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    • CommentAuthorJinx
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2013
     
    Exactly as the title says, are there any good romance novels or are they all trash as a general rule?
  1.  

    I like oldies. Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice in particular.

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      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2013
     

    Some romance stories work. Others not so much; I think the difference is characters with realistic motivations and lives outside of the other characters.

    If you want some really cool bromance, Cynthia Voight’s The Wings of a Falcon is just full of subtext.

    • CommentAuthorDeborah
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2013
     

    Seconding Jane Eyre. I also suggest Anne’s Bronte’s novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is a deconstruction of the ‘all girls want bad boys’ stereotype, by showing what marrying such a person would actually be like. I thought it was excellent.

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      CommentAuthorPryotra
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2013
     

    a deconstruction of the ‘all girls want bad boys’ stereotype

    The Bronte sisters seemed to really like to take on that stereotype. I mean, in a lot of ways, Wuthering Heights is a deconstruction of the Gothic genre itself.

    Hm, I guess it depends on what time period it’s from, and if you want fantasy or not. Anything by Austin or the Brontes is good, but the better modern ones are hard to find.

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      CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2013
     

    When you say romance novel, I immediately jump to trashy. I wouldn’t categorize Austen or Bronte’s work as romance novels, per se. Some of the trashy ones are brilliantly lulzy, though. Seduced by Virginia Henley still cracks me up every time. Here, see for yourself.

  2.  

    ^ Sexy.

    I wouldn’t categorize Austen or Bronte’s work as romance novels, per se.

    If it’s primarily focused on a love story, I call it a romance.

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      CommentAuthorMiel
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2013
     

    Not strictly a romance novel, but Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin is one of my all-time favourite books. It’s the story of an affair told in many interwoven narrative layers, from memoirs in old age to newspaper articles to a fictional novel and Dunsanian fantasy.

    Lady Chatterly’s Lover is also excellent, and refreshingly frank about sex. I’d take this over Austen any day :P (No offence to Austen fans. I just can’t stand that time period.)

  3.  

    The amusing part about Regency fangirls is how they tend to ignore all the death and suffering going on at the same time in the Empire so the women could flounce around in their dresses.

    Love in the Time of Cholera is the way to go. Not strictly romance, but a long, drawn-out passion.

  4.  

    ^ Ooh, Love in the Time of Cholera is a good one.

    The amusing part about Regency fangirls is how they tend to ignore all the death and suffering going on at the same time in the Empire so the women could flounce around in their dresses.

    Yeah, the officers are actually in Meryton for a reason. I know that the book is purposefully very limited in scope (it’s unlikely that Austen herself was ignorant of what was going on, most of the male members of her family were in the army), but I still like it for what it is- entertainment, not history. I go elsewhere for that. :)