A New Era of Rom-Coms Has Hatched by Melonie Johnson

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[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to have author Melonie Johnson guest post on the site today. Take it away Melonie!]

On a recent afternoon stroll down the aisles of my local bookstore, I spied a parade of brightly colored cartoon covers dotting the shelf. Gorgeous and eye-catching, these books are cropping up everywhere like crocuses in a spring meadow. That evening, while scrolling through my Netflix library, sprinkled like candy, I discover a fresh array of fun, sweet flicks.

The rumors are true. Romantic comedy is experiencing a renaissance.

As a debut author with three books coming out back to back to back this season, I suddenly find myself part of the return to these feel-good stories. Categorized as romantic comedies, the Sometimes in Love series straddles the line between traditional contemporary romance and what is commonly referred to as “chick-lit.”

Let’s press pause for a moment to address the elephant, er chick, in the room. Coined in the mid-90s, the era of Bridget Jones’s Diary, the term “chick-lit” refers to stories by female authors focused on female characters for a mainly female audience. Unlike women’s fiction (another term that makes me stabby), they tend to be more humorous and lighthearted. And are often described using a variety of ‘f’ words such as: Forgettable. Frothy. Fluff.

Well, F that.

Books slapped with these labels are another “f” word. They are fun. And that’s a perfectly legitimate thing to be. Just because a story is enjoyed for the break it provides from the real world doesn’t mean it is void of literary merit. For one thing, all fiction, by its very nature, is a form of escape. For another, I believe we need those escapes. Now more than ever.

In fact, I started writing what would become the Sometimes in Love series as an escape for myself. The first book, Getting Hot with the Scot, begins with a group of best friends taking the vacation of their dreams, literally escaping from their everyday lives, and I got to go along for the ride. These stories are contemporary romances in the sense that they all follow the journey of two people falling in love. But the core of each story is also grounded in the heroine actively going after her career goals and features a cast of strong female friendships—hallmarks of that other sub-genre I mentioned.

When I first began working on this series, and even when I was on submission, the term rom-com wasn’t really being tossed around much, if at all. By straddling two sub-genres, I unknowingly was writing the mix of elements that would become part of this fresh crop of romantic comedies. Stories that provide an escape while delivering romance, laughs, the promise of a happy ending, and a little something more, too.

If you need more of this kind of book in your life, here are a few I recommend adding to your TBR pile:

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Chai Factor by Farah Heron

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

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About the Author:

After earning her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago, Melonie Johnson―aka #thewritinglush―taught high school English and Theatre for several years. An award winning author and a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, she writes smart and funny contemporary romance and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin. She lives happily ever after with her husband, two redheaded daughters, a dog that’s more like a small horse, and a pair of hermit crabs. Getting Hot with the Scot is her debut novel. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MelonieJohnson

Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson

IT’S TIME TO FLIRT WITH A MAN IN A KILT

Cassie Crow, a pop-culture reporter for a TV talk show, is focused on becoming a “serious” journalist. But when she stumbles into a kilted Highlander with a killer accent, Cassie decides that taking one night off from work and spending it with a sexy Scot couldn’t hurt. . .

Logan Reid has built a career on his charm, hosting a series of off-the-wall hijinks on the Web. But when the Scottish prankster meets the all-American, equal parts intelligent and irresistible Cassie, Logan realizes that one night of fun won’t be enough. Could it be that this career-focused, commitment-phobic couple is finally ready to take a chance at true and lasting love?

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