I’ve been graciously asked by Becky, bookcaseandcoffee, about my take on romance. What it means to me, my feelings for the genre, all in all, what’s my connection with romance? Should be a simple enough answer, right? But, as I’m sitting here thinking about these questions, I realize that it all goes back to when I first learned how to read..

I was a late bloomer with reading. I’m not sure why, I’ve just always been kind of a delayed learner. In third grade, I had to get taken out of my class to have someone sit with me, to teach me how to read. Once, I started to get the hang of it, I just couldn’t stop. I became a reading fiend, and from that point on, I never lost my love for reading, it just grew.

Reading has always been an outlet for me, like I’m sure it is for many of you reading this. There’s such a magical element to getting lost in your head, with a fictional world that only your mind can conjure up. Picturing what a character looks like in my head, can look completely different to what you’re imagining, but it’s what makes it all the more unique. I would get lost in the magical world that is books. When I was in High School, I found my love for literature. My absolute favorite book is, Pride & Prejudice by the rarity that was Jane Austen. I then fell in love with Sarah Dessen books like, Just Listen. I never realized that I was gravitating towards books that held a strong romance element to it. I just knew that I loved happy endings.

Not to get too personal, but I grew up in a pretty toxic environment. I was raised by parents that did not show affection or love to their children nor to each other. But remained married all the same. I never saw what a healthy, loving relationship looked like. But I knew by what I read, what it should be, and I stuck with that image for my future self.. 

I hit a rough spot when I was 19 and got into a bad relationship, that was very intense, but not in a good way. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t finding what it was that I read about? Was I looking in the wrong places? Was it me? Did this type of all consuming love not exist? And then I met my husband. We were 20, and boy did he make me believe. After I met the love of my life, my reading for romance intensified tenfold. I began reading a plethora of romance books that ranged from fantasy, mystery-thriller, to the extremely dark stuff that Tillie Cole writes. I think when I met my husband, was when my real connection for romance novels took place.

There is just something about a romance book that really gets the heart pumping, and the swoon vibes goin. I never like to compare myself to others, especially to a fictitious world. But I do have unreasonably high expectations. I get engrossed with the all-consuming love stories that have the dramatic themes, and the fighting for the love of your life. I love reading about secondary characters within these worlds that’ll get their future books. I enjoy reading about these characters that I have fallen absolutely in love with, and get their happily ever after. I want that so badly for everyone that when I can read about it? I feel content that only a good book can give me. 

So again, why romance? Because, I’m a strong, resilient woman that has gone through tough obstacles that have hardened aspects of me, but never my heart. Even if I come across as an individual who has their walls up, I will always soften for an epic love story. So am I loud and proud? Yes! I love sharing my love for books, I especially love recommending my favorites to others. I have started dabbling in my book edits, and on the daily ask my husband what he thinks about them. He knows I have my book boyfriends like, Viking from Hades Hangmen, Hunter from Devil’s Game, Bara & Diel from The Fallen, Rhys from Inflame Me, and Matteo from Bound by Hatred… just to name a few! These are some books that I cannot be without.

That, my dears, is a type of connection that cannot and will not be ignored!

To end my rambling thoughts, I just want to finish by saying, nobody should ever feel ashamed about what makes them happy. What their passions are. Or why they choose to read what they do. So I encourage us all to bring each other up, be there for one another, be supportive, but most importantly, never give up on yourself. You’re all beautiful and unique!