Inspired by my recent success with a few YA books that I normally wouldn't have ever picked up (read: romance), I decided to test the waters even further outside of my comfort zone (mixed metaphor? Sorry, if so). I grabbed two books from that library, ensuring that they had a) pretty covers and b) romance. I can do this romance thing, right?
Well, you see ...
Perhaps romance is a bit like garlic. Delicious when cooked properly and added in the correct proportion, but overpoweringly sickening when eaten in abundance. Let me give you an example.
My grandfather, who was capable of many things, including building a house when not an actual carpenter, navigating through life with only one working eye, and eating literally anything and everything you can think of, once made an uncomfortable mistake with garlic. My grandpa was the kind of person who listened to radio at night, and evidently on these radio shows, which are aimed at freaking out the elderly or scamming them, they dispense health advice. One night, the radio advised persons with chronic heart problems (I've got it from both sides of the family--this isn't going to end well, I know) to eat a clove of garlic a day.
I have to give Grandpa props; he was trying to be proactive about his health. So, when making soup the next day, he tossed in an entire bulb of garlic. And then he ate it. And then he called my mother, asking, in a pained voice, how big a clove was. I remember this conversation as a little kid:
Mom: "Dad! How much garlic did you eat?"
Grandpa: "Well, I thought a clove was the whole thing, so I tossed it in the soup."
Mom: "You ate an entire BULB of garlic? A clove is just one piece! Besides, why are you eating garlic?
Grandpa: "Well, they said on the radio that garlic was good for your heart, so I figured I'd take some."
Mom: "I could get you some of those Garlique pills if you want to take that!"
Grandpa: "I didn't want to bother you."
The point is, besides that if you have Eastern European grandparents, they are simultaneously stubborn and skilled at using the guilt complex, that even my grandpa's iron-clad stomach could not handle a bulb of garlic, no matter how good for his heart it might have been.
And so it goes with romance. Perhaps I'll feel differently as I get older, but right now, my taste in books prefers something seasoned with love, not drowning in it. Some authors have the romance perfectly balanced, others minimize it so that it goes down like a nice, no-feels-necessary capsule of love. I can handle that. Now I just need to find more books that suit my fussy romance palate.