So yes, I’m thankful for my family and my health and a roof over my head and a good job, and all those things, and believe me, I don’t take them for granted, BUT Alpha Heroes is about reading romance, so here goes the Alpha Heroes Thanksgiving Thirteen:
1. Never need to worry about artwork for the walls: floor to ceiling bookshelves!
2. It’s educational: I bet I know WAYYY more about the proper forms of address for dukes, earls, marquesses, and plain old Misters than the average 21st century American, not to mention bits and pieces about running a medieval castle, the Napoleonic wars and the Khyber Pass.
3. Escapism: diving into another time and place, or hobnobbing with jet-set celebrities in the almost-here and now is a great way to de-stress.
4. Simple and easy way to avoid eye contact with weird people on public transportation.
5. I never feel awkward about eating a meal alone. In fact, sometimes I get annoyed when someone from work joins me for lunch – that cuts into my reading time, dammit!
6. I’m never bored in line at the DMV.
7. High standards: some people like to postulate that reading romance gives women unrealistic ideas about relationships. I like to postulate that in terms of desireability as a mate? those people are at best, the Alpha Hero’s wacky neighbor. Think George Kostanza.
8. Challenging stereotypes: I actually get quite a kick out of it when people ask in disbelief, “You read romance??” in tones reserved for things like oozing sores and dogshit. I like to try to make them come right out and say that romance is for airheads. Try it, it’s fun—I suggest leading with “Really? And what do YOU read?” They tend to stammer a lot.
9. This essay. I have linked to it before, about a year ago, but it’s worth a re-read every now and then, for both die-hard romance readers and folks who are honestly wondering why people read romance. This essay articulated for me a lot of feelings I had about romance books but hadn’t quite figured out how to express, so I am grateful for it.
10.The way that writing about romance and fictional relationships has made me really think about the nature of romance and relationships and marriage.
11. Cover art like this:
12. The sex. It’s true, I admit it. If it were the Thursday Twelve though, I might not
13. Last but not least, happy endings: if I want to feel saddened or angry or depressed or terrified, all I have to do is pick up a newspaper or tune in to Fox News. For entertainment, I want a feel-good story.
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