It's getting to be that time of year again...the holiday romances are hitting bookstore shelves. So I wondered, do you read them? If you do, do you buy them all, or just those with a favorite author included? What's your favorite? (And it doesn't have to be winter holidays, it could be Halloween, or Mother's Day, or whatever.)
i try to avoid them. romances can be written pretty poorly at times... i mean you will find the odd good one, but there are reasons it doesn't take a phd. the holiday based ones are worse than the regular romances i find (or the ones i've read) because it relies too much on the spirit of the holiday in question and not so much on it's own plot/ characters.. . basically the story is written to embody the holiday, not so much to provide you with something well thought out and entertaining. now of course i'll assume there are good ones out there, but the genre in general tends to fall under this pattern. if i'm going to cry i'd rather it be over something sad... not time wasted on a horrible story :P
well i read pretty much everything, and in comparison with some of the other genres romance is a decidedly... lighter read. holiday themed anything is bad because there is a tendency to lean to heavily on the idea of whatever holiday it is and no as much focus on the author's ability. as romance isn't as intellectually stimulating as other genres regularly, if an author is leaning on something it can only go downhill. its the principle, not so much the type of story.
I don't typically seek out holiday books though. I know in some of the series that I read, they will include the holiday in some of them. Like the Nancy Atherton series there is a holiday book or two. But they are not overly emphasized in the story that I can recall.
I'm trying to think of some specific holiday books I might have read, but none come to mind other than what I already listed.
I know Debbie Macomber's holiday books are always popular at work (I work at a library).
Some of the publishers have reissued holiday romance anthologies this year, and there are several new ones already on shelves.
Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Christmas was quite good, though light on the romance. Linda Lael Miller's McKettrick Christmas book is due out this week. Jane Goodger's Marry Christmas was also very, very good.
I typically avoid the holiday themed romances. They just feel like filler material; as if the writer simply had a contractual requirement to meet and just spit one out.
The same goes for those awful short-story anthologies. You know, the kind where they take an upcoming full-length book, hack it to pieces so the word count is less than 25,000, and then spit it out hoping someone will pick it up for the sake of the name on the cover.