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My Love Affair with the Romance Genre

I’m an avid reader, and I have been since I learned my ABCs. I remember going to the book fair at my elementary school and begging my mom to let me add “just one more” to the stack of books she already held. My parents had to watch their budget, yet she always said “yes” to more books.

I spent hours devouring books like Ramona and Beezus and The Babysitter’s Club series. In the summer, when my friends were listening to their boom boxes, I was curled up with a book.

As I got older, I remember wandering through the used book store in my neighborhood, my arms loaded down with paperbacks. It was there that I discovered Sunfire books. Do you remember them? They were young adult historical romances, and the book titles were the names of the heroines.

I still remember most of the Sunfire books, even 20 years later. I remember the heroines, the plots, the romances. I remember the way I held my breath when the heroines had to choose the life she wanted including the man she wanted to be with. Would she make the right choice?

Oh, how I loved those books!

Sunfire introduced me to romance, and from there I started reading category romances from Harlequin and Silhouette. I was way too young to be reading those kinds of books, no question about it, but my mom didn’t stop me. She did however prevent me from watching R-rated movies.

One of the first adult romances I ever remember reading was Leigh Michaels’ Strictly Business, a book about best friends who had grown up together and now were partners in the family business. I’m still partial to a good friends-to-lovers romance. And I love romances set in the workplace.

When I reached my teens I started reading full-length novels, both historical and contemporary. While my friends hung out at the mall, I stayed home with a book.

I was never without a book. I even carried one in my purse just in case I got bored or had some extra time to read. Nowadays, I don’t get to read as much as I’d like because I’m busy writing.

I’d love to hear how you got started reading romances. How long have you been reading? What was the first romance novel you read?

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