So, here’s a disclaimer right up front — I don’t think of myself as someone who reads “romance novels.” I’m a child of the 80s, just the phrase “romance novel” immediately brings to mind a dewy watercolor-esque painting with ornate metallic script and Fabio’s bare chest. That’s, like, soooo not my jam.
However, as much as I’m a child of the 80s, I was also a teenage of the 90s, and anything that is remotely close to, say, The Wedding Planner or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or Love Don’t Cost a Thing or, you know, anything that would have Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan clawing each others eyes out for the chance to grab the script and the leading role? Yeah, I’m alllllll over those.
I’d heard rumblings on the Internet about the book The Wedding Date, and the cover felt more “90s rom-com” than it did “80s romance novel,” so, yes, I judged a book by its cover (and a whole bunch o’ tweets and blogs) and I picked it up.
I was immediately apprehensive, though, when I saw that the back cover of the book labeled it as “Contemporary Romance.“
I started reading it late last week, but wasn’t initially grabbed by the first chapter. It wasn’t a huge deal, though. I figured I’d just skim it bit by bit and if I wasn’t in love by about page 50, I’d toss it aside in favor of something else in my ever-growing “to be read” pile.
Well, at 5:15 this morning (when I’m normally getting up to workout and start my day), I was on page 23. And at 9:00 AM, I’d finished the whole damn book. As I said on my Instagram story…
So, I didn’t give up by page 50, clearly.
And here’s the thing — this book was delightful. It was delightful in the way that eating a pink frosted doughnut with sprinkles is delightful (and if you’ve read this book, you get why I used that example). And, yes, as I expected with something classified as a “romance novel,” there was a lot of sex. Thankfully, there were not a lot of ridiculous metaphors or euphemisms. There weren’t a lot of specifics, either, but trust me, there was enough so you got the picture.
And, like any good 90s rom-com movie (and I’m guessing probably most “romance novels”), the plot was 100% predictable and I still loved every second of it. I’m not saying these are spoilers because, come on, you know how this is gonna go.
- There’s a meet-cute.
- There’s some sort of plot hatched that requires these unlikely two to spend time together.
- Suddenly they realize they really like each other. Cut to the adorable montage of sex and parks and riding bikes on the beach and meeting each other’s friends.
- Someone says something stupid.
- An ex is somewhere and something stupid about said ex comes up.
- They fight.
- They’re alone and miserable and suddenly realize this person who wasn’t really supposed to be in their life is their one and only truest love ever.
- There’s a big romantic gesture, confessions of love, and they’re back together.
- Happily Ever After, The End.
Yes, it’s a formula. Yes, you can see it all coming twenty-seven miles away. But you know what? It’s fun! And it put me in a good mood! And if that’s what “Contemporary Romance” novels do, then, hell, I’ll start reading more of them. Because sometimes it’s nice to just be happy when you read a book, you know?
I don’t think I can say it better than Roxanne Gay’s quote on the cover — “What a charming, warm, sexy gem of a novel.“
Have you read The Wedding Date? Do you read Contemporary Romance? What are some of your favorites? Share in the comments or tweet me at @ThatColette.
Now, about those Challenge Updates…
Okay, remember back in the beginning of the year when I said I was going to do the noble thing and get through as many of the 53 unread books I already had on my shelves? As part of #TheUnreadShelfProject?
Yeah, I…stopped following the rules. Pretty much the day after I wrote that blog post about the rules. And boxes of books keep showing up at my house…
So, maybe #TheUnreadShelfProject wasn’t a good fit for me. However, I am beyond thrilled to share that I have CRUSHED my GoodReads challenge this year!
It’s not even the end of October! This is very, very, very exciting for me, because I honestly don’t think I’ve ever completed an annual GoodReads challenge! In 2017, I only read 12/25 books. In 2016, 11/25. In 2015, 6/12 (ugh). In 2014 and 2013, I didn’t even set a goal. In 2012, I had high hopes apparently, and still only finished 7/35. My best year-to-date was 2011, but even then when I read 28 books, I didn’t come close to my total goal of 50. And 28 is still less than 30!
I’m not going to adjust my goal — I want to see where I end the year at, and then use that number to make my 2019 goal.
What about you? Have you set any reading challenges for yourself this year? Have you conquered them, thrown them away, or still have work to do? Again, tell me in the comments or send me a tweet.