Sunday, November 19, 2006

Remember your first romance novel?...and enter to win a book!

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Do you remember when you started reading romances?

I get my love of reading from my mother. I remember growing up and my mother always had a Harlequin or Gothic romance nearby to read. I read a few of the Gothic’s, but they were basically had the same dark tone.

It was dark and stormy night…

The romance was there, but played a secondary part. I delved right into the Harlequins. Most were the same. Took place in England and featured nurses and doctors or a businessman and the heroine was his faithful secretary. Good, basic romances for a young teen to whet her appetite on. Okay, a little corny by today’s standards, but these were the sixties.

The bodice rippers, as the historical romances were generally labeled, became popular in the early 70’s and I read a few of those. But I think I found my niche when the Harlequin Presents began in 1973. Steamy, alpha men made my toes curl and I devoured them all. I loved the foreign locations and dreamed of visiting Greece, Italy or wherever the story took place. I wanted my own Latin lover, even at the tender age of sixteen.

I later picked up and read other romances, but as an adult, my life soon became busy and I stopped reading. Period.

Then a fateful day I was looking for a suspense to pick up to read to pass the time. I picked up WHITE LIES by none other than Linda Howard. I read it that night and could not put it down! I had to get more of Linda’s books. I finally (finally!) found the internet in the late 1990’s (yes, I was a late bloomer) and discovered Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other online stores. Heaven! I could search—and order—online any author’s backlist I wanted. From then on, my pile of books has morphed into a rather large one. Today, I would guess I have 600+ books in various bookshelves and boxes today.

It’s a lot, but I love books…especially romances. I couldn’t live without having a romance book nearby.

When did you start reading romance books?

Post for a chance to win the following books:

MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL WEDDING anthology by various authors including Sherrilyn Kenyon and Charlaine Harris
SANTA, BABY anthology by Jennifer Crusie, Lori Foster and Carly Phillips
I’LL BE SEEING U by Dianne Castell
THE MARRIAGE TRAP by Elizabeth Thornton
THE KEPT WOMAN by Susan Donovan
FIRST LOVE by Julie Kenner
BAD BOYS IN BLACK TIE by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and Morgan Leigh
SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT by Meg Cabot

Post a comment to be entered and one winner will get to choose ONE book. Winner will be posted Tuesday morning!

posted by Patti


Maureen said...

Hi Patti,

Your story sounds a lot like mine. My mother always had Harlequins around and I started reading them in high school. Then for many years I didn't read romance and when I had children I read nothing but magazines for a few years until I was in the library and picked up a book by LaVyrle Spencer. I don't remember which one since I read a whole bunch of her books at once.

Anonymous said...

My first romance was Montana Sky by Nora. A coworker, who was a big romance fan, lent it to me and after that I was hooked. Prior to that I had mainly read mysteries and horror. The romances are so much more satisfying -- love that HEA.

Deborah said...

lol does Sweet Valley High count? i guess my first real romance was Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly Series. I was 8.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember how I got started with romances, but I do remember sitting in class in 6th grade with my Harlequin Romances folded into my text book, reading during class. My mom always took me to the library and I swapped paperbacks weekly. From those sweet Harlequins I progressed to more steamy reads, and now with ebooks, finding a place to shelve my books is no problem. I've got well over 1000 books in plastic totes or shelves around the house. I need a library at home, just for bookshelves.

Janice Maynard said...

Hey, Patti! Great blog today!

I read my first Harlequin in the early 70's... I think I was in seventh grade. It was called "The Man from Rhodesia" and it hooked me for life.

I'm convinced that all those bajillion Harlequins I read were responsible for developing my vocabulary, and also instilling a desire to travel!

P.S. I'm not entering for the free book. Just wanted to comment on a fun topic!

Anonymous said...

My first romance book was Say No to Joe by Lori Foster. I have been hooked on romance ever since. My favorite is Romantic Suspense.

Anonymous said...

Looking back, my first romance was in 1948 -- yes, I'm older than dirt -- when TAMMY OUT OF TIME was a selection of my mother's book club. (The Tammy books were later made into movies with Debbie Reynolds.)Anyway, I had no idea I was reading a romance and never knowingly read another until many years later. My DH & I lived in Japan & our only access to fun reading was what he & the other pilots bought in airport shops: bestsellers, thrillers, mysteries, Westerns & the like. When we moved back to the States and eventually to our present house, three minutes from a library, I went through the fiction section like a starving dog. I still didn't know I was reading the occasional romance until I found Georgette Heyer and Regencies. From there found more Regencies at a UBS, picked up a Mary Jo Putney Regency, went on to her Fallen Angels series & have been a rabid romance fan ever since.

Rhobin said...

