Day 6 Mary Balogh

Love Matters

We all know that the romance genre occupies the lowest rung of respectability among all literary genres. And perhaps that is because life in the “real” world can soon turn us into cynics who can see only the bad things that go on around us. It is perfectly understandable. Just tune in to any news channel or any reality-type show or pick up any news magazine. And we all know that divorce rates have skyrocketed in the The Arrangementpast half century if people even make it as far as marrying. The idea that two people can fall in love, commit their lives to each other, and expect to live together in a happy, fulfilling relationship for the rest of their lives is ludicrous, farcical, naive, silly.

But IS it? Don’t you know any people who simply love? Any couples who are still happy together after a year? Ten years? Sixty years? Don’t you know ANY? I certainly do. And all around me, when I take off the cynic glasses and set aside preconceived ideas bred into me by the news media and those who take it too seriously, I see people who have decided or learned that love is all that really matters and that being happy is all that really matters. Love is possible, and love stories are possible. They are no more unrealistic than the horror stories that fill our screens every day. Oh, the horror stories happen right enough and sometimes deserve our attention and sympathy, but they are not nearly as prevalent as we can come to believe. Love-filled stories happen at least as frequently and probably many times more so.

I believe that to be happy, well-balanced individuals we must learn to love ourselves, warts and all. And we must learn to love others and–often more difficult–allow ourselves to be loved. These three components of love can come together with beautiful effect in a well-told love story in which two lonely and/or wounded souls heal under each other’s influence and develop a friendship and a love that are rock solid and soul-deep. Love stories can be life and literature at their very best. They can be worth writing and worth reading, and while they can be a form of escape–for they do offer a sure happy ending–they can also lead the reader into reality, into a deeper understanding of what life ought to be and can be.

I write love stories because I believe in love and because love matters.

Recommendations:

I would recommend Grace Burrowes to anyone who likes Regency-era romance.  She is fairly new but prolific and already has a wealth of titles and series.  Candice Hern now self-publishes her Regency-era historicals exclusively in e-book format, I believe, and with great success. She is a superb writer and well worth seeking out.


Questions for Mary:

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

If there is a polar opposite of a pack rat, I am it. I don’t keep things I have no use for. I am ruthless. Sometimes I will look for something I chucked a few weeks before. So I have nothing I consider crazy or ugly or a mere sentimental keeper.

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

No idea. I almost never watch movies.

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

No, can’t do it! There are probably thousands of little things people have given me or done for me or said to me that have touched me deeply. It would be unfair to single out just one.

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?)

Kit Butler and Lauren Edgeworth from A SUMMER TO REMEMBER. From someone else’s books: Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

 

Mary is generously donating two copies of  The Arrangement to give away internationally (enter here) and two to U.S. readers. 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 midnight EST Aug 7 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.


Mary Balogh grew up in Wales and now lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with husband Robert. They have three adult children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Mary taught high school English for twenty years but now writes full-time. She has written more than 100 novels and novellas, most of which are set in 19th century Regency England and all of which are love stories. They include twenty-six New York Times bestsellers. See her web site at www.marybalogh.com.

 

Buy Mary’s books on Amazon.

  • Jen Ferraro Stepke

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Anne

    Thank you for the wonderful essay!

  • Ora

    I love your books. My husband and I are going on 25 years on October and my parents were married over 50 years. Marriage is not always fun, however when your with the one whose your perfect match it does make it easier to get though the ruff times.

  • Heather Coulter

    I love the cover, read tons of your books.

  • helena rizzuto

    Oh my… what can I say that your books haven’t already said…. I love reading your books but especially enjoy the Bedwyn series. Each character literally is their own personality and no two share the same personality trait. I love that in book series. If not,it gets repetitive and really makes a series boring and almost predictable. Thank you Mary for writing such great books. You make cooking, laundry, after-school pick up and sports waiting well worth it. In fact… I look forward to the above mentiomed activites so I can read:)

  • tonda hargett

    I love your post, your thoughts are beautiful! 🙂

  • Nancy Huddleston

    I believe!

