Francine Pascal. Diana Gabaldon. Jane Austen. Stephenie Meyer.
What do these talented writers have in common? They introduced me to romance!
I spent the weekend trying to pinpoint the exact moment romance as a genre got me. You know, when you first fell in love with fictional love, and wanted to get high on it again, and again?
It was gradual for me. It was Sweet Valley High and the love lives of twins Elizabeth and Jessica. It was discovering that Mr. Darcy was (shock and awe) actually pretty darn hot. And it was falling in love with Jamie and Claire in Outlander.
I laid out the journey below. Do you see any oldies that you recognize?
By book six in my chart I knew I was hooked. I inhaled twelve historical romances one summer break (”The Summer I Turned into a Binge Reader” would be my version of the Amazon TV show).
And then I discovered Mariana Zapata, and she led me to Kindle Unlimited… and there were some lovely indie romances just patiently waiting for me to discover them.
It was the start of a love affair and a career.
What book introduced you to the romance genre? I'd love to hear your journey!
Happy reading, Olivia
The book titles that shaped me
Double Love, by Francine Pascal. I brought these books everywhere with me as a tween.
Wild Magic, Tamora Pierce A fantastic YA series that had a slow-burn, student-mentor romance. I was obsessed.
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen The queen of romance. This was my first Austen book and Darcy is still one of the best heroes in the game.
Outlander, Diana Gabaldon Oh my. I read this earlier than I should've and fell head-over-heels for the two main characters and their explosive love story.
Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer No words needed, except two: Team Edward.
Scandal in Spring, Lisa Kleypas I LOVE Lisa Kleypas’s books. I’ve read every single one of her regency romances. Go on. Quiz me about them.
A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J. Maas Fantasy and the most epic of romance arcs. This book opened my eyes to "darker" romance themes. Obsessed.
Kulti, Mariana Zapata This is slow-burn genre romance, with deep characters, and it's incredibly romantic. It opened my eyes to Kindle Unlimited romance...
The Hating Game, Sally Thorne; Only You, Melanie Harlow; Hot Shot Doc, R.S. Grey Melanie, Sally and Rachel opened my eyes to the world of independently published romance. Their books are fun and feel-good and I wondered... could I write in the genre myself?