Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Foreign-language romances

We're missing out by only reading mainstream romances. While I have nothing against Harlequin's very broad definition of romance books (historicals, paranormals, urban fantasy, steam punk, modern Greek tycoons as well as sex-and-the-city situations), I still feel there's a niche that needs filling.

This week, I was privileged to read a Polish contemporary romance. Katarzyna Grochola's "Houston, we have a problem" does not feature an alpha male. It does not feature a pathetic male, either. It's a story of a man coming to terms with a breakup. He's a genius at his job (film making) but cannot get a break. He drinks too much at parties, he rows with the neighbours, he gets irritated at him mother's Chihuahua... which doesn't stop him from taking his laundry there (his girlfriend moved out with the washing machine). In other words, he's human. We can sympathise or empathise with him. We can admire his genius. We can shake his head at the idiocy of his romantic decisions.

I'd like to read more such books. Harlequin, do you copy, over?

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