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?

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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!

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  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™‚

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  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.

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    • 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!

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  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.

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  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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