Monday, October 21, 2013

New Adult Erotic Romance is Women's Horror Fiction

I'm so going to get in trouble for saying this, but I've come to a realization that New Adult Erotic Romance at times is a sort of Women's Horror Fiction.

Now before we get into this. I need you to STOP,

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Remember. . . 

I said New Adult EROTIC romance, not the whole New Adult category.

First of all, the term women's fiction is really an umbrella term for women centered novels that focus on our lives and tend to be promoted to female readers.

Then we have to understand how I'm defining horror.

According to good ole' Wikipedia:

Horror fiction is a genre of literature intended to frighten, scare or startle its readers by inducing feelings of terror. It creates a frightening atmosphere

Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. Often the central menace of a work of Horror fiction can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of a society

So my concept of Women's Horror Fiction is that it's women-centered literature that startles or frightens female readers and provides a central menace that can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of women in society.

Horror for the feminist!


I'm not saying every New Adult Erotic Romance novel is Women's Horror Fiction.

That would just be plain looney.

But I do believe that the NA Erotic Romance genre has been getting a lot of glares, scowls, and middle fingers because readers are simply put off by the angsty plot-lines and verging on abusive (or at least creepy) heroes.

Plus, I believe more experienced female readers are just not sure how to swallow this new genre.

And that's perfectly fine. 

But, I think I'm able to enjoy these books because I read them like I would watch a horror film.

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Here's an example:

In Beautiful Disaster, when Travis hooked up with you know who in you know where while Abby was you know what. . . (sorry, I don't want to give away spoilers), but when that happened I was like. . .

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"Get out of there, Abby!! Run! Hurry!
There's a monster in your bedroom! This guy is an asshole. He'll cheat on and emotionally abuse you. Run!"

Isn't that what we would do in at a scary movie, scream at the heroine and hope that she gets to safety as well as far away from the monster?

The biggest problem in NA Erotic Romance is that. . .the heroine usually doesn't get to safety.

She falls in love with The Monster!!

and as if that isn't enough. . .

the book ends with a Happily Ever After scene. . .
with the heroine and the Monster!

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"No, you two stupid people will procreate and have more stupid people!!"

More experienced women will read these books and think, "Uh oh. I know how this ends. I've seen this happen to my friend or. . .this happened to me. Leave him alone."

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But the heroine doesn't listen, and somehow she ends up being happy with him, which is even scarier.

The ending shoves against our preconceived notions about men, women, attraction, and how relationships should work.

Is that a good or bad thing? 

I don't know. 

But for the few that are really starting to be disgusted by New Adult Erotic Romance. . .
just give it a try
one more book
one more time
and when you open it up
read it like it's Women's Horror Fiction.


  1. So many feels for this! and that cat gif is amazing LOL

  2. I totally agree! And with all the great reviews these books get, I thought I was the only one who thought this way. Needless to say I've been avoiding NA romance lately and probably will continue to do so. Great post!

    1. Lol!
      So Romance Horror isn't for you then. I do think the NA Erotic Romance field is an acquired taste. Let me know if you do end up coming back to it. :-)