Enter to Win Free Romantic Suspense Novels

IT’S ROMANCE WEEK, in case you didn’t know, and there’s a big reason we celebrate it and it’s not just because of Valentine’s Day.

Here’s your chance to win romantic suspense novels and more. [TM Note: The contest is now over.]

Romance is a billion-dollar business, making up an estimated 30 percent of the fiction market. [CBS]

Do you understand now why Fifty Shades Darker debuted this past weekend? The first book already a film, the second installment has a lot more action and if you’ve seen the trailer you cannot miss the difference.

So why is it that romance books can’t get any respect?

“I think in some ways, it is a genre written by women and for women. And many of the sort of the people who define what real literature is in this country are male. …” – Professor Mary Bly (aka bestselling romance author Eloisa James)

Reviews don’t matter for the E.L. James franchise, no matter the form her story takes.

Variety didn’t mince words.

It’s not just on screen, of course, that the new film has lost its predecessor’s feminine perspective, with Taylor-Johnson and Marcel both stepping down to make way for, respectively, accomplished B-movie veteran Foley and screenwriter Niall Leonard — otherwise known as Mr. E.L. James. Leonard permits his wife’s authorial voice to trickle more floridly through to the finished film than Marcel did: All the novels’ talk of inner goddesses is mercifully still kept at bay, but much of the dialogue here is pure Harlequinese, with Anastasia and Christian’s exchanges particularly missing the first film’s pert, playful zing. If Christian’s sister Mia (pop star Rita Ora, given a couple of scenes this time and mouthily seizing them) rightly observes that he’s “the man with everything but a sense of humor,” it would appear that Anastasia has turned under his influence.

Women are hungry for romance.

Fifty Shades Darker beat Lego Batman on Friday but as the weekend progressed, the animated feature claimed the top spot.

If you’re interested in comparing romance to romance, see the statistics for two different franchises, see Twilight vs. Fifty Shades.

And if you love romance, enter the contest, which features my debut romantic suspense, Below the Beltway.