Guest Post

“The Biggest Differences Between Romance in Romance Novels and Real Life” by Marie Harte

Roadside Assistance Marie Harte

I chose this topic to blog about because I find it very funny. I love romance novels. I love reading them, writing them, and keeping them to read again. I was accused once by an ex that I unfairly compared my relationship to the fictional ones I read about. But I’m an intelligent woman, and I sure as hell know the difference between reality and make-believe. As much as I love a good romance, I’ve often wondered how it would play out in real life.

So here are my top 5 differences between romance in reality and romance in a romance novel.

  • The alpha hero. Okay, in romance, this guy is swoon-worthy. He’s take-charge at work and in bed, but when he hurts the heroine’s feelings because he’s being too bossy, he immediately backs down.
    In real life, a guy this demanding and arrogant would find my foot up his butt in no time. A real alpha hero isn’t going to be an asshat in every occasion except with his lady love. Nope. This guy will be a real jerk all the time.
  • The romantic suspense where they take time out for some nookie.
    Um, if I’m being chased by the mob, the last thing I’m thinking about is going at it with a hunky detective in the closet. Because if his eyes are on my naked body, who’s watching the door to protect my fine tush?
  • Another point of contention in the romantic suspense genre—hygiene. I’ve read my share of stories set with characters on the run from smugglers and bad guys who, while camping out in the jungle after days spent running from danger, just go at it. Come on. If I’m just going on a date, I make sure not to sweat and roll around in dirt beforehand. Nothing like a man wanting to please you, except you’re too funked up with sweat and conscious of body odor. And seriously. Not brushing your teeth for days on end, then kissing? Gross.
  • The safe sex angle. I like my romances on the steamy side, usually. And this means the characters have sex. Now sex is a messy business. And most people new to said business with each other use protection. In many romances, they never use protection and don’t mention it. (Yes, even books today have characters who don’t talk about protection before going horizontal.)
    Reality? “Oh my God! I’m pregnant from my one-night stand with what’s-his-face. I don’t know his number. Now what do I do?” SOO not romantic.
  • The marriage of convenience. Two characters decide they need to marry for the business or because of a baby. They end up falling in love and stay together forever. Reality check: they end up divorcing and have an acrimonious fallout over money. Nothing convenient about it.
  • Every hero is handsome. Every heroine is beautiful. They’re all Caucasian.
    I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve had describe their significant other as gorgeous. Then I meet him/her. And they aren’t. At all. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and lovely is as lovely does. Also, the world isn’t all white. It’s nice to read about characters of different colors, ethnicities, sexualities, and body types.

Thanks for having me, EverAfter, and I hope you enjoy Roadside Assistance!


Marie HarteCaffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, Marie Harte is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after.

Marie can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and

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