Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My First Romance

No, I'm not talking about the crush I had on Stephen White in fourth grade. I'm talking about the first romance novel I ever read.

It was only about ten years ago. I was sitting outside my office, re-reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and a co-worker walked up and asked what I was reading. She'd never heard of Jane Austen, but I described the story and she said, "If you like that sort of book, you might like the book I just finished." And she handed me THE LION'S LADY by Julie Garwood.

LOL! Sorry Miss Austen, but I never looked back!

THE LION'S LADY remains one of my favorite romances--probably because it was my first. I've had to buy new copies because I've re-read it so many times. One thing I love about Julie Garwood's writing is her humor. In THE LION'S LADY, the heroine Christina can't stop lying to the hero. Though British, she was raised by a Native American Indian tribe and she's got so many secrets, she can't keep them all straight. The hero, Lyon, is a big, tough warrior spy whose first wife betrayed him, so of course he doesn't trust women. There are scenes in this book that are laugh-out-loud funny, and the plot has plenty of interesting twists and turns. If you've never read it, I highly recommend that you race right out and buy it!

A few years later, I finally read my first contemporary romance, Nora Roberts' BORN IN FIRE. Before that, I'd never heard of Nora Roberts. What rock was I living under?? As you can imagine, I had a lot of catching up to do. I went crazy on eBay, buying up every vintage Nora I could find. If I'd only waited a year or so, I could've bought some of the Harlequin reissues of these same books. But I couldn't wait. I had to have everything I could get my hands on!

BORN IN FIRE is still one of my favorite books, along with the other two books in the trilogy. And yes, I've had to buy new copies over the years because I re-read all three at least once a year. And I still get the same feeling I did that first time I read the opening scene with Maggie and her father driving out to Loop Head. It takes my breath away just thinking about it.

Do you remember the first romance novel you ever read? Is it still your favorite? Was it historical or contemporary? Tell me about it!


Blogger Maureen Child said...

Oh God.....so many books!!! I remember reading Jude Deveraux' VELVET series (historicals) and being completely swept away. And Julie Garwood's too of course. Like THE BRIDE.

But oh, then there's SHANNA... Still have my original hardcover of that one, of course, there's a rubber band holding it all together! And Nora's CARNAL INNOCENCE, the all time best romantic suspense that I read at least twice a year. (Sarah does too, now, by the way)

And BORN IN FIRE is easily one of my favorites.

Just can't imagine living a life without romance novels in it!

1:20 PM  
Blogger Gina Black said...

I was a Rosemary Rogers girl... I remember reading The Wildest Heart and not being able to put it down or go where I was supposed to be going until I finished it. :happy sigh:

I'd been reading whatever I could up til that point that was romantic... Katherine by Anya Seton is still one of my very favorites and I reread it regularly.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Gina! Oh yes, I read every Rosemary Rogers I could get my hands on! But I never read KATHERINE. I'm going to have to look for it.

Maureen, the Velvet series was wonderful, too. And I seriously loved The Bride. That opening scene was worth the price of the book.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Rosemary Rodgers SWEET SAVAGE LOVE, I think I was 14, sheesh!

I remember THE LYON'S LADY! I loved that book! I tried writing historical romances because of Julie Garwood. I tortured a lot of editors with those unpublished manuscripts, LOL!

9:50 AM  
Blogger MariaGeraci said...

I read my first romance at the age of 28. It was Honor's Splendor, by Julie Garwood and it was given to me by someone at work. I have to confess, I was romance snob until then! Now, I can't get enough of em!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

I'm with you, Maria. I was pretty snooty about my reading tastes but then I read that first Julie Garwood and never looked back!

8:23 PM  

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