ionR: What Do You Consider To Be Your “First” Romance Read?

Posted February 26th, 2016 by in Blog, Features, ionR / 33 comments

What Do You Consider To Be Your “First” Romance Read?

ionR22I hope everyone has been having a great new year. Today we are discussing what the first “true romance” novel was that we ever read. We hope that you join us.
When I think of romance I usually think of modern-day authors and the reason behind that thought is that I spend most of time reading such books. Count back to my early youth and I spent any free time I could get my hands on reading romance novels that were written in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s. Novels such as those penned by authors like Linda Lael Miller, Anne Rice, Linda Howard and many more are credited to causing me to be bit by the romance bug at the tender age of twelve. My parents of course refused to accept the fact that I was ready to read romances, but the library had a bountiful supply and I wasn’t about to stop reading the genre that made my heart flutter and gave me hopes of someday finding my own prince charming.
Yet, before such authors there were F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte and others that were penning classic romances that readers still enjoy today. I wasn’t introduced to any of those authors I mentioned until high school. Sadly, many readers that I have interviewed over the years to do not consider those authors to be the first real romance read.
What exactly defines a true romance? Everyone has their opinion on the definition. Personally, a true romance for me has to have a HEA ending. X doesn’t really matter to me I can take it or leave it, but the ending has to be a happy one or I don’t consider it to be a romance novel.
To answer the question of the topic my first real romance book was Forever in the Night by Linda Lael Miller. The book might have been a paranormal-romance with a deadly, seductive vampire hero and a damsel-in-distress mortal for a heroine, but the book literally swept me off my feet and still does today. This is the one romance novel that I have read countless times to the point that I have had to purchase countless copies of the same novel because the spine begins to fall apart from the reading. Honestly, this is what it means for me to read a true romance novel a strong foundation of love, a HEA ending and of course heated, sensual scenes are never something to complain about when written correctly.
So think about to your first real romance read. It doesn’t have to be the first novel that you ever read or even the second or third. It just has to be a true romantic read that delivers all the wonderful feelings about being in love.

So now I have a question. What was your first true romance read? Please let us know in the comments below.




33 Responses to “ionR: What Do You Consider To Be Your “First” Romance Read?”

  1. Judy Wright

    1972 The Flame and the Flower was my first long romance but I’d read many, many Harlequins before that.

  2. doveknoll

    The first romance that swept me away was El Diablo. I don’t remember who wrote it but it was in the late 70’s or early 80’s. I loved the hero who was supposedly a criminal and was boss of a hidden community. The herione was kidnapped by one of the members who was actually evil. The story just carried me away and I was hooked. Anyone recognize the story and know the author, I would love to find it again. Used book stores are awesome. Lol

  3. Susan Kyser Frank

    Would have been a Harlequin Romance in 1972. I was babysitting for a neighbor and she had shelves of them. The first was probably one by Margaret Way or Essie Summers. That was also about the time I discovered Barbara Cartland. My first of those was Desire of the Heart – I still have a copy of that one.

  4. nikkiphilton

    While I read tons of teenage romance books from the library growing up, my first “real” romance was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss in 1972. I remember picking it off the wire spin rack at the drugstore in my little hometown the day before my mom packed me off to college. I was so upset–surprise summer school session to start college at age 17 did NOT sound exciting. I was leaving my high school boyfriend behind and was just. not. ready. I think I read TF&TF about 5 or 6 times that first semester! It got me through some very lonely times.

  5. Rita Wray

    The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. After reading the first one I read many books by Kathleen.

  6. Morgan Van Lier

    The Smithfield Bargain by Jo Ann Ferguson & A Hearts Treasure by Teresa DesJardien. I was 14 years old then and I’ve read them dozens of times since then. I still have the original copies but they’re falling apart. I’m having trouble finding new ones. Because of these 2 books I fell in love with Historical Romances and HEA’s and 15 years later it’s still my favorite.

  7. Christine Woinich

    I started with Kathleen Woodiwiss – The Flame and the Flower, The Wolf and the Dove as well as Johanna Lindsey. I did divert for a while to Horror (Stephen King) and Mystery (Agatha Christie), but came back to romance, mostly historical. I can’t get enough any more.

  8. pattygr

    Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain back in 1983 or 84. Love that book and own the hardcover as well as the trade size.

  9. Jennifer Zorko

    Mine were anything Susan Mallery. And in high school, Jane Austen made me hope for my Mr Darcy or Captain Wentworth to declare his undying love. So I do count Jane as one of my favorite romance writers.

  10. Mood Reader

    Rose by Leigh Greenwood. Was the first romance book *I* picked to read. They made me read Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen at school and of course I LOVED IT & count it as one of my all time favorites but Rose was the first one I decided to read many years ago! 🙂 <3

  11. dholcomb1

    I don’t know the titles–I used to steal, er borrow, my mom’s Harlequins when I was in middle school. Stories set in England in the early 80s. When she figured it out, she bought me teen romances. And, I read those through high school. She also gave me her nurse romance books from the 60s. I was allowed to pick out 2-3 teen romances per Scholastic order. My mom was a Harlequin junkie for decades.

    One I remember was called, P.S. I Love You. I think it was from Sweet Dreams.


  12. carolrossauthor

    Jane Eyre! I borrowed it from my best friend’s mom so many times, she finally gave it to me. Then I fell in love with the historical “Velvet Series” by Jude Deveraux. (I think they are actually called the Montgomery Annuals.) I’ve read each one numerous times!

  13. Gerd Duerner

    Couldn’t really say. The first I read knowing full well that it is the dreaded “Romance” was Donna Alward’s “A family for the rugged rancher”.

  14. Lisa M

    I consider OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon my first romance read … it was my first ‘READ’
    up until I was in my early -mid 20’s I HATED reading … and romance? UGH!
    My sister begged me to try this one book .. so I did … I LOVED it and the romance in it was awesome!
    It started me on a journey of discovery … I couldn’t tell you what the first book I read that was labeled ‘romance’ but this is the one I consider my first romance book

  15. Leone (@bookishromantic)

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your first true romance title(s) with us! We love reading your comments so please join us again next week. If you are just now seeing this article, please feel free to leave us a comment and we will certainly respond! :)) Happy weekend!

  16. Nina

    Paradise by Judith McNaught. It was my older’s sister’s paperback that I would steal and sneak to read when she was at work. Good times

  17. Debra

    I was in sixth grade. I was a book nerd back then. My parents brought home a bag of Harlequin book’s and Barbara Cartlinds. But that was back in the late sixties.

  18. ndluebke

    It’s hard to remember back that far. I know the first mysteries I read were Nancy Drew in the 1960’s and I know in highschool I read Anna Karina by Tolstoy which is a heavy piece of work. That would have been in the early 70’s. But can’t remember the first romance.

  19. smutmatters

    My first was either The Black Swan by Day Taylor or Cassie Edwards book involving pirates and lighthouses. Eden’s Promise, I think. I read them around the same time and it was thirty years ago, so I don’t remember exactly which one came first, but it was definitely one of those two.

  20. laurieg72

    The first romance novel I read was Forgiving by LaVyrle Spencer, I picked it up by a pool while on a Florida vacation. I also enjoyed Good Housekeeping magazine’s monthly novels. There was one by Nora Roberts and several by LaVryle Spencer.

  21. kermitsgirl

    The first one I distinctly remember was The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux when I was 14. It’s a little bit paranormal and plays heavily into the What-If, which totally intrigued me.

    I know I read some before this, but this is the one that turned me into a romance junkie. Before that I stuck mostly to fantasies about unicorns and things like the Lord of the Rings books.

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