by Samantha James

I pondered long and hard on what to write about in today's blog. Makeovers was my first choice, since ONE MOONLIT NIGHT has a fabulous brand new look. Then, I remembered I'd already blogged about makeovers last year.

So I had to go to my next choice, which happens to be...who got you hooked?

On romance novels, of course. What author and book made you into a die-hard romance fan? I thought I'd share mine, then realized I couldn't cite just one. So, I've decided to give you a few of my early favorites that turned me into a rabid romance fan.

Gothic romances were my first foray into romance. I loved Virginia Coffman's MOURA and Dorothy Eden's RAVENSCROFT. I'd have liked a little more sex, though I know my mother wouldn't have approved, since I was only about ten or so--good thing she didn't know I was reading them.

When I was in my teens, I discovered Anya Seton. Her book KATHERINE came into my hands and never left. This is one of my all-time favorite books. Some call it historical fiction rather than historical romance. Either way, it's a fantastic, heartrending story. It gave me my love of history and my love of romance.

Have a box of tissues ready if you haven't read KATHERINE--you'll need them. GREEN DARKNESS is another gem, but keep the tissues ready for that one, too!

When books started getting a little meatier (read: sexier), I was in heaven. I adored THE FLAME AND FLOWER by Kathleen Woodiwiss, MOONSTRUCK MADNESS by Laurie McBain. Who wouldn't fall for a guy named Lucien, Duke of Camareigh?

Another early favorite was GYPSY MOON by Shirlee Busbee. All of these are oldies but goodies. They may not be considered P.C. these days, but all of these authors got me hooked on romance. Eventually, I decided I needed my own Gypsy--enter Dominic St. Bride of ONE MOONLIT NIGHT.

So, what books and authors got you hooked on romance?

18 Comments:

Anonymous Michelle said:

I remember the first romance I read was Danielle Steele's Zora, but I don't think she (the author) was why I fell in love with romance novels. As a matter of fact, I can't even remember the authors I read after that. I just remember grabbing my grandmother's BIR stash and going crazy. The idea of reading (secretly from my mother as well) stories where the ending was always "Happily Ever After" was foreign before this and an absolute dream to a girl who HATED all the books she was forced to read in school. Who knew? I guess I should have invaded my neighbor's Sweet Valley High books when I was younger. I could've had an earlier start.

2:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The best historical I have read which also got me HOOKED, was
Penelope Williamson's
KEEPER OF THE DREAM

That is the best book, I swear I am still waiting for the follow-up(I can dream,can't I)..
Tal

3:02 PM  

Blogger Caffey said:

Hi Samantha! I'm thriled your books are coming out again, will be a joy to read your earlier books. I discovered historical romance books again maybe 6 years ago when I got on the internet. Before then I really didn't know what to read, mostly just picking up anything and reading it but was getting very burned out on some books and when I found a romance I looked for everything that author wrote and read them!
I read all of Victoria Holt's Gothic books! Her's were more contemp but still didn't feel like it when reading them years later! So she was one of the first romance authors I read. I don't remember what the first historical romance book I read was. I know tho that one of the earlier ones that I read and still stays with me today, Catherine Anderson's ANNIE'S SONG. I too read many of Kathleen Woodiwess's books! I had to dig for those on my mom's book shelf where she hid them behind the series books so she didn't think I knew they were there. Alot I read of Rosemary Rogers. So some of the authors names are coming to me! :) Going to look up yours you recommend. I love to have recommendations. Especially love to read new to me authors both debuts and those I missed.

I'm going to have fun over here, I love to chat historical romances and love the Avon books!

3:53 PM  

Blogger Jane said:

"One Moonlit Night" was the first book I read by you. The cover was red, but I like the new blue one, too. MY first romance was Julie Garwood's "The Bride" and I've been hooked since. I was also a big fan of Jude Devereaux.

4:08 PM  

Blogger Helen said:

Great post Samantha, the first romance I read way back was Rosemary Rogers Sweet Savage Love and I was hooked I read all of Kathleen Woodiwiss all of Johanna Lindsey and all of yours Samantha your books are a big reason why I love romance they are just not put downable once I start one.
I have also read Julie Garwoods historicals and Jude Devereaux and Judith McNaught.
I read mainly historicals and I love the fact that they take me back in time and on wonderful adventures.
Have Fun
Helen

4:17 PM  

Blogger Samantha James said:

Michelle, had to LOL when you mentioned Sweet Valley High books. One of my daughters LOVED those books. I didn't know she was reading mine until I found Gabriel's Bride under the bed. Now she's a big Lisa Kleypas fan And she's still reading my books--she usually does the first read while I'm working on a book!

