(I'm trying a larger font because I'm tired of squinting at my own blog. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.)
I just finished reading In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. A terrific book. I haven't really adored most of the chick lit I've read, but this one I loved. The best thing about it was the relationship between the sisters... it made me miss my sister (who passed away years ago) even more than usual.
I love to explore sibling relationships in books because they're so complex. My book All I Ever Wanted revolves around sisters, an important character in my first historical was the hero's sister, and the contemporary I'm working on now features a close relationship between the hero and his brother. But it seems to me that in chick lit, the relationship between siblings is often a major component of the plot, whereas in romances it usually seems less genuine, and more like an excuse to set up a sequel.
Naturally the most important component of a romance is the relationship between the hero and heroine, whereas in a chick lit, the most important component can be a relationship between siblings or friends. So the focus is necessarily a little different. But I don't think that means that the sibling relationship in romances can't feel genuine. Too often, when the hero's brother is introduced, it just seems like he has "SEQUEL MATERIAL" stamped in big red letters on his forehead. I'd like to see more sibling relationships in romances that are as convincing as the sisters' relationship in In Her Shoes.