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March 6, 2012

First Romance Novel

What was the first romance novel you ever read? I grew up reading, Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, Jo's Boys and Nancy Drew. In high school, I went to the library and became hooked on Victoria Holt and loved gothic's. Then after high school, my first romance was The Wolf and The Dove by Kathleen Woodweiss. Then I read the Flame and the Flower and I was hooked forever.

I look back at these books and wonder what about them drew me in. I realize for me, I like the way both the hero and heroine, didn't want to fall in love, yet were so attracted to one another they couldn't resist. It was a fight to almost the last page as to whether or not they would be together forever.

At that time, Kathleen Woodweiss was my favorite author, and when a book of hers came out, I couldn't get it fast enough. Other authors I read were Rosemary Rogers, Danielle Steel, Lavyrle Spencer and Johanna Lindsey.

Today, I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson and Wendy Wax. Recently I read Julie James, Practice Makes Perfect and again it was that familiar, two people fighting their attraction until almost the last page. It's the kind of book, you keep turning the page to see what's going to happen next. I crave those kinds of stories.

Yes, my reading tastes have changed over the years, just like the kind of stories I want to write has changed. I want to be entertained, I want to laugh, I want to see two people fight the odds and fall madly in love with one another. I'm not into dark books, and when I finish a book, I want to sigh and feel sad it's over.

For years, I feared that reading books would be replaced by video games, television and movies. But then along came the Harry Potter books and people fell in love with reading again. Then Stephanie Meyers hooked the next generation with Vampire stories. When the love of reading appears it's going to disappear, it seems a new author comes on the scene and delights all of us with a new story. And I'm thankful this happens.

Now the eBook revolution is here and instead of thinking that this is a dreadful thing, I think technology has found another way to hook the next generation and save a few trees. I sat in the spa the other day with a young girl who was reading from her Kindle, and I couldn't help but smile. Then the next week, I stepped onto the elevator at work and there was a young woman reading her kindle while on the elevator. God, I love these kinds of readers. My faith that reading was dying has been restored.

So tell me, what author made you fall in love with reading? With romance?


Anonymous said...

I didn't find romance until my late first one was Vicki Lewis Thompson's NERD IN SHINING ARMOR. It was so playful and funny!

Pamela Stone said...

I couldn't tell you the first one I read, but I can tell you the one that stands out and made me go, "Whoa!" Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

Liese said...

Don't forget Barbara Cartland. I remember reading those early on. Then you learn she was related to Princess Diana!

Harlie Williams said...

For me it was Sandra Brown's Lucky that my mom gave him when she was finished with it. It came from the Doubleday Book Club and I've never looked back. :)

Marika Weber

BTW...the follow the comments thingy is gone. :(

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Harlie,

I remember Lucky. Great book. I may have to go pull that one out and read it again.

Patricia said...

I love the way you look at the explosion of e-readers - just another way for people to read more books. I think instead of authors being scared that print books are going to die by the wayside, we have to embrace this new reading venue as an addition to the reading experience and not one that will take something away from the print book.

Anita Davison said...

Mistress of Mellyn - I'm not sure if this is the first novel, but Victoria Holt was definitely my first romance author.

Sylvia said...

Hi Tessa,
I loved Nerd In Shining Armor. I still enjoy Vicki Lewis Thompson!

Sylvia said...

Hi Pamela,
I enjoyed Shana as well, but still The Flame and The Flower is my favorite Kathleen Woodiweiss novel.

Sylvia said...

I could never get into Barbara Cartland. I'm not saying she wasn't a great writer, I just couldn't get into her books. Not enough sex.

Sylvia said...

Harlie Reader,
I loved Sandra Brown for awhile. She had a historical novel that I still have on my favorites shelf at home. I can't remember the title, but I so enjoyed her books.

Sylvia said...

Don't you love this new explosion. I have to admit I resisted right up until my husband bought me my first Kindle. Now that's all I want to read on. I love it. Yes, this is a new way to attract readers and isn't that what we want. More readers.

Sylvia said...

Hi Anita,
Victoria Holt was one of my favorites. I still have one or two of her novels. What a great storyteller she was. Thanks for coming by and telling me your favorite.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Sylvia: My first real romances are by Emilie Loring, but there are some which really standout--Shanna & Knight in Shining Armour.