5:15 PM  

Blogger Pam P said:

Samantha, I loved Seton and read all the gothics in my teens - Eden, Holt, Whitney, etc., and Daphne DuMaurier (Frenchman's Creek had me liking pirates). My aunt gave me Danielle Steel, then Rosemary Rogers, but a friend gave me The Wolf and the Dove by Woodiwiss, that's the one that got me into historical romance and regencies. I found so many others after, Heyer, Garwood.

5:51 PM  

Blogger Samantha James said:

Sorry, I had to dash off to answer the phone--it was a wrong number, wouldn't you know it!

Jane, I also loved Julie Garwood's THE BRIDE. What's the hero's name? Jamie? I might be thinking out Outlander . . . Believe it or not, I haven't read Jude Devereau, but I have a friend who raves about KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR.

5:56 PM  

Blogger Samantha James said:

Pam, how could I have forgotten Daphne DuMaurier and Frenchman's Creek?

This is taking me down memory lane to the days when I never dreamed I'd be a writer!

6:00 PM  

Blogger WK said:

Mine would be Pamella Belle's MOON ON THE WATER and Jude Deveraux's VELVET SERIES. Once I found Deveraux in the early 90s I was hooked and move on to anything set in the Highlands. My first love will always be historicals but then I moved to Contemps and military romance and so. Now I read just about anything.LOL

hugs,
WendyK

9:12 PM  

Blogger Samantha James said:

Gotta love those Highlanders! In fact, the hero Alec in my next book, BRIDE OF A WICKED SCOTSMAN, is headed back to the Highlands.

11:14 PM  

Blogger glworm said:

Starting reading Jean Plaidy historicals, progressed onto her HR under Victoria Holt personna. What really got me going was KEW's "Flame and the Flower" and it snowballed once I found Stephanie Laurens and the rest of the Avon authors. I scour the new releases every month to add to my collection. I also have the original "One Moonlight Night" (a bit dogeared), as I tend to buy all books of an author if I like their writing style. Sorry for long comment, but you got me going on a subject I enjoy.

5:45 AM  

Blogger Samantha James said:

Oh, don't apolgize for going long. I could have gone on and on with the column. I didn't realize so many other readers besides me were tuned in to Gothics before progressing to straight historical authors. A lot of familiar names have come up with the genre really started to take off - KEW, Rosemary Rogers, Jude Deverau,Johanna Lindsay and more.

What to authors like to talk about when we get together with other authors. Books. What do readers do when the get together. The talk books and authors. Put the two together and conversations could go on for hours.

6:30 AM  

Anonymous kieta2006 said:

WOW WHAT A GREAT QUESTION MY FIRST READ WAS I VC. ANDREWS LOVED HER BOOKS I JUST KEPT READING THEM OVER THEN ONE DAY I WAS IN THE LIBRARY AND DECIDED I WANTED TO TRY SOMETHING NEW SO I GRABBED A BOOK WITH A GREAT TITLE AND IT WAS JOHANNA LINDSEY___SAY U LOVE ME AND I WAS HOOKED AND START FINDING GREAT WEB SITES LIKE AVON ATHORS THAT REALLY GIVE GOOD REVIEWS AND FRIENDLY PEOPLE TO CHAT WITH for support I CAN'T SEE MYSELF NOT READING A BOOK NOW!

9:05 AM  

Blogger Samantha James said:

So many good books keep popping into my head. Another great one that made me itch to write historicals is A ROSE IN WINTER by Kathleen Woodiwiss - the one where the hero wears a mask and the heroine thinks he must have some horrid disfigurement but falls in love with him anyway.

(Forgive the typos from my other post. I have a cordless keyboard that's rather temperamental (and probably just needs new batteries)

1:59 PM  

Blogger Jane said:

Hi Samantha,
Jamie was the heroine in "The Bride." The hero's name was Alec Kincaid.

5:51 PM  

Blogger Samantha James said:

Jamie, yes!!!I knew there was a "Jamie" in there somewhere. And how funny--Alec is the hero in BRIDE OF A WICKED SCOTSMAN.

Quite a delicious hero, I might add.

6:10 PM  

Blogger Moon Goddess Lae said:

I hate romance novels..But I'm gonna find this book..

4:32 AM  

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