June 17, 2013

Sizzle & Swoon: An Introduction + Why I Read Romance

After a long and dreary winter, I was really looking forward to summer! Sunny days, complete with a cool drink, escapes to the park or the beach are finally starting, and I'm so happy about it. 

Summer always puts me in the mood to read romances.  Since the romance genre has been sorely neglected on the blog, I thought that it would be a fun idea to celebrate with this event - Sizzle & Swoon! I didn't want to be the only one celebrating, so I asked two of my friends Racquel and Sharon of The Book Barbies to be my co-hosts. These two are fellow romance fans, and that was one of the first things that cemented our friendship! 

Sizzle & Swoon is an event we put together celebrating romance, particular of the historical, contemporary and YA variety. It will be two weeks worth of posts on this blog and The Book Barbies, featuring our favorites, our reviews and some other fun things. For fellow romance fans, we hope you get a chance to jump in and share with us your love of romance! And if you're a romance newbie, we hope to provide you with awesome reading suggestions to start with. Racquel, Sharon and I are always happy to recommend some of our favorites. You can also check out Estelle, Daisy and Jess, who also really like romance novels and have some great recommendations.

Today's post will be my attempt to answer this question:

why do you read romance

The Secret - Julie Garwood
I started reading romances when I was about 12 years old. My mom had forbidden me to even think about grabbing a book from that part of the library, so it had always seemed to me that those books were something special. I took a chance and grabbed one when mom was out of town. It was The Secret by Julie Garwood. As soon as I'd read past the first chapter, I fell in love with it -- and also discovered the racy reason my mom had forbidden me to read it. I got over my initial shock, devoured the rest of the book and that is how my love affair with them began.

After thinking about it, here are a few reasons I read romance novels:

(1) There's something fun and exciting about reading books about very attractive heroes and endearing heroines, filled with swoon-inducing moments and declarations of love. I love these things in books because I'm a hopeless romantic, and I like to daydream about handsome, wonderful men.

(2) Being a hopeless romantic also explains why I'm drawn to the happily ever after feeling that is a result of seeing the heroes and heroines work out their differences, fall in love and overcome everything to be together in the end. It's like the perfect fairy tale every. single. time.

(3) Each romance novel contains the same elements (a hero, a heroine, a conflict, a resolution), so I kind of know what to expect when I start one. I love finding out how each author makes a romance truly her own, and that usually comes across in the story, the setting or even the way a character is written.

(4) The things characters say or do can be particularly dramatic, especially in historical romances, but I love it. I love the cheesiness, the over the top declarations and all the loveliness in the lines I pull from books. These things are what lead to the next reason I read romances, which is...

(5) They make me emotional. I have cried and laughed, sworn and sighed, and just felt while reading romances. I love that they can really play with my emotions, and that's usually how I decide if I adored a romance or not.

(6) This is the last reason, but the most important! I read them because I share a love of romance novels with my mom and my sister. We totally bond over them (especially after my mom forgave me for breaking the rule AND for allowing my sister to read them too).

I do love a good romance, and these are most of the reasons why I like to read them. If you're interested in seeing why Sharon and Racquel read romances, you can check that out over here. Otherwise, welcome to the start of Sizzle & Swoon! Hope you'll stick around for the romance-filled weeks to come.

YOUR TURN:  Why do you read romance? What are your favorite things about it? If you don't read romances, why not? Would you ever try one?


  1. I've never really been into romances, mainly because I thought they were uber cheesy and full of too much sexy-time, haha. With that said, though, one of my goals for this year was to try out a genre I wouldn't normally read. That's why I'm excited for this feature, because now I'll know where to start!

  2. Oh what a fun idea! I'm definitely a romance fan & have branched out to more adult romances thanks to you & the other blogs mentioned above. I love a good romance because I'm a romantic at heart. A story isn't complete without a good tug of the heart, in my opinion. From the highest swoons to the lowest, soft spoken heart flutters. I love it all!

