I have something to confess. I’ve been reading a lot of romance lately. Except, not really.
See, I read as an escape. I grew up inside the Beltway near Washington DC and even the local news was national and international. My family loves little more than arguing politics and current events and I, being the weird one, can’t stand it. Then there’s the world around us. No matter what your stance on something, you have to admit that it’s a pretty volatile place to live these days.
So, I read. But, (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming,) so much fantasy of all sub-genres these days is about political posturing and the intricate dance of maneuvering through power structures. It’s exhausting for me to read through how a character is trapped into an action they hate via political blackmail or the threat of a misstep. It’s way too much like watching the news.
But, there’s an easy way to get around that. Read a romance novel. It does take a little looking, but once you find your way down the genre pathways to the paranormal romance or the fantasy romance novels, you’ve struck a rich vein of decent adventures that are often, dare I say usually, written without the angsty political whinging that seems to be so prevalent pretty much everywhere else.
The characters are carefully developed and usually the sort of people I don’t want to hide from. The situations are often just as tense and exciting as any thriller. And the world-building is usually done as the story goes along rather than in page after page of lengthy explanation of the political climate and why our hero is so completely trapped by it. And, more often than not, there’s a happy ending where everyone can rest easy knowing that the Great Evil has been defeated and nobody’s future is miserable and uncertain. I wish that could be the case in real life, for sure. (I’ve really enjoyed Playing With Fire and pretty much anything set in the Cold Case Psychic world.)
Not everything I read is romance these days— I’ve currently got Junkyard Druid up next on my Kindle, and I just read Enter The Saint not long ago. Still, I am leaning right now towards Stories that can help me relax without worrying about how close to an actual news story it’s getting. Who has a favorite book that’s pure escape?