I have loved to read for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories as a kid of the books that I read and how they made me feel. That was back in the days before Kindles and Amazon, ebooks and self-publishing. I read all my Mum’s Catherine Cookson books, then began to look further afield.
I had a library card and I wasn’t afraid to use it!
It was a rare day when I didn’t have my 10 book allocation piled up on the desk by my bed. Danielle Steel, Jilly Cooper, Jude Deveraux, Judith Krantz, LaVyrle Spencer, Barbara Delinsky, Susan Lewis to name just a few of the authors that I used to look out for. God, that list takes me back! The only author who I read anymore from that list is LaVyrle Spencer because Morning Glory is one of the best books I’ve ever read. But that’s not to take anything away from the pleasure I got from those books at the time.
I was transported from my little bedroom in suburban England, to London, New York, San Fransisco, rural America, China and beyond.
I watched love stories unfold and heartbreak strike and I lived through it all because I knew I was going to get a happy ending. Some people hate that; they laugh and smirk and patronise the romance genre because of it but that is exactly what I love. I want to know that the characters and their lives that I’m currently immersed in are going to be together when I close the book. There is enough crap in life, I don’t want to read about it all the time as well!
Reading for me is about escaping to another world, another set of people and familiar tropes and story lines. There’s comfort in familiarity and knowing that I’m going to get a HEA or a HFN – either one is ok to be honest.
Romance is about all the ways you can fall in love and all the ways that love can become difficult. I like strong, gutsy main characters and a rowdy, funny supporting cast. I want to care about the characters and route for their success and their happy ending. I like my romance sexy and hot. What’s all that flirting and sexual tension about if there’s no pay off?! Right?
When I find an author that I love, I’m loyal and read pretty much everything that they’ve written. If I pick up a book and it doesn’t grab me within the first ten pages, you’ve lost a reader for life. There are too many good books out there to waste time on rubbish books (of which there are unfortunately many).
My reading tastes have changed over the years but not the genre. I may dip my toe in a thriller every once in awhile, but I always go back to my first reading love. I’m fairly sure romance books are a borderline addiction for me and I’m ok with that.
How about you?