My guest today is author Jess B Moore. At first, I thought that this post was a defence of romance as a genre, but the more I thought about it, I realised what she’s written is actually a celebration of romance. And why not? I’m sure most writers of the genre have felt the need, at one time or another, to defend our work, and even as readers of romance we often find ourselves feeling pressured into making excuses for our choice of reading material. Well, Jess is here to tell us, quite rightly, why we shouldn’t give in to those feelings, and that we should be celebrating romance instead. Over to you, Jess.
A Celebration of Romance
When people hear I’m a writer, the first question is always, “what do you write?” I then brace myself for their reaction, before telling them, knowing what usually comes next, then say with mustered pride, “I write romance.”
Nine times out of ten, I’m faced with someone who doesn’t love the genre. (Or thinks they don’t, as they’ve usually never given it a try). There’s a look of shock, then a forced smile, followed up by something like, “oh, well, that’s nice.”
Occasionally I get something about romance being cliché, or plots being predictable. To which I happily explain that the mystery books are solved, just like romance books have a happy ending. All genres are “predictable” if you break it down.
Do you read romance? Are you ashamed?
I sincerely hope you said yes to the first and no to the second.
However, if you feel that little flicker of shame, I understand. I kept my romance habit a secret for too many years. Hiding behind my Nook or Kindle – rather than flaunting the obvious book covers and titles. It was a guilty pleasure. Something I did for me, but didn’t want to advertise.
Until I started writing.
Every story I wrote turned into a romance! No matter what genre I started out thinking I was writing – women’s lit, fantasy, YA, dystopian – it had a central love story, and a happy ending. At some point I had to accept I was at heart (pun intended) a romance author.
And I’ll tell you this: I couldn’t be prouder to be included in the romance genre.
We love love, and know there’s nothing better in the world.
We’re a wonderfully supportive group, always willing to help each other out.
We know how to take pleasure in small gestures, in light kisses, and in steamy bedrooms.
We are all secretly trying to overthrow the patriarchy.
Romance readers and writers alike are part of the largest book-buying group in the world!
That’s right, the number one bestselling books are romance!
What kind of romance do you read?
I read and write almost exclusively contemporary romance. I like my characters part of the world I know, trying to survive like the rest of us, and rising above all the bad stuff to come out on top.
Do you like historical? Paranormal?
Does Twilight (Stephanie Meyer) count as paranormal romance? Because I am also not ashamed to admit I read – and loved – the whole series! Ooh, and A Discovery of Witches (Deborah Harkness) is like Twilight for adults, with a lot of historical research.
There’s a subgenre for any interest you might have – military romance, small town romance, quirky-witty-smart romance, sappy-sweet romance, down-and-dirty romance. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all good!
My books are all set in a small southern town, and they’re all relatively clean. Kissing and touching abound, but the other stuff tends to happen behind a closed door. I focus on character growth and love more than sexual exploration.
But when I’m reading, my tastes range from sugary sweet to erotica, and everything in between!
The book that got me into reading romance:
Beautiful Disaster, by Jamie McGuire.
My favorite romance authors:
Penny Reid, Susannah Nix, and Sally Thorne.
The last romance book I read:
Love in Due Time (Green Valley Library, #1), by L. B. Dunbar.
If you’re interested in MY books, here’s the rundown …
The Guilt of a Sparrow (Fox River, #1)
Maggie and Cotton are more than the labels placed on them, put there by their families, the town, and themselves. A meddling best friend. Bluegrass jams. Small town gossiping. Love, loss, and family ties. Learning how to be who you are outside of who you were told to be. With humor and plenty of romance, of course.
Also available on Audible
A fierce connection: Annabelle falls in love with the way she comes to life with Asher, as he awakens a hunger in her. Asher must learn his worth beyond his upbringing and past. Together they’ll stoke the fires and risk getting burned.
Also available on Audible
Penny falls in with the MacKenna brothers, welcomed in as family, and offered the kind of love and support she never knew existed. Dominic falls for the sweet strong girl with a penchant for random facts and quirky homemade dresses. All he wants is to show Penny how wonderful she is, how smart and funny, and how desired and loved—even if he has to do it as her friend.
Brandt Grace is trouble no matter what he says or does, always getting in his own way, and trying to prove he can do better and be better only to fall on his face. Saving Grace follows Brandt’s unintentional fall for Lola Donovan, the previously friendly girl turned quiet ghost of a girl. They connect at rock bottom, finding an unexpected source of strength in each other.
Can they find a way to leave the past behind and build a future together?
ALL my books can be read as STAND ALONE books, but I think they’re better if you read them all in order. *wink, wink*
About Jess B Moore
Jess B Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.
Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cat, thinking the Internet loves him as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.