Guest Post: Lisa

Hi everyone! So I “met” Lisa on twitter and she was all “omg! I watch those shows too! Let’s talk!” And then I was all like “you should do a guest post for me!” *all innocence* and there you have it. 😀 This is Lisa’s first ever blog post, she tells me, so everyone please give her a warm welcome!

When and Why I First Started Reading Romance

I was about 13 or 14 years old when I first started reading romances. I was at a local bookstore in town browsing the shelves, and ended up in front of the romance section. Something made me actually stop and check out the titles instead of just walking past like I normally do. The one book that caught my eye was Nora’s The MacGregor Brides (hey, if you’re going to start, you might as well start with one of the best, right?) Back then, I still had the mentality that romances were naughty books with little to no redeeming value, and I shouldn’t be reading them. But something pushed me to take the book off the shelf and check it out. I read the back blurb about three cousins (Laura, Julia, and Gwen) who fall in love at Christmas, all due to the machinations and plotting of a larger than life, meddling, matchmaking grandfather, Daniel MacGregor, aka,“The MacGregor.”. So despite myself, I found the premise fun and intriguing enough to start thumbing through and reading a bit of the book.

I immediately fell in love with the book, and was completely swept up in Laura, Gwen, and Julia’s story. Not because of the sexy parts, though of course that played a part in it. I loved the sense of family Nora built into the story. The three cousins live together in Boston, and the friendship and bond between them immediately reminds you of hanging out with your girlfriends. Each novella also includes a scene where the whole entire family comes together that reminds you of a Norman Rockwell holiday. But instead of it being overly sappy and sentimental, it just made you want to imagine yourself right there as an honorary MacGregor celebrating Christmas with a family who loves each other and support and care for each other, no matter what. Very fitting, as the holidays are all about family togetherness right?

And the book was funny. The scene when Julia and Cullum fight at her Christmas party/housewarming party and he picks her up and throws her over his shoulder while she’s cursing and spitting mad always makes me laugh, as well as the scene when security expert Royce (hired of course by Grandpa Daniel) walks into the house and sees Laura with her head in the fridge, butt wiggling as she’s dancing to the music in her earphones.

Our heroine is no weakling naturally, and faces Royce down with a kitchen knife before he can get a word out.

Most of all, the heart and romance in the story is what won me over. Branson wins Gwen over by giving her all twelve gifts from the song “12 Days of Christmas”. I defy anyone not to be charmed by a ceramic bowl painted with eight maids a milking, or nine music boxes with dancing ladies on top. Julia is in the business of developing and rehabbing real estate properties and Cullum is the contractor who’s hired to do the work, even though they couldn’t stand each other. (Of course, we all know that it’s all the unresolved sexual tension that’s the cause of all the sniping). Julia has just bought a new house she’s rehabbing. Watching the house come together and come alive as a physical manifestation of Julia and Cullum’s growing love and relationship was lovely. You know, by the end, that this is the house they’re going to live in and raise their family.

Of course, I then went on a mission to devour any other Nora Roberts’ books I could get my hands on. I sped through the rest of the MacGregor series (Ian and Naomi’s story in The MacGregor Grooms is my favorite), and went on to her Chesapeake Bay series. By then, I was a full on convert. Because after all, even under my pragmatic exterior, I am a romantic sap who wants to believe in the true love and happily ever after of it all. Nora’s books and the other romances I read reinforce for me the idea that there is nothing more important in life than love and friends and family, and love is more than just sex. Finding the right person for you, and demanding nothing less than a relationship built on love, trust, respect, commitment, as well as passion is worth waiting for and fighting for.

So my question for you lovely people: What was the book that turned you into a romance fan? What was it about the book that won you over?

0 thoughts on “Guest Post: Lisa

  1. Mary Kirkland

    Hi Lisa, first ever guest blog post…that’s so much fun! and you picked the best topic ever! I remember back when I first started reading romance (In my 20’s..I was such a late bloomer) I found the MacGregor Brides in a box of my mom’s books she had given me and I started reading them and was so hooked. I loved those books and then the Mac Gregor Grooms were so good too. I love Danial MacGregor…he is the best character in a romance book…ever!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Mary!
      How great that your Mom passed down her books to you! And yes, isn’t Daniel a great character? He’s a total scene stealer whenever he appears, lol.

  2. Bella@BeguileThySorrow

    I’m a late bloomer too I guess, since I didnt read my first romance till my 20s either. I read all these blog posts how so many people got their first romance novel at 12 or 13 and I think “were all my friends reading them and not telling me?!” LOL. Because it would have really helped me not have such a long to-read list if I coulda started earlier lol. The book that turned me into a romance fan wasn’t really just one, but several over the course of the holidays in 2008 which is when I read my first paranormal romance. It sounds ridiculously naive but I didnt even know books like that existed. My only brush with actual romance novels had been hearing them mentioned on tv, and seeing an old movie where a romance writer goes on a treasure hunt (cant recall the title but I know her name was Joan Wilder and it was so funny!) I’d read Jane Austen of course but it wasn’t until reading vampire and werewolves that I got really hooked; I think Nalini Singh’s Changling/Psy and Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series were the main ones to start it:)

    1. Lisa

      Hi Bella,
      I bet many of them were reading and you just didn’t know! When I was in high school, I thought I was the only one reading romances until I saw one of my classmates with a NR book during choir practice.

