Day 27 Katharine Ashe – In Love With Love

Falling in Love

I fall in love easily, frequently and hard.

Before I continue, allow me to clarify: I define Love broadly. As a graduate student I was trained to mistrust multiple uses of the same word for different purposes. When applied to love, my friends, that is sheer hooey. Love is grand, wide, all encompassing and generous. It cannot be confined to an act of passion, one kind of emotion, or even an ecstatic spiritual experience. Love is lots of things. I MARRIED THE DUKE

Okay, back to falling in love.

I have a quick, eager eye for an attractive, strapping chap. This is not love. This is The Biological Imperative. But about twenty-five years ago I believed it was love.

I’m not talking about those guys I passed at the ice rink or movie theater any random Friday night. No, this applied to the boy whose locker number I memorized and to whom I never spoke except through my older sister’s boyfriend. It also applied to the boy that sat behind me in math class, to whom I did often speak but who always dated other girls. It applied to the gorgeous exchange student I ran track with, and to the basketball star to whom I sent a Homecoming boutonniere of red carnations—not anonymously—because I wanted him to know I adored him even though we’d never met.

Why did I think these were love? Because my adolescent heart felt, and it felt fully. It pounded when I anticipated seeing him. It fluttered when he turned the corner. It tripped when he met my gaze. And it ceased functioning when he spoke to me.

I am an addict. I barely drink, rarely gamble, don’t smoke, haven’t touched drugs, and there are no game apps on my iPhone. All of these temptations pale in comparison to my addiction. I am addicted to the feeling of falling in love, to the emotions of letting my heart go, the achy longing, the sizzling anticipatory high, the nervous energy, the deep, delicious yearning and the profound satisfaction.

Just as in high school, I still fall in love a lot, but a bit differently now. Give me a great adventure, an ROTFL comedy, a sweet hometown story—any novel with a handsome, strong, smart hero with a heart of gold and the willingness to laugh at himself—and I’m hooked.

I don’t limit this to fictional heroes, though. I fall in love with puppies. And dolphins. Actually with just about any sea HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUElife. Also, horses. Sometimes caterpillars and always butterflies. Last week I gave my heart to the elephant on YouTube painting a picture of an elephant holding a flower. For this too, I believe, is love. When I encounter these, my heart tightens, my eyes tear, and my soul stirs.

I also fall in love with seascapes, crowded city streets, spectacular architecture, graceful willow trees, stately oaks, elegant pines, beautiful writing and tall ships. I fall in love with my ten-year-old son every time he cracks a joke, speaks thoughtfully upon a matter that concerns him or pretty much breathes.

I’m a sucker for falling in love. It fills me up, and I love to be filled up.

When it comes to romance fiction, I particularly adore the stories in which the hero and heroine struggle not to fall in love while knowing that their struggle to stay apart is futile because, more than anything, they both want to fall in love. They long for it and, despite the challenges, they will not rest content until they’ve fallen, fast and hard. Simply, they need each other.

Love is the greatest gift life offers, and romance fiction allows us to fall in love again and again. But not only in fantasy. Romance begs us to feel profoundly, to hope and trust and revel like the characters on the page. It inspires us to live deeply, colorfully and joyfully. Who doesn’t like that sort of inspiration?

Recommendations: Laura Florand’s Chocolate Kiss is a deliciously magical contemporary romance set in Paris. It left my mouth watering and my heart completely satisfied. Another new favorite is Máire Claremont whose debut historical romance novel The Dark Lady, a tale of secrets and passion, kept me up late into the night turning pages.


Questions for Katharine:

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

My stuffed pink hippopotamus. After forty-three years he has one eye and no lining in his ears and mouth, and his whiskers are a thing of the past. He’s my Velveteen Rabbit except that I will never, ever part with him.

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

Kisses, She Wrote. I’ve been writing romance since I was a girl, no matter what other guise I wore—student, office worker, professor. Truly, I’m addicted. (Actually, this title, however accurate to my life, is sort of a cheat. It’s the name of my Christmas novella, which features a heroine who writes about romantic dreams, of course!) I’ve no idea who would play me in the movie, but I hope she’d have lots of laugh lines.

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

My son.

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?)

This is like asking a mother to choose which of her children she loves the best! So I asked my readers. Their favorite couples include Jinan and Viola from How to Be a Proper Lady, Ben and Octavia from In the Arms of a Marquess, and Wyn and Diantha from How a Lady Weds a Rogue. For a single romantic scene they voted for Kitty and Leam playing strip piquet in When a Scot Loves a Lady.

To readers new to romance I always recommend Rachel Gibson’s contemporary Truly Madly Yours and Laura Kinsale’s historical Flowers From The Storm. Completely different writing styles. Both sensationally wonderful books.


 

You are reading this essay at ReadARomanceMonth.com. Be sure to visit the About Read-A-Romance Month to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are participating in celebrating the romance genre during the month of August.

Katharine is generously donating one signed copy each of How a Lady Weds a Rogue and How to Marry a Highlander to one US reader (apologies to International audience).  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 27 to be eligible, though winners will be announced at a later date.

Also visit the Awesome Contests page to register this week to win a Kindle Paperwhite and “A Month of Romance” (31 books) from Amazon Montlake, or  the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!


Katharine Ashe

Katharine Ashe is the award-winning, best-selling author of nine lush, sweeping romances set in the English Regency era, including How to Be a Proper Lady, one of Amazon’s Ten Best Romances of 2012. The first book in her new Prince Catchers series, I Married the Duke, is available today. You can find her online at katharineashe.com.

Buy Katharine’s books at Amazon.

  • Jen C

    I can completely understand your falling-in-love addiction! I hop on that emotional roller coaster in a book. When something upsetting happens, I cry (or sob). When the couple is falling in love, I get that filling feeling in my chest and soar in the euphoria with them. Great piece! 🙂

  • Mary Anne Landers

    Thank you for your post, Katharine. I have the same addiction. And like you, I don’t want to be cured! Good luck with the release of “I Married the Duke”.

  • Patty Vasquez

    Oh my gosh, you’ve described me! I love being in love and my addiction doesn’t hurt anyone. Thank you for understanding why we don’t need a 12-step program!

  • Melanie Backus

    What a great addiction to have! Love does come in a variety of ways and is directed to a variety of people and things. A loving spirit is a wonderful thing to have and share. Thank you!

  • Allison Siegel

    Your addiction needs no cure. Being in love with love is the best! Can’t wait to try one of your books.

  • Nancy Huddleston

    What a great way to describe love.

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    I love your books, thank you so much for sharing your love with us!

  • Alissa

    I adored this essay. It reminded me of my own youthful, passionate and all consuming crushes. All of those boys I burned for desperately. Pining, gushing and swooning. So much fun.

  • Anne

    Thanks for the great essay. I don’t think that I have ready any of your books. I better rectify that error.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I enjoyed reading your essay. I also fall in love all the time. 🙂

  • Lisa Glidewell

    Thank you for being here today! What a great post! Isn’t it crazy how many ways we love to love! You have a wonderful insight on love! So right on! Kudos to you!

  • M Kuxhaus

    Ah, ‘Kisses, She Wrote’ is a wonderful title.

  • mariannewestrich

    What a great take on love! Thanks for sharing. 😎

  • Sandy Xiong

    I am happy that we don’t limit ourselves to falling in love with one thing in life. There are so many things in life that you could fall in love with that you just can’t like it.

  • jcp

    I will look for your books.

  • Ann Mettert

    I like the essay and I like your books. 🙂

  • Laurie W G

    I haven’t read any of your books yet. However, I do agree with your statements about love and romance. I will definitely look for your books. Pretty covers!

  • Kareni

    Thanks for your fun posts and for your books. (I bet that you also get teary eyed at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics; I certainly do!)

  • Valerie

    I love the pink hippo and the connection with the Velveteen Rabbit, I have three bunnies that I feel that way about

  • Kristen Pfister

    Congrats on your book out today! SO exciting!

  • Thank so much for being here on release day, Katharine, and for writing such a wonderful essay! xoxo

  • glittergirl54

    Oh to find another addict of romance – thank you. We don’t need an intervention, just more books. I loved your statement “Romance begs us to feel profoundly, to hope and trust and revel like the characters on the page”. So true. Thanks for your essay. I’ve adored reading the hearts of romance authors this month. We are kindred spirits, we readers.

  • Joanne Ozment

    I am also addicted to romance,

  • Britney Adams

    Love certainly is wonderful and I look forward to falling in love with your books!

  • Vonda M. Reid

    Me too! I love a book that makes me laugh and makes me cry. I’ve always felt like the odd man out when I read reviews by other readers and they don’t like the hero or heroine for this or that reason because I seem to fall in love with each and every hero and heroine who walks across the pages of the book I’m reading.

  • Mary McCoy

    I love the strip piquet, I must go back and re-read it!

  • Beth Re

    I have a stuffed giraffe that has seen better days but like you I will not give him up and have you seen the you tube video of the elephant playing the piano?

