If you read my posts, specially several of the last month, you might wonder why I read romance at all when I'm liable to turn into a harpy commenter and reviewer on them.

The thing is, I love romantic novels. Even the most of ghastly harlequins have a chance with me when the mood strikes. It's like craving candy, or chocolate. It's yummy, addictive and comforting.

Thing is, also, that there is not much romance that is good. Any good.

Many shallow romances turn the silly mush fest (what I usually want) into some very misogynistic tripe, glorify abuse, rape, coercion (which is very disturbing trend and deserves a separate post).

Some have the characters make down-right stupid choices, or act in an all-around insane behavior. We are all fools in love, but there are limits people: they are a called sanity, self-preservation, laws, morals. You may go beyond all those given the right (let's say hellishly wrong) circumstances, but you'd have powerful reasons (reason is the issue, really).

Romances that tend to be a bit more thoughtful tend to the serious, sad or just plain tragic (which is not to say all those wangsty romances have any more insight than the rest, it's not a commutative equation). But love is fun and warm, and exiting, and awkward. There are a lot of negative things (insecurity, misery, loneliness, miscommunication, on-sided feelings, incompatible aims) that come with it too, and sometimes I'm up to read about those, but really? There is so much of that in life and most times I seek escapism.

It is difficult to find a lighthearted romance that doesn't became a stupidity contest. Much related to the second point.

I want to call attention to the fact that I'm not even touching quality of writing here, and barely on plot. Mostly characterization. Which is almost unbelievable when you realize romance ought, by it's very genre definition, be character driven.

Thoughts? Recommendations?