Random Thoughts: When “Women’s Fiction” isn’t really Women’s Fiction

Posted May 25, 2018 by Annie in Front Page, Random Thoughts, Under the Covers / 14 Comments

When “Women’s Fiction” isn’t really Women’s Fiction!

You may recall my last random thoughts post all about Women’s Fiction. If not, you can check it out here. Today’s post is going to be a follow up to that postor perhaps maybe more of a rant.

As promised, I went ahead and tried out more books in the Women’s Fiction genre. However, I can’t say that I have had much luck so far. And I don’t necessarily want to say that the books I’ve read are total flops, but perhaps they just weren’t the right picks for what I was looking for.

Women’s Fiction is definitely not a new genre by any means but a lot of Romance authors are trying their hands at them. Kristan Higgins, Robyn Carr and others have really made this possible, but there are also authors like Jill Shalvis and Lori Foster who are known for their Romance books who are trying this genre as well. I was excited for this because as I mentioned, I want to read more Women’s Fiction and having familiar authors that I have read and loved already got me excited to jump in. However, I am quickly finding a theme here, especially when it comes to the Romance authors who are writing Women’s Fiction.

It’s not Women’s Fiction.

While the covers and the blurbs gear towards that market, when it comes down to the actual content and storyline of the book, it’s still basically Romance. This isn’t a terrible thing! I LOVE Romance. After all, I am a Romance blogger and author but when books are being marketed as Women’s Fiction, I kind of wish it actually was Women’s Fiction, you know what I mean?

It’s a bit of a disappointment in the end. The stories themselves aren’t bad but it would be nice to have less of a focus on the romance in the storyline and have it more about the heroine’s personal journey instead. I know some may argue that romance can be a large part of someone’s personal journey and I agree. But what makes Women’s Fiction different from the Romance genre is that it doesn’t always have to be that way.

Am I crazy to expect something different from my favorite Romance authors? I’m debating whether or not to forego those books by familiar authors completely and going for the authors who strictly write Women’s Fiction only. Maybe then I may finally find what I’m looking for, but I’m curious, what are your thoughts on Women’s Fiction? Is it a genre that can be seen as entirely different from Romance? Or do you think that they are too entwined to be seen as two different genres?

Also, if you have any Women’s Fiction (not Chick Lit!) recommendations, please list them in the comments below!

 

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Annie

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m an obsessive makeup junkie and a compulsive reader. I like to call Under the Covers Book Blog my stomping ground, but when I’m not talking about books with my girls, I write New Adult Dystopian and Contemporary Romance under the pen name Ana Jolene (http://www.anajolene.com). I also work as a virtual assistant for authors. You also can find me as a reviewer and columnist for FreshFiction.com.

When it comes to books I’m pretty adventurous. I read everything from Paranormal Romance to Urban Fantasy, New Adult, BDSM, LGBT fiction, Cozy Mysteries and even YA. If it’s got the littlest trace of romance in it, then I’ll probably read it. That being said, my all-time favorite authors are J.R. Ward and Karen Marie Moning.

When I’m not submerged in a good book, you can find me musing about makeup and planners or dreaming about Kpop boys and beaches. Until then, check out my reviews and let’s talk books!
Annie
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Annie discusses the new trend of romance authors writing what they classify as Women's Fiction books, only to really be contemporary romance.

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Sophia Rose
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Sophia Rose

Maybe these romancy WF ones should be touted more as crossovers than full Women’s Fiction. I like Amy Reichert’s Coincidence of the Coconut Cake and Abbi Waxman’s Garden of Small Beginnings books which were my first attempt at Women’s Fiction.

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Under the Covers Book Blog

Yeah, it’s just a bit misleading when you market things as something else.

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

I agree that if I am looking for women’s fiction, I’m expecting some personal journey. Yes, there can be romance involved but but isn’t the main focus. I don’t read much women’s fiction, but I remember I loved you all by paula sharp. It wasn’t the greatest book I’ve read but there were parts that I could identify with and has kind of stayed with me.

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Under the Covers Book Blog

Love stories that stay with you like that! Thanks for the rec!

Kathy Valentine
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Kathy Valentine

Women’s fiction ive read is no different than romance.I think that the book industry and some of the writers of romance novels are trying to get respect by calling it women’s fiction rather then calling it a romance novel. Have you every been reading a romance book and you get the “look”,but if you are reading a Women s fiction the same people will ask about the book and want to read it. I can understand wanting their books to be main stream,but a romance is a romance. Great article!!! Shared on all my socials!!

Monique
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Monique

They are definitely two distinct genres and I recently realised that I don’t like WF. I have no family left, no children, I just can’t relate to WF. And often I find it depressing, the road leading to a (hopefully) happy conclusion feels too close to real life, and I don’t find it uplifting.

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Under the Covers Book Blog

I can totally understand!

denise
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denise

I think Karen White’s books are still more about the journey and the romance is more backstory.

Under the Covers Book Blog
Admin
Under the Covers Book Blog

I do have some of her books already. I should probably read them, huh? lol

JenM
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JenM

I just read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty and loved it. It’s definitely not a romance. I’d say it’s right at the intersection between Women’s Fiction and LitFic. I’d also recommend The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch, The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan and 2 books by Dee Ernst, Better Off Without Him, and A Slight Change of Plans. All of these do have a romance thread running through them but that’s not the primary focus of the book. It’s more about the main characters working out various things that are happening in their lives.

Under the Covers Book Blog
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Under the Covers Book Blog

These sound like what I was looking for! Thank you!

Amy R
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Amy R

I rarely read women’s fiction but years ago I read Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos . I think if you call it women’s fiction then the focus should be on the woman or women’s story.

Under the Covers Book Blog
Admin
Under the Covers Book Blog

Right! I LOVE Romance, but sometimes I’m looking for something different. Thanks for the rec!

Timitra
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Timitra

You’re not wrong in feeling that way Women’s Fiction is supposed to focus on the woman/women’s journey