  • Melanie Backus

    I love your post and I love a good read!

  • Kathy Nye

    A Simple Affair is one of my all time favorite books! Constantine is my kind of hero. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy McKechney Lang

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Mary Tapia

    I have enjoyed all of your books! I love the depth of the characters!

  • brhill2010

    I love your thoughts on romance. Romance is a way to give hope for people who have lost hope and need it reignited again. Thanks!!

  • Polly

    Just finished re-reading A Summer to Remember as I move through the ‘Slightly’ series. I am waiting impatiently for The Arrangement and the rest of the Survivor’s Club series, and re-reading is my solace as I wait. And I LOVE Grace Burrowes and Candice Hern.

    • Anne Hoile

      Totally agreed! Grace and Candice are superb story-tellers!

  • Anna

    I love the idea of taking off the cynic glasses. I know in my own life I have plenty of examples of long-term loving couples, but there are several that aren’t, too. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one reading romances for the possibility of love stories.

  • Melissa Hanson

    Thank you!

  • Britney Adams

    Love does matter! Thank you!!

  • Priscilla Payne

    I loved Kit and Lauren’s story. I also love Sydnam and Anne’s story. That one made me cry!

  • Lucia Capella

    crossing my fingers….. I love your books. My favorite ? Slightly Dangerous.

  • Nicole Fortuna

    What a great post. I wish that more people thought romance went on in the “real” world.

  • Jackie

    It is my birthday today – therefore it would be awesome if you picked me!

  • Wendie Hammond

    Great recommendation for a first time reader! A Summer To Remember was my very first book. I had to read all of your books after that. I have almost succeeded. I love your books!

  • Melinda Russo

    I feel that Love and Romance go hand in hand. By reading Romance novels it helps to keep the Love and Romance alive in my marriage of 22 years. I will keep reading Romance novels to keep my goal of trying to keep my marriage fresh and alive for many more years. Thank You Mary for helping Me with keeping My goal.

  • Pat Kelley Wittorf

    I became “hooked” on your books with Slightly Married. The story of Aidan and Eve captured me and I went on a search for the rest of the series and have been a follower of your books ever since. My only complaint is you can’t write/release them as fast as I can read them.

  • Kim

    I’ve enjoyed reading your books and look forward to your new one. Interesting about you not being a pack rat. What happens if your spouse is, do you win? 🙂

  • Grace Burrowes

    Mary, thanks very much for the nod, but before I wrote a single scene, I’d read dozens of your books. As for happy couples, my folks have celebrated their 68th anniversary this year, and they are happy.

    I agree that romance is not particularly respected, but like a court jester in the kingdom of literature, because nobody is threatened by romance, because the presentation is so charming and clever, romance can tell the hard truths, and make that honesty bearable: Life is hard, lonely, and far, far better tackled with love and courage than fear and loneliness.

    • Lovely, Grace! Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

      Hope you keep following RARM. You’re getting great press these days, including SEP the other day. Very cool. Congratulations!

    • Ruth

      My best buddy in romance reading and I love you, Grace. We have been sooo thrilled to have one Grace Burrowes novel/novella to read a month. And you just keep getting better and better.

  • Jessica Brown Frymyer

    I love this new series! I can’t wait to see what Fate has in store for the Survivors!

  • rebecca moe

    Very nice post. I won an ARC of The Arrangement through LibraryThing and am forcing myself to wait a little closer to release day to read it…but it’s sooooo hard!

    (But, hey! A Summer to Remember’s sitting right next to me on the bookshelf–I could console myself with that!)

  • april rose bulaclac

    Praying for it. I have all your books, it would be nice to have something to top it all.
    I love the A summer to remember to the simple perfect. I have it all and Memorize it by heart

  • Susan Gwisdala

    Love your books!

