As some of you may remember, one of the worst books I read last year was “The Bromance Book Club” by Lyssa Kay Adams.

Spoiler alert: I will be talking about the book and my language may go out of the PG13 realm, so tread cautiously…

TBMC is about a men’s book club. When the main character splits up with his wife he is devastated. His buddies invite him to join their book club which helps the male participants make their situations with their female partners better. They do this by reading romance novels.

Bromance- get it?

That’s about as clever as the book gets…

However, judging by the popularity of this series, there are a lot of people buying into what this book is selling…

And what the book is selling is that women want to be treated like the characters in regency romances…

So my question:

Do women want to be treated like characters in regency romances?

Do we want to be swept up by a guy with long flowing locks riding bareback on a large stallion? (he’s shirtless by the way- if that matters to you)?

Do we want men to treat us like the characters in Harlequin romances?

which leads us to my fist thought when I got the idea for this post:

Am I the only women who doesn’t fantasize about this subject?

I remember telling a guy friend that I read “Chick lit”.

When I told him this he assumed I meant books that were heavy on sex but light on everything else.

In reality- when I say chick lit, I mean books that are heavy on female characters and relationships- whether it be mother/child, friendship, or relationship.

I guess it comes down to whether or not you enjoy reading about sex…

I enjoy reading about it when it is between me and my guy- then it’s intimate and directed towards me and just way more erotic…

My fantasy is not some guy riding bareback…

It’s more likely about me riding bareback…

So my question is:

Do most women really want the whole Fabio fantasy?

Or do people just think that women do?

63 thoughts on “Wild and Flowing Mane

    1. I like when sex is natural and unforced and not the main focus of a novel. Sex should never be a device to get from point A to point B, with in fiction or real life.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. But are romance and sex the same thing? Don’t worry….I’m doing a blog about that topic in a few months….also…does it count if romance is only done to get sex?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Women are SO different than men..it’s amazing we’re not extinct. If you asked me “what’s the most romantic thing your husband has done this month” the answer is easy..he made me coffee one morning. Not only would his answer to the same question be WILDLY different, he would never guess that I would have answered the way I did. So no..no bareback horse riding in my dream, just my man making me a cocktail or bringing me coffee. 🤪

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always said that the most romantic thing by husband did was taking our other dog out for her Kate walk because he knows I like to be in pjs early. I can buy myself flowers. Do something that I hate doing. That’s romance

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It is true that many men presume we want to be treated like we live in a Regency novel. And for me, it is certainly true that I enjoy reading historical fiction now and then from that era. BUT, what I loved most about my favorite book of all time, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, was that Elizabeth Bennett defied her boundaries and that Austen created interesting women with strong ideals, an independent spirit, and were intelligent. Plus, they demanded an equal partnership. I’m in my 70’s now and I first read P &P when I was about 16. What I loved about the novel most, even back then, were all her fascinating characters, her brilliant dialogue, and yes, Darcy was dreamy, but mostly I identified with a strong female protagonist. One who did NOT succumb to the norm of the day and would choose independence over marriage if she couldn’t find a partner who respected her as a person. She defied convention and spoke her mind. That’s what I love most about those novels. And in fact, all novels.

