Today is the second day in a row that I’ve seen reference to “the first romance you’ve ever read,” not in those words exactly. First I was asked the question, what book changed your life? Well, for me, that would have to be my first romance. It introduced me to a world where I found comfort and caring and escape when I needed it, and later where I found what I wanted to be when I grew up. Today I saw another author writing about her first romance (thanks, Erin Kellison) and realized the topic must be fate. So here I am writing about my first romance.
I haven’t told you yet, have I? It was Captive Bride by Johanna Lindsey. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss was the second. I was home on vacation from boarding school–I was sixteen–and my mother handed me the two books. She said her friend had given these to her because her friend loved them. My mother read them and didn’t like them (my mother doesn’t like romance–heck, she doesn’t like fiction much; she likes to read biographies and histories best), but she gave them to me to read anyway. Little did she know that she was about to change my world.
I was an innocent teenager (really, I was) and the books showed me SEX. They were titillating and exciting, full of adventure and then, to top it all off, they had HAPPY ENDINGS! I must have read them each four or five times that summer. And then I tried Sweet Savage Love (yeah, I won’t go into how much that traumatized me–must have if I can still remember it so vividly) and realized I had to tread carefully because not all romance books were the same.
I’d have to say that Captive Bride and Flame and the Flower, for all that they were rapey (ahh, those early romances), set up my taste for romances in the future. I like romances with lots of action and characters who don’t carry too much baggage (Yes, I know Heather was an orphan with an evil aunt, etc, but she never seemed to let her background overwhelm her). And now I write them. All thanks to my mother who passed me two books and said, “Why don’t you read these?” (only it sounded like “Vie dohnt u reed dees” in her Hungarian accent–remember to roll your Rs in your head)
So my question to you is, what was your first romance?
And don’t forget the giveaway going on now–a wand and the entire Time of Transition series, with three additional winners who can choose one from any of the three books.
Books I’m reading now:
Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
My Favorite Bride by Christina Dodd