  • Stephanie Deal

    Love ALL your books Mary! Can’t wait to read this one. 🙂

  • sandalwood1940

    One of my favorite living authors. The Secret Pearl is the best book I ever read.

  • Kim Cornwell

    I agree to have love, you have to love ones self! I married at 16 and we will celebrate 30yrs this December. We started dating at 14. So really 32 yrs together. People said we would never make it! Haha we did. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Alicia Murphy

    It is sad that romance ranks at the bottom of the literary hierarchy. I find a lot of value in your HEA books, Mary. I know I will be entertained, comforted, & many times enlightened when I read one of your stories. Your characters are very realistic & I think seeing their struggles can help readers to be more empathetic towards real people.

  • Deepti Swamy

    I think at the end of the day, believing in love is what gives us hope. In the midst of all the acts of violence and terror that occurs in the name of hate, love stands out as a beacon, a ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak place. It is because of love that we are motivated to get up and act each morning.Love has many manifestations and levels to it- in the form of passion towards something/someone, interest, attention, caring and so on. Each level acts in helping us do something. As mentioned in the essay- love can be manifested outside of ourselves easily but it is a greater job to direct it inwards-towards ourselves. Once that is accomplished, there is nothing to stop you from being the best since you will never give anything but your best towards something you love. That is precisely what attracts me towards romances. If a character like a Mr. Darcy or a Duke of Bewcastle can change for love,anything can be possible!

  • girlygirlhoosier52

    I have almost all of your books! I love them!

  • Dottie L

    Thank you Mary! I love my husband of 25 years in spite of the many ups & downs we encounter. I’m sure he loves me just as much! You have to go through some hard times in order to appreciate each other. I absolutely love reading romance novels, they take me away from the doom & gloom that we see on the news everyday. In my book there is nothing wrong with HEA! The critics of romance need to realize and appreciate all the research that’s needed in order to get the facts straight when writing about the 17th & 18th centuries. My hat is off to you and your fellow romance writers for a job well done! I loved The Proposal and all of your other books, especially the Simply & Slightly series’. Looking forward to The Arrangement!

  • Tammy Sanderson

    I have really enjoyed all of your books. Your stars are not always perfect and have come thru some tough times. I think the one I have re-read the most times is More than a Mistress. And try to wait patiently for each new one as you are writing it.

  • Catherine White

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I get tired of hearing about all the bad things that happen in the world. Thanks to your books, I have hope that love and happily ever after can be a reality. Thank you for writing books that allow your readers to get a taste of happy endings. I love all of your books and eagerly look forward to each new one you produce.

  • Lynne Oberdieck Ernst

    Life is about the journey and it’s not always perfect. I like that your heroes are not always perfect either.

  • Sarah Muder

    Do I need a reason? I just love Mary Balogh! 🙂

  • Patty Vasquez

    I love Kit! Lauren is, indeed, his perfect match. Since I have this opportunity, I want to mention how much I enjoyed The Proposal. I found the tone and style of the story to be both poignant and charming; very different from some of your more recent stories.

    I grew up with my grandparents love story and think this may have been when I first developed my own passion for romance. Theirs was the classic boy from the wrong side of the tracks and society girl fall in love. Although my grandparents had gone to school together (they’d known each other since they were 14), he was not considered a “proper” match. As the story goes, my great-grandparents sent my grandma on the proverbial tour of Europe- this was the mid-1920s- to discourage their relationship. However, the plan backfired as the two wrote gorgeous love-letters to each other during their separation. We still have those letters. Upon Grandma’s return, they were more in love than ever. They married and were totally devoted to each other. My grandpa died almost 20 years before my grandma. I remember being happy for my grandma when she passed, because I knew she was with her one true love again.

    • Mary Balogh

      Lovely story, Patty! Thank you for sharing.

