Why Read Romance? By Jacqueline Seewald

dmr-js-full (2)Why do romance novels continue to attract so many readers? There are a number of good reasons. I’ll offer my own opinion and let’s see if we agree.

Why do I read romances? I enjoy reading books I can feel passionate about which equates to main characters who are passionate people. I want to read a novel in which I truly care about those main characters. For me, that means romantic fiction.

Don’t get me wrong, I like many different kinds of fiction but enjoy most a novel with a happy ending. I hope that doesn’t make me sound shallow. I suppose part of the reason I read is to escape the hum-drum of everyday existence. I want to read a great love story with characters I can care about. For instance, I love Regency because the novels are often humorous as well as romantic.

I want to solve an exciting mystery along with the fictional detectives. I also want to read a book with an interesting, clever plot. I appreciate an intelligently written novel. However, without a good romance, for me a mystery novel falls flat. Sleuths in a mystery need to be well-rounded characters just like people in real life. Emotions are part of human existence. The 4th novel in my Kim Reynolds series: THE BAD WIFE is part of my tribute to romantic mystery fiction. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J6PCKVW

The series consists of romantic mysteries with a paranormal edge, the kind of fiction I enjoy reading. Did I mention I like to read romances that have a paranormal element? No? Pardon my oversight.

My latest published novel, DARK MOON RISING, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z7824A4/

combines romance, mystery, and paranormal elements. It’s my tribute to the Gothic tradition. I love reading a fast-paced romance that has the elements of a supernatural suspense thriller. So I had to write my own version.

TheDevilAndDannaWebster_1600x2400My YA romance novel THE DEVIL AND DANNA WEBSTER came out with a digital first publisher. http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Danna-Webster-Jacqueline-Seewald/dp/1512340081/

It received such good reviews and was so popular with readers that the publisher has now brought it out in print as well.

Reading novels and short stories gives me added perspective on life while providing me with inspiration to write fiction. I wrote a book of short stories entitled BEYOND THE BO TREE which is offered Kindle book. It contains ten romantic stories of varied heat levels. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DTV0750

Some of the stories are realistic while others are fanciful. There’s a good mix which include a vampire romance, a Druid priestess at odds with an archeologist, and a young woman who meets a Greek god in the garden of an art gallery.

I believe a good book is one the reader will enjoy. It should be one you just have to finish reading and it should leave you feeling good, satisfied, emotionally and mentally enriched.

Here is an excerpt from DARK MOON RISING, my latest adult romance:

“Life and death are just different sides of the same coin.” He pressed her fingertips against his lips.

“I think you’re paying lip service to a viewpoint you feel requires your loyalty.” Her voice sounded unsteady.

His fingertips lifted her chin and gently turned her face toward his. “I think maybe you’re right. You’re very perceptive about people, aren’t you? It’s okay. You don’t have to be shy with me.”

She felt her cheeks flame. “Tell me about yourself,” she said quickly.

BadWife-DHis piercing midnight-blue eyes met hers squarely. “You really don’t want to know.”

She sensed his inner conflict and turmoil. “Yes, I would really like to know you.”

“You’re so sweet and lovely.”

The next thing she knew, he was leaning over and taking her into his arms. She wanted to give in to the need she felt for him, but her sensitivity warned her it would be a serious mistake. She reacted by pulling away from him, but he pressed closer. The pads of his thumbs rubbed erotically across her lips. Then he held her head with his hand and bent his face over hers. His fingers caught in her hair as his lips, warm and firm, pressed against her own.

Her heart was beating wildly as she withdrew from him. Surely, this was not right. Awareness of her vulnerability was more than a little frightening. He sensed her resistance and allowed her to move away.

“You were going to tell me about yourself,” she reminded him in a breathless voice.

“There isn’t much to tell—unless you want to know about the people I’ve killed in the name of patriotism.” His look was unreadable.

She felt the hum of sexual tension between them. She had always liked blue eyes in a man and his were such a deep, dark blue she felt as if she were drowning in them.

He pulled her against him, his mouth coming down on hers. This kiss was not as gentle as the previous one. He did not merely press his lips against hers but kissed her deeply, hungrily, possessively. His mouth was warm and moist and tasted of beer, tobacco and virility. She sought to break free, but this was the man of her dreams. Even if she hadn’t told him, even if he didn’t know that she had dreamt of him just as he had dreamt of her, somehow it was there between them. The connection, the need, the passion was very real. They were linked together in some primeval way that she could not hope to understand.


