I’m a bookworm. I’ve always loved to read… probably because I’m able to do it so quickly. Sit me down on the beach with a good book in the morning and I can guarantee I’ll have it finished by the time the lifeguards head in for the day. Once I become immersed in a book that I don’t want to put it down, I don’t. So between hours of reading and the speed at which I can do it, I go through about a book a day on vacation.
Last summer, I discovered a new author and my first series of adult romantic novels. I wouldn’t say they’re as raunchy or explicit as what I’ve heard Norah Roberts’ books are…but they can certainly be steamy. Anyway, the point is the author, Julie Garwood, has a variety of series or single books to choose from. Although the longest series is more modern, my favorites are the series that take place back in Victorian/Medieval (?) times. My favorite books all take place in the Highlands of Scotland and usually involve some Englishwoman coming together with a Scottish warrior.
Now there are many reasons I like her books. They all have a love story, and for a hopeless romantic and chick-flick lover that’s a must in a light-read. I also happen to find them pretty funny…but that might just be my own personal sense of humor. But what I’ve realized has really grabbed my attention is the main female character in the books nad her love story.
Most of the characters and plots are the same: woman has some sort of crisis that she has to overcome, an uber-masculine guy that she barely knows helps her through it, they fall in love in the process and live happily ever after. So pretty much a standard chick-flick in book form. But what I love is that while the books have a certain “damsel in distress” element to them, the heroine is also a strong woman who is usually very outspoken and often unknowingly brave. And back in that time period, neither of those was considered an ideal trait in a woman…so it causes quite a commotion. So I can infer that I’ve become so taken with these books because they reflect the type of relationship that I would want, and the type of woman I would like to be. The man is protective and loving, although he tries to put on a macho-fasad. And the woman wants to be taken care of but not to the extent where she can’t do anything herself. By the end of the book the woman ends up saving the man as much as he saves her and the couple finds harmony in taking care of each other and accepting each other’s faults.
So while I love a good chick-flick as much as the next girl, I know that many of the story lines are unrealistic. But with books, and Julie Garwood’s in particular, I can’t help but think that we are drawn to story lines that are not only entertaining but have a personal meaning or connection to us and are things that we can relate to our lives. For me, Julie Garwood’s books have given me more insight into what I’m looking for in Mr. Right and the type of relationship I want when I finally get my happily ever after, even if the circumstances of my story will be completely different than the plot in hers.
So take a look at a book series that you love, or an author you keep going back to. Perhaps there is a reason you enjoy the books so much other than just their entertainment value.