Talking Books with Nell part 2
I used to be an avid reader of the 200 page red cover Harlequin romance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I liked them because I could read them in an evening. If I was in a melancholy mood because of something that happened…or did not happen, those Harlequin romances could trigger a response that would help purge that feeling. I kept a stash of my favorite books that had the best endings and sometimes I’d just read the last 4 or 5 chapters before being done for the day. That little bit of Happily Ever After was enough.
Why do I have to have a Happily Ever After? Because sometimes the real world really sucks. It’s all fantasy, you say? Yeah. So what? It’s suspension of disbelief. Walt Disney used it and built huge worlds around it. It’s a ‘feel good’ thing. Romance makes me feel good but Horror that scares the ever livin’ daylights out of a person may make someone else absolutely giddy. I like horror to an extent, but again, that’s a conversation for another day.
Happily Ever After, or HEA for those of you in the know, are easier to come by now than they used to be. In the non electronics day, one read the back cover and hoped for the best. As I said, you could about guarantee the red cover Harlequins would be a safe bet. With the advancement of the Internet (thank the powers), there are book reviews at the beck and call of a google search. Also, often the authors will write whether it’s a HEA. I like those authors. They are the white hats among us Nervous Nellies.
Now, a person might get pulled in by some books that are labelled as a Romance but actually are not purely romance. What?? I know it’s a confusing thing, but in the Romance category there are those called Urban Fantasy. I know those are not always HEA, but hopefully by the end of the series it ends in HEA. Urban Fantasy may have a strong romance element but most don’t. They will have a kick ass hero or heroine that totally wallops the bad guy in a city type setting. Urban Fantasy tales are my favorite.
Examples of Urban Fantasy are: Jenn Stark‘s Immortal Vegas where the heroine is a tarot card reader and a thief of magical artifacts – kind of a Indiana Jones but without the college professor label. Patricia Brigg‘s Mercy Thompson series involves shifters. Shifters are men and women that can change into wolves, dragons, tigers, or in Mercy’s case – a coyote. 9 times out of 10 the shifter will be a predator of a sort. I’ve never seen a werebunny outside of Monty Python. Another favorite of mine is the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. This series was made into an HBO series. The books were better. 🙂 Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress that gets involved in vampire and shifter politics. It’s not boring politics either. If you know vampires and shifters, you know it won’t be boring.
All three of those recommendations have strong female leads, but there are male leads in Urban Fantasy too. Check next week for more discussion in Talking Books with Nell.
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