Good stuff!

Sylvia said...

I'm on the sly at work, but I will be stopping in and it's so great to hear other peoples favorites.


Unknown said...

Well I now have to check out Wendy Wax because I've exhausted all the new and old releases of Rachel Gibson, SEP, Linda Howard. Few have the style I'm drawn to. Like you, I enjoy the conflict and fight of attraction until the very end. In fact, I'm obsessed with it. Thanks for the tip on the new author to try.

I love coming here. PP puts me in a happy place every time.

Sylvia said...

Hi Vickie,
I've never read Emily Loring. I'm going to have to check her out.


Sylvia said...

Hi Vickie,
I've never read Emily Loring. I'm going to have to check her out.


Sylvia said...

Wendy Wax wrote a book about an Author at a writers convention where she was up for an award. Oh my God, this was so close to the RWA awards that I could just see this happening to her. At the awards, her agent tells her to get lost. It's a really moving story about an authors troubling journey. I can't remember the title, but she was nominated for a Rita for it.

But If you like Rachel Gibson try Julie James -- the two lawyers in Practice Makes Perfect--I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Syvia! Lovely post.

Now the eBook revolution is here and instead of thinking that this is a dreadful thing, I think technology has found another way to hook the next generation and save a few trees.

This is one of the things I'm noticing. People I work with who maybe read one book a year now annouce to me almost weekly how many books they've read that week or month on their ipad or Kindles. I love it!

While I have Kindle aps on both my phone and my ipad as well as own a kindle, I still read about half my books on paper.

You and I have similar taste in authors. I adored Woodiweiss, Lindsay and Lavyrle Spencer. Couldn't go a week without reading one of them!

Susan Royal said...

Books that made me love to read? Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury, Three Hearts and Three Lions-Poul Anderson, Ammie, Come Home-Barbara Michaels. The romance novel that makes my heart beat stands out the most? What else but the whole Outlander series-Diana Gabaldon. Those characters are REAL. A new favorite of mine is Susanna Kearsley. She can weave history and a romance together seamlessly. I fly through her books and hate for them to end.

Sylvia said...

Hi Suzanne,
Wasn't it sad when Kathleen Woodweiss passed away. Yes, we do have similar tastes in authors. Check out Julie James. You'd enjoy her first two books.


Sylvia said...

Hi Susan,
I've read Diana Gabaldon, but I haven't read the others. I'll have to check them out. Thanks for posting. It's alway good to learn of authors other people enjoy.


Kathy Ivan said...

Hi Sylvia

Great post! My love affair with reading and books goes back so far that I can't remember one particular book that was the defining moment for me. I started sneaking my mom's Harlequin's when I was about 7 or 8 (I started out young and never stopped). LOL

Sylvia said...

Hi Kathy,
My mother never read Harlequin, though she insisted that I see the movie, Gone With the Wind and then I read the book. She loves to read, but she's never read Harlequin, which is kind of strange since she loves romance. I didn't learn to love those until later.


Liz Lipperman said...

I was also a late bloomer as far as books go. Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shanna hooked me. I went on to read the other two you mentioned, followed by Rosemary Rogers and a few others. Then I found Sandra Brown and I became an instant romantic suspense/mystery reader.

I still remember how much I loved my first romance. It was what propelled me into writing books, even though I tried and failed miserably at romance novels. Thanks goodness, I got my mystery mojo going.

Sylvia said...

Hi Liz,
I really like your myster mojo! Can't wait for the next one.


Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Sylvia,
I don't remember my first book, but I do remember loving Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, anything about Merlin and sneaking peeks at Mom's Harlequin's. I read a few romance books, but didn't really get into them until my 30s when I read one of Sherrilyn Kenyon's. Was hooked from then on! :)

Marianne Stephens said...

I can't remember which book was my "first"...but I adored Barbara Cartland and read all of her books that I could find. I have a collection of her books I'll NEVER get rid of!

Julio Sporer said...

In my case, my love for books started with the series Sweet Valley Twins. This is followed by the Sweet Valley High series, and then the Nancy Drew mystery series. Anyway, I think of reading as a form of exercise -- in this case, you are giving your brain cells a little workout. I hope this simple analogy encourages more kids to take up the habit of regular reading. :)