Who Got You Hooked?

Kathleen Woodiwiss. The Flame and the Flower. That’s my answer to who got me started reading romances. I was eighteen, and I devoured them like chocolate.

Then I wandered off and started reading other genres for a while. Then, not long after my daughter was born, my sister sent me a Jennifer Crusie book, and I was hooked all over again. It was everything I loved about romance – emotionally satisfying, with a happily ever after I could count on – but different and new, too.

Since then, I’ve been blissfully gorging myself on every kind of romance they write, but I’ll never forget my delight in discovering romance with Kathleen Woodiwiss – and rediscovering it with Jennifer Crusie.

What about you? Take the poll on the right – and if your starter author isn’t listed, tell us in the comments. And share your memories of your first taste of romance!

10 thoughts on “Who Got You Hooked?

  1. Inés

    Does anyone remember Sunfire romance novels? Each book was named after a teenage heroine who lived and loved during a specific period or event in American history. These books got me hooked on both romance and history. I still read them every once in a while.

  2. Alicia Dean

    Yes, Jennifer! Kathleen Woodwiss, Flame and the Flower. Brandon and Heather. I’ll never forget that book. I was already a reader as a young child, but that book definitely got me hooked. (I think I was 12 or 13 when I read it, LOL). Then, I read Sweet, Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. I ended up reading it 8 times. (I still have a VERY tattered paperback copy) Thanks for the trip down memory lane. 🙂

    I’ve never heard of the Sunfire romance novels, but they sound intriguing. It’s wonderful to have something from your past like that.

    Regardless of how I got hooked, I’m SO grateful I did!

  3. Erin

    I don’t remember the Sunfire novels, but they sound good. The first romance novel I remember reading was Skye O’Malley by Bertice Small. I was thirteen, I think. I read a lot of teen romance in the following years, but I still remember lots of things about that book! Pretty sure those were the first sex scenes I’d ever read! Unless you count Forever by Judy Blume. 🙂

  4. KristinaKnight

    I’m an ‘other’ – although I’ll admit Kathleen W. inspired the name of my heroine in What a Texas Girl Wants! 😉 Had to give a little shout-out.

    The author that really got me hooked was Emilie Loring – I found a stash of her books in my grandmother’s study when I was about 12. They were from the 60s & 70s, the paper worn and yellowed, but I loved them. Devoured them all…and then I found Margery Hilton and I was done for. All the ladies in the poll, though, are on my auto-buy list!

  5. Micah Persell

    I’m an “other” too. I read romance novels like crazy in high school, but the first author I adopted as “mine” was Suzanne Brockmann. I own all of her books, and she got me to fall in love with military men.

  6. PM Kavanaugh

    I started with Harlequin in high school (thanks, local library!) and a friend introduced me to Barbara Cartland. Then, all that textbook-reading in college turned me off from anything much longer than magazine articles!!! I picked up a Nora Roberts book while on vacation several years ago….and fell in love with romance and reading all over again.

  7. nora snowdon

    my family started reading harlequins as research back in the eighties when my mom decided to try to write for them, but at the time i was addicted to russian literature and the thin romance books didn’t take.
    later i discovered maeve binchley, marion keyes and chick-lit romances and i was hooked. (bonus–you don’t have to keep interrupting to look up the footnotes)

  8. Lisa Weseman

    Penny Jordan. I was probably 12 or 13 when I found a stash of Harlequins in my grandma’s closet and was hooked instantly. Her stories were set in a sophisticated, dramatic world that was nothing like my own. As I grew and my tastes changed, I lost track of Ms. Jordan, but I saw in a recent issue of RWA magazine that she passed away in January. It struck me that were it not for Penny Jordan I probably wouldn’t even be reading romances, let alone writing them!

  9. jw ashley

    Amanda Quick. Reckless… with the book-loving heroine, Phoebe. I adored that book. I discovered romance fiction when I was very young. I have always loved reading and, when desperate, would read anything from toothpaste boxes to recipes on canned veg. So it was quite a challenge for my mom to keep me stocked in books. When I was in third grade or so, my mom started to share her books with me–she was part of a book club with ladies at her work, and they read romance. You should have seen the scandal I caused in fourth grade with one of my book reports! But I digress. The book I remember best from those early years, the book that I have re-read and fallen in love with again (while in grad school no less) was Reckless. It has mystery and passion and a heroine that I wish could be my best friend.