  • Tina B

    I wish I was like you, unfortunately, I AM a pack rat!! My hubby is always complaining about things that I have and don’t need. Lol.
    I love getting book recommendations. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Kathleen Taylor

    Can’t wait to read it!! I’ve been reading your books like crazy this summer while on the mend from a wrenched knee. Excellent stories.

  • Mariya Skurko

    Imagine this. A young woman, proud of her new beautiful sunglasses strolls down the streets of Soviet Ukraine. With her head in the clouds she doesn’t notice when a strange man comes up to her and snatches her sunglasses right off her face! She becomes enraged at the audacity of this man and demands that he give back what is hers. If he were a robber he would have run away with them by now but no, he tells her to meet him at the café on the corner that night and only then will he give her back those sunglasses. After that he walks away. She thought about simply letting the sunglasses go but she really liked them and wanted them back and so she went to the meet up.
    50 years have passed since that day and my grandpa still finds ways to tease and annoy my grandma but to anyone who has ever seen them together it is very clear that they are very much so in love.

    • Mary Balogh

      Wonderful, Mariya! Stranger than fiction!

  • Vicki Thorne

    “…two lonely and/or wounded souls heal under each other’s influence and develop a friendship and a love that are rock solid and soul-deep.”

    So important that friendship came before love in that sentence. I have read all of your books, and deeply appreciate the way you have your characters discover the difference between being “in love” and “loving”. Thank you for all the hours of reading pleasure you’ve given us!

  • Melanie Drake French

    I’ve read all of your published books so far – much easier now with the kindle easier to save/store them! Keep up the great work!

  • Angela Kinsey Dean

    I always enjoy visits to your worlds—-and that we get to know more than one or two characters! Three generations of our family enjoys your “families”.Thank you!

  • christinejensen

    Love definitely matters 🙂 thanks for sharing.

  • ANNETTE

    Your books have allowed me to escape from stress in my own world. What else can anyone want from reading a well written book?

  • Cyndee Martin

    as one of the sad numbers of the divorce rate I always want to believe in love and your books have given me a great escape. Thank you. Love to read your books!

  • Meredith Richardson

    I totally agree, love is so important and to love others we need to love ourselves as well.

  • Lorelei’s Lit Lair

    I’m inspired by your post, wonderful words. I will be checking out your books and those you’ve recommended. Thank you for the giveaway. It would be an honor to have a signed copy, crossing my fingers!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I enjoy reading your books. I am surrounded by examples of long lasting love.

  • Smita Jha

    I learnt about your books when I asked a small bookshop owner (one of the cozy ones) which author I should buy for a Georgette Heyer fan who needed more romance in her life. She recommended your books. 🙂 I am so glad you joined social media because while I don’t believe that a relationship with an author is necessary to appreciate their work, it has added shades and colour to my relationship with your work.

  • Anna Koehler

    I have been a great fan of yours for many years. Once I start to read your books I can just relax and dream of the characters in your books. To the times they are set in, the plots that have the characters going through to finally reach the happy ending. And I really love how the characters are so real and that the situations they are in are similar to what can happen in the time periods they are set in. And this helps me travel to places that I have always wanted to go and can through your books. Thank you

  • Ann L Dahl

    Do you keep books? I recently moved some books out of my home and hope someone is enjoying them.

    • Mary Balogh

      I gave myself permission a few years ago, Ann, to get rid of many of my books. With very few exceptions, I have never regretted it. I have some keepers, and I have my Kindle.

  • Tracy Smith Chain

    Oh, yes, Kit and Lauren are probably two of the shining examples of your protagonists, Mary. I love that book and have re-read it several times because I identify with Lauren’s need for approval and “being good enough” to be loved. I also love Anne Jewell and Syndnam Butler’s story.

    Thank you so much for your hard work and your wonderful characters.

  • Sharlene Wegner

    Mary, I enjoy reading your books & have also recently discovered Grace Burrowes. Also, I wish I had half of your non-pack rat mentality!(Although I don’t mind my books having their own room!)

