The Nurtured Lure of Romantic Suspense Novels
by Karen Tjebben
And who doesn’t like a little romance? Without realizing it, our culture has provided literature with hints of romance to young children for centuries. Some of the timeless classics woo young girls with the delights of love and protection. As a child, what are some of your favorite books? Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, or The Princess Bride? The underlying current of friendship and love cannot be denied in these stories, no matter how innocent and subtle. And you cannot forget the amazing effect Disney has on children. Disney is just now creating stronger, independent female characters who don’t wait to be rescued, but who slay their own villains and overcome their challenges.
Parents have used literature sprinkled with fear to teach their children about the dangers in the world around us. The Brothers Grimm wrote classics so troubling that they have been recently altered to soften the horror for children and lessen the nightmares that surely result. Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood taught the dangers of trusting strangers and making bad decisions. And for adolescents, the riveting true events portrayed in Number the Stars and Stella by Starlight frighten and inform young adolescents of the true evils that lurk around them. There’s an excitement and rush of adrenaline that suspense or horror books provide to the thrill seekers.
It’s no surprise that the romance genre is a billion-dollar industry. People have been conditioned to love happy endings and the occasional fright. So, the blending of the romance with suspense delivers an incredible pull that keeps readers turning the pages long after lights out.