Day 14 Maya Banks – Romance is Balm For What Ails You

My Warm~Fuzzy Addiction

Rush by Maya BanksWhen asked to write a piece about why romance “matters” I knew this would be a snap. I LOVE romance. Romance novels, romantic situations, anything remotely resembling a sigh-worthy recounting of romance. Which is amusing, because I don’t particularly consider myself on overly “romantic” person.

My husband and I aren’t the smushy, gushy romancy types. Our idea of romance is to banter back and forth and tease each other mercilessly. And honestly, if my husband ever started spouting dialogue worthy of a romance hero, I’d wonder if the mother ship had landed and aliens were coming to take him back home!

But I adore, absolutely love romance novels. Why? They make me happy. And anything that can put a smile on my face and give me a contented, blissful experience is a wonderful thing indeed.

My favorite “kind” of romance novels? I love a really over the top, angsty, emotional, cracktastic story with an adoring, growly, super protective alpha male. I’m hopelessly addicted and have no intentions of every starting a recovery process.

You remember all the Chicken Soup books that were so popular a few years back? I like to consider romance as Chicken Soup for the Soul. A good romance novel is guaranteed to cure what ails you much like chicken soup is a balm for an illness.

Burn by Maya BanksI find that when I’m down, tired, burned out from writing or if real life has just gotten in the way and things seem at their worst and I’m overwhelmed that the best medicine is to immerse myself in a comfort read and lose myself in the pages of a really yummy romance novel.

You know what author is the perfect medicine for when you need a good light hearted romp that hits all the right spots? Kristen Ashley. Her books are cracktastic, over the top, absolutely delicious stories that I can read over and over when I need a pick me up.

Reading is how I get over my own writing slumps. When I’m tired, burned out. When I feel like my creativity is at an all time low and I have no idea how I can possibly finish the story I’m working on, I find that reading recharges my batteries and refills the well so to speak. There is nothing more comforting than disappearing into the pages of a really good book and allowing all my stress and worry to evaporate as I become more immersed in the world another author has created.

Isn’t that what we all love about romance novels? The escape they offer? The warm fuzzy feeling we get when we write about an alpha male brought to his knees by his heroine? Is there anything more satisfying than reading about a hero who when he sees his heroine he absolutely knows that she is the one and he’ll move heaven and earth to keep her? To protect her, cherish her, adore her, spoil her and take a bullet for her if necessary?

If your answer is yes then we are definitely romance soul mates! Romance…matters. It makes us happy. It gives us hope. It provides a brief escape from the hum drum of everyday life and gives us a few hours when we can imagine anything. In the pages of a book anything can happen. Our imagination is our only limitation when it comes to fiction. If we can dream it, it can happen in the pages of a book! And isn’t that what makes romance so very special? That there are no limits to what we can dream, accomplish and hope for?


If you want a taste of delicious alpha males who are super protective and possessive of their heroines, then I invite you to try Kristen Ashley’s books. If you’re like me at all, then you won’t be disappointed!



Questions for Maya:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

A stuffed albino squirrel named “Rocky” with pink, eerie eyes. It belonged to my dad and he kept it in our house growing up. My dad loved that crazy thing and so we kept it, lol.

If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)

Rush Hour just for the sheer insanity. And if Oded Fehr or The Rock starred opposite “me” then I’d kill anyone who TRIED to play me haha. That’s one role I would insist on playing myself 😉

What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?

My husband surprised me with a beautiful wedding ring and band a few years ago. When we married, we couldn’t afford rings and honestly my husband isn’t the type to ever pay a lot of money on jewelry. I didn’t even know he could go into a jewelry store by himself! But he did and picked out EXACTLY what I would have picked out for myself and surprised me with it when I returned from a business trip.

If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be? (Any picks for romance novels in general?)

For first time readers coming to my books, I’d recommend the KGI series and the very first novel in that series, The Darkest Hour. Not only is it an emotional, angst-packed story but it introduces readers to the Kelly family and all the characters who subsequently follow with their own stories. I adore the Kelly family and Ethan and Rachel’s story has a special place in my heart because they are where it all began. And I love marriage in jeopardy and redemption stories and this qualifies on both accounts. The couple has a long, difficult journey back to one another and it’s a truly satisfying read.


Maya is generously donating  a copy of Rush and Fever to one lucky reader. No international sorry. To enter the domestic contest, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both.  (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.)  Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 14 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.


Maya BanksMaya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Scottish historical romance. She lives in the South with her family. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group. Visit her online at

Buy Maya’s Books on Amazon


  • Nancy Huddleston

    Thank you for an escape and the freedom to dream.

  • Laurie W G

    Maya, I agree with you. Romance is my escape from everyday life and it’s problems. Depending on my mood, I select the genre, the theme and the setting . Luckily romance has wonderful talented authors from which I can easily choose.