My first romance was a suspense by Mary Stewart I bought while searching the bookracks at work. I was fifteen and working at a drug store. I can still remember the plots to Moonspinner and This Rough Magic. Like Janice, I 'm just commenting, not entering for free book.

kim h said...

it was a historcal my aunt gave me and i was hooked. sorry forgot the name. it was good

Jennifer Y. said...

Not including the classics, the first romance I ever read was For the Roses by Julie Garwood and I was about 13 or so. I had seen the tv movie based on it called "Rose Hill" and when I saw the book I asked my mother to buy it for me. Neither of us realized it was a romance novel. Well, I read it...was shocked...and hooked. I loved romances from that moment forward and never went anywhere without one. Of course, this meant covering up some of the more risque covers with post-its so I didn't get in trouble in school, but that didn't stop me from reading them.

Jana said...

I've thought about this a did I become a romance junky? Not too sure that I wasn't BORN that way. I loved to read & would spend HOURS in the library as a kid. I think I was 11 or 12 when I picked up the first book I would catagorize as a romance but the one that MADE AN IMPRESSION was Ashes in the Wind. I was 14 or 15 & have been hooked ever since.

Rachael said...

My first romance novel was when I was around 12 years old. My friend and I would go to the library and take them out. I beleive it was a Joanna Lindsay book but I cant remember the name. The first ones that I loved were by Connie Mason and Bobbi Smith. Great writers.

ReadingIsSoMuchFun said...

Hello Bloggers,

Fun topic :)

My first romance book (if you would call this that) was Jemima J by Jane Green. It really got me hooked to reading more stories with romance in them.

Have A Wonderful Thanksgiving Everyone Gobble Gobble :-)


kim h said...

hi linda and patti!

Wolfy said...

My first romance book was Montana Sky, by Nora Roberts and the rest is The reason, I was introduced to the romance books, was because I had to take a friend to the ER and as we were leaving she said - grab that book, because we will probably be awhile and you may want to try it.........

Anonymous said...

I got my love of romance books from my dad. He LOVED historicals as he loved to read the history in them. I started out with Harlequins (when there was only one line LOL) and devoured anything Barbara Cartland wrote. Then in college I moved onto the likes of Bertrice Small, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, LaVeryle Spencer, Catherine Coulter, and Judith McNaught. Now I have too many favorites to list ;)

Mo Boylan

ReadingAddict1 said...

I got my love of reading from my Aunt and my Grandma. They always had a book or something to read when they weren't doing anything else.

I have been reading romances for over 20 yrs. My younger cousin, by 1 1/2 yrs, got me hooked on romances when I was around 12 yrs old. I went over to her house to get her to do something with me and she was reading and didn't want to do anything else. I asked her what she was reading and if she had any more that I could read. The only thing I remember about it, it was a "Second Chance" romance line and I was hooked. A few yrs later we then "found" her mom's stash of "bodice ripper" romances and snuck those to read. I became addicted when I was in high school to the Harlequin Presents line and read them and other Harlequin and Silhouette lines for several years. I would save my lunch money and spend it and my allowance on books, then come home after school starving and pig out. Thank goodness I was a latch key kid (both my parents were at work when my brothers and I got home from school) or my parents would probably have put a stop to that, lol.

Then when I was in college, I had to give up reading romances. I was working 2 jobs to put myself through college and supporting myself so I didn't have time to keep up with my college reading and romance reading too. When ever I was asked "what I'm reading?" I would say "there's something more than textbooks?", lol. Then the fall after I graduated college I became sick and started reading romances again.

Just two years ago I read my first historical romance called Castles by Julie Garwood and I have been addicted to historicals every since. My favorite historical period is regency but I also like other periods for variety. So I have a lot years of historical books to find and make up for. I also still read contemps, so now I have too many on my TBR list to keep up with, but I'm working on it. :D

ReadingIsSoMuchFun said...

Hi Kim :)


Jodi said...

My first romance was Lori Foster's online read "Marrying Mary." I'm not even sure how I happened upon the site, but I'm glad that I did. After that, I bought Lori's Buckhorn Brothers, which happened to be just released so they were easy to find for 4 months!
Soon, I was buying all kinds of romance books!

Mimmi said...

I missed the contest, lol, but I can't hardly remember NOT reading. I started reading romances in my early teens--my Mom was always reading, and I just picked up one of her books one day and was hooked. Back in the day it was Johanna Lindsey (whom I still love) and Danielle Steele. I can remember reading The Promise and crying and crying, lol. And anyone read Quinn by Sally Madel? I can remember reading that when I very young, and to this day I love that book. It's a tear jerker, but great story.

Anonymous said...

OK, wayyyyyyyy back when I was in 8th grade... I snuck "Forever" by Judy Blume out of my Mom's bookcase... and I've been hooked every since....