#Rombklove 2020 Day 20: Found Community is hosted by Melanie @melon_reads(Reviewer at Love in Panels)
This year’s #RomBkLove theme of found community especially resonates because of the circumstances we all find ourselves in. Isolating from our loved ones and families is the very opposite of what found communities in romance promote, the idea of unity and togetherness and how working together always yields a better result than working separately. But while we’re all self-isolating, I’ve sought comfort in my found community, that of Romancelandia. The friends I’ve made in Romancelandia are always ready with a recommendation and eager to join the chorus when anyone sings a book’s praises. We may not always agree on everything but on one thing we are united and that’s the importance of a happily ever after in romance. My very first recommendation for today’s theme is actually due to my book bestie turned real life friend, Melinda (@MelindaEdits) who convinced me just last year to give paranormal a chance. She was convinced I would love it and she was absolutely correct. She was my gateway to both paranormal and to the Romancelandia community on twitter.
Nowhere is the premise of found community more evident than in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, where 3 different races, humans, Psy, and Changelings, strive to find common ground and coexist in peace despite their myriad of differences. The very first book in the series, Slave to Sensation, sets up this theme beautifully when DarkRiver alpha Lucas, a leopard changeling matches wits with Sascha Duncan, a Psy who has lived her entire life trying to erase all of her emotions. Watching Lucas and the rest of his pack interact with each other and slowly welcome Sascha into their folds was beautiful especially because Sascha has never formed close emotional connections with anyone before. The entire series is a really excellent example of found community with various members of the Psy race, so used to living in isolation, finding a family amongst different changeling groups and with humans. The pack mentality of these changeling groups and the way they always look out for each other is an enduring theme throughout the series and really heartwarming.
Kate Clayborn’s A Chance of a Lifetime series is a glorious example of the complexities of female friendships and how the family you choose oftentimes has more of an impact than maybe the one you were born into. When longtime best friends Kit, Zoe, and Greer unexpectedly win a substantial amount of money in the lottery, they each challenge and encourage each other to go after their deepest desires. Watching these three fierce heroines face down endless obstacles and heal from painful pasts is empowering to witness but having it all unfold as they hold each other up through heartbreak and celebrate each other's victories gives new meaning to the idea of found family. Each of these women is a power in her own right but when they all come together in support of one another, they are virtually unstoppable.
Sports romances are another great example of found community, especially if it’s a series focusing on a particular sports team. In Naima Simone’s WAGS series, each of the three books focus on a different football player for the Washington Warriors. There is a real camaraderie between the three heroes, Zephirin, Dominic, and Ronin that goes way beyond just being teammates. Their relationship transcends that of professional colleagues. They tease each other, support each other, and if need be, are quick to point out when one of them is being a total screw up. In short, they do what brothers do. The second book in the series, Scoring off the Field, also has the theme of found family running right through the actual romance. Dominic and Tennyson have been best friends for years, having initially met as children in the foster system. Even when they were eventually separated, they managed to retain their friendship and in Tennyson’s case, Dominic is really the only family she has. These books celebrate the idea of finding your community within your workplace, especially in a niche environment such as professional sports.
I’d love to know what your favorite romances are that celebrate the theme of found community/found family! Do they give you comfort in these times or are you avoiding them?
How to participate?
Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes. Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it. You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.
Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation. Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo.
For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2020/04/rombklove-2020-celebrating-inclusive-romance-during-a-pandemic.html