    I like to read about strong women in any time period who survive no matter what circumstances come her way. Is there something charming about a DARCY character? Of course. A gentleman dressed in Regency garb is a dashing sight to behold for sure. But that’s not why I’d read the book. Personally my favorite sexy look for men was how they appeared during my college years. Long hair, a bit unshaven, frayed jeans, a turtleneck and a sports jacket. I don’t know why, but that is still very sexy to me. And a man riding to save the heroine on horseback is lovely in artwork, but I learned along time ago being a single mom that I was my own knight in shining armor and I could slay a dragon better than any man.
    So no. We women don’t need or prefer Fabio. His look was fun in the 90’s for a brief moment. And in my 40’s I admit I was captivated by a few sexy Romance novels. But that passed quickly. In fact now I will skim over those parts in books if it’s unnecessary to the plot. I actually don’t particularly like sex in books. Most of the time it’s unnecessary. However, when it’s done right and tastefully part of the plot, it works. But I don’t need it to be in the Regency era.
    That being said, I love historical fiction. If time travel were possible I’d go somewhere in time every weekend. And since I can’t do that a novel from another place and time is great fun. But I want to escape and read about strong women in any time who may or may not meet a great guy. If he looks like Colin Firth then that’s pretty awesome. But Fabio isn’t really my fantasy man. So I totally agree with your definition of chick lit. And it’s not surprising that men get it wrong and don’t understand. They are from Mars after all. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Historical fiction is wonderful. However, there’s a big difference between being swept off your feet and saved, versus a charming, dashing character. I admit I love Darcy, but it’s more because he respects Elizabeth and treats her as an intelligent person. He doesn’t save her family to woo her. He saves them because he wants her to be happy. There’s a difference between doing something for sex and doing something for love. And I think that’s my problem with some of these novels. What’s the motivation?

      Like

      1. I totally agree. I never wanted to be saved either and so I certainly didn’t want to read about women who did.. And I loved that about Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy. She was feisty and at first rejected him . That was the best! Unheard of for the times.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m all for a steamy romance every once in a while, but I still really need a good story to surround the steam. At one point in my life, I really thought the classic romance story was something I hoped for, but over time I’ve realized that there are too many problems with most classic romance and it ends up being distasteful. The biggest for me is they often feature the overbearing alpha male and helpless female cliche. Too many times this is presented in a context that pushes dubious consent when it comes to sex or completely overrides the will/concerns/thoughts of the female character in a “quiet little lady, let the man handle this” kind of thing. It is one of the reasons why most traditional romance novels no longer appeal to me. I prefer my stories to be more of a give and take/partnership kind of romance. For me, romance is more about the sweet gestures and the little thoughtful things that show the level of care behind them, not about the level of steam.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. No such fantasy here. Not all romances are reductive and patronising towards women, but judging from the blurbs (not very scientific and perhaps unfair, admittedly), women are presented as passive. There are nods to ‘career women’ (odd term – never see ‘career men’) but it seems they readily give up their status for Mr. R. I am nor keen on the term ‘women’s fiction’, but since we seem stuck with it, there’s an important difference between this and romance.

    Like

    1. I don’t mind women’s fiction as a term, because more often than not it aptly describes and includes books that I do enjoy. When I browse my local Barnes and Noble I first head to the women’s fiction new releases and more often than not, I find something there that hits my reading spot

      Like

  5. Never heard of the Bromance book but it sounds like a promising premise – it could have been funny or sent a modern message – too bad it didn’t pan out. As for the Fabio fantasy – no, no, a thousand times no. A guy with flowing locks and no shirt is almost always a macho man with a big ego. (maybe I’m stereotyping here, but you know the type…it’s all about him). No also to being treated like a Regency princess/damsel in distress. Elizabeth Bennett was a strong woman who did not compromise, not someone who needed to be rescued.

    I don’t read romance type genre novels and haven’t for decades – I don’t want to read anything where I already know the ending. While I don’t mind if there is a love story in a novel, I don’t want it to be the whole focus of the book. I have a friend in her 70’s who devours romance lit and I wonder what’s the point – they’re so predictable. It’s like watching a Hallmark movie over and over, it’s the same story, just different characters. Give me something unpredictable.

    I find men generally clueless when it comes to romance anyway….like buying their wives expensive jewelry because all women are supposed to love jewelry. Same with flowers. Both a waste of money IMO. Romance should be doing something your partner would like or appreciate.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Completely agree on what romance is! It’s doing what makes your particular partner swoon! And yes…I had hopes because I thought this was such an interesting idea…but it just fell a little flat for me

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love a bit of romance but there’s no way I want to be treated like a character from a period romance novel. Like others have said I prefer strong independent women characters and want to be treated as such in real life too. If that comes with a bit of romance all the better but I don’t need a man thinking for me or treating me like a porcelain doll. Oh and no – romance and sex are not the same thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I saw Fabio on the sand (or a Fabio wannabe — I honestly don’t know) during summers in Laguna Beach. He had women clients approaching middle age, working out with him on the beach. Then he’d relax in the sun. Your mention of Fabio reminded me of this. I just googled Fabio in Laguna Beach — and yes it was him!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not sure I can say what it is that women want. My daughter tells me that women don’t even know what they want. LOL. If you go by the movies, which aren’t far off from the romance novels, women either want to be swept off their feet, or just sort of connect if the man and woman go through some high risk situation together. But in the real world, looking at my past relationships, I think my partner only wanted me to be a genuine, decent human being. No dramatic feet sweeping. If I go by what I learned on the computer dating sites, well, that’s a whole different story . . .

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice definition of romance! I certainly was respectful in all of my relations. It’s a mixed up world. I think sometimes that people are reading those books and watching those movies, and they get their ideas of what romance should be from those. Not necessarily close to reality 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’ve hit on an excellent point. Those are nice fantasies, which like dreaming of winning powerball, are great. But you need to base your day to day in reality. Reality isn’t always pretty, is often messy, but it is what it is

        Liked by 2 people

  9. For my husband to surprise me sometime by whisking me off on a horse to a castle. Sure! But is that what I intensely desire, no! Him filling my car up with gas when its freezing out is romancs to me! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Alrighty, here we go. I would say it’s more about connection. That deep connection we get when we are with someone, and things just feel right, easy, lovely. Someone who shares our passions, wants us to pursue our dreams, even actively supports that we do. Though not a woman, it seems highly offensive to think that “all” women are looking for some “fabio” fantasy. Oh, and weird.😂😂 From a male perspective , I can say that, for me, I have no interest in a female version of a “fabio” fantasy. Intelligence, both intellectually and emotionally mean way more to me. Ranting? Hmmmm. Nah, not yet. 😂😂😂 Have a great day, LA.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. I actually just listened to a cool episode on Invisibilia, which is a fantastic podcast, about categories. It is interesting and a worthwhile listen. Have a great weekend, LA.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I think the term Chick Lit is part of the problem. It tends to get confused with the offerings I recall from school of Mills & Boon and Georgette Heyer – all very formulaic romantic bonk-buster stuff. More recently I’ve seen the term Women’s Fiction apply to books about people and relationships (across the spectrum of platonic, familial, romantic and/or sexual), with a woman as the central character.

    As for what women want – there is no one answer to the question. We’re as individual on that subject as any other. We want different things, and I believe we can also want different things at different times in our lives. I decided to skip discussing the whole submissive/dominant culture, as it can cover the whole spectrum between ew to interesting from a psychological perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly why I like what is deemed women’s fiction. I like books about relationships. It doesn’t mean men don’t, but most men I know don’t like books about relationships… but then we do generalize, and not in a good way…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I read those books in my youth, before I knew much about either romance or sex. As I learned and experienced both, I saw how unrealistic and undesirable many of the character traits and situations in those books were. This was probably a good thing for my personal development as I came to refer to those “romance novels” as “bodice rippers”.

    I think that term pretty much says it all – guy rips bodice off girl for purpose of having sex (and maybe occasionally vice versa). I mean, don’t we all know that at times sex can be romantic and satisfying when fully dressed, though usually much more enjoyable and commonplace among those who still have young lithe bodies? Better still when the parties unclothe themselves or each other without ripping anything, Like in the movie and TV versions of Pride and Prejudice (also one of my favorite books for the same reasons expressed by several of your followers), the sexiest AND most romantic parts, for me, are when Darcy confesses he’s been an idiot re Elizabeth! In some versions the only parts of those bodies that touched each other was hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I write romance novels, and some of them are great for “escaping” daily life. I don’t like the helpless heroine or the alpha male tropes, nor do I write them. My heroines would probably smack the alpha male down and walk on him as she left! I’ve written historical and contemporary romance and none of my gals are shrinking violet types. Also, my husband bought me a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day, first time in nearly twenty years. It was very sweet and romantic, but I’m still wondering what he’s up to!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s