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Topic: How Long Have You Been Reading Romances?

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Subject: How Long Have You Been Reading Romances?
Date Posted: 11/10/2007 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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So when did you discover romance novels, and how long have you been reading them? Did you inherit reading them from a family member or friend, or discover them on your own?

My mom read them, but I was never interested until a friend brought in a Blaze title into my 11th grade psychology class. She couldn't believe the sex scenes, and read out enough that I demanded to read it after her. Then my friend Ashley on the other side of me heard, and when she heard about the sex scenes she liked repeating "girl, you're crazy!" Of course, when I finished she demanded to read it too :)

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I used to read the teen romances when I was about 13, so I guess that's when I started.  It dropped off for awhile in my 20's - life you know, but now in my late 30's - its practically all I read.  The occasional mystery but thats it.

I love experiencing the first moments of the romance, the great sex and the happy endings.  You can't get that in your everyday life.


Date Posted: 11/10/2007 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2005
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I started when I was 13 and my mom introduced me to Bertrice Small. 

I loved feeling as if I was there standing off in the distance watching everything happening.

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2006
Posts: 1,099
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I was in Jr. High I believe and it was Barbara Cartland which got me started.  I actually think the books belonged to my older sister.


Date Posted: 11/10/2007 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
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I always had a book with me when I was a kid.  For romances, I started out with those teenage romances that I found in the local bookstore.  Graduated to the adult romances when I was in High School and I've stuck with them ever since.

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I use to be a romance snob.  My mother was a big Danielle Steele fan but I never read any. I still haven't ever read one of her books. Or a Nora Roberts.  I don't know why.  I got into romances when DH went back to sea duty 2yrs ago.  He had just left for his first deployment in 4yrs and I was feeling down.  I was looking at books and picked up The Maid of Lorne by Terri Brisben.  It looked interesting and so I bought it and became hooked on romances.  Now it's pretty much all I read. 

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 36
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When I was a senior in High School, my boyfriend's mom gave me a copy of Ransom by Julie Garwood.  I was hooked from that moment.  But of course as I was reading it, either on a sports trip or at home, I just knew that when I got to a sex scene that everyone around me knew exactly what I was reading, and of course I would get embarased at those parts.  But that soon passed, and I ran out and bought everything else Garwood wrote.  But several hundred books later, Ransom is still my favorite romance.  Probably because it was the first romance novel I read.  Any one else feel that way?

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 1,008
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I discovered them in college.  I rode public transportation to class and there was a UBS at the place where I changed buses. One rainy day I went in to browse and stay dry, not really having any concept of  a UBS.  I felt like I'd found a treasure chest.  I read my way through romances and most other genres, fiction and nonfiction, for 25 years , but pretty much settled into romances about 10 years ago.  They are relaxing and fun, and my keepers are my "friends" that move with me when I change locations.

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2007
Posts: 745
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I started with teen romances in junior high--Does anyone remember the Couples books??--and by the time I was in high school, I was reading historical romances....for me the draw was the history since I am a big history buff...My first (and one of my favorites) was Moontide Embrace by Constance O'Banyon--set during the American Civil War...I loved reading about different time periods--Regency England, the Scottish Highlands, American Civil War, the American West.

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I was hooked when I was about twelve, then gave them up cold turkey, except for Heyer.  Then a couple of years ago I found myself reading _The Bride and the Beast_ by Teresa Medeiros and I was hooked again! I was really put off by sex in romances until then.

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2006
Posts: 749
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My grandmother always read romance. As teens my sister and I used to tease her  about always being able to open her books to the sex scenes. We were more into Stephen King and the books we had to read for school. I didn't really make time for reading in my 20s until I started having kids and then it was books for them. When my gram's health started failing I started going to the UBS for her. When she passed away I got her credit for the UBS(it was over $200!). It was around the time Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts came out. For some reason every time I went to Walmart that book caught my attention. I finally bought it, enjoyed it and used my newly inheritted UBS credit to get more Nora Roberts books.They were more enjoyable thanTV. I was hooked. I think that was almost 4 years ago. I have since expanded my romance reading beyond Nora Roberts but I still have Blue Dahlia on my keeper shelf.

