At the 2008 Romance Writers of America conference, a talented and prolific author entertained and informed attendees as a luncheon keynote speaker. We delighted in her anecdote concerning her husband. Relating that he had never read a single one of her impressive body of published novels, she declared that she always made a point to kill somebody in each of her books with her husband’s first name.
The moral of her story for us is: real men should read romance for their overall health, oh yes, and enjoyment.
Our contention is not as tongue in cheek as it sounds. Men are, of course, half the equation in the yin and yang of traditional romance genres. Our heroes yearn for equal measures of romantic fulfillment and personal happily ever after conclusions as do our heroines. Sensuality, present in varying degrees in romance, isn’t as tantalizing and stimulating to the…imagination…for men?
Our virile husbands are delighted (forced) to read our books. In fact one of our husbands brought our latest release on a men only long weekend in the deep woods. By day, he and his friends blazed trails on ATV’s, fished and threw their catches back in the lake, canoed, hiked, and did rugged, outdoorsy real men things. In the evening he apparently read and finished our romantic suspense novel, sending home a text message: “Just read a great book. I got a —– (slang word for aroused) and I cried. Who could ask for more?”