  • Wendy Bernard

    wendy bernard

    your books are transporting can’t wait for me to get my hands on the next one and get my friends to read them too

  • Diane Giarrusso

    Thanks for believing in the healing power of love!

  • ceblain

    I would be so delighted to win an autographed book by Mary. I am just getting into the romance genre and chose only a few authors to follow, of which Mary is one. I can’t talk much about romance books, but I do feel that my nearly 50 years of a happy marriage qualifies me as a bit of a romance/happiness advisor if anyone were to ask. 🙂 Thank you for this opportunity to win a book.
    Sincerely,
    Cynthia

  • Abby-Lynne Pellegrin

    Love your books, fell in love with the Bedwyns, and the Huxtables hated to see those series end, you begin to feel like part of the family. Keep up the good work.

  • Christy Sweeten

    Mary you are my favorite among many authors regardless of genre. Your words are amazingly combined to express true feelings in your readers. Oh and my favorite couple is Rannulf and Judith. She had the courage to reach out and grab a moment of happiness, and it lasted a lifetime.

  • Cheryl Castings

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about writing romance. I read romance for comfort, escapism, entertainment, and because I believe in the power of love.

  • Cat Savage Sarno

    When I have had a bad day, and lately that seems a lot of the time, I come home and drown in a great book. Romances of every kind are the best because they allow an escape from reality and let you believe there are knights out there, even if they are part of the imagination. Thank you for supplying an escape.

  • Joyce Burkhardt

    Mary Balogh books are the best. I love how you can follow characters through different books and find updates about their lives too.

  • Jeanne M

    Hi Mary!
    I loved your interview and have been readying your books for years although my first venture into reading historical romance goes back much future. My “introduction” to the genre happened back in the 1960’s when my very wise English teacher in High School back in the 1960’s introduced us to the genre by having us read Don Quixote by Cervantes as part of our “required” reading for the year.

    That one book changed my life and my outlook on what is important in a relationship. It made me realize how important seeing the “good” in a person was much more important then what others may think and that by reaching for the impossible dream and then dedicating your relationship to each other could make all the difference.

    I think that over the years too many have made the decision to not “work” at relationships and really dedicate themselves to not just talk to each other but to instead realize that by taking the time to really listen to each other all things are possible.

    I think that is one reason I love reading historical romance so much. I think that they highlight that by working together, forgiveness and understanding that anything is possible.

    This year I celebrated my 43rd anniversary to my wonderful husband and one of the most important thing we’ve learned over the years is that we are a team and even though we agree to disagree at time by working together and understanding and accepting each other, both the bad and the good, all things are possible.

    I love your books because you show your readers how when two people work together they can build a true relationship that will last forever through the good times as well as the bad!

  • Diane Sallans

    I love Mary’s books and her characters – they make me cry a bit and then smile. I read The Proposal and really look forward to the rest of the series.

  • Kathy Setter

    Having just celebrated our 34th anniversary I totally agree that there are many who have learned to love and be happy. We certainly are! And my husband has learned to appreciate all the romance books I read and has even read one or two himself. I’ve been a fan of Mary’s a long time; her books take up a shelf in my collection.

  • Judy Beth-Hervert

    I love your stories – I have collected your books on a “keeper” shelf, and have shared them with friends.

  • cathylees

    I think that one of the reason that the romance novel is not respected is that the writing is often pablum and the characters have no depth. A truly well written romance novel will really stand apart and make readers want to read them and share them–not just women, but anyone who enjoys good story.
    You are certainly one such author.
    As to romance not existing, I think your characters have it right when they say they would not expect or want a happily ever after. Too often I think that is what people expect. Relationships need to be worked on and nurtured. My husband and I did not have a love at first sight–quite the opposite. But as we got to know and appreciate each other a love grew. We have been married 32 years and are still very happy together. We have had rough spots, but we both value each other to make things work. My children are both happily married as well to lovely spouses whose parents have long marriages. Hopefully we all led by example and they will have long happy marriages as well.

  • alisha woods

    It says you grew up in Wales. What part? My family has been traced to Raglan.

    • Mary Balogh

      Swansea, Alisha. The house where I grew up overlooked the great sweep of Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel. It was a magnificent view!

  • suepeace

    Great post!! 🙂 I believe in love too 🙂

  • Janie McGaugh

    I agree with you about the existence and importance of love. I have seen so many couples who’ve been happily together for years. Indeed, my husband and I have been married for almost 42 years. While we’ve had our ups and downs over the years, we’ve always loved each other.

  • Kara O’Neal

    I have always felt your books lead us to a better understanding of people and how they interact. Thanks for writing!

  • Pamby50

    I look forward to reading A Summer to Remember. I agree that romance novels get a bad rap but I don’t care. Next month my husband & I will celebrate 32 yrs.

  • Meg Nyberg

    I’ve been married 40+ years now, and truly only because your books gave me hope. He loved me, but he loved someone else too–for eight years. If it hadn’t been for your books and the characters’ struggles, I might have given up. I am so glad I didn’t. You also introduced me to a new genre of literature. I had always looked down on Romance novels, but I was an English Lit. major. What an idiot I was. Thank you so much.

  • Linda Mitchell

    I love your writing. I am anxiously awaiting the Arrangement….. You take me to a wonderful time and place where I can relax and enjoy…..your writing gives my imagination so much to work with, that I can picture in my mind the places and people,and even “read” to myself with an “english accent”. Trying to collect all your books, and have a pretty good collection. Keep up the great work.

  • carla marsili

    I think romance, as well as any other kind of book, gives the reader what can be defined as a literary experience. The author’s experience melts with the reader’s one thus originating the literary experience. What is it? Not easy to say…a journey inside our inner self, our dreams, fears, believings…a happy, sad important or funny one but…always enriching you!!

  • Mary Fitzgerald

    I’m obsessed with books, I have over 600 in my library, and still have over half a notebooks worth on my list of “to read”.

  • Debra Colins

    I first ‘discovered’ you Mary, after purchasing ‘The Proposal’ at a Random House Book Sale in Toronto in the Fall 2012 – and I have read no-one else since! I’m addicted! Be it my library, Good Will shops or on my e-reader, I’m on book # 21 and still enthralled and excited to move on to the next one! I’ve never considered my self a ‘romantic’ person but love your characters and story telling magic – pure escapism! Please keep them coming and cannot wait to read The Arrangement.

  • Just Do You

    Thank you for gifting us with your stories…I have enjoyed all of them so far…keep ’em coming

  • Claudia Szuberla

    For me romance, particularly historical romance, is a medium to transport myself to another time and place. It’s a magical journey where the women are strong and confident and the men are sexy, hot and wonderful partners. Reading these romances by Mary Balogh allows me that escape to another time and place. A play time and an exciting chance for love to enter my life. Thanks Mary Balogh for your wonderful books!

  • Mari Watson

    Very good points about romance. Most of the People I know are happily married. Thanks for writing..

  • Jen C

    When I hear criticism about romance from those in my field (English, film/literature studies), I remind them about the controversies around graphic novels as literature (which most of them agree is a form of “worthy” literature), and that usually makes them stop and think. It’s an important and very broad genre with something for everyone!

  • Ruth

    I have been a fan since before that big, loving, larger than life family, the Bedwyn’s. I knew Gwen would have her turn. Thank you! I look forward to all Survivor Club books. Ladies: Mary is right: Check out Grace Burrowes. And if you read Mary’s “A Summer to Remember,” you’ll be hooked!

  • michelle fitzsimons

    I so enjoy your books, Mary! As a new fan, I keep looking forward to your releases in print as well as your kind, humorous, & inspiring words on line. Have a lovely day my dear:-)

  • Victoria Schultz

    Wow what a wonderful contest! I look forward to reading your books!

  • Donna

    Mary wrote, “Love stories can be life and literature at their very best. ”

    I agree; yes, they *can* be. But I believe that the disrespect for the genre is not due to cynicism, but because the genre is so huge, and unfortunately, there are far too few Mary Baloghs writing. The critics always use examples of egregious purple prose as representative of the entire genre.

    I love Candice Hern! Thank you for the Grace Burrows recommendation – she’s new to me so I will now check her out.

  • QuenKne M

    I am a proud romance novel reader and I don’t care what others think about my book choices. No one should knock a romance novel, until they try one…and then I dare them to not be hooked. I think for every negative item in the news media, a positive one should be put in; let people know that there are still good things happening in the world & there are as many good people too!! I also am a believer in love, because love does matters!

  • Elizabeth Grundmann Moore

    It would be hard to choose my favorite story. I really enjoy the Regency era stories where manners were the norm instead of the exception. Probably the Slightly series ranks as my favorite (with the Simply ones a close 2nd) with Freyja as my favorite character because of her development over several books. Please keep them coming!

  • Melissa Chavez

    I grew up watching my mom read romance novels. I never knew what had her so engrossed until I was about 23 years old and had my first child. My reaction was
    ahhh now I get it. I have been an avid romance reader since, regency romance being my favorite. Your readers can attest for themselves how your books make them feel, for me they are a beautiful escape. My husband of 13 years has MS and my eldest son has autism, so every victory your characters achieve lead me to believe and embrace the small, and the not so small,victories in my real life.
    Thanks for all the lovely characters you create and their stories you tell.
    Always, Melissa

  • Ashlyn Thompson

    Thank you for the giveaway! I already have this preordered on my nook but would love an autographed paperback!!!

  • Barbara Aglieri

    As the Beatles said, All you need is love!!

  • MooMoo Cake

    I read romance novels for the same reasons that you write them. And I think the world would be a better place if more people read romance novels and did as you say: develop a deeper understanding of what life ought to be and can be with love.

  • Martha Lawton

    Thank you for your books. I have enjoyed many of them and look forward to reading more of them. I think romance is not respected because it defies a specific categorization. I think in order to enjoy it you need compassion and a non analytical mind that is focused on results…

  • Sandi in OH

    We have been married 45 years. My parents were married 64 years before my father died. My one set of grandparents were married almost 53 years. As you can see I come from a long line of long happy marriages.

  • Johanna Bobadilla

    I love your books The first one I read was Simply Love which I found in the library of a hotel in DR, I was going to finish the book on the weekend but the management was so mean to me and my friends that as compensation my friends stole the book for me. Not proud but I am so glad they did it because it introduce me to your writing. My favorite is still A Summer to Remember.

  • Melissa Sullivan

    Hi, Mary i love your books! ^w^ I hear you when you say that romance is usually seen as the least respectable of the literary genres. People are never afraid to give you “looks or smart comment” when they see you carrying one. (I got a dozy this past sat at the library carrying one. Course i was also wearing my “My little pony” Big Mac “My special somepony” shirt too….).

  • Ellen Porcari

    I was directed to your books when I lamented that I couldn’t find a book I enjoyed as much as my all-time favorite, Georgette Heyer. Once I started yours, I couldn’t stop and I look forward to many more. Thank you!

  • leah g

    Hmm. Is it strange that I just recently started reading romance and I do sometimes find myself rolling my eyes at the HEA. Yet, my parents have been married 50 years. Admittedly, I do find them eye rollingly sweet as well. I guess it is good to remember that while it can be a lot of work those HEAs do exist.

  • Chris Jacomine

    My favorite author for over a decade! I always wish there were more to read. The “Simply” series is my favorite. Thank you for so many wonderful hours of escape.

  • BookLady

    I love your romance novels!!!

  • Marcy Shuler

    I’m a big fan of you and your books, Mary! I can’t wait to read the next one. 🙂

  • Ann Mettert

    Love Regency!! And your books. 🙂

  • Dana Shoulders

    Ooooh, Ooooh, I want a copy of the Arrangement; particularly if I get to get it before everyone else :). Of course I’ll eventually get one anyway, but sooner rather than later is always nice.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Like some of the others that have commented, I come from a line of happily married couples as does my husband. We are seven years in and I hope to have many many more! You make such a great point in your three components of love and I think this is a big part of what makes a great romance novel. Love your books….keep ’em coming!

  • Kimberly Dacey

    Very excited to read your book! You have another wonderful series on your hands!

  • Cheryl Hastings

    My parents have been married for almost 50 years. Do they drive each other nuts sometimes? Yup!! But always, there is love. Thanks for the nod to P&P…one of my very favorites 🙂

  • Jennifer Johnson

    Mary, I love reading your books. I also agree with your comments about love. I can’t wait to read The Arrangement. I have been waiting all summer for this one.

  • Beverly DeeAnjello

    Thank you for all the beautiful romance novels you have written. I have enjoyed them all.

  • Ada H

    I agree, Mary! And I definitely enjoy Grace Burrowes as well. I can’t wait to read the next novel you put out!

  • WinnieP

    I’m really enjoying your books, and am glad there are so many more to read.

  • Nadia

    I feel like your books are coming closer and closer to the reality of love. They are less of an escape but rather more a means to sketch the beauty that can exist between two imperfect individuals. This is especially true with your Survivor Series. Thank you for that.

  • Rhiannon Rowland

    Love Mary’s books! All of them! I haven’t read this one yet, but know it will be another keeper!

  • Linda Kenyon

    my husband and I are a testament to the fact that love can be enduring, faithful and happy. Not every moment is happy but most are at least content and full of trust. Yes, Virginia, there are happy marriages.

  • Guest

    My favorite couple in your romances is actually Wulf and Christine – I think they had to learn a lot about themselves and each other in order to finally decide to commit to each other. (Lauren’s transformation was more dramatic but seemed slightly less believable because of that, although I love that book and its characters too.) – Janice Gelb

  • Janice Gelb

    My favorite couple in your romances is actually Wulf and Christine – I
    think they had to learn a lot about themselves and each other in order
    to finally decide to commit to each other. (Lauren’s transformation was
    more dramatic but seemed slightly less believable because of that,
    although I love that book and its characters too.)

  • Ksenia Lukianov

    Dear Mary,
    You are the only romance writer I read. No one else captures the complex humanity of characters as you do. I especially love your depiction of broken, hurting characters; Adam and Fleur, Sydnam and Anne, Gwen, Lily, and Priscilla. I became hooked after One Night for Love, and have since read all of your books twice, some even three times over! I am impatiently awaiting August 27th. Thank you for the comfort that you bring through your writing, like that of a kindred spirit.
    Ksenia

  • Ketta Peters

    I actually know more married people than divorced people — my parents are going on 57 years, which makes me smile and inspires me to keep on plugging on my second relationship. Romance brings the same inspiration.

  • bonnierz

    I’m looking forward very much to reading this book. I’ve gone back and tracked down and bought all of your titles. My favorites are The Temporary Wife (which had me sobbing) The Notorious Rake, and Slightly Dangerous. Like everyone else, I love Wulfric. bonnieblue at wowway dot com

  • Livia Quinn

    What a wonderful post, Mary. You certainly explained the reason we read and write and believe in romance.

  • Eileen Wetterstrom

    I have always loved your novels, Mary. Love is what only matters. If your love relationship is out of sync, all looks bleak, but if you have that special relationship (which I have had for 43 years), the most desperate situations are surmountable. I didn’t know you were Canadian. You and Vanessa Kelly, also Canadian, are two of my favorite authors,

  • Great essay on romance, Mary. I enjoyed reading it! Thank you for sharