I saw this tag on Beth’s blog, Reading Every Night, a while ago and thought it’d be a fun idea, although at the time I couldn’t choose between doing a fantasy-themed one and a romance-themed one since those are two of my favorite genres. But I was looking for some sort of tag to pair with the romance giveaway I’m announcing at the end of this post, so romance it is!
Also, shoutout to Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek for creating this tag!
What’s your favorite genre?
Well, I kind of already spoiled this…I would say my favorite genres are romance, fantasy, and historical nonfiction (memoirs are becoming a favorite genre, too), but for the purposes of this tag, we’re going to go with romance!
Who is your favorite author from the genre?
I genuinely cannot pick just one favorite, so you’re getting a list here! I’m personally partial to historical romances, and some of my current favorites are Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Julia Quinn, and Alyssa Cole. All of those authors are pretty much on auto buy!
I also grew up reading Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, and Johanna Lindsey (The Js!! I like Judith McNaught, too, but I didn’t read as many of her books), so I would definitely consider them some of my favorites too, though it’s been a while since I’ve picked up their works.
What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?
You know, I’ve thought about this a lot because, at the end of the day, romances are always about two people falling in love and I know they’re going to end up happily ever after, so there really aren’t any surprises here. But they somehow get me every time! And I still struggle to articulate why.
I think I just love reading about people falling in love. And no matter what happens, no matter how dark the darkest moment in a romance is, I know the two main characters are going to get a happily ever after, which makes me willing to stick with the characters through a lot of emotional turmoil. And I love the satisfied feeling I get after reading a great romance and knowing that all is right with the world.
I’m doing a terrible job of explaining why I love reading romance so much, but I could ramble on about my love for romance for ages. Maybe one day I’ll do a full blog post about it!
What’s the book that started your love for the genre?
I love asking romance readers this question, because they always have such great stories! For me, I was reading through Meg Cabot’s backlist and didn’t think anything of the fact that she wrote under different pen names, since a lot of my favorite books of hers were written as Jenny Carroll but were being republished as Meg Cabot. So I just dove into her Patricia Cabot books.
As it turns out, Patricia Cabot was her pen name for her romance novels. Adult romance novels. Most of them were historicals (which I have since read and really enjoyed), but I happened to pick up She Went All the Way first, which was a contemporary. I was shocked to find books that were just about the romance, instead of having romance as a side plot, and I became obsessed!
I was a seventh grader, by the way. So about 12 years old when I first became hooked on romance. And no, I did not understand what the title of She Went All the Way meant when I read that book. It seems young in hindsight, but honestly, it’s amazing how many people find the genre at that age.
Another of my earliest experiences with romance novels was slipping the dust jacket off of a copy of The Raider by Jude Deveraux and throwing it on the top shelf of the bookstore so no one would know what I was buying. Deveraux quickly became one of my all time favorite romance novelists, and was definitely my gateway into the historical romance genre. But it all started with my love for Meg Cabot!
If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading the genre, what would you choose and why?
I always feel so much pressure answering this question, because there’s so much stigma around the romance genre that I’m afraid I’ll point someone in the wrong direction and they’ll assume they dislike the entire genre based on one book and never give romance a fair shot. But there’s sooooo much in the romance genre that it really depends on what you’re already reading as to what you might like. I firmly believe there’s something out there for everyone, you just might have to dig a bit to find something parallel to your interests before diving in.
That said, I’m personally a big fan of the historical subgenre. You’d think that would mean there are a ton of historical settings to choose from, but the reality is they’re mostly set in Regency or Victorian England. Though we’re starting to see more Gilded Age historicals, and of course Beverly Jenkins has been writing American-set historicals for decades.
So take my starting-point recommendations with a grain of salt, but I personally love Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare, and I think Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean is a good one to start with, too. You could also try some more classics, like The Duke and I by Julia Quinn or Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter is one of Kleypas’ most beloved books, and while people generally say you can read series out of order, I think you miss out on a lot of general worldbuilding when you do).
Rincey recently did a great video on BookRiot’s YouTube channel about her experience finally finding books she likes in the romance genre, and the one that seems to have most gotten her hooked is A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole. I can attest that this is a great romance and could be a really good place to start, especially with all of the royal wedding fervor. And The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is another contemporary that I think is pretty accessible to people outside the genre, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of my favorite romances of this year. So there’s that.
If you want a more personalized recommendation, feel free to ask for one in the comments! Hopefully as a community we can point you in the right direction.
Why do you read?
Why do I read? Probably because I can’t not read. Reading is my absolute favorite form of entertainment, plus I love learning and I learn so much from my reading. Yes, even romance—I can’t tell you how many of the random facts and historical tidbits I’ve picked up from romance novels. But you also learn a lot about relationships and communication from romance, too, which is invaluable information. Reading also how I unwind and relax after a stressful day. There’s literally nothing like sinking into a good book, and romance is one genres that is most guaranteed to suck my in quickly and make me forget about everything else. So I read because I have to and because I love it.
This giveaway is now closed.
Alright, time for the giveaway! Avon was kind enough to send me an extra copy of The Rogue by Katharine Ashe as part of the Avon Addict program to share in a giveaway. However, you guys are getting extra lucky because they sent me a couple of books I already own, so I’m throwing in copies of Disorderly Conduct by Tessa Bailey and A Scandalous Deal by Joanna Shupe as well. One lucky read will win all three books!
The Rogue involves former lovers infiltrating a secret Scottish society together, which sounds awesome, and I totally wanted a copy of Disorderly Conduct just for the cover. I’ve heard good things about both of these books, but somehow still haven’t gotten to them yet! I definitely need to remedy that soon. And Shupe is an auto-buy author for me, and this story—a Gilded Age historical about a lady architect who finds out that her one night stand on a transatlantic ship is actually her new boss—is one of my favorite romances I’ve read so far this year! So it’s definitely a great lineup of books.
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below telling me how you got started in the romance genre! It doesn’t have to be too elaborate, I just love hearing how people found romance novels. And if you’re not a romance reader but you still want to enter, let me know which of the three books in the giveaway you’d like to start reading first.
Only one entry per person. The giveaway will remain open until midnight Eastern on Monday, May 28. I’ll use a randomizer to pick the winning entry on Tuesday, and the winner will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address and claim the book.
I apologize to my international readers, but this is for U.S. residents only. If you’re commenting but not entering the giveaway, please let me know by saying you’re not entering or ending your comment with your country in brackets, or something to that extent. I promise to do an international giveaway soon!