Romance and Me: What’s your story?

Filed in Romance and Me , The Latin Lover Posted on December 28, 2011 @ 2:00 pm 24 comments

Hey Everyone!

We have been discussing romance novel related topics for some months now, and even though you have told me about your firsts, I still haven’t heard your story. The story of how you discovered and fell in love with the romance genre.

Was it love at first read? Or did it take several books? What kind of romance novel is your favourite?

I started out by falling for historical romances, I’ve always loved period dramas, so reading historical romance stories felt natural to me. But somehow I wasn’t eager to read contemporary romances, the only exception were Nora Roberts books. (I discovered the whole romance genre thanks to my high school best friend lending me one of NR’s stories, and she became my “Nora Roberts dealer”.) HR was my first and only love for a very long time. I only got to like the contemporary romance sub-genre last year when I discovered Erin Nicholas and Julie James’ novels. I’m still quite ambivalent when it comes to paranormal romance (I love when there are romantic subplots in my UF stories, but usually PNR novels disappoint me), I only read one sci-fi romance and didn’t have the chance to read any steampunk romance yet.


So please do share your story with me, I am curious to hear it!

Did you fall for the romance genre right away or did it take several tries?

And what kind of romance novels, sub-genres do you like?

Any in particular you haven’t tried yet?


About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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  • Mary Kirkland December 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I started reading romance later than most romance readers. I started out reading Horror as a teenager and it wasn’t until I was well into my 20’s that I actually picked up a romance book. The first one was in a large box of books my mom gave to me. It was Once in Paris by Diana Palmer *Whom I still love to read* and that book was the first of many that I read. My mom had a bunch of books and she kept giving them to me and I kept reading them. Nora Roberts, Diana Palmer, and I can’t even remember some of the others.

    I didn’t even realize there were sub categories of romance at the time. Then I started looking and saw there were vampire romance…my two favorite things all wrapped into one delicious book.

    So I read a lot of paranormal romance these days and since my mom passed away 6 months ago I keep most all of the books I get now. She was the only one in my family that was interested in reading them and we would share what we got.

    I get a lot of paranormals now and the vampires and werewolves as well as other shifters are my favorites.

    • Stella December 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      How wonderful that you got to share your love for romance stories with your mom Mary. I’m a closet-romance reader, my family has no idea 😉

      I love vampire and werewolf romances as well, but the PNR stories I read lately were all so simple and too cliché :-/ Any good ones you could recommend? 🙂

      • Mary Kirkland December 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm

        I would really recommend the dark Series by Christine Feehan. I’m so hooked on that series it’s not even funny. and also Jennifer Ashley has a Shifters Unbound series that’s so good…and Pamela Palmer has the Feral Warriors series. If you haven’t read any of these series I highly recommend them.

  • Natalija December 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I started reading romance when I was 16, I guess. My first ones were written by Sandra Brown, Judith McNaught, Susan Elizabeth Phillips… Then I stopped because of the studies & work. My return to romance genre happened ~3 years ago on the plane from Latvia to Italy 🙂 My mother gave me few of her books to read during my trip & here I am – still reading 🙂
    I mainly read romance: historical, contemporary, western … I’m not into paranormal, vampires, werewolves…

    • Stella December 29, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Oooh I keep hearing everyone praise SEP, any favourite books of her I should discover first?

      • Natalija December 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

        My favorite SEP book is “Dream a Little Dream” (real tear jerker). It’s a part of a series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

  • blodeuedd December 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Easy, I was 10, I found a harlequin in mum’s bookshelf. I read it and I was hooked! I read so many over the coming years, and I especially liked those sheikh ones since that was my first 😉

    • Stella December 29, 2011 at 9:04 am

      LOL! Now that I work my brain I also recall reading a Harlequin when I was around 11 when my parents visited their friends and me being bored, I picked a book of the lady’s shelf and started reading it. It was a Harlequin where the hero was sailing, sadly my parents wanted to go home, so I only read about 2-3 chapters :-/ LOL 😀

  • Diane December 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I read anything I could find at the local library where I lived when I was a teen; when I went through that it was either read technical books or try romance books, romance won. And is still winning.

