Monday, February 11, 2008

The Family Situation

I am in the midst of reading a well known author who is well known for writing bawdy and very unbelievable sexual romances. I really do think they should be marketed as comedies because they are so laughable. Her heroes are the ultimate rakes, well, really total men sluts, and her heroines have no clue what a penis is. "How will that ever fit?", they always seem to ask.
But I am quite appalled by what I am reading at the moment. This romance has incest galore and I am having major flashbacks of the good old days of Beatrice Small and VC Andrews. This romance has a villainous brother and sister duo who are lovers and soooo evil-
*cue the lighting and thunder!*

Darling brother likes to strangle his dear sister during sex. Suddenly their two half-brothers pop out of the blue and the one brother must marry either his half-sister or one of his cousins that reside there! Bleck.

Now we all know this is not the norm in our romances we read. Even though I mainly read for the relationship between the hero and heroine I am always interested in a way a author writes a father and daughter relationship or a sibling one. One author who does this perfectly is Julia Quinn with her Bridgerton series. I loved to read about this family because they all seemed normal and cared deeply for each other. But in the majority of the romances I read, the family seems to take a back seat to the actions of the hero and the heroine. Julia gives us a good balance.
I am a fan of the absentminded father and the loving daughter who takes care of him. The same goes with a sister and brother relationship. I love Lisa Kleypas's Wallflower series, especially the antics of the Bowman sisters, Lillian and Daisy because they seems so real to me, much like the relationship I have with my own sister. Meghann (little sister) and I would get into scrapes and trouble, much like the Bowman's did. Meghann was truly my best friend, much like Lillian and Daisy are.
Perhaps I am a bit whimsical because something happen this weekend with my own family. My little sister is getting married in January and everything is finally coming together with the wedding preparations. I have come to the conclusion that our relationship will change, so much so from when we were children, sleeping in the same bedroom talking late into the night. Now Meghann will have a husband, a house and the possibility of having her own children, perhaps two daughters that will talk late into the night when they should be sleeping.
Another thing I did this weekend was go bowling with my father. My father and I do not see eye to eye. We are so different in everything we do. He still doesn't understand why I read "those novels" and why I am on my laptop for all hours typing away as I visit various blogs and write book reviews. But yesterday he and I spent a few hours together because he is joining a bowling league and needed some practice. We actually bonded and I was reminded of a time when I looked at my father and thought he was the best thing in the world. For an afternoon I was Daddy's Little Girl again.

When I talk to people about my own reading preferences, I try to tell them that the romance genre is not all about sex, there is so much more to this world I love to read about. It comes down to relationships. It doesn't necessarily have to be the love between a man and a woman, but also family, friends and the love they all have for each other. By reading these books, I come to the realization how important my family and friends are to me and the love I have for them all. *G*

Can anyone recommend any books with great family relationships in them? I am in the mood for some feel good family love. (And definitely not the "bleck" one I mentioned!)

Katiebabs

13 comments:

Zeek said...

I'll have to think on any strong family romances- although that IS why I adore series, because the characters become like family.

But thinking about boundries in romance (the whole incest thing) that's a turn off, although I overlook it if it's the evil baddie (ala Howard's Shades of Twilight). There was only ever one book that totally squiked me out and that was one where the character had sex in wolf form with a "human". BLECK!

sula said...

How bout those Quinn brothers in the trilogy by Nora Roberts?

I'll have to think a bit more about this one...

Brandy said...

What about Faking It by Jennifer Crusie?

lisabea said...

I guess the Men Of August is out here...

I get tired of family life in teh romance world always being so wretched. My sister and I have been close our entire lives. She gave me my first romance book! And her children are as important to me as my own. Those are the relationships I like to read. Lisa Kleypas is pretty darned good at that. I'll ponder this one, too.

I'm glad you had a great time with your dad.

Georgie Lee said...

Remember all those V.C. Andrews books? She always had weird family relationships.

MaryKate said...

My first thought was also the Quinns. And the Concannon's from Nora's "Born in" series. I also have a deep and abiding love for Mary Balogh's Bedwyns and Linda Howard's MacKenzies. SIGH. I have a definite soft spot for Zane MacKenzie.

But honestly, you've probably read all of these.

Kristie (J) said...

Katie: You certainly find some off the wall ones don't you *g*? I'll have to ponder family type romances and get back to you. One off the top of my head is the Texas Trilogy by Lorraine Heath. It was about 3 brothers who were pretty close.

seton said...

why do I get the feeling that the bleck book is by C.H.?

Stacy~ said...

Love the Bridgertons. And recently discovered Nora's Quinns. I like Lori Foster's families, they are not always the norm, but there's definitely a close bond.

Katie(babs) said...

Hey everyone!
So yes, I have read Faking It, Nora's Quinns series and Lori Foster which are all great reads :)
Aw Seton you are all knowing, for you are very much correct.
Kristie: I haven't had the chance to read those books by Heath. Hmmm... more to add to the good old TBR pile. :)

Carolyn Jean said...

This is sad - I'm having a hard time thinking of any! In so many books I read lately, the parents are killed off.

Tumperkin said...

Great post Katiebabs. Georgette Heyer has some nice family relationships - I particularly like the relationships in A Civil Contract, which deals with an arranged marriage between a Cit's plain daughter and a penniless aristocrat. The 'Cit', Jonathan Chawleigh, adores his daughter but is a bit suffocating. The daughter sees his faults but also knows how much he loves her. There's a very interesting relationship between the hero and the heroine's father which struck a chord with me - there's friction but ultimately a real fondness between them. I also love the extended family relationships in the Grand SophY and the mother-son relationship in Sylvester.

Mary Balogh is good too. The Bedwyns are all very close and I really like the strained but close relationship between Kit and Sydnam Butler in A Summer to Remember and Simply Love. She also does lots of happy-dappy family stuff in her Christmas novels like The Christmas Promise (lots of going out sledging and fetching holly from snowy forests - it's a festive treat for me to get out a Balogh-Christmas tale).

Susan/DC said...

Definitely agree about the mother-son relationship in Heyer's "Sylvester"; it's through conversations with his mother that you see how his emotions have evolved from cold and distant to head-over-heels in love. Some people don't like Eloisa James' extended networks of family and friends, but if you're looking for that sort of thing she can be very good. See, for example, her recent series about the four sisters that began with "Much Ado About You". The problem I have with James is that I often find the secondary characters more interesting than the primary ones, and her series sometimes start strong and fizzle by the end (see, for example, her recent series about the four sisters . . .). In contemps, Jennifer Crusie's heroines always exist in a network that provides insight and, often, comic relief.