I have always, always been an avid reader.
As a kid, I tore through series after series – Boxcar Children, The Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley Twins (and eventually, Sweet Valley High, of course) – never wanting to put the books down. In fact, I used to stay up past my bedtime to read, by hiding under my covers and using a flashlight.
Cool kid. Right here.
I still love reading. There aren’t quite as many series out there for my age group (no, I haven’t read Twilight), but I’ve been open to recommendations from friends, as well as turning to the lists of classics that I should have read by now, but never got around to.
However, there are still some times that I want something that’s as quick and easy (and shallow) as a Sweet Valley read, but on a somewhat more adult level. (Kind of counterintuitive, I know.)
And that’s where my trashy romance novels come in.
I discovered them a few years ago – thanks to my mother. She’d been reading a series by Elizabeth Lowell; I was bored; I picked one up and started skimming. And then I was hooked.
Yes, the books are predictable. There’s always (at least in mine) a leading male who is either current or former military (think Marine, Navy SEAL, Black Ops agent, generic bodyguard, etc), and a leading lady who is smart, strong, independent and (according to Nora Roberts), never stick-thin.
They meet. There’s a mutual attraction (and a lot of sexual tension). There’s a misunderstanding that gets them into trouble. Then they make up and realize they’re in love.
And this is all over the course of a couple weeks or so. You know, the usual.
The thing is, as much as I know that these books are probably rotting my brain from the inside out (and giving me unrealistic expectations about whirlwind romances), I just can’t put them down. Which is probably why I spent all of last Saturday curled up in a chair, listening to the rain, and reading about Troubleshooters Inc. and their mission to protect a female politician while trying not to lose one of their own.
I could try to fight it – replace the trash on my bedside table with a more intellectual read. But why?
My dreams are significantly more fun when I fall asleep after reading a romance novel.