Friday, March 24, 2017

Manview observations #8: Genres (and Sub-Genres) I love to love and love to hate

Welcome to another Manview observation. Mr Manview is waxing lyrical about sub-genres and tropes today.

I hope you enjoy this installment of Mr Manview's observations.

Couple hugging
Photo credit: Auzigog via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

The more romance I read, the more I understand the multitude of genres, sub-genres and tropes and my like / dislike of them. For example, there is a trope called 'Second Chance Romance.' Apparently it is about guys who have lied, cheated, or done some other nasty to piss the woman off big time! But of course, she is forgiving, he is really a good guy with this one huge blemish (and probably another HUGE component of his anatomy - God, I hate competing with romance 'boyfriends!'). What I really want to read is a story about a 5th or 6th chance romance! Now that is the type of woman most guys need!

(Deannna): What about if it's the woman who messes up? Just trying to be equal opportunity with the genders here!

More seriously, my two favorite sub-genres are Historical Romance and Romantic Suspense with my favorite trope being the boss - employee relationship. With Historical Romance, the 'sub' in sub-genre becomes critical as there are some sub-genres I absolutely adore and some I despise. I cannot stand historical royalty romance, for example, even though I love Australian convict historical romance. Yet, I like contemporary royalty romance (go figure - I think it has to do with being able to better identify with the characters).

My love of Australian Historical Romance is two-fold: one is because of who I am - an American living in Australia the last twenty years - so I enjoy reading and understanding how this great country was founded, developed and prospered. I can pick up my history lessons easily and with pleasure reading Australian Historical Romance.

Beyond Innocence by Joanna Lloyd  The Currency Lass by Tea Cooper

The other reason I love it is because of the integrity of the convict class and how they were rewarded for being decent by being given land grants or in the case of females, being released from prison in exchange for becoming a wife (not sure if that is really being given your freedom or just exchanging one prison for another!). I have learned that most who were declared convicts in England were often screwed over and ended up taking the fall for someone who had money or was influential and could buy their way out of trouble. So seeing how these unfairly judged 'convicts' made it in a new country really warms my heart.

The other thing about Historical Romance and Romantic Suspense is often the hero and heroine are thrown together and need to survive together or perish.  And the fact that in such trying circumstances, they can find time to turn their sparks into flames and get a little nookie on the side while escaping terrorists or corrupt government officials show what you can accomplish if you multi-task properly!

The Edge of Courage by Elaine Levine  Forced Disappearance by Dana Marton

The other aspect I like about Romantic Suspense is the problem solving involved to figure out who and how to nail the bad guys. And when both parties help solve the mystery, you only become hotter for each other.

And what's not to like about the boss - employee relationship! 50% of marriages happen in the work place and there is plenty of time during work to find out more about each other and if a spark can turn into a flame, let alone a bush fire! Unfortunately these days, even telling a woman she has a pretty smile seems to get you fired. Glad things were not that way as that is how Deanna and I met in the first place! She was some employee, but became an even better soul-mate and is still flaming my fires! As long as the boss is not taking advantage through his or her position of power, I love this type of relationship! (And ask Deanna to tell you more about the very first time I pulled her into the women's bathroom knowing there were no cameras there!) Ah, yes, fond memories of the boss - employee trope every time I read one!

(Deannna): Now, now, darling! That would be telling! Perhaps if they come for dinner and you get me sufficiently liquored up, I'll tell the story.

So what do I hate? I hate Historical Royalty Romance and Sheikh Romance because the heroes often have no redeeming qualities other than being born to money. Blah! Yet I am glad to entertain a self-made billionaire falling in love with an eclectic, strong-willed woman who has it together!

I hate with a passion when an annoying, dislikable heroine fixes a broken hero and then they fall in love. Not sure if there is specifically a genre for that or if that cuts across many genres. In any case, I hate it!

Base by Cathleen Ross  The Black Lily by Juliette Cross  Stranded with the Cyborg by Cara Bristol

I used to dislike Fantasy and Paranormal, but am now open to the idea of the relationship between a human-being and a non-human as long as the gap is not too large and one can morph into the other through some sort of great sacrifice (like giving up immortality!). The same goes for fantasy and other-world and cyborg romances. Previously I would not consider reading anything of this nature, but have found some great writers who make this type of read enjoyable and plausible.

Regardless of genre, I love eroticism, but do not require it. The book can be a great read and 4- or 5-stars, while having a 1-flame rating in terms of sex. I love plot twists, I love being surprised. I love women who are confident in their sexuality and position in life (and a variety of positions in bed, or better yet, out of bed!) I love heroines who are great role models for young woman while I hate confused, wounded heroines who still manage to score the hero! (This is one fantasy I cannot buy into!)

Flame and sparks
Photo via VisualHunt

Mr. Manview is becoming more willing to explore different genres and find the beauty in them. But he is not willing to take the time reading reading something that quickly manifests into one of his dislikes. These end up in a DNF - Did Not Finish! He has had two of them so far and it was not a reflection of the author. In both cases, they were excellent and well-awarded authors. It was the genre or the particular dislike I could not get past to get to the end!

(One last thought to ponder - why did I change from first person to third person in the last paragraph? Maybe it was because I like the brand more than myself or maybe because I did not want to be associated with the two DNF? Oh well, that is the topic for another Manview Observation piece!)

Well, that's a lot to consider in the Manview realm of sub-genres and tropes, isn't there? What's your favorite sub-genre to read in romance? Or your favorite trope?

Read all the other Manview observations here.

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  1. What a great post I really enjoyed reading that one

    Cinderella is one of my favourites but I am pretty much going to say I love them all, for me as long as there is a HEA I am smiling I love where romance has taken me over the years the different plots the trials joys and memories the stories have given me and the people I have met along the way :)

    Have Fun

    1. I love the Cinderella trope too probably because it was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. I watched the Disney version of the Cinderella so many times.