  • Shannon Watson

    I have to admit that I have never read one of your stories, Katharine, but after reading this I am definitely going to go find one. I loved your thoughts about being addicted to falling in love because I feel it too. I just feed it by reading romance stories of others’ love lives. 🙂

  • Pamby50

    I look forward to reading one of your books. That you describe yourself as being in love with love is powerful.

  • Larena Hubble

    I really enjoyed reading this. I agree that with romances it is fun to watch the character fall in love and get to relive it any time you want.

  • Marcy Shuler

    I loved the post and am looking forward to reading I Married The Duke.

  • Eileen Wetterstrom

    I have just recently met you. You inspire me. I love romance and see it is what makes everything fall in line. You call it love — I call it romance. Romance is found in a song as well as a beautiful picture that holds your eye for more than a minute. I have found romance in music and the chirping of birds in the morning. I have found romance in the towering walls of a cathedral and in a child’s smile. And I have found romance in your writing. Thank you for giving that part of yourself to me.

  • Rochelle

    Loved your essay, and couldn’t agree more that romance allows us to fall in love again and again.

  • Lyn Oxyer Sellati

    What a beautiful essay. Love is the ultimate hope. Ah, love!

  • Melissa Sullivan

    Hi
    Lovely post. ^^ I’d have to admit to having crushes on fictional heroes. I always say i celebrate “Singles Awareness Day” with Aragorn and my fictional boyfriend.

  • ki pha

    I love how you describe what it’s like to fall in love. And of course the many reasons to how the word Love is used. And I most definitely adored your sweet crushes I shall say and termed them loves because they truly we love of a kind to you and to many who’d felt that same thing.

    P.s. Love your stories and hope you’re wearing your tiara as you’re reading these posts! 😀

  • Thanks for coming by and sharing this post with us, Katharine. Your books sound great!

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Hi Katharine, “Loved” your blogpost today! But you know that I love everything you write. Thank you so much for spending some time with us in Atlanta.

  • Glenda

    Nice take on all the ways you fall in love!!

  • Ann

    So much love! Thank you!

  • Meredith Richardson

    I really enjoyed your essay and I totally agree with you. My greatest passion is reading and falling in love with all the amazing stories, characters, and locations… there are so many amazing places and people in stories that I just love to discover!!

  • MooMoo Cake

    I really enjoyed your post. I laughed at “The Biological Imperative” but as I kept reading, I realized I experienced the same thing in my adolescence, and the realization only made me laugh harder. I’m also an addict (one who also doesn’t drink, smoke, gamble, or use any drugs (except as prescribed by doctors)) so thanks for sharing and for contributing to this event.

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I see that we have similar taste in reading – I like your recommendations! And there is no way you are 43! Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Sue G.

    I love your ability to love! I have on my Twitter under about me…I love my life! And I do. Thanks for a great post.

  • Ketta Peters

    OMG, I think we’re twins under the skin, I was exactly the same way in high school and so very similar now. I just had to snag How to Marry a Highlander just based on your post and the book description. Thank you!

  • Brenda E

    Thanks for you post, Katharine. I loved what you said about the main characters not resting content until they’ve fallen, fast and hard. Love it.

  • BookLady

    What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on love.

  • Barbara E.

    I loved the post and I agree that love is lots of things, and I think it’s all a wonderful part of romance.

  • Nancy

    What a great post. While I don’t remember my deep adolescent feelings about everything as fondly as you do, it is something that we lose as we get older. As an adult, I experience falling in love most often with books, that feeling of sinking into a different world and its wonderful characters and words.

  • Janie McGaugh

    Katharine, you sound a lot like me in that you fall in love with so many things, though I never really thought about it that way before.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    So exciting to read about someone else who’s addicted to falling in love. I can’t tell you how many dogs, cats, horses, bunnies, etc I’ve fallen for over the years as well as a few human boy crushes too before meeting my husband. Might be why I’ve currently got five dogs and two cats 🙂 As far as books go, as soon as I’ve finished one romance, I’m already jonesing for my next fix of romance. This month has been great for building the largest to be read list ever! Love your post and thanks for all you do!

  • Marcia Berbeza

    Oh my. Life would not be worth living if there was no love. Of course you forgot to mention bunny love! (I have two in my rec room with me right now!) Thanks for contributing to the mental health of others!

  • Karin Anderson

    I love Máire Claremont! I met her at RomCon a couple years ago and she was so much fun. 😀

  • Beverly DeeAnjello

    I think reading is a great way to destress. I love escaping into a wonderful romance at the end of the day.