Last Edited on: 11/10/07 10:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2007 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,075
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I always loved to read but I started reading romances in high school--mostly Barbara Cartland and the early Harlequins. While I do read lots of different kinds of books still, I love romances of any kind but really love the ones with an original story. And like someone else mentioned, you can pretty much figure that it will be a book with a  happy ending and who couldn't use more of those?

Date Posted: 11/11/2007 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I've been reading romances since I was probably 15.  Still am a Regency romance fan, 25+ years later!

Date Posted: 11/11/2007 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 381
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Erika, I know what you mean about always having a soft spot for the books you start off with!  I started reading romance novels when I was 15 or so, with Julie Garwood's Lion's Lady, and that series is still on my keeper shelf today (okay, I'll age myself -- 15 years later!).

Not so big on the historicals anymore, although if Garwood, Judith McNaught or Elizabeth Lowell would come out with any romance novels, I'd run out and get 'em.  Their more recent "thriller romance" stuff has been less than thrilling.

Date Posted: 11/11/2007 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2006
Posts: 16
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I started with the teen romances while in 5th or 6th grade.  My cousin lived in MA and would fly down here to TX every summer and she read Harlequins and would some of the behind.  I was about 12 when I started reading those.  I got into historicals, even though it's been awhile since I've read one, by another cousin who gave me a book by Constance O'Bannion.  I remember being 14 and having a box of Harlequins sent to the house-I had quite a collection growing.

Date Posted: 11/11/2007 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
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I remember occasionally reading the teen romances from library, i did not read alot back then because i was busy with school, a part time job, sports and a social life. Then sometime after i had graduated high school, i found an old copy of a Victoria Holt novel that my mother was given(she never reads) and was shoved in a drawer in our living room end tables and decided to read it. I was totally hooked on romance novels since! Though i do read other genres,,,,,,i'm always up for a good romance.

Lori V. (cjsmom) - ,
Date Posted: 11/12/2007 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 423
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I started with the teen books in JR high too.  My mom got a shipment of S-Desire every month and I started reading them.  We would argue who got to read the man of the month first.  :)  I guess as far back as I can recall I have been reading them and always will.


Date Posted: 11/12/2007 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 26,477
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I've always read but I didn't start reading romances until I was in my (cough) 40s.   I'd read mysteries, spy thrillers and true crime for years but I finally figured out that's why I was depressed.  After not reading any books for close to a year, a friend handed me a romance novel.  I was a book snob but a desperate one.  Although I convinced myself (just by reading the back cover) that I knew exactly what was going to happen, I started reading.

Boy was I surprised. There was a lot more depth to the book than I'd expected.  I've rarely strayed from romances since then.

My first was Ransom by Julie Garwood. 

ETA:  Julie Garwood's next book will be another historical!  I don't think anyone does them better than she does!

Last Edited on: 11/12/07 10:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/12/2007 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I think I was in high school and had to sneak around to read them. I remember reading barbara cartland a lot and I'd buy my mom romance novels for christmas/bday/mother's day and read them before I wrapped them up! I remember barbara cartland's 'curse of the clan' or something like that, mason's ridge, janet dailey, and kay hooper's zach's law...

Date Posted: 11/13/2007 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
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I was around 14 or 15. Started out with Victoria Holt, Barbara Cartland, and Harlequins then graduated to Kathleen Woodwiss.

I got married and we didn't have money for books (no PBS back then) so I went several years without reading (I guess it was the out of sight, out of mind thing). I had a co-worker give me some books about 7 years ago and I was hooked again.

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 6,358
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Last Edited on: 1/20/09 11:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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My first romance was Shanna at about 15/16; not impressed.  Did not start reading romance again until last year, so about 1-1/2 years. 

Date Posted: 11/17/2007 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2007
Posts: 2
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I think I started reading them in high school.  I just found one and read it and was hooked.  I think the thing I love the most is that it is the most perfect love and the he loves her she hates him until the end that gets me.