I have a guilty pleasure.
I like reading romance novels.
Yes, when I say romance novels, I mean novels with covers that look like this:
I enjoy the romance and the happily ever after. I also read them because they make a huge amount of money and last time I checked made up something like 56% of all books sold.
I could write romance novels if I wanted to, they’re formulaic and I can put myself into the “mind-set” to write them. Except that the most heroes of romance novels are like most women in porn films, so completely unrealistic I want to bash my head against the wall.
Romantic heroes are strong dominate types who will do anything to have the heroine, and only the heroine. While thankfully most romance today does not feature outright rape(though some does, especially some Harlequin series), most heroes are would be, in real life, abusive controlling assholes. No guy is arrogant, ruthless, domineering and controlling, while also having this secret good nature that only the heroine can bring out that justifies them being together.
In one romance, the hero was this abusive jackass who the heroine hated, except he secretly funded research for his sister’s debilitating illness, and that one thing invalidated everything else he did. I literally had a pounding headache by the time I was done reading it.
There have been strides in recent years to make porn suitable for women(and female oriented erotica has been around forever) the same has not been done for men.There are no romances for guys.
Where are beautiful rich executive women who want to possess me and make me their husband? Fuck the patriarchal view that men should be the dominant ones, the providers. Life is hard, I’d love to be swept off my feet and carried into fantasy land where my problems disappear.
If you got the average guy to open up and ask if they would love to be swept off their feet by a beautiful rich woman and carried into fantasy land and never work again, there would be very few would ultimately turn it down, because, again life is hard. Being a guy doesn’t make life easy. Note sex hasn’t entered the picture here, because romance isn’t about sex, it’s about the fantasy of being wanted by someone who’ll climb mountains and swim across rivers to have you(in some romances, I’m sure there are heroes who do just that).
Just like women are told not to want sex with anyone other than their husbands, men are told they shouldn’t be taken care. But guess what, women can do desire sex with different men, and they aren’t whores if they sleep around; men can and do fantasize about being swept off their feet and carried away into la-la land and aren’t wimps or pussy-whipped if they do.
So I am going to write a romance for guys eventually with a plot that goes something like this:
Ethan is an average guy working a dead-end IT job. He meets Elizabeth, a rich beautiful executive tired of men being too intimidated to marry her and her biological clock is running out. She approaches Ethan with a proposition: Marry her and father her children, and he’ll never have to work again. Ethan accepts, but before they tie the knot, societal pressures from within and without, threaten the wedding. Can Ethan overcome his irrational fears of emasculation and find true happiness?
I’d use the standard romance novel formula from the actual story with differences made for the gender switch.
I’d entitle it The Heiress’s Baby Daddy.
As for the covers, I honestly wouldn’t have to change from the standard modern “Clinch” cover, I’d simply have to have the women be a little dominate, ie. having her face him with her arms around his waist. Plus, her dress would be undone and cleave showing(this may be romance for guys, but some things won’t change).
In the end, If I market this right, and don’t write the heroine to be a crazy stalker, and write the hero to actually have a backbone, I think I can make so much money even Harlequin would take notice.
I think I’ll attempt this after I’m done writing K23 number 4.