  3. I'm excited for this. I probably won't be joining because I have so many features I need to prepare for, but I will be glad to get some recommendations. I don't think I read straight romance authors I read authors that have romance in their books, but the book is not all about that love interest. Nicholas Sparks and Kristin Hannah are two examples. Then I also read Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti who write about teenage life, but there is usually a relationship in their novel.

  4. Awesome idea! I also love me some romance (especially in the summer) and I'll definitely be checking out all of your posts :)

  5. Everyone raves about Julia Quinn... I should probably investigate her. I haven't read a good romance in a LONG time.

  6. I love and adore romances mostly because I know that they will always end up happy and that is important to me. Not saying that sad depressing books don't have their place, they do. But I thoroughly enjoy a good happy ending novel, too.

    Plus there was a period in my life where nothing but romance novels sounded good to me. Thankfully my parents were like "meh, she's reading. READ ALL OF THEM"

  7. Ahaha, hooray for being fellow rebellious romance-reading youngsters!

    You did such a great job articulating why you love romance (WAY better than I did, LOL. I basically just rambled a bunch). I agree with so many of them!

  8. This is an awesome idea!! :D I love romance novels, thank you so much for linking to my blog! :)
    A lot of my reasons are the same as yours, I just love escaping in someone else's romance and the happily ever after is definitely a major draw! Also, the good romances make me feel all the things and make me cry, and I LOVE that!

  9. Alexa, I'm a TOTAL hopeless romantic at heart too, so there's really nothing better I love in books or my favorite shows than seeing two characters get a much deserved happily ever after. It just makes me all warm and gooey inside. :)

  10. Oh my gosh, I LOVE this series idea!!! First, I have to say that your first romance novel is one of my favorites of all time. Julie Garwood is probably my favorite romance author, and The Secret is one of my favorites. I love the humor in her writing, and I love how usually the heroes aren't total jerks. I mean, they have some issues, and they like being the boss (that alpha male) but they aren't assholes. And JQ is probably my second favorite romance author of all time. Because, you know, she's totally awesome, and she writes kickass dialogue.

    Okay, so here's my romance novel story (it's kinda long):

    Of course, when I was a teen, YA lit wasn't really what it is today. So I didn't really read YA. I went from kids books, to adult books. And I read what my mom read: mysteries. But I read a few mysteries by Tess Gerritson that had some romance in them as well, and I slowly realized that I really liked those parts of the books. So, when I was maybe a 10th or 11th grader I read my first romance which was Hot Rain by Kat Martin. But I didn't love it. It was okay, but sometimes I didn't love the Hero, and even though I was in high school, the racy bits were a bit surprising to me.

    So anyway, as a freshman in college, after reading all the Stephanie Plum novels (at the time), I decided to try a Nora Roberts book - and BOOM! Totally hooked! I initially read contemporary romances and romantic suspense. I think the first historical romance book I ever read was An Offer From a Gentleman by JQ. And I stayed up ridiculously late (around 4 am) to finish it. This opened up a whole new world of books, and I just gobbled them up during summer breaks. I discovered Julie Garwod later on in my romance reading, but she has become one of my favorites!

    So why do I read romance:

    1. I like knowing that there will be an HEA. It removes a lot of stress for me. And dude, who doesn't love HEA?

    2. Generally romance is very character driven, and that's what I like in a novel. I love getting to know the characters, and seeing how these two characters make a great couple. I also love seeing two characters work through their issues so they can be together.

    3. ROMANCE IS AWSOME! I like love stories. They make me happy. I'm a romantic.

    Okay, sorry this is so long. But I really don't have anyone to talk to about romance novels, so it was fun to "talk" to someone about it.

    I can't wait to see what else you guys have in store.

  11. I'm a hopeless romantic. I like seeing the heroes in romances be so swoonworthy and awesome. And I like knowing that at the end of it all, there IS a happily ever after! They make me laugh, maybe even cry, but through all of that, they make me happy! =)


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