  • Jen C

    Talk about an escape — one of my favorite series is your McCabe Trilogy! I don’t usually read Scottish romances, but these are on my forever shelf! 🙂

  • Sue G.

    I agree…romance is my happy…my escape. I just love the endings!

  • Melanie Backus

    I am with you. If anything can bring a smile, I am there. Go romance!

  • Kim Cornwell

    I love your books! Romance is my passion. I love to read any kind of romance!

  • Meredith Richardson

    I totally agree romance makes you happy. It’s a great thing for people to read and enjoy whether you’re happy at the moment or depressed.

  • tonda hargett

    I absolutely love your essay, it sounds just like me! Thank you for putting it into words! We could definitely be soul mates! 😉

  • Evelyn S

    Romance definitely makes me happy! 🙂

  • mariannewestrich

    You’re sooooo right. I just discovered Kristen Ashley a month or so ago and have already devoured everything she’s written. You were already on my must-have list. Now I have another. Thank you for the hours of escape!!!

  • Anne

    Thank you for the great essay, you said everything about the way I feel about romance novels. I am going to have to read some of your books!

  • Stephanie

    I have yet to read one of your books, but with your suggestion on where to start I look forward to it.

  • Joanne Ozment

    I agree romance novels make me happy & are great escape.

  • Karen Johnston

    Like you I think there’s nothing better than just curling up with a good romance and getting lost in the story! I’ve been hearing a lot about Kristan Ashley…I am so gonna have to pick up one of her books! 😉

  • Rosemarie N.

    I love a good romance book that has a good story you can lost in. I guess , it depends what you think romance means to you. Love your KGI books, they have a balance everything in there. Just pick up Burn, can’t wait to read it. I’ll check out Kristan Ashley books next. Thanks.

  • suepeace

    Romance does matter!! 🙂

  • Karin Anderson

    Oh my gosh!!! I love Oded Fehr. 😀 Have you seen him in Covert Affairs? Sigh…

  • Ora

    I love your books. Both of your highlander series are my favorite books. Who can resist a man in a kilt willing to do whatever it takes to protect you.

  • Britney Adams

    Can’t wait to read THE DARKEST HOUR and meet the Kelly family!

  • Donna Logan Brown

    Enjoy your books immensely and have read the Sweet series several times. Have the Breathless trilogy and am waiting until I can read the books one right after another. Was a pleasure to meet you at RT Kansas City and get a KGI book signed. I like your take on romance. I’d love to see Rocky, the squirrel. So glad you are a part of this wonderful assemblage of authors.

  • Renee Sass

    I just discovered Kristen Ashley. Love her!
    I agree 100% reading romance is good for the soul, it never fails to help me “escape” when I’ve had a bad day.

  • Ann Mettert

    Cracktastic!! Chicken soup. Love these. Haven’t read her books yet, but now she’s on my list. 🙂

  • Kareni

    Many thanks for your books; I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read. (And I’ve read quite a few….)

  • BookLady

    Reading romance is the perfect cure for everything. I love to escape into a fantasy world of happy ever after. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on romance.

  • Cynthia Reifel

    Maya, I LOVE your books. You are one of the VERY FEW authors whose books I re and re-read time and again.
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • Sandy Xiong

    I just started reading your books especially your breathless series. I guess now I should go read the KGI series, it sounds really good. I had never read Chicken Soup for the Soul although almost everyone I knew read them. I didn’t know what it was about.

  • Brenda Rumsey

    I’ve heard so many good things about these two books, but have not read them yet. Loved hearing about your albino squirrel. Hope to read these soon.

  • helena rizzuto

    Oh Maya.. your books are the reason my electric bill is so high. I never start one of your books without ensuring the a/c is at its lowest:) lol

  • jcp

    Love your writing

  • Marjorie Miller

    Love your books. Can’t wait for the next to come out. I especially liked the Highlander series.

  • christinejensen

    I agree, reading a romance is the best stress relief 🙂

  • rebecca moe

    I just read my first two Kristen Ashley books this summer, and I totally agree! We must be romantic soul mates 🙂

  • Juli Hall

    absolutely loved Rush and Fever, can’t wait to read Burn and the rest of your books 🙂

  • Stephanie M.

    I LOVE your KGI series and can’t wait for Van’s story in Dec. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Erlinda Mejia

    Reading romance IS an escape. It is an adventure, a chance to learn, travel and meet incredible people. I love, love, love reading romance!

  • TrishJ

    The first book of yours I read was The Darkest Hour. It was awesome. Just what romantic suspense is supposed to be. I read romance to transport me to different places. And heros to die for!!

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Hi Maya, thank you for explaining so well why Romance matters. I’m tired of trying to get my friends who read “real” books to understand why life is too short for bad wine and unhappy endings!

