June 30, 2014 by Heidi
When I started blogging, I’d never read romance. Check that, the only romance novel I’d read was some pulp paperback I’d dug out of a miscellaneous box handed to us by our History of the Book professor in college. She required us all to read one as romance was, is, and may forever be the bestselling genre out there. I think the one boy in my class got a particular kick out of this assignment.
That said, even with the collegiate-level discussions as to why people read romance, I didn’t get it. I was still a bit of a snob who looked down on the hordes of women who keep that bit of the industry alive, and certainly never saw myself becoming one. But then I joined the blogosphere, and slowly, ever so slowly, I learned to love.
I started with some of the more literary romance like Shannon Hale’s Austenland, and began thinking ‘huh, that was fun, maybe there’s something to this whole romance thing’. It was funny, light, and just made me feel good. Since then, I’ve fallen deeper down the rabbit hole to the point where I can now read sex in books without batting an eye (despite what those who read Outlander with me experienced), I actually shop willing and openly in the romance section, and I even wait impatiently for new releases by those women who have become my staple authors.
And I get it now. I’ve learned that reading romance doesn’t make you an idiot, in fact, it’s a good way to kick back and relax when you’re completely fried and need some mental downtime. Having spent the last 10 month planning a long-distance wedding, I need romance more now than ever. The last few months have spiraled into a veritable binge, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Here’s what I’ve been tearing through:
In May I went through what was the craziest author binge I’ve ever been through when I read four Kristan Higgins books back to back. This might not seem like much to many readers, but for me it was insane. I never read two books by the same author in a row, let alone four. And I have to admit it–I’m completely addicted to Kristan Higgins’ books (just finished my fifth, Until There Was You, last night). We’ve reached this comfort zone where I go in knowing that the main female character is going to be realistically awkward but competent (in fact, she’ll likely have her own business), and the male will be a somewhat sullen but goodhearted widower/divorcee/something to that effect. There will be laughs, there will be swoons, and there will be a happy ending. Thus far, my favorite is All I Ever Wanted, but I’m a huge fan in general.
My reader friends have all been gushing about Laura Florand for what seems like ages now, but I wasn’t overly tempted. They seemed for those people who are in love with Paris, which wasn’t me. But when for my bachelorette party we decided to stay at Paris in Las Vegas, I figured I couldn’t find a better read for that pool by the fake Eiffel Tower. And boy howdy was that the right choice. Laura Florand’s books are hot and swoony, and utterly charming. I’ve still only read the first two in her Amour et Chocolat series, but I have the rest on hand for the coming weeks. The Chocolate Kiss is my running favorite–I loved its magical realism and drank hot chocolate like a fiend for weeks. Well, more hot chocolate than I normally do (when a girl gives up coffee, she has to turn somewhere).
Lately I’ve been filling my ears with a favorite, the pairing of Amanda Ronconi and Molly Harper. There’s just something about these books I’m completely addicted to. They’re not the swooniest (in fact, I rarely go for the guys in Molly Harper’s books), but the humor and southern comfort really gets me; I’ve found her to be a go-to staple for me when I get in that certain mood. I probably wouldn’t read her books in print (I only ever read two, and only enjoyed one of those), but on audio they’ve taken up an embarrassing amount of Audible credits.
I was disappointed in the narration for Attachments, but it was easy to forget about that and get completely sucked into Rainbow Rowell’s story. Fangirl is still in my top 5 reads of the year, and I’ll be queuing up Landline to start later today. Her romances are more on the literary side, and full of painfully delicious delayed gratification. I’m totally on the Rainbow Rowell fangirl bandwagon!
The Wedding Trip
We’re getting married in my hometown and heading out more than a week early, which means lots of travel time and some much-needed moments of down time midst all the craziness. Of course, we’ll also have a (short but sweet) minimoon wherein we’ve booked a private cabin at the edge of Yellowstone for a few nights. I plan to kick back, relax, and hopefully read a little–I’m planning to take these three with me, but do let me know if there are any other must-reads!
I’m getting married in less than a month. It’s likely you won’t here from me again till August, and while I feel bad about that, we can all sleep comfortably knowing I’m indulging in some good ol’ fashioned romance (novels) before I head to bed each night.
See you all after the mini-moon!