Monday, August 31, 2015

Romance Novels and Me

Looking back on my childhood, I remember the stacks of Agatha Christie novels on our bookshelves, the Ellery Queen Magazines in a neat pile on one of the end tables and the latest Mary Higgins Clark novel always on my mother's bedside table. Needless to say, my mom was a dedicated mystery reader. She also bought me the entire Nancy Drew collection which I still have.

I stumbled across the very first romance novel I read quite by accident. I was in the library and had decided I'd read all the young adult novels the library owned that interested me so I was on the hunt for something else. Something new. Something different, maybe even a bit more grown up. Deciding to try reading one of those mystery books, I headed for the mystery section.

Along the way I had to pass a circular rack of books with white covers with oval centers picturing men and women in various poses. I'd stumbled upon Harlequin Presents. With titles like Bond of Hatred, A Woman Accused, and Hostage of the Hawk I thought these were mystery novels. With my mother hurrying my siblings and I toward the circulation desk, I picked up A Woman Accused by Sandra Marton and stuffed it between a few Babysitter's Club books a friend suggested I try.

I tried to reading one of the Babysitter's Club books and decided it wasn't for me. I then picked up the Harlequin book and was hooked. Every week when we'd go to the library, I'd pick up one or two more of those Harlequin Presents novels. Soon I was moving on to historical romance with their tales of dashing pirates and reformed rogues. From there, I moved on to romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and paranormal romance.

While I dealt with a lot of teasing from my siblings for reading romance, I stood fast and kept reading them and still do. I am  proud to say one of my older sisters now reads romance. And my mom has been reading romantic suspense novels the last few years. So now we trade books - I give her the romantic suspense novels I've read and she gives me the mysteries she's read.

Now if I could convince my two other sisters to give romance novels a try...

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