Series: Sparks and Tarts

Sparks and Tarts: A Romance Primer

What constitutes a romance? When is something Capital R Romance vs. a story in another genre with romantic elements? When does the line fall so thin that Capital R Romance lovers don’t really care? There’s been a lot of talk on the bookish interwebs recently about the nature of romance—romance novels in particular. Essays have been written; Twitter threads have been shared. What spurred it? The HEA. For those unfamiliar with romance acronyms, HEA stands for Happily Ever After. It’s a necessity in romance that has been a familiar friend since the publishing boom in the nineteenth century. But...

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Sparks and Tarts: With Romance, Your Mileage May Vary…and That’s Okay

Did you try a romance once and put it down, never to pick up another? Did you ever wonder why that was? Maybe the plot didn’t work for you or the writing was bad. Maybe it was just boring. Maybe the author wrote a piece of sexist, racist garbage. Maybe there were elements that hit your YKINMK (Your Kink Is Not My Kink) hard limits. Maybe there was too much sex. Maybe there wasn’t enough. You know the thing about romance? It’s fucking prolific. Romance may be a genre, but romance lives across categories and classifications. People of all...

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