Gateway Books

posted in: Books, Romance Genre | 2

As I said in my last post, my fall into romance writing was inevitable.  The more I look back, the more I realize that my attraction to the genre was a given long before Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.  And since my awesome friend Erin mentioned YA books, I can’t get them off my brain.  Certainly, the books below were my gateway books into being a full-blown romance addict.

On Fortune’s Wheel by Cynthia Voigt

I don’t remember a whole lot about this book, except that there was a glancing mention of sex.  And I’m pretty sure I dog-eared the page.  Embarrassing, but true.  I do remember it’s an amazing adventure/fairy tale story that follows a firebrand of a girl (Birle) who goes after a thief in the night (Orien).  Surprise, surprise, Orien turns out to be a runaway lord.  Over the course of the story, they get sold into slavery, encounter an alchemist, and almost die about a gazillion times.  And of course, they fall in love.  I thought the whole book was amazing.  I should buy it again and see if it’s still so impressive.

The Wild Rose Inn Series by Jennifer Armstrong

Sometimes, when I look back on something I enjoyed as a child, my brain plays tricks on me.  For example, somehow I invented a whole part of 101 Dalmatians that didn’t exist in the original movie, and I was disappointed when I watched the film again and it wasn’t there.  So I was worried that this series of books might be another figment of my imagination.  Not so.  They’re out of print, but they exist!  Each book features a girl who works/lives at the Wild Rose Inn and her love story.  And each book takes place during a different time period, which I thought was so cool!  I remember one in particular, which research tells me was Ann of the Wild Rose Inn, about a fiery colonist seeking independence and a British sailor.

The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery

Yes, I had a love affair with LM Montgomery.  One of my favorite books of hers is the love story of Valancy Stirling and Barney Snaith.  They enter into a marriage of convenience after Valancy learns that she’s got only a certain amount of time to live.  Valancy grows happier in her independence, and her growth is as much a part of the novel as the romance.  And don’t worry, Lucy MM doesn’t deprive you of your HEA.

Do you have any gateway books?

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2 Responses

  1. Aurelia Blue

    I adore LMM, but have never read this one! I must get it!
    Seventeenth Summer by Judy Blume was my gateway. It had sex and glowing in it. Totally set me up for her delicously bibliogasmic Wifey twenty years later.
    My mom had a series of historal romances for YA audiences… here’s a quote I borrowed from wikipedia about them: “The Sunfire books contained two themes: history and romance. Each book featured a teenage girl who experienced a particular period or event in American history. At the same time, with very few exceptions, the girl was torn between two potential lovers. The girl was typically ahead of her time in ideas and actions and the suitor she almost always chose was the one who approved of or accepted her actions. The cover art always featured the main character flanked by her two potential lovers, along with scenes from the historical event or period that was the setting for the book.”
    The jacket always had the blurb about each girl, her plight and the two dudes, and ended with, “Whom will she choose?” OMIGOD, they made me a fan for life of “whom will she choose-ing!” And history. And pics of pretty girls flanked by hot dudes of opposing political views. My favorites were Susanah and Marilee.

    • annebrowningwalker

      The Blue Castle is awesome! I did the Judy Blume thing, but never made it to Seventeenth Summer. Loved her other books. I’ll have to check it out. And those Sunfire books sound AMAZING. I might just have to do that. Soon.

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