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Any other closet readers?
#1
I am a closet romance reader, especially Gothics.  What keeps me coming back to them is the aura of mystery and of course, the romance.  Since the Gothic genre is now so diverse, what do others like about Gothics?  What is it that you look for in the Gothic subgenre of your choice? What emotive force brings you back to Gothics?
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#2
I'm not a closet reader but I love suspense with romance in it and that's what Gothics provide for me.
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#3
There are many things about Gothics I like, but I love the spine-tingling sensation I get when I read one of Barbara Michaels' supernatural stories. I literally get goosebumps without getting disgusted by horrific gore, which I find disturbing and prevalent in many modern horror stories. It's amazing to see how Gothic novels have developed into different genres today, so there's no need to be embarrassed to read them.
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#4
I'm a guy and I've been reading Gothics since I was a kid.

For me, they were a natural progression from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books. I loved stories about spooky houses, Scooby-Doo (lol) etc. I read Phyllis Whitney's gothics for children and that led me to her adult books.

I'm usually less interested in the romance and more in the mystery and eerie surroundings. While lately I've grown to really love murder mysteries, I used to like Gothics because the mystery was more organic, with the protagonist actually part of the mystery instead of just a detective solving it.
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#5
I'd like to be a closet reader of romances, but I find very few that really appeal to me. I don't like chick lit and I'm just not into battles of the sexes or contemporary romances. Perhaps it's the romance novels I have chosen, but they are usually either 1) BADLY written; 2) have characters I can't relate to or 3) they are all about sex. I guess I like the old-fashioned boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again.

The closest I can get to a romance novel is the Gothic romance because of the mystery, suspense and supernatural elements. Sometimes I'm tempted by a paranormal romance, but they all seem the same (vampires, vampires, witch, werewolf, vampires, vampires, etc.) And, even though it's improving, there is still the unfortunate cover art on some romance books.
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#6
I can mostly relate to this (except I'm a woman). And I agree, prefer the mystery and eerie surroundings to the actual story romance (though that's nice too). And yes, enjoying the protagonist as part of the mystery...

maisonvivante Wrote:I'm a guy and I've been reading Gothics since I was a kid.

For me, they were a natural progression from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books. I loved stories about spooky houses, Scooby-Doo (lol) etc. I read Phyllis Whitney's gothics for children and that led me to her adult books.

I'm usually less interested in the romance and more in the mystery and eerie surroundings. While lately I've grown to really love murder mysteries, I used to like Gothics because the mystery was more organic, with the protagonist actually part of the mystery instead of just a detective solving it.
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#7
Desdemona Wrote:The closest I can get to a romance novel is the Gothic romance because of the mystery, suspense and supernatural elements.

Straight-up romance? No thanks. Zero interest.

I do like Gothic Romance for all the reasons you cite. Unfortunately only 1 out of the 3 I've read so far has serious "supernatural elements." I figured at least one ghost or alleged haunting per novel would be a requirement. Wink But there's enough eerieness and "dread" otherwise to make it worthwhile.

Quote: Sometimes I'm tempted by a paranormal romance, but they all seem the same (vampires, vampires, witch, werewolf, vampires, vampires, etc.) And, even though it's improving, there is still the unfortunate cover art on some romance books.

Agreed. Rolleyes There are some very funny "paranormal romances" out there ... but most do seem to revolve around the NEW take on vampires. Big Grin

I like vampires, but anything gets old...
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#8
I would have to say I am a closet gothic reader. I'm a guy in my late 40s, I read voraciously, everywhere I go I have a paperback with me, but I wouldn't be caught dead in public with a classic Golden Era gothic! The majority of my reading these days is hard core police procedurals and psychological thrillers, but usually about once a year I re-read a classic by Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels. Mary Stewart is by far the better writer and storyteller, but Barbara Michaels is one of the few who had bona fide supernatural elements in her stories. I have a number of Victoria Holt novels but don't enjoy reading them because, to me, they are not Gothics, but historical novels with a bit of suspense.
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#9
MysteryMind Wrote:I am a closet romance reader, especially Gothics.  What keeps me coming back to them is the aura of mystery and of course, the romance.  Since the Gothic genre is now so diverse, what do others like about Gothics?  What is it that you look for in the Gothic subgenre of your choice? What emotive force brings you back to Gothics?

As a man who reads Gothics, I sometimes find myself having to explain to this or that friend that authors like Holt and Stewart are not the same as Harlequin trash. I would not say I'm a "closet reader" but I am aware that broadcasting the fact to others sometimes excites a snickering comment or two. Luckily, I don't really care!

This forum has also brought to my awareness how many other men read Gothics too. I suspect this has partly to do with the emphasis on setting and atmosphere. I can't speak for others but I have absolutely no interest in reading straight romance. I like the Gothics because there is usually a mystery involved and because I enjoy being transported into the pleasantly spooky ambience.
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#10
Monique Devereaux Wrote:I have a number of Victoria Holt novels but don't enjoy reading them because, to me, they are not Gothics, but historical novels with a bit of suspense.

You might try Bride of Pendorric, which I think would qualify as a bona fide Gothic. Although the first few chapters are set on the isle of Capri in the Bay of Naples, the story soon moves to an old castle on the coast of Cornwall, and from that point the tone becomes very "Gothic" indeed.
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