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Why yes, it has been a while since I participated in this weekly event.  Honestly, I have not had the time, nor have I really liked the topics.  No harm, no foul – right?  But in honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought it was time to participate in this week’s topic of one of my faves – romance.

Image of Heart made out of pages of a book

In honor of Valentine’s weekend, let’s talk about romantic literature. By that, I don’t necessarily mean the modern romance genre, but books that you find particularly romantic.

Feel free to explore any or all of these prompts:

  • What literary couple is your favorite?
  • How do you define romantic literature? Does it always involve sex? or the hint of sex?
  • What author/s do you think writes romantic scenes particularly well?
  • Do you have a favorite romantic scene in a book?
  • Do you find you read romantic literature at certain times of the year?
  • Tell us your favorite romantic quote.
  • Do you have some favorite romantic poetry?

Share any other thoughts you have about books and romance or love or eroticism.

Chocolate HeartsAnd beyond books: If you celebrate Valentine’s Day, what’s your favorite way to do it? A romantic dinner? Chocolate? Do you send cards to people you love?

Let’s start at the top.  What is my favorite romantic couple?  Do I have to pick just one?  Scarlett and Rhett.  Dagney and John.  Jane and Mr. Rochester.  Edward and Bella.  Harry and Ginny.  Maxim and the second Mrs. de Winter.  Anne and Gilbert.  If I have to pick one though, I think my heart belongs to Heathcliff and Catherine.  Yes, they are dysfunctional and cruel.  Some argue that their love never has the chance to grow and mature, and because of that, it is harmful and dangerous.  However, there is something about Heathcliff’s anguish, when he is yelling on the moors begging Catherine to haunt him, that I find absolutely beautiful and heart-breaking.  To me, theirs is a romance that will never die.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that there is romance does not mean sex.  In fact, often they are quite separate.  Some of the best sex scenes in books are not what I would call romantic.  In fact, it is their lack of romance which makes them so appealing.  For example, the quintessential scene in Gone With the Wind is when Rhett sweeps Scarlett off her feet and carries up the stairs.  Let’s think about this one – she does not want to go with him, so he is essentially forcing her and yes, even though she enjoys reminiscing the next morning, he still forced her.  Just how romantic is that?  Call me old-fashioned, call me a prude.  But for me, romance is all about the relationship and not about the sex. 

Which authors write romance well?  Essentially, different authors excel at the different types of love.  Stephenie Meyer excels at the idea of first love.  Each of the Bronte sisters were able to write about dangerous love and even mysterious love.  Nora Roberts can do lust like no other.  It is so difficult to pick just one author.

Favorite romantic scene?  My favorite romantic scene in a book is from Eclipse.  The leg-hitch scene makes me swoon every single time I read it.  It is without a doubt the best, sexiest non-sex scene ever.  Honestly, there is so much that is swoon-worthy in the Twilight Saga – the wedding, the reunion, the proposal.  Is it any wonder I love the series as much as I do?

I am a romantic at heart.  I do not wait for one particular time of the year to read romance stories.  Rather, I read them whenever I need a good cry or a good laugh or just need to be cheered.  Actually, I find myself this Valentine’s Day avoiding romantic stories.  Maybe because everything is so focused on love, and I object to it just being for one day out of the year, but I would rather savor my romance on the days that are not specifically set aside for love and romance by Hallmark and the rest of the retail industry.

My favorite romantic quote?  I actually have two.  One is from New Moon:

“Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night.  Very dark, but there were stars–points of light and reason. …And then you shot across my sky like a meteor.  Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty.  When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black.  Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light.  I couldn’t see the stars anymore.  And there was no more reason for anything.”

I love that line.  I’ve experienced that myself.  Life does change when you find that one person with whom you are truly meant to be.  And it is not the same when they are out of your life, for whatever reason.

My other favorite romantic quote is not from a book but a TV show.  My favorite TV show of all time, one I still mourn because it is no longer on the air – Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

“Love makes us do the wacky.”

Yes, Buffy, yes it does.  And that’s what makes love great.

I’m foregoing the poetry question because I do not like poetry.  There, I said it.  I don’t understand poetry, nor do I want to take the time to sit and figure out each line.  I do not like to have to interpret what I read.  So, no poetry, romantic or otherwise, for me.

We did not celebrate Valentine’s Day this year other than roses and a card.  And because my husband is SO amazing, he got me a card with Jacob AND Edward on it!  Jim’s job has not been the most conducive to date nights and romantic evenings, or even being home with each other.  So we’ve learned to just enjoy each other’s company whenever we can.  I love just being with him and do not need a special day to celebrate it.

What does romance mean to you?  What is your favorite couple?  Your favorite quote?

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