      I don’t read a lot of paranormal romances, unfortunately, but I have heard great things about Nalini Sinh’s books!

  3. bookchelle

    I read my first romance in senior year of high school. I don’t remember how I got the book, but my first book was Nora Robert’s Sea Swept. I also thought romance books were filled with word pr0n, so I was surprised how beautiful everything was. Of course, later on I introduced myself to erotica, but that’s a different story.

    Great post! I loved your thoughts.

    1. Lisa

      Hi bookchelle,
      Thank you! I loved Sea Swept too, and the family NR built around Seth. Cam and Anna were a wonderful couple (though my personal fav of the whole series would probably be Inner Harbor). Now if only I could learn to cook like Anna. ::Sigh::

      LOL re: the erotica!

  4. Liz

    The first romance novel I remember reading was a thin little paperback Harlequin called The Pineapple Girl. My grandmother bought Harlequin’s by the truckload and I remember her giving it to me when I was maybe 13 or 14. She read all the time. That’s what I remember about her, but she also spurred my interest in romance novels and although I got away from Harlequin’s later on, I still have a fondness for them because of who directed them to me in the first place. Very nice first post. I admit I have never read a Nora Roberts book, and now I think I probably should go check her out!

    1. Lisa

      Hi Liz,
      What a wonderful story, and memory of your grandmother. Thank you for sharing! You make me tempted to track down The Pineapple Girl, lol

      I hope you do read a NR book one day. I predict you’ll love it, and have a huge backlist to tackle. She’s not know as The Queen of Romance for nothing!

  5. Diane Sallans

    Hi Lisa – it’s been awhile since I started reading romance, but some the authors I started with were Barbara Cartland & Georgette Heyer (Regency Historical Romances). Then there was a period I was working & going to school at night for my masters & kinda got out of reading for fun. In the 80’s & 90’s my Mom & sister-in-law were reading a lot & had so many books around I started reading again. They had accumulated a lot of Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Sandra Brown & so many other good authors. I think I’ve read all but a few of Nora Roberts books now. My recent favorites are the Bride Quartet which are back to her Romance style (without murder or paranormal elements). Read them – you’ll love ’em!

    1. Lisa

      Hi Diane,
      Add BC and GH to the list of authors who I must read. 🙂 I loved the Bride Quartet! Which one was your favorite? Mine would have to be Happy Ever After. Nora definitely delivered with Parker and Mal’s story after building it up in the two previous books in the series. And yes, it was nice to see Nora going back to straight contemporary without the suspense and/or paranormal elements. Her new Boonsboro trilogy is similar and only has a small paranormal element.

  6. Mary Kirkland

    I think I started what I call late in life with romance because when I was in high school I was all about the Horror novels. I actually didn’t read a book because I wanted to *That my teacher didn’t make me read* until I was 16 years old and that very first book was Cujo. It didn’t even occur to me to read another genre of books until my mom started giving me all her romance books to read when I was in my early 20’s. And since I totally forgot to answer the question here the first time *Because I’m a space cadet* the first romance novel I read was Once in Paris by Diana Palmer. I was all over those romance books after that…lol I still read Horror and other genres but paranormal romance is my passion/obsession right now.

    1. Lisa

      Hi again Mary! 🙂
      I’m afraid I’m too much of a wimp to read horror. I know Steven King is a master at his craft, but I have never gotten up the courage to read any of his books!

      And I think paranormal romance is the perfect blend for your love of both horror and romance. See? The romance genre has something for everyone! 🙂

  7. Lisa

    Hi Everyone!
    First of all, thank you to Limecello for giving me the opportunity to blog for the first time ever! It’s been a lot of fun.

    And thank you everyone for your warm welcome and insightful answers!

    1. Limecello Post author

      Thank YOU Lisa for guesting!!! I’m looking forward to your next one. 😀 And… >.> I was holding back until now when it’s a bit safer… I’ve never read any of those books. :X
      I’ve heard amazing things, and of course she’s La Nora… but I’m scared! What if I get sucked into her books! Her incredible backlist terrifies me!

  8. Elizabeth

    I have to say I was just breezing through the blog when i saw the cover for Nora’s books and stop to read it. She brought me back to reading, a passion a seldom gave into for quite a while. But for me it was the “Circle Trilogy” , the whole paranormal, saving the world, and time travel was great. A witch, warlock, shapeshifter, warrior, vimpire and princess fighting together for a common cause, not the easiest of alliances. But I loved it, I loved it all. Every accomplishiment met, every defeat felt. I even now find myself reading the last chapeter of the last book in the trilogy and still cry and get chills.

    I have since then hunted everyone of her books down, including her “in Death”series as J.D. Robb. I won almost all of her books with the exception of a few of the most recent published, and the ever elusive “Promise me tomorrow”. Which I have a constent update when it hits ebay. For the right price it will one day be mine. I’d say I have about 98% of all her published books and have read about 85%. Some of those I have more tha one or two copies of.

    I loved the “MacGreggor” books. I acually emailed her about her completing the series. There where one or two Grandchildren left without a HEA. She said sadly she could not finish it because she ws no longer with that publishing company, it was one of her biggest disappointments. If you love the “MacGreggors” you can understand why.

    Thanks for the reminder!

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