    • Stella December 29, 2011 at 9:05 am

      It’s funny/weird, at my local library romance novels were hidden, it wasn’t easy finding them, so I didn’t discover them that way. But I read my library’s whole Jane Austen and co. collection 🙂

  • roro @roro is reading[rogier] December 28, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    i started reading romance in 0’10
    was a hit immediately

  • aurian December 29, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Wow Stella, you do know that the older a person gets, the more difficult it is to remember such things? It has been so long ago since I started reading romance novels, not sure how I started.
    I think with one of my mothers novels, where the only thing shared with the reader is a kiss. Boy and girl meet, fall in love after a while, start dating, get serious, something happens to drive them apart, and then they meet again, talk things out, and are on again.
    After that, I discovered historical romances, Jude Deveraux and such, and Barbara Cartland. I am a very loyal reader, still read and buy those books.
    After that, I discovered Fantasy, due to my love of faery tales I guess. And after that, a whole new world opened up with my discovery of English books and paranormal romance and urban fantasy.
    I love most books, but the heroine has to be a strong character, not a wimp.

    • Stella December 29, 2011 at 9:10 am

      Jude Deveraux was my introduction to historical romances! Her Velvet series exactly 😀 Was shocked how steamy it got lol 😉 Haven’t yet read any fantasy romance, any recommendations?

      • aurian December 29, 2011 at 9:33 am

        Of course! One of my favourite, often re-read series, is the Dark Jewels series by Anne Bishop. The Tairen Soul series by C.L. Wilson is a must read as well. If you don’t really like the first book, just keep on reading. And lately I discovered the Sylphs by L.J. McDonald. The first one is not really well written, but the concept is good, and the books do get better. Original, love it.

        • Stella December 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm

          Thank you Aurian! Thanks to Sullivan McPig I already have the first books in the Black Jewels Trilogy and can’t wait to read them, so many people praise them, I’m curious! 🙂

          Will take note of the others, thank you! 🙂

  • IdentitySeeker December 29, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I fell in love right away! My first romance novel was a Sandra Brown novel and I fell head over heels in love with her writing- so much so that I retired my Nancy Drew collection and adopted romance as my new addiction. I’ve never really caught on to Nora Roberts’ writing. I’ve only read two of her books. However, I pursued my love of romance through authors like Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Hill, May Balogh, Catherine Anderson, Christina Dodd, Linda Howard, Diana Palmer and Dinah McCall. Love these gals!:)

    • Stella December 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Thank you for the recommendations Sarah, I haven’t had the chance to read anything by those authors yet. But will do one day when I get ’round to it 😉

  • Jessie December 29, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I think that I fell in love with historical romance novels after the first time I read one. I must have been about seventeen the first time, though I had read romance sub-plots in other genres like sci-fi and YA, I had never read an adult novel where romance was the main plot. It had been completely by chance that I had gotten my hands on a book by Karyn Monk (my mother happened to have been given a box of romance novels, otherwise I would have never bought it on my own).

    I’ve always loved historical fiction so I thought I would give it ago, and it remains to be one of my favorite romance novels today (though my romance collection isn’t very big). I tend to stick to historical romances, I have yet to read any contemporary romances, the plots never look interesting to me. Nor have I done paranormal (though romance was in a sub-plot of a book I once read, I don’t think it was a big thing, but some might disagree), and I do have a number of paranormal books I keep meaning to get to that I know are romance.

    • Stella December 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      Yay, good to find someone else whose primary love is HR 🙂

      If you want to give contemporary romance a try I would suggest picking up any book by Erin Nicholas, Julie James or Nadia Lee, they are all wonderful!

      • Jessie December 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm

        I’ll definitely plan on looking up those authors.

  • Sheree December 30, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Jennifer Crusie’s “Anyone But You” was my first romance read, unless you count the tween horse book titled “Copper’s Chance” that was retitled Blue Ribbon Romance” – no romance, just “like like”. I chose that ebook based on the dog on the cover (yes, it was rather recently). After I read all the Jenny Crusie’s books, I went to historicals: Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, etc. For a while, I read all the subgenres but I have since pared down the ones I would read. I have also given up on certain authors as well (like SEP, mentioned above, as she’s way too rough on her heroines).

    • Stella December 30, 2011 at 4:12 am

      I’m just about to read my very first Eloisa James book 😀

  • Tamsyn December 30, 2011 at 6:06 am

    I don’t think they are still in business but I started off with Mills & Boon romances when I was still in my teens and just grew from there. Now I read most genre as long as it is a romance and has a HEA. I love science fiction too and read Isaac Asimov’s books at about the same time that I was reading M&B! About the only genre that I haven’t tried is horror as I’m a wimp and don’t like horror stories. :o)

  • ladymilano December 31, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I just read books in 2010. Previously I loves romance movies, so when I take a romance book, I just knew that I’ll love it. I try Lisa Kleypas’ wallflowers for the first time, and yes, I fall in love with it. So my sub genre is Historical Romance. I’ve tried many authors, like some, don’t some. 😉
    The thing I didn’t expect was I love it ‘that’ much, more than a movie… 😀

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