My First Romance (Novel)
Writing the previous blog got me thinking more about pre-teen and adolescent book discoveries...in particular, it reminded me about the first romance novel I ever read.
I was 11 years old and loved historical YA fiction--ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES--so I thought I hit the jackpot when, on a trip to the city dump with my dad, I found two FREE (!) historical looking books on the take-it-or-leave-it shelf. The first was the entirely age appropriate CHRISTY by Catherine Marshall...the second was called LOUISA ELLIOT by Anne Victoria Roberts...and YA fiction it was not.
No, it was a dark, gothic romance about a governess who is nearly debauched by her licentious employer and then wooed into disgrace by a handsome sea-captain, only to learn, after eloping with him, that he is married to an insane woman (Jane Eyre style). It was epic and I was transfixed (evidently, as I still remember the plot in detail). I don't think I did anything but sit wide-eyed and glued to the couch reading for two days straight.
What was the first romance you ever picked up? Did it belong to your mom or an older sister? And what would you recommend to a friend looking to get hooked? (I recently had my 19-year-old twin sisters start with DEVIL'S BRIDE and my college roommate with LORD OF SCOUNDRELS.)