Friday, February 17, 2012

Remembering The First Time

Remembering Your First.

Do you remember yours? And by this I mean romance novel, not what you were thinking!

I guess people can remember their first kiss, date and many others, but for many of us romance novels have been a part of our lives for so long we’ve forgotten where it all started.

My Nanna was an avid romance reader.  From a young age I recall our trips to the library, where she would search through endless copies of Mills and Boon, eventually choose around eight books, only to return a week later for more. We’d flick through the shelves, reading the blurbs and trying to find ones that she hadn’t read (or didn’t remember reading).  I’d get so excited when I found one for her that she could take home, and even though I didn’t understand the blurb I was entranced by the images and titles on the front covers.

I’m certain that’s where my love of romances started.

My Nanna preferred historical ones, though wasn’t adverse to a little contemporary, and during my high school years I read many genres trying to find my preference. Others laughed at my choice, romance not being the most ‘acceptable’ of categories, but I didn’t care. I’d sneak a book or two in my bag and manage to read as often as I could.  I got lost reading stories of love and passion with a happily ever after, soon forgetting the world around me.

I swiftly found that reading paranormal romance was the genre for me. Vampires that push the limits, dragons that ooze dominance and angels that define alpha make my knees weak.  However, like my Nan, I’m more than willing to try any kind of romance, as long as it makes me smile with happiness.

As a mother of boys, it’s doubtful I’ll be able to pass that love along, to take those trips to the library and wander around the romance section, but I see my eldest son already searching for his genre of books. He devours them faster than I… but I’m pretty sure he’d turn his nose up at a romance!

I get excited with him when he finds a book he adored and is ready to read again. It reminds me of the first time, those first books I still own, that started my addiction… that start my career as a writer.

So what was your first romance book? And how did you discover the genre?


  1. What a lovely story! Grannies are great for romance aren't they? My best friend showed me her mum's Nancy Friday books when I was a teenager - best thing ever!

  2. This post sure brought back memories for me. I first read Gone With the Wind when I was 13, at my mother's suggestion. I think this counts as my first romance, though I really had no clue about what went on after Rhett carried Scarlett up those curving stairs. Sometime shortly thereafter I discovered a line of paperback nurse romances. Wish I could remember those characters' names. I loved them! Then on to the Gothic romance phase with Rebecca and Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Sigh. But it wasn't until I found Kathleen Woodiwiss and her bodacious bodice-rippers that I realized that being a romance writer was for me. Woo-hoo! Thanks, Kathleen.

  3. Wow I have to think back a bit... My first was probably either Wuthering Heights which was a firm favorite when I was a rteenager or one of the many Georgette Heyer books popular when I was at school. I was never really attracted to M and B or Barbara Cartland.

    Great question though.

  4. I read my first romance book in high school. I don’t remember the title or the author, but I do remember how much I hated it. It was a 'kidnapped on a pirate ship' story and I spent the whole time being angry at the heroine because, in my opinion, she should have been smacking the hell out of the hero instead of kissing him (he was the ultimate jerk). I didn’t read another romance for years and years (yep, I was one of those people who thought "they’re all alike" despite the fact I had only read *one*). Then my sister gave me a copy of Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts, and when she told me was a romance I tried to give it back to her, but she kept insisting "I promise you'll like it". And I did :). Thanks, sis!