Romance ruined me!

I was a happy little SFF reader as a kid. Swords, monsters, dashing about on epic adventures, etc. Then I read Kathleen Woodiwiss’s A ROSE IN WINTER… And I was ruined! Ruined forevuh, I tell you! Just as a romance heroine meets her hero and no other man can ever again be enough for her, so I swooned into the arms of romance novels and my heart was won.

(Which is not to say that I don’t — like some wayward Beatrice Small heroine — occasionally step out on my beloved romancesย to dabble with some other worthy genre.)

Romances had all the things I loved about SFF — high stakes, strong characterization, occasional swords, and LOTS of dashing — but there was also kissing! And romances offered one major component I didn’t always find in my SFF back in the day: the woman’s story. In romances, the heroines were adventuring as epically as the men. How cool was that?

Today of course SFF has more powerful heroines and romances have a LOT more than kissing ๐Ÿ˜‰ All my favorites genres have grown up a bit, but my first love remains strong. I’m pleased to say A ROSE IN WINTER still holds up today as an excellent example of its subgenre. (Although my personal copy is looking a little dog-eared…) If you haven’t read it yet, get thee hence and enjoy!

A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss

So what did you read before romance? Did romance introduce you to other genres like urban fantasy or young adult?


About Jessa Slade

Jessa Slade is the author of the Marked Souls urban fantasy romance series (NAL Signet Eclipse), the Steel Born paranormal romance series (Harlequin Nocturne Cravings), and award-winning self-published science fiction romance with Hotter on the Edge. You can find her online at all the usual haunts.

Posted on April 24, 2014, in Auth: Jessa Slade and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Not ruined, Jessa — never ruined. New and improved!


  2. As a kid I read whatever SF I could nick from my older brother and literary novels from the library. The librarian also let me take whatever old paperbacks they were going to throw out — she kept a cardboard box of them by the desk with FREE written on the side — and I just took books at random from there. That’s how I ended up with very shabby copy of The Flame and the Flower, and a couple of old Barbara Cartlands, and it was all downhill from there. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Enjoyed the photo. Romance was the slippery slope to my eventually purchase of a Rodale’s Synonym Finder… now held together with tape and a rubber band. Looks like your “Rose” could use patching too.


    • I want to make it clear up front: I AM NOT A SPINEBREAKER OR A DOG-EARER! But, if you read a paperback long enough, stuff happens ๐Ÿ™‚ I suppose that poor book could be a poster child for ebooks, but I’ll never give up my real books!


  4. I love that romance spans the genres I grew up reading. Like you I was a Sci-Fi and Fantasy reader. I still tend to like romances with those elements and romance definitely became my gateway into urban fantasy.


  5. I was all about Goose bumps and RL Stine’s Fear Street. How I ended up in romance is a mystery to me (pun intended)


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