  • Robin Ray

    I never thought of picking on each other or bantering with each other as romance but it certainly makes sense that it falls under the umbrella of it. I’ve heard that having private jokes are one of the things that provide closeness to couples and families. As to your Odd Object – My Maternal Grandparents had a stuffed Baby Alligator that we kept until he started to fall apart – at least I don’t think we still have him – its possible he’s still somewhere at my Dad’s house.

  • Nicole Fortuna

    Romance is always my escape from a bad day.

  • Nicole Fortuna

    I never read the Chicken Soup books just not my kind of thing, but I agree that romance is good medicine. Also a lot more fun than most books are to read! I’ve always been a constant reader but never at the rate that I go through romance novels!

  • Savannah Miller

    I have not had the chance to read Rush yet, but I can’t wait to read it :). As for Rocky your creepy squirrel my dad has a bunch of deer heads in his den it creeps my out every time I walk in!!

  • Beth Re

    Aww that is so nice of your husband to surprise you like that

  • Marcia Berbeza

    That is exactly the reason why I read romance! It puts a smile on my face and takes me out of my every day concerns. As with your guy, if my husband EVER started talking like he came out of a novel, I’d take him for a brain scan! Big and gruff, he’s a bull in the china shop, and yes! I do love him!

  • alisha woods

    Love your Scottish historicals

  • Marcy Shuler

    Romance makes me happy too! I just LOL at your mother ship comment. 😀

  • M Kuxhaus

    It’s the happy feeling I love the most about romances.

  • Patty Vasquez

    I have to admit that angsty romance makes me feel….angsty! It was easier for me to read it when I was younger. Now I find that I prefer a little bit less angst and a little bit more humor and wit. I think some of that has to do with my job, too. I have a question for you. As a super-versatile author who is able to write successfully across many different sub-genres of romance, do you find one of those genres easier to write than another? Do you prefer writing in one over another? Or is one a reward after writing a particularly difficult story in another? I guess, that was several questions, but all on the same general topic. Thanks!

  • Rebecca Berus

    I love your romance books. Thanks for writing

  • Pamby50

    I look forward to reading the first book in your KGI series. Another new author to get to know. Will add Kristen Ashley also. I am in agreement about the mother ship if my husband got all mushy.

  • Elizabeth Gray

    Love romance, any form for the most part. I have not read this series, but have heard great things. Will be adding them to my tbr pile.

  • Sandi in OH

    I never thought of romance books as a warm fuzzy feeling but you are right. I just know that when something is wrong in my life, they help me feel better.

  • Rochelle

    So true Maya! The specialness of romance is the escape and the warm fuzzy!!

  • Stephanie Fredrick

    I completely agree romance books do allow me to escape and the sweetness of love gives me the warm fuzzy feeling.

  • Ann

    Romance IS chicken soup for the soul! Love that!

  • QuenKne M

    It amazes me that a romance author can get into and enjoy romance novels written by different romance authors. You would think there would be jealousy or analyzing their book so much you couldn’t enjoy it. I guess that’s what makes romance novelist so special. I am a new reader of your books and I’m so excited because I just received one of your books from Amazon today. Guess what I’ll be reading tonight…. 🙂

  • brhill2010

    You are definitely added to my TBR list. Your books sound amazing!!

  • Glenda

    Like the commercials say “sometimes you just gotta get away”. Since most of us can’t just hop on a plane to escape, we read!

  • Kim

    I haven’t read this series, but I have read the KGI series. The love story in the first book was so sad in the beginning, but it worked out.

  • MooMoo Cake

    Call me a romance soul mate! I’ll definitely check out Kristen Ashley’s work and The Darkest Hour, too. Thanks for the recommendation and the giveaway!

  • Dana Shoulders

    Well I absolutely love your use of the word “cracktastic” (I mean I thought it was crackilicious) so I just grabbed your suggested book of The Darkest Hour for Kindle. Hopefully it will be crackalackin good :).

  • Genny Moore

    looking forward to reading your book

  • Ketta Peters

    And who can turn down additional happiness? Not me!

  • Perfect essay, Maya! I love the title of it. 🙂

  • leah g

    I love Kristen Ashley too, she is definitely good to lighten any mood. And make me just a little jealous of all that hotness.
    I will definitely check out the KGI series!

  • Joanna

    FYI the first Kristen Ashley URL in Maya Banks’ post takes you to a singer — not the Kristen Ashley author!

  • Kim

    I love your books! Burn just arrived at my doorstep today and I can’t wait to get started! I also love protective alpha males and the heroines who capture their hearts.

  • Meka

    You are so right. Romance is fabulous, and when I am not feeling well, or I am down in the dumps, there is always something in this fantastic genre that can cure what ails me. It’s like peach mango ice cream for the soul. Sweet and soothing.