I consider myself a smart, educated woman. I have a degree and two post-graduate certificates. While I’m no brain surgeon—I wanted to be, but I’m wicked terrible at math—I know a lot of words and I’m pretty quick on the take. I’m also pretty cultured. I know my way around the art gallery and symphony, and I cut my literary teeth on Jane Eyre and The Handmaid’s Tale.

75% Classy: Why One Smart Woman Loves to Read Harlequin Romance NovelsOne would think, then, that I’d be pretty cerebral in my tastes, with all that fancy bringing up and my precocious reading skills. But I’m not. In fact, lately I’ve kind of ditched literary fiction for women’s fiction and Harlequin Romance novels. And I’m not embarrassed at all at my predilection for escapist reading material. Here’s why.

10 Reasons Why This Smart Woman Loves Romance Novels

  1. My cup is full and so are my brains. Reading needs to take me away, not stress me out. I just can’t deal with reading passages that require 3 goings over before I can process what the author is trying to say.
  2. With all the pressures of life, my days can feel heavier than a set of 1977 Encyclopedias. Whether I’m turning the pages on a tear-jerker or a love story, I want my make believe world to be light and airy like a cloud. Shoot me, but these days I’m not looking to get all thinky in my limited free time. I get enough of that at work.
  3. It’s sad to say, but I’m a little jaded when it comes to real-life romance. I need to be inspired that there is a happily ever after in my future. I want to be swept off my feet and feel love at first sight and passion and maybe even a little fire in my soul—even if it’s vicariously through the heroine in my latest cowboy romance read.
  4. I’m a tried and true romantic. I’m a believer, notwithstanding point #3 (which I trust is a temporary state). Romance novels reinforce my beliefs. Who doesn’t like to be validated?
  5. I don’t have to fire up my brain cells to tune in. As long as there’s a good story, relatable characters, and decent writing, I’m good to go. Seriously, I don’t really care that the story arc is the same as the last 5—and then next 10— books I’ve read. Nobody denies that there’s a formula, and to be honest, sometimes there’s value in knowing what to expect. That’s why I bought the damn book, after all.
  6. 75% Classy: Why One Smart Woman Loves to Read Harlequin Romance NovelsI’m an amateur historian and historical romance is a great way to get my fix. I’ve read both high brow historical novels and my fair share of bodice rippers, and honestly, I get the same out of both.
  7. Romance novels take the pressure off. Being a woman is a lot of work. We’re supposed to lean in and lean sideways and upside and down, and get it all done. We’re expected to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. And we’re not supposed to be emotional or soft or even womanly while we’re doing it. It’s a hard truth, but dreaming of being swept away by the love of a good man is the kind of retro thinking I’m ok with.
  8. It’s make-believe. I can pretend that I’m going to walk into a job interview and within days have my hot, rich boss ripping off my pencil skirt and swearing his undying love for me. Or maybe I’ve been kidnapped by a hot Viking and after he makes me his unwilling revenge sex slave, he will find that he can’t in fact live without me. Wanting to be swept off one’s feet by a man is not necessarily an acceptable life goal in today’s world, but in my imagination, it’s a totally viable one.
  9. I’m 75% classy. The other 25% is comprised of my dirty mind. I’ve gotten some great ideas from dirty books and I don’t care who knows it.
  10. I like me a bad boy. Strong and masculine. Musician, rodeo star, cowboy, rake. They’re the stuff my dreams are made of, but in real life, those testosterone fueled macho men are usually commitment-phobic, hook-up loving, swaggering Mama’s boys. Better to just make them my fake boyfriend and find a nice man who wants to cook me dinner and then spoon while watching Netflix.

10 Reasons Why Smart Women Love to Read Romance Novels

Have I convinced you? Are you ready to try Harlequin? To get you started, we’re giving away a little me-time prize pack, just in time for Mother’s Day. Because you deserve to escape.

But first: watch these videos and let us know whether you’re #TeamCowboy or #TeamViking to win!

About the author

Mara Shapiro

Mara Shapiro is Co-Editor, Community of BrazenWoman. She is proof that it's never too late to reinvent yourself, and also that you cannot have too many pairs of shoes and lipglosses. A Social Media addict, Community Manager, and insatiable lover of movie popcorn, Mara is always on the hunt for the next best thing. You'll often find her laughing and dancing, phone in one hand, and a glass of red in the other. The only time she's not talking is when she's sleeping.

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