Romance and Me: The Small Town Romance Subgenre

Filed in Romance and Me , The Latin Lover Posted on November 30, 2011 @ 7:00 am 14 comments

Hey Everyone! Welcome to another Romance and Me discussion, this time on our shiny new and very festive site! 🙂 (don’t you just love the snowflakes? They are a favourite of mine!)
Are you wondering what we’ll be talking about today? A sub-genre of contemporary romances that I particularly like, namely: small town romances!
But what are small town romances? A lot of contemporary romances feature a trendy hero or heroine who has a hip job in the big city returning for whatever reason to their small hometown, and hating the small town life at the beginning. Then chapter by chapter the big city big shot character starts to see and value the advantages of small town life: how people are friendly and nice, noone is ever in a hurry, and all in all life seems sweeter and saner. And usually at the end of the novel we see the big city guy/girl forsake their trendy big city job and return home to live with either their high school sweetheart or the newly arrived guy/girl in town and live happily ever after in their small community.
But I wonder what is the appeal of small town romances? Why do authors and readers both like it so much?
I am and have always been a big city girl. Lived my whole life in cities with a population of at least 2 million. I love the constant buzz of the city, the lights, the variety of programs and events and couldn’t imagine living in a small town with just a hundred people where everyone knows everyone and nothing stays secret. And yet I love reading about small town romances. Why? Because I still enjoy reading about a life where people are friendly and are there for each other, where one feels part of a community and there is a sense of belonging. Where life is un-hurried and people seem to have more time to focus on family, friendships and other relationships. Where there is a feeling of security due to some things being constant. Isn’t it adorable when a 30something big shot hunky hero returns to his hometown and his old school teacher who is now well over 70 still knows who he is, remembers his past mischiefs and is his biggest fan? Or when a heroine has problems and feels lost and the whole community rallies to give her a hand and help her out? It is heartwarming seeing that people can be unselfish and good. Gives me hope and makes me believe that the world can be a better place if there are enough good people in it.
So that’s my take on why I enjoy reading small town romances. Because they are heart-warming and give me that warm and fuzzy feel good feeling. 🙂 But I am curious so please tell me,

Do you like small town romances?

What is the appeal for you of small town romances?

Do you have any favourite small town romance recommendation you could share?


About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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  • aurian November 30, 2011 at 7:17 am

    O great post Stella! Yes, i do love small town romances as well. But never thought about the why. I like it that everyone knows each other, and looks out for his/her neighbours. I love series books, where the previous main character turn in in the rest of the series, so you can kind of stay in touch with their lives as well.
    One of my favourites is Debbie Macomber, and her Cedar Cove series. Jayne Ann Krentz also has numerous books in this setting, the most known series Eclipse Bay.

    • Stella November 30, 2011 at 8:09 am

      I completely agree Aurian! One of my favourite things about small town romances is that usually the author writes a series where the stories are interconnected, there’s nothing I love better than revisiting already known characters and seeing past supporting characters become the h/h of the new story 🙂

      Thank you for the recommendations, will check them out.

  • LSUReader November 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

    You mentioned some good series. I’m also enjoying the Harmony books by Jodi Thomas.

    I agree with you; small-town settings offer us a sense of community that we don’t get elsewhere. I like the inter-connected stories. Thanks for a good column.

    • Stella December 2, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you for the recommendation, I haven’t heard of Jodi Thomas yet, will have to check out her series 🙂

  • Carrie at In the Hammock Blog November 30, 2011 at 11:32 am

    i’d love to read any and all of these. definitely a great subgenre.

    • Stella December 2, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Glad you agree Carrie! 🙂

  • miki November 30, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    i would like to discover this genre, seems really interesting and sweet

    • Stella December 2, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      You should try it Miki, I really enjoy small town romances, they are sweet and heartfelt 🙂

  • Sullivan McPig November 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I really do NOT like small town romances.
    This is because I grew up in a village and know all the downsides of everyone knowing each other and ‘looking out’ for each other (aka sticking their noses into things that are none of their business).

    • Stella (Ex Libris) December 1, 2011 at 4:56 am

      Oh I can get that Sully that having experienced life like that you prefer not to read about it. So do you skip small town romance novels or you read them but don’t really enjoy them?

      • Sullivan McPig December 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm

        I try to avoid them as much as possible 😉

  • Sullivan McPig November 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    And yes:I’m a city pig! No more small towns or villages for me.

  • Na December 1, 2011 at 1:12 am

    I love small town romances and recommend the Twilight series by Lori Wilde. They are heartfelt and oh so cozy.

    • Stella December 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      I know! So far I have only read The First Love Cookie Club, but loved Twilight, the people and Lori Wilde’s writing so much I got the other books in the series as well 🙂

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