In Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women, Jayne Ann Krentz and the contributors to this volume—all best-selling romance writers—explode myths and biases that haunt both the writers and readers of romances.
In this seamless, ultimately fascinating, and controversial book, the authors dispute some of the notions that plague their profession, including the time-worn theory that the romance genre contains only one single, monolithic story, which is cranked out over and over again. The authors discuss positive life-affirming values inherent in all romances: the celebration of female power, courage, intelligence, and gentleness; the inversion of the power structure of a patriarchal society; and the integration of male and female. Several of the essays also discuss the issue of reader identification with the characters, a relationship that is far more complex than most critics realize.
Acknowledgments Introduction —Jayne Ann Krentz Setting the Stage: Facts and Figures —Cathie Linz Beneath the Surface: The Hidden Codes of Romance —Linda Barlow and Jayne Ann Krentz The Androgynous Reader: Point of View in the Romance —Laura Kinsale The Androgynous Reader: Another View of Point of View —Linda Barlow The Romance and the Empowerment of Women —Susan Elizabeth Phillips Sweet Subversions —Daphne Clair
Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle, Stephanie James) has written and published more than fifty series romances for several publishers including Harlequin, Silhouette, and Dell. Currently she writes contemporary romances for Pocket Books under her own name and historical romances for Bantam under the pen name Amanda Quick. Several of her contemporary and historical titles, including Scandal, Rendezvous, Sweet Fortune, and Perfect Partners, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.
"This book will interest feminist literary and media critics as primary source material for their efforts to understand the impact of the romance genre. . . . It demonstrates eloquently that thinking about the contemporary state of culture goes on beyond the ivory tower and that it is cohesive and compelling."—Janice Radway
"Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women has attracted unprecedented attention. . . . The book will be found useful by feminist and media critics. It will certainly change their perception of the genre as well."—San Francisco Review of Books
"The romance writers in Krentz's book are themselves a cross-section of educated women-geologists, lawyers, historians, librarians-who are now among the few hundred people in the United States who make a living writing books. They also battle for women's voices and values."—Women's Review of Books
"Krentz and her 18 collaborators, all best-selling romance writers, unleash a veritable arsenal of pro-romance arguments: that romances are a subversive feminist art form. That romances, far from degrading women, actually celebrate and empower women, since they always emerge triumphant over men in the requisite happy ending. That romances are the modern-day inheritor of the heroic tradition in storytelling."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer