Day 6 Jennifer Probst

Yes, Romance Matters…

Romance novels saved my life.

Dramatic, right? Silly, maybe? True, definitely.

Let me tell you a story. A story of a young girl, painfully shy, who knew she wanted to be a writer one day and read voraciously. She had a The Marriage Mergerfew tight knit friends but never fit in with the “right”  crowd. She stayed on the sidelines of life, afraid of…everything. She felt trapped, depressed, stagnant with what the world showed around her.

When she was in a small bookstore, she picked up her very first romance novel. The cover was bright red, the couple was sexy, and she read through the blurb on the back page as a shiver of excitement raced down her spine. She bought it. Went home. And read it in three hours.

Life exploded from black and white to Technicolor. Suddenly, the veil of what a relationship could be, should be, lifted, and she saw past the hormonal awkwardness, past the limitations of school and cliques, past the frustrating levels of boyfriend/girlfriend crap around her in the school hallways. No, this was much more, this was passion, and independence, and hope.

She raced back to the store and bought every romance possible and read them all.

And she learned some important lessons.

Did she believe the perfect man would suddenly swoop into her life, rescue her, and make everything happy and pristine?


Did she believe great sex meant great love?


What did she learn?

The heroines taught her to be brave. Lift her chin and fake it when trembling inside. Believe in yourself and that you’re meant for more and shouldn’t settle.

The heroes taught her about respect, and that there was something deeper behind the face of some random hot guy. There was depth and soul and pain. She learned to look past the surface and be more patient of what could be discovered there. The story taught her happy ever afters were the beginning of a long journey, but it was damn satisfying to have hope and happiness after a painful struggle.

Romance novels gave the girl something to believe in, and be happy about. To dream. To imagine. Those few hours under the covers, or snuggled in a chair, or lounging in the hot sun, miles away from every day life, was a gift. A gift she wanted to give back one day over and over and over…

I only hope I do. Romance novels made me want to be a writer and made me happy.

That’s what romance means to me. That’s why romance matters.



One of my favorite authors is  Susan Elizabeth Phillips  (*posting tomorrow~B) – she incorporates amazing characters with fun adventures and scenes that make me laugh out loud. She is my go to author for a great summer read but there are so many more!

Some wonderful, talented, go-to authors I would recommend my readers try?

The fab Alice Clayton and her novel Wallbanger.

The witty Megan Mulry and her books A Royal Pain and  If The Shoe Fits. (Megan created content for RARM on her blog. Read it here.)

The talented Ruth Cardello and her yummy Maid For A Billionaire series

Happy reading everyone!

Questions for the Author

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

A hot pink garden gnome! My son got it for me for Mother’s Day, and he was so proud when I unwrapped it, he raced over to the main shelf in the house and put it on there and it has not moved since!


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

Expect the Unexpected. That’s how life is, a continuous surprise if you show up every day, ready to play. And who would play me? Rachel McAdams. Nope, she doesn’t look like me, but I love her laugh and spirit she brings to her roles and I’ve learned humor is everything.


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

My first book cover in a beautiful frame. Made everything real and magical.


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?)

Definitely The Marriage Bargain – it’s where my marriage to a billionaire series began, and a great introduction to readers regarding my voice and style. Nick and Alexa portray everything I love to write — sexual tension, humor, emotion, and I’d definitely direct romance readers to the scene where Alexa hides a roomful of dogs from Nick!

Jennifer is generously donating one signed copy of The Marriage Trap and one of The Marriage Merger  to U.S. readers and one copy of The Marriage Mistake to international readers (enter here).  To enter the U.S. drawing , 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 midnight EST Aug 7 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.

Jennifer ProbstJennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons, one 6 and one 8, keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of both sexy and erotic contemporary romance including The Marriage Bargain, The Marriage Trap, and The Marriage Mistake and her new release, The Marriage Merger. She has been published with Gallery, Entangled, Decadent, The Wild Rose Press, and Red Sage Publishing. She has also written a children’s book, Buffy and the Carrot, co-written with her niece, along with a short story about a shelter dog, “A Life Worth Living.” All of her books are available at her website,

Find Jennifer’s books on Amazon.

  • Jen Ferraro Stepke

    I agree with you completely! Romance novels are a gift that all of you fabulous writers keep on giving! Thank you! 🙂

  • Cat C

    Great story! Romance novels really are a gift–they make us happy but they also teach us important lessons. I discovered romance novels at the library and I’ve been reading them voraciously for almost a decade!

  • Ora

    I fell in love with your books last year when I read The Marriage Proposal.

  • Heather Coulter

    Love the billionaire series, I couldn’t even pick a favorite.

  • helena rizzuto

    I agree.. romance makes things appear way more vivid.

  • tonda hargett

    I love your post, beautiful!

  • Nancy Huddleston

    Thanks. You said it beautifully.

  • Melanie Backus

    Love your post and love a great read!

  • Bette Hansen

    loved your post and definitely love your books. thanks for sharing

  • Amy McKechney Lang

    Love your post!

  • Rochelle

    I have been enjoying the series! Thanks for the essay.

  • Linnea Bassin

    I have started reading Ruth Cardello’s series but I am finding so many authors this month it may take a while to get through them all. I am starting to make a list. I also find romance novels as a way to escape, It my youth it was from a not so fun life, as an adult it is my break from reality that allows me to relax between being a mom shuttle, mom, co-worker, spouse and all the many hats I try to balance.

  • brhill2010

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my go to author when I need a really good romance that has humor behind it. Your experience with romance was like mine except I am not sure if I even want to write. It seems so hard to even start or to think how great some of the authors make these books along with the plots that keep you pulling at the book or make you want to scream at the hero and heroine!!

  • Britney Adams

    Great post! Thank you for sharing!!

  • rebecca moe

    Loved your post! And all of your recommended authors are already on my bookshelves–coincidence? I think not!

  • Nicole Fortuna

    Love your post. Romance novels have definitely made me happier!

  • Kim

    I agree with your pick of Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She writes very funny books with surprising depth with her characters.

  • Kim Cornwell

    I love finding new authors thanks for the chance! I myself am shy also. I was surprised when my husband asked me out. It was in high school. I was 14 and he was 17. I know what your thinking. I was very mature for my age. If you can believe that. I was raised by a single mom who worked and was going to college. I did most of the cleaning and cooking. . Oh well he was the bad boy and I was the shy girl. He ask me to go to the football game.
    I did and we hit it off. I have now been with him for 32 yrs. and wouldn’t change a thing. He’s my soul mate!

  • Anna

    It’s wonderful that you can share your gift with the rest of us! 🙂

  • Kristy Birch

    The scene where Alexa tries to hide the dogs is one of the funniest scenes that I’ve read in a long time. I love the very modern take on marriage of convenience.

  • Meredith Richardson

    I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit, I’ve always found myself as the shy girl on the outside and then I fell in love with books and have made a few tight friends because of our shared love of reading and romance stories.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I was also a really shy girl. I love the things that romance books show and introduce their readers. There is something for everyone.

  • Sue G.

    I was never the shy kid, but my husband was and really still is. Sometimes it drives me nuts the things he will not do because of his shyness even at 49! I like to think that I have had some impact on him and have opened him up a little. He was raised in a very strict, unemotional house which was the total opposite of mine. Now we have 3 daughters (20, 18 and 16 yrs old) who are more on the open side than him and at times I just laugh because the things they will tell him he will just turn all red!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    Thank you for sharing your story. I loved your first 3 Marriage books & am looking forward to reading the new one! Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my favorites, too. And I am also loving Megan Mulry.

  • Diane Giarrusso

    You sound like a fun person to know! I’m looking forward to reading your books! Thank you!

  • suepeace

    I love this Romance Month! 🙂 Great post, glad you found romance novels!!

  • TrishJ

    Wow. I loved this post. I was painfully shy growing up. I was afraid to voice any of my thoughts. Romance books did empower me. I found heroines just like me, shy awkward, and by the end of the book, they were strong and courageous. I have not read any books by Ms. Probst, but I certainly will now. I dont know how I missed so many great authors! But I am jumping out of this rut and checking them out.

  • Jen C

    Awww. I’m loving these blog posts. Everyday someone writes that really reflects my experience with romances. Today, you’re that one! I think one of the things that makes these novels so great is how easily and readily the reader can connect with the story. 🙂

  • Ruth

    My wonderful mother probably would never have handed me a romance novel of her own volition. She was not so much over protective as perhaps she was protective of my innocence. That didn’t stop me from being a romantic or from liking happily ever after. Now, I’ve come to realize that if I had a daughter of my own, romance reading would be a encouraged. I do have a 19 year old niece, however. I’m going to give her a list. I’m going to endeavor to move her away from a male romance author whose main characters frequently die, and move her toward authors whose main characters not only struggle and survive, but who grow and change and sacrifice and respect and love. Because THAT is what I want for her.

  • Karin Anderson

    I love your answer to why Romance matters. I completely agree.

  • Victoria Schultz

    I love your books!!!!

  • glittergirl54

    I’ve been hearing so much about this author on the blogs. I’d love to win one of her books and get started reading. Thanks so much for the giveaway and the month of Romance. It’s giving me a taste of so many new authors to me!

