It has been a long time since I have read any romance. When I was in high school, I read quite a bit of it, but I have found as I've gotten older that my tastes have changed. Romance no longer seems as interesting as it once did — the characters seem empty, the story clichéd. Moreover, I find that I am disgusted by the messages that romance sends to women, particularly impressionable young women: Fighting means you love one another, violence is sexy, and sex equals love.
By this point you are probably wondering why I read a romance novel, if I dislike them so much. Well, notice the author — Karen Marie Moning, who wrote the Fever series I recently read and loved so much. I read a review on Barnes & Noble's website that said her Highlander series of romance novels tells you a little more about what is going on in the Fever series. Since I am on pins and needles here, waiting for Shadowfever to come out, I figured I would read a few of the romance novels in the meantime.
The first novel was about as I expected — lots of arguing, possessiveness, jealousy, and of course, cheesy sex scenes. (How is it that someone who maintains such tight sexual tension in the Fever series can use phrases like "his enormous phallus" in a romance novel? It's got to be because of the expectations of the genre.) But, as promised, there was stuff about the Fae. Nothing revealing in terms of the Fever series, but I think it was her first book, so she probably was just starting to develop her ideas. It looks like there will be more in future books — I'm debating on whether I should read in order or skip ahead to those that look more pertinent. Either way, I'll probably take some time and read a few other books in the meantime — after all, I have two months to get through the romance novels, and anyway I think my head might explode if I try to read them all in a row!