15 Things I Learned About Life From Reading Romance Novels

Nearly 75 million Americans read at least one romance novel last year.  General book sales in the U.S. dropped nearly 2 percent (in 2009) but sales of romance novels rose almost 8 percent, equaling 14 percent of all fiction sold and $1.4 billion in revenue. Harlequin Enterprises alone earned $485 million.  In 2010 romance fiction was the number two category in eBook sales.

That’s serious business. Sure the heroines have gotten bolder, more butt-kicking babe than damsel in distress and the heroes haven’t, though sometimes they are dead guys with fangs. The stories, at core, are still about relationships and love and making it all work against the impossible odds of a complicated life.

That said, there has to be something more readers are getting out of  romance novels than just another happy ending.  Some life lessons, perhaps.  Recently I came across a greeting card a friend sent me early in my writing career that helps explain just what those lessons are and why romance is a growing genre in fiction sales.

All I Need To Know About Life I Learned From Reading Steamy Novels

  1. There’s never enough dirty parts.
  2. Good guys finish last.
  3. Really good guys take forever to finish.
  4. Always have the ring appraised before you say yes.
  5. Everyone has an evil twin.
  6. The more expensive the suit, the sleazier the guy.
  7. Sex is trouble.
  8. No sex is more trouble.
  9. The bitch is always more interesting.
  10. Women are catty; men are dogs.
  11. Everyone is jealous of someone.
  12. If creamy white thighs and heaving bosoms don’t raise your temperature, you’re dead.
  13. The biggest thing in a man’s trousers should be his wallet.


I’m adding two more:

     14.  But not the only thing in his trousers.

     15.  Happy endings can lead to a sequel.


Please comment with your additions to the list if you wish.