What sort of novels do you prefer to read? What constitutes a good book in your opinion? Who are some of your favorite authors? Are there any novels you would recommend to other readers?


Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Fifteen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies such as: THE WRITER, L.A. TIMES, READER’S DIGEST, PEDESTAL, SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE, OVER MY DEAD BODY!, GUMSHOE REVIEW, LIBRARY JOURNAL, and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. She’s also an amateur landscape artist and loves blue grass music.

Her writer’s blog can be found at: http://jacquelineseewald.blogspot.com

30 thoughts on “Why Read Romance? By Jacqueline Seewald

  1. Hello Jacqueline,

    Great post. Like you, I love reading romance stories to escape the rigours of daily life. The guarantee of a happy ending is the greatest thrill for me.

    I write Flirty & Feisty Romance stories with twists and turns set in exotic places with characters who have heart & soul.

    Your books sounds very interesting.
    Best wishes,

  2. ‘Well-rounded’ is the key word. As a man, I’m not inclined to read romance per se. But in any novel I read I do want to see romance, that is, relationships between the characters. Without them, a novel lacks reality and the characters fall flat.

    • Hi, John,

      I think my romances are the kind that men enjoy reading as well as women because they have strong plot lines. DARK MOON RISING is a combination of mystery, romance, paranormal and suspense thriller. It’s a fast-paced page turner.

  3. May your success keep on running 🙂 I enjoy romance because there are so many different genres, and like you feel that without a touch of romance a story feels lacking. I also enjoy reading a book that does glory in violence for violence sake. I also want to feel good when I put the book down at the end of the story.

    • Hi, Sherry,

      DARK MOON RISING does have violence in the plot, but it is a romantic suspense thriller. On the other hand, my YA romance THE DEVIL AND DANNA WEBSTER is more psychological and has little in the way of violence. I prefer not to emphasize violence. I like to celebrate positive emotions.

  4. Jacqueline you are a writer of many talents: paranormal, gothic, YA, mystery…But as you said, no matter the time period or genre, real people need love, so tying the story in with a romance is perfect.

    • Hi, Maris,

      Thank you for commenting. I do write in a variety of styles and genres but my YA and adult novels always have a romance involved in the story. For me, the characters wouldn’t seem real unless they are fully developed and that includes emotions and human connections.

  5. Couldn’t agree more with your comment that the sleuths in a mystery need to be well-rounded people–they aren’t convincing otherwise. Hope you have great sales with Dark Moon Rising!

    • Thank you, Allan. I do hope readers will find DARK MOON RISING, my current adult romance. By the same token, THE DEVIL AND DANNA WEBSTER is a perfect book for mothers to share with teenage daughters.

  6. Very nice blog, Jacquie, and I can see why you’re passionate about romantic fiction. You do it so well–particularly in your latest book. I’ll admit that I, too, like a little romance in my mystery novels.

  7. Good job, Jacqueline. You’ve given me a new perspective on Romance. If anyone asks why I have a passionate love scene in my next Mystery, I’ll tell them it was your influence. 😉 All the best to you, my friend.

  8. Jacquie: Enjoyed your post. I find that the books Iove most and remember are those with serious themes: oppression, unrequited love, ancestors who direct the troubled present from the spirit world, for example. Your books fit that requirement for me with the added touch of romance. Thanks!

  9. An excellent post, Jacqueline! I agree that books should have well-rounded characters and that elusive and hard to define quality – substance. And a happy ending. There is so much in real life that is unhappy and insecure and uncertain. I believe that is why romance is so popular – for a while, at least, the reader can escape into a world where no matter how dark things become they can be guaranteed of a happy ending.

  10. Jacquie, A very good post, which samples some engaging prose. While I haven’t read much romance, it creeps into my dark mysteries. As Christie Craig, a fine romance writer friend from Texas pointed out, trivial as romance may seem to some, it’s the reason we’re all here! In my mysteries, architect Patrick MacKenna has trouble resisting beautiful women, one source of his constant troubles. In the second book, Fatal Designs, his daughter Erin is kidnapped by exploiters of women, is threatened with the dark side of love and must think her way out of the fix. Carry on! Peter

  11. I seem to go in cycles. I’ll read a lot of thrillers for a while, then a few (light) horror novels, then pick up a few mainstream bestsellers. Lately I’ve read a few blog posts by romance writers and realized I hadn’t read any romances for years. I think it’s time!! I could use a few happy endings.

  12. Wow! Fine post, great excerpt. I’ve enjoyed others of your novels and this one is on my list now. I think you have a good facility for melding the “normal” with the paranormal so it is expected and believable.

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