What gives Sarah Wendell the credibility to write a book called Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels? Wendell is “Smart Bitch Sarah” from the romance novel website, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. For six years, she’s been reviewing romance novels, discussing them with thousands of readers, and evaluating readers’ likes and dislikes. Now, she’s compiled lessons learned from the books and authors in a fascinating book containing life and relationship skills.
Wendell finds it’s worthwhile “Celebrating romance novels for every important thing they teach us about ourselves, the people we love, and the relationships we value.” Although the emphasis is on romantic love, it’s important to know that lessons about respect and communication can benefit any relationship. Romance author Loretta Chase said, “Romances teach readers that we should know ourselves and value ourselves, in order to find happiness.”
This is a serious, but fun book. What reader wouldn’t want to see the list of “The Top Nine Romance Heroes”? Wendell left room for everyone to add their personal favorite. And, it’s fascinating to read the comments of romance authors and readers about their favorite characters. And, then there’s Wendell’s funny tribute to all those romance covers with the men on them, “Six Simple Steps to Looking Like the Quintessential Romance Hero.” It starts with, “Acquire a mullet.”
I’m not going to give you the list of romance heroes, or the rest of Wendell’s tongue-in-cheek list view of pictured heroes. I am going to suggest this book is worth picking up with its messages of personal growth, value, and respect. Author Kresley Cole addresses the “Happily Ever After,” HEA of romances. “I believe that above all things, romance novels teach us that HEAS don’t come easy. As in real life, these relationships take effort, dedication, and sacrifice.”
Romance novels have come a long way from the “bodice rippers” people scorn when they think of romances. There just might be valuable lessons for everyone in Sarah Wendell’s Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels.
Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell. Sourcebooks. ©2011. ISBN 9781402254499 (paperback), 222p.
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