Whoa–2021 is almost in the books. Thus, it’s times to think about what we hope for in romance next year.

Everyone’s likes and loves are personal and my list is just that. What’s on your list?

Less lecturing, more laughter. It’s been a rough couple of years. For me, romance continues to be a balm. After a stressful day, it’s a gift to be able to lose my worries in the pages of a love story. And yet, too often in the past year, the romance novels I picked up seem to be far more focused on reminding me the world is routinely terrible, that the patriarchy is bad, that intolerance is flat out wrong, and that history should be judged with a gimlet eye. Don’t get me wrong–I agree with all those concepts, but I don’t look to my love stories to sternly focus on that at the expense of joy. I’m looking for more Ten Things I Hate About You and less Isn’t It Romantic.



Happier families. I’ve relied so much on the love and support of my family in the past two years–I’m just currently not drawn to stories that paint families as cesspools. I want more relatives like Roy Kent and less like Logan Roy.



The return of the secondary lovestory. I have a serious jones for books with a strong secondary love story. Whether it’s April and Jack or Jess and Marie, a good extra romance that enhances the main couple is my jam. I’d like to see more of it.



Less violence. There has been a troubling trend in my reading to empower heroines by having them hit the hero. Hard pass. It’s never romantic for a hero to smack the heroine and it’s never romantic for the heroine to smack the hero. I’m also rooting for more romantic suspense that doesn’t build its suspense side with cases of violence against beautiful, young women, or really, women who exist only to be murdered, raped, or tortured. I strongly believe in the power of stories to show us the things in our world we must desperately change. That said, genre fiction overly relies on random violence against women and it’s just not working for me. I’m looking for more Rear Knives Out and fewer The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.




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Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.