  • M Kuxhaus

    If only I had learned all those lessons when I started reading romance! I would have been so much braver earlier in my life.

  • QuenKne M

    I recommended this in an earlier comment, but I think it’s important to mention again. I really do think some kind of booklet of all the authors posts should be put together and given out to teen girls. I think they need to know the wisdom’s that all of you have shared here, let them know they are not alone, and teach them what powerful lessons can be learned from simply reading romance novels.

    And Jennifer, don’t worry about your house…my Mom taught me time with you kids & family is so much more important that a little dust. 🙂 [there’s a poem called
    “Cleaning Can Wait… Babies Don’t Keep!”, but I believe it’s more than just about babies]

  • Becky Rabalais

    Thanks for the great article! Another author to add to my list….

  • Martha Lawton

    I found your books by accident and have enjoyed the whole marriage to billionaire series. I agree that one of the best scenes you have written is when Alexa hides a room full of dogs from Nick! But there are so many more! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • MooMoo Cake

    I really enjoyed your articles and I also love Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Ruth Cardello’s Maid for a Billionaire. I just looked up the blurb for The Marriage Bargain and I really would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Sandi in OH

    I, too, was the shy girl. Fortunately, I loved to read. I also love to find new authors to read although I probably won’t live long enough to read all the books that I want to read. I stopped being shy when I had a special needs child.

  • Ann

    So glad that “Romance Matters” to you!

  • leah g

    I love, love, love the marriage bargain. It might be one of the first romances that I really enjoyed. I really enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • BookLady

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Marcy Shuler

    Aww…how sweet that your son gave you a hot pink garden gnome. *gg* Love your books, Jennifer!

  • Robin Ray

    Your answer to the Object Question reminded me of a Gift I received from one of my children it doesn’t fall under the description of Ugly or Crazy by any means its more the reaction your son had when he gave it to you. My child had a similar reaction. I think it was the first gift he bought for me without the help of his Dad – he was in Elementary at the time like First Grade maybe and the PTA arranged to have a “Christmas Shop” in the Library.

  • Ann Mettert

    Yes. I think you can learn from all genres, but people can be so dismissive of romance that they don’t realize you can learn everything from history to getting along with others. 🙂

  • MaryC

    Lovely post – thanks for sharing.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Great blog! I started reading romance early on and I’ve been hooked ever since. I honestly believe that it has shaped me as a person and made me happy, optimistic and well adjusted. Over and over I hear disdain in people’s voices when referring to romance and all I can think is “their loss.” I’ve got a ton of guilty pleasures but somewhere along the way I dropped the guilt and just call them my pleasures. And romance novels are definitely at the top of my list of pleasures. (Right up there with Lionel Richie music, John Stamos in anything, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer lol)

  • Cheryl Hastings

    Great post and very inspiring story…glad you found your way into that bookstore!! I’m a big fan of your Marriage series…have them all on my Nook, as well as Ruth’s Billionaire series. SEP is another favorite and I am adding Alice and Megan to my growing new author list!! Thanks 🙂

  • Ada H

    This is one of my favorite posts….I totally agree and if you substitute library for bookstore, it’s totally me.

  • Anita H.

    Thanks for sharing that great story with us! I’m a fan of yours and SEP as well!

  • Rhiannon Rowland

    New to me author! Thanks

  • Kim

    Great post!! I also love SEP and Wallbanger by Alice Clayton!

  • donnas

    Awesome post, Everyone should read it; I think many of us can identify with that girl in the bookstore.

  • Joan Varner

    Jennifer, you were new to me when I read “The Marriage Bargain” but I so enjoyed reading that book. Alexa was a strong and independent woman and Nick was the oh, so sexy rich alpha male. He learned a lot from Alexa and that’s what made the story great to read – along with the humor. Thanks for your books becuase I do love to read.

  • Ketta Peters

    You sound like my kind of author, this is a magnificent month.

  • I haven’t read your books, yet, but you sound like a great author! Thank you for sharing your post.

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Yeah, another new author to me! This program is great for introducing authors that might be new to us; thanks for participating, Jennifer!

  • Chelsea

    I love Jennifer Probst and reccomend to to all, I loved this post. Jennifer is an inspiration and if you haven’t read her books, DO so!

  • Sarah Gianocaro

    I’m glad you left your son’s present where he left it. 🙂

  • Lisa Hutson

    I love reader giveaways. Especially when loads of authors participate. Fun for everyone. lisakhutson(at)cox{net}

  • Jenny Martin

    I love finding new authors–and I love books on marriage!

  • Emma Fitzgerald

    Some great recommendations there!! I love Ruth Cardello’s Maid for the Billionaire. The whole series is wonderful!