something that two lovers of books can share, regardless of the material.
    Try reading aloud to each other, in bed. (This plays upon not only the “bedtime Story” of childhood, but is a great way to share your reading with a beloved)….
    …I’m not in a relationship now, but when I was, we enjoyed reading to each other.
    This was a delightful way to share our love of the written word.
    Cheers, Wenches.
    And, thanks again, for the signed book. It was wonderful. I loved the History, as well as the Romance.
    xx,Bill

    Reply
  90. Well. As you know, I read all kinds of books. Female authors, male authors, romance, non-fiction, poetry, Novels, and short stories.
    Men, if given the nudge (they HAVE to be READERS FIRST) will give Romance a try. I know it’s possible..It is something that two lovers of books can share, regardless of the material.
    Try reading aloud to each other, in bed. (This plays upon not only the “bedtime Story” of childhood, but is a great way to share your reading with a beloved)….
    …I’m not in a relationship now, but when I was, we enjoyed reading to each other.
    This was a delightful way to share our love of the written word.
    Cheers, Wenches.
    And, thanks again, for the signed book. It was wonderful. I loved the History, as well as the Romance.
    xx,Bill

    Reply
  91. My wife made me come here and confess. Yes, I have and do read romance, including many of the wenches and a few non-wenches. The genre certainly contains the absurd, the physically impossible and even the down right laughable. There is of course a class of writing simply designed to create a visceral response that cheapens the genre as well as male/female relationships. But when done well (as the wenches do), a good story that is well told in a colorful setting, regardless of genre, is an enjoyable read. Has my romance reading given me insight into my wife? Yes. In ways you might assume and in others as well.
    My suggestion for increasing male readership is this: Consider writing the same story from two differing POVs. One from the hero’s perspective and the other form the heroine’s. The books could sell as a boxed set for couples or as a standalone. I think it would be incredible to read parallel stories with my wife . Imagine the conversation it would spark! And where might that lead?

    Reply
  92. My wife made me come here and confess. Yes, I have and do read romance, including many of the wenches and a few non-wenches. The genre certainly contains the absurd, the physically impossible and even the down right laughable. There is of course a class of writing simply designed to create a visceral response that cheapens the genre as well as male/female relationships. But when done well (as the wenches do), a good story that is well told in a colorful setting, regardless of genre, is an enjoyable read. Has my romance reading given me insight into my wife? Yes. In ways you might assume and in others as well.
    My suggestion for increasing male readership is this: Consider writing the same story from two differing POVs. One from the hero’s perspective and the other form the heroine’s. The books could sell as a boxed set for couples or as a standalone. I think it would be incredible to read parallel stories with my wife . Imagine the conversation it would spark! And where might that lead?

    Reply
  93. My wife made me come here and confess. Yes, I have and do read romance, including many of the wenches and a few non-wenches. The genre certainly contains the absurd, the physically impossible and even the down right laughable. There is of course a class of writing simply designed to create a visceral response that cheapens the genre as well as male/female relationships. But when done well (as the wenches do), a good story that is well told in a colorful setting, regardless of genre, is an enjoyable read. Has my romance reading given me insight into my wife? Yes. In ways you might assume and in others as well.
    My suggestion for increasing male readership is this: Consider writing the same story from two differing POVs. One from the hero’s perspective and the other form the heroine’s. The books could sell as a boxed set for couples or as a standalone. I think it would be incredible to read parallel stories with my wife . Imagine the conversation it would spark! And where might that lead?

    Reply
  94. My wife made me come here and confess. Yes, I have and do read romance, including many of the wenches and a few non-wenches. The genre certainly contains the absurd, the physically impossible and even the down right laughable. There is of course a class of writing simply designed to create a visceral response that cheapens the genre as well as male/female relationships. But when done well (as the wenches do), a good story that is well told in a colorful setting, regardless of genre, is an enjoyable read. Has my romance reading given me insight into my wife? Yes. In ways you might assume and in others as well.
    My suggestion for increasing male readership is this: Consider writing the same story from two differing POVs. One from the hero’s perspective and the other form the heroine’s. The books could sell as a boxed set for couples or as a standalone. I think it would be incredible to read parallel stories with my wife . Imagine the conversation it would spark! And where might that lead?

    Reply
  95. My wife made me come here and confess. Yes, I have and do read romance, including many of the wenches and a few non-wenches. The genre certainly contains the absurd, the physically impossible and even the down right laughable. There is of course a class of writing simply designed to create a visceral response that cheapens the genre as well as male/female relationships. But when done well (as the wenches do), a good story that is well told in a colorful setting, regardless of genre, is an enjoyable read. Has my romance reading given me insight into my wife? Yes. In ways you might assume and in others as well.
    My suggestion for increasing male readership is this: Consider writing the same story from two differing POVs. One from the hero’s perspective and the other form the heroine’s. The books could sell as a boxed set for couples or as a standalone. I think it would be incredible to read parallel stories with my wife . Imagine the conversation it would spark! And where might that lead?

    Reply
  96. I think one of the biggest issues with Romance novels–and what keeps men from reading them–is that many female authors don’t fully understand the male psyche. Men’s brains and biochemistry are different than females’, and that means when push comes to shove, the male is going to act like a male, not like a masculinized female.
    It was a real eye opener when I took a writing class on the male psyche, taught by psychologist Debra Holland. She showed how and why men approach problem solving, relationships, communication, and crises differently. It was an “aha” moment for me as a writer, and explained why I’d always felt that some authors’ heroes just didn’t ring true. If they don’t ring true for me, they most assuredly won’t ring true for a male reader.

    Reply
  97. I think one of the biggest issues with Romance novels–and what keeps men from reading them–is that many female authors don’t fully understand the male psyche. Men’s brains and biochemistry are different than females’, and that means when push comes to shove, the male is going to act like a male, not like a masculinized female.
    It was a real eye opener when I took a writing class on the male psyche, taught by psychologist Debra Holland. She showed how and why men approach problem solving, relationships, communication, and crises differently. It was an “aha” moment for me as a writer, and explained why I’d always felt that some authors’ heroes just didn’t ring true. If they don’t ring true for me, they most assuredly won’t ring true for a male reader.

    Reply
  98. I think one of the biggest issues with Romance novels–and what keeps men from reading them–is that many female authors don’t fully understand the male psyche. Men’s brains and biochemistry are different than females’, and that means when push comes to shove, the male is going to act like a male, not like a masculinized female.
    It was a real eye opener when I took a writing class on the male psyche, taught by psychologist Debra Holland. She showed how and why men approach problem solving, relationships, communication, and crises differently. It was an “aha” moment for me as a writer, and explained why I’d always felt that some authors’ heroes just didn’t ring true. If they don’t ring true for me, they most assuredly won’t ring true for a male reader.

    Reply
  99. I think one of the biggest issues with Romance novels–and what keeps men from reading them–is that many female authors don’t fully understand the male psyche. Men’s brains and biochemistry are different than females’, and that means when push comes to shove, the male is going to act like a male, not like a masculinized female.
    It was a real eye opener when I took a writing class on the male psyche, taught by psychologist Debra Holland. She showed how and why men approach problem solving, relationships, communication, and crises differently. It was an “aha” moment for me as a writer, and explained why I’d always felt that some authors’ heroes just didn’t ring true. If they don’t ring true for me, they most assuredly won’t ring true for a male reader.

    Reply
  100. I think one of the biggest issues with Romance novels–and what keeps men from reading them–is that many female authors don’t fully understand the male psyche. Men’s brains and biochemistry are different than females’, and that means when push comes to shove, the male is going to act like a male, not like a masculinized female.
    It was a real eye opener when I took a writing class on the male psyche, taught by psychologist Debra Holland. She showed how and why men approach problem solving, relationships, communication, and crises differently. It was an “aha” moment for me as a writer, and explained why I’d always felt that some authors’ heroes just didn’t ring true. If they don’t ring true for me, they most assuredly won’t ring true for a male reader.

    Reply
  101. I read “Romance” novels.
    And have for many years….probably since I was a teenager…won’t mention how may years ago that was.
    No Body’s Baby But Mine is a favorite…re-read several times.
    Love Jo’s books…Heroines and Heroes just right. Good reads…and re-reads.
    I like a touch of mystery along with the romance.

    Reply
  102. I read “Romance” novels.
    And have for many years….probably since I was a teenager…won’t mention how may years ago that was.
    No Body’s Baby But Mine is a favorite…re-read several times.
    Love Jo’s books…Heroines and Heroes just right. Good reads…and re-reads.
    I like a touch of mystery along with the romance.

    Reply
  103. I read “Romance” novels.
    And have for many years….probably since I was a teenager…won’t mention how may years ago that was.
    No Body’s Baby But Mine is a favorite…re-read several times.
    Love Jo’s books…Heroines and Heroes just right. Good reads…and re-reads.
    I like a touch of mystery along with the romance.

    Reply
  104. I read “Romance” novels.
    And have for many years….probably since I was a teenager…won’t mention how may years ago that was.
    No Body’s Baby But Mine is a favorite…re-read several times.
    Love Jo’s books…Heroines and Heroes just right. Good reads…and re-reads.
    I like a touch of mystery along with the romance.

    Reply
  105. I read “Romance” novels.
    And have for many years….probably since I was a teenager…won’t mention how may years ago that was.
    No Body’s Baby But Mine is a favorite…re-read several times.
    Love Jo’s books…Heroines and Heroes just right. Good reads…and re-reads.
    I like a touch of mystery along with the romance.

    Reply
  106. I know I’m joining this discussion late, but had to share my discovery from the weekend. I’m currently reading Kat Martin’s recent historical, Heart of Honor. In it, the hero is from an obscure island north of England which is home to Viking descendants. His ship crashes and he is washed up on English shores, eventually winding up in London with a professor and his daughter (who just happen to speak Old Norse, of course). Anyway, he reads voraciously trying to learn about the culture he has been dropped into, and while scavenging in the professor’s library he finds 3 romantic novels. He is having trouble understanding how to relate to an independent woman who doesn’t go for the macho domineering routine that he was used to at home, so he decides to read these novels to get some ideas about how to treat the heroine. When I read this I burst out laughing thinking about this blog.
    Also, my DH accidentally picked up an Elizabeth Lowell book-on-tape that I had at home. I was on vacation and he thought I had left it for him to listen to. He loved it and has been listening to lots of “my” authors since. He does prefer the ones with some kind of mystery or suspense, but has commented that the depth of the characterizations and the relationship of the H/H are what he also appreciates most about the authors that I have passed on to him, which include some of the best known names in Romance Fiction — Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, etc. Unfortunately, he doesn’t read much for pleasure, he listens while in the car or exercising. I wish some of the Wenches’ books were on tape or CD so that I could introduce him to yours!

    Reply
  107. I know I’m joining this discussion late, but had to share my discovery from the weekend. I’m currently reading Kat Martin’s recent historical, Heart of Honor. In it, the hero is from an obscure island north of England which is home to Viking descendants. His ship crashes and he is washed up on English shores, eventually winding up in London with a professor and his daughter (who just happen to speak Old Norse, of course). Anyway, he reads voraciously trying to learn about the culture he has been dropped into, and while scavenging in the professor’s library he finds 3 romantic novels. He is having trouble understanding how to relate to an independent woman who doesn’t go for the macho domineering routine that he was used to at home, so he decides to read these novels to get some ideas about how to treat the heroine. When I read this I burst out laughing thinking about this blog.
    Also, my DH accidentally picked up an Elizabeth Lowell book-on-tape that I had at home. I was on vacation and he thought I had left it for him to listen to. He loved it and has been listening to lots of “my” authors since. He does prefer the ones with some kind of mystery or suspense, but has commented that the depth of the characterizations and the relationship of the H/H are what he also appreciates most about the authors that I have passed on to him, which include some of the best known names in Romance Fiction — Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, etc. Unfortunately, he doesn’t read much for pleasure, he listens while in the car or exercising. I wish some of the Wenches’ books were on tape or CD so that I could introduce him to yours!

    Reply
  108. I know I’m joining this discussion late, but had to share my discovery from the weekend. I’m currently reading Kat Martin’s recent historical, Heart of Honor. In it, the hero is from an obscure island north of England which is home to Viking descendants. His ship crashes and he is washed up on English shores, eventually winding up in London with a professor and his daughter (who just happen to speak Old Norse, of course). Anyway, he reads voraciously trying to learn about the culture he has been dropped into, and while scavenging in the professor’s library he finds 3 romantic novels. He is having trouble understanding how to relate to an independent woman who doesn’t go for the macho domineering routine that he was used to at home, so he decides to read these novels to get some ideas about how to treat the heroine. When I read this I burst out laughing thinking about this blog.
    Also, my DH accidentally picked up an Elizabeth Lowell book-on-tape that I had at home. I was on vacation and he thought I had left it for him to listen to. He loved it and has been listening to lots of “my” authors since. He does prefer the ones with some kind of mystery or suspense, but has commented that the depth of the characterizations and the relationship of the H/H are what he also appreciates most about the authors that I have passed on to him, which include some of the best known names in Romance Fiction — Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, etc. Unfortunately, he doesn’t read much for pleasure, he listens while in the car or exercising. I wish some of the Wenches’ books were on tape or CD so that I could introduce him to yours!

    Reply
  109. I know I’m joining this discussion late, but had to share my discovery from the weekend. I’m currently reading Kat Martin’s recent historical, Heart of Honor. In it, the hero is from an obscure island north of England which is home to Viking descendants. His ship crashes and he is washed up on English shores, eventually winding up in London with a professor and his daughter (who just happen to speak Old Norse, of course). Anyway, he reads voraciously trying to learn about the culture he has been dropped into, and while scavenging in the professor’s library he finds 3 romantic novels. He is having trouble understanding how to relate to an independent woman who doesn’t go for the macho domineering routine that he was used to at home, so he decides to read these novels to get some ideas about how to treat the heroine. When I read this I burst out laughing thinking about this blog.
    Also, my DH accidentally picked up an Elizabeth Lowell book-on-tape that I had at home. I was on vacation and he thought I had left it for him to listen to. He loved it and has been listening to lots of “my” authors since. He does prefer the ones with some kind of mystery or suspense, but has commented that the depth of the characterizations and the relationship of the H/H are what he also appreciates most about the authors that I have passed on to him, which include some of the best known names in Romance Fiction — Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, etc. Unfortunately, he doesn’t read much for pleasure, he listens while in the car or exercising. I wish some of the Wenches’ books were on tape or CD so that I could introduce him to yours!

    Reply
  110. I know I’m joining this discussion late, but had to share my discovery from the weekend. I’m currently reading Kat Martin’s recent historical, Heart of Honor. In it, the hero is from an obscure island north of England which is home to Viking descendants. His ship crashes and he is washed up on English shores, eventually winding up in London with a professor and his daughter (who just happen to speak Old Norse, of course). Anyway, he reads voraciously trying to learn about the culture he has been dropped into, and while scavenging in the professor’s library he finds 3 romantic novels. He is having trouble understanding how to relate to an independent woman who doesn’t go for the macho domineering routine that he was used to at home, so he decides to read these novels to get some ideas about how to treat the heroine. When I read this I burst out laughing thinking about this blog.
    Also, my DH accidentally picked up an Elizabeth Lowell book-on-tape that I had at home. I was on vacation and he thought I had left it for him to listen to. He loved it and has been listening to lots of “my” authors since. He does prefer the ones with some kind of mystery or suspense, but has commented that the depth of the characterizations and the relationship of the H/H are what he also appreciates most about the authors that I have passed on to him, which include some of the best known names in Romance Fiction — Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, etc. Unfortunately, he doesn’t read much for pleasure, he listens while in the car or exercising. I wish some of the Wenches’ books were on tape or CD so that I could introduce him to yours!

    Reply
  111. Very late comment, but I’m just off the plane and LOVED this topic so much….
    Jo- I’m with you – at least one male with whom I discussed romance (and these fell into the very sensitive, ‘talented’ class as men go) mentioned that some romances made them feel a bit insecure or that they couldn’t live up to the ‘fantasy’….of getting it perfect the first time, etc.
    Of course, I countered with what men don’t focus on – they look at result, not intent – it’s the fact that the hero/lover/man ACTUALLY CARES about getting it right that matters. (And there’s no success without it IMHO!) Somehow your heroes do communicate their focus on the heroine rather than just their own needs, less than absolute confidence of their ability to do that well, and are less than perfectly handsome although all are very attractive, natch.
    So I guess there are some authors I’d recommend to men to start with…and the Wenches’ offerings would be at the top of the list.
    And Janga – I love that blog link – I’m still chuckling. Sigh.

    Reply
  112. Very late comment, but I’m just off the plane and LOVED this topic so much….
    Jo- I’m with you – at least one male with whom I discussed romance (and these fell into the very sensitive, ‘talented’ class as men go) mentioned that some romances made them feel a bit insecure or that they couldn’t live up to the ‘fantasy’….of getting it perfect the first time, etc.
    Of course, I countered with what men don’t focus on – they look at result, not intent – it’s the fact that the hero/lover/man ACTUALLY CARES about getting it right that matters. (And there’s no success without it IMHO!) Somehow your heroes do communicate their focus on the heroine rather than just their own needs, less than absolute confidence of their ability to do that well, and are less than perfectly handsome although all are very attractive, natch.
    So I guess there are some authors I’d recommend to men to start with…and the Wenches’ offerings would be at the top of the list.
    And Janga – I love that blog link – I’m still chuckling. Sigh.

    Reply
  113. Very late comment, but I’m just off the plane and LOVED this topic so much….
    Jo- I’m with you – at least one male with whom I discussed romance (and these fell into the very sensitive, ‘talented’ class as men go) mentioned that some romances made them feel a bit insecure or that they couldn’t live up to the ‘fantasy’….of getting it perfect the first time, etc.
    Of course, I countered with what men don’t focus on – they look at result, not intent – it’s the fact that the hero/lover/man ACTUALLY CARES about getting it right that matters. (And there’s no success without it IMHO!) Somehow your heroes do communicate their focus on the heroine rather than just their own needs, less than absolute confidence of their ability to do that well, and are less than perfectly handsome although all are very attractive, natch.
    So I guess there are some authors I’d recommend to men to start with…and the Wenches’ offerings would be at the top of the list.
    And Janga – I love that blog link – I’m still chuckling. Sigh.

    Reply
  114. Very late comment, but I’m just off the plane and LOVED this topic so much….
    Jo- I’m with you – at least one male with whom I discussed romance (and these fell into the very sensitive, ‘talented’ class as men go) mentioned that some romances made them feel a bit insecure or that they couldn’t live up to the ‘fantasy’….of getting it perfect the first time, etc.
    Of course, I countered with what men don’t focus on – they look at result, not intent – it’s the fact that the hero/lover/man ACTUALLY CARES about getting it right that matters. (And there’s no success without it IMHO!) Somehow your heroes do communicate their focus on the heroine rather than just their own needs, less than absolute confidence of their ability to do that well, and are less than perfectly handsome although all are very attractive, natch.
    So I guess there are some authors I’d recommend to men to start with…and the Wenches’ offerings would be at the top of the list.
    And Janga – I love that blog link – I’m still chuckling. Sigh.

    Reply
  115. Very late comment, but I’m just off the plane and LOVED this topic so much….
    Jo- I’m with you – at least one male with whom I discussed romance (and these fell into the very sensitive, ‘talented’ class as men go) mentioned that some romances made them feel a bit insecure or that they couldn’t live up to the ‘fantasy’….of getting it perfect the first time, etc.
    Of course, I countered with what men don’t focus on – they look at result, not intent – it’s the fact that the hero/lover/man ACTUALLY CARES about getting it right that matters. (And there’s no success without it IMHO!) Somehow your heroes do communicate their focus on the heroine rather than just their own needs, less than absolute confidence of their ability to do that well, and are less than perfectly handsome although all are very attractive, natch.
    So I guess there are some authors I’d recommend to men to start with…and the Wenches’ offerings would be at the top of the list.
    And Janga – I love that blog link – I’m still chuckling. Sigh.

    Reply

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