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FALL 2012



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Relationship Advice From Romance Novels

By Grace Connor

When was the last time you rode off into the sunset on horseback with a viscount? Why, it’s

very possible you finished a novel just last night that ended that way! And speaking of things that happened last night, how often do you read about a heroine sitting at home and eating an entire box of ice cream sandwiches? Unless you happen to have an advance copy of Velvet McCallister’s 2013 novel, A Glutton of Love the answer is never. Instead, women such as Wyndibeth Williamstead and Felicity Rowan spend their dusky evenings in the arms of pirates and robber barons.

So what makes these women different from yourself? They’re the saucy leading ladies of harlequin romance novels! “Romance heroines live by a set of very strict rules that allows them to find and maintain meaningful relationships,” explains Victoria Infitalis, who received an associate’s degree in Romance Literature from NYU Abu Dhabi. Infitalis knows what she’s talking about – in the past five years alone, she’s been married to a reclusive author, a Chilean salsa instructor, and an Arab sheikh. She gave us four of the behaviors of successful romantic heroines, outlined below so that you, too, can have a romance of the ages!

1. Create a Name that Defines You

Do you really think your very own Trystan Montague is going to fall for someone named Jane or Kathleen? Romance novel names are supremely important, and they are always deeply and subtly symbolic. For example, the name of aforementioned hero of Stallion of the Twilight, Trystan Montague, comes from the names of two star-crossed lovers. Therefore, his perfect match is cleverly named Isolde Capulet. Are you innocent-looking, but with a twisted side? Your name is now Chastity Vixen. Do you yearn for passion and mystery? Hello, Desiree Sandiego.

2. Always Wear Corsets

“You cannot have a bodice-ripping love scene without the proper bodice,” chuckles Infitalis. Corsets serve several important functions. Firstly, they squeeze the living daylights out of your breasts, known in these circles as “heaving bosoms,” forcing them to defy gravity and graze your chin, a trait we are told drives men wild with desire. Secondly, the adjustable pull-strings in the back of corsets allow you to make your waistline as deceptively small as you wish, as internal organs are flexible. And thirdly, much natural airflow is restricted by the corset’s strict boning, preventing you from accidentally saying something you may regret.

3. Be Virginal

This may be trickier for some readers than for others. But Ms. Infitalis is insistent: “Men want to teach women how to please them sexually, and to introduce them to their own sexuality. If the women are already experienced, the men will lose interest. I personally recommend replacement hymen surgery, offered at several plastics practices and geisha houses.” Repeat after us: “An orgasm? What’s that?”

4. Know You Can Change Him

Above all, a romance heroine never gives up on her hero. “Did Rosebud Evergreen leave Ivan Cornwall when he appeared to be conspiring to kill her? Did Mariana Quicksilver escape her swashbuckling captor Christian when she had the chance? Did Florence Smithwyck settle for her successful fiancée over her outlaw love Bartholomew? OF COURSE NOT.” Very frequently, romantic heroes will say or do things that indicate the relationship is over, or that he is not a good partner. The heroine is unique in that she knows that this is not the case. Remember, readers: all hard exteriors hide a heart of gold, you alone possess the ability to change him, and love conquers all.

©2012 Grace Connor


Grace Connor is a student at Fitchburg State University, which she frequently refers to as “The Dirty Burg,” much to the embarrassment of her peers and associates. Her work has not yet been published, unless you count a children’s novel entitled “Charlie the Fish” that her parents had bound in hardcover when she was seven. In her spare time, Grace enjoys writing nonfiction essays, managing a fictional male strip club called The Ass Menagerie, and pretending that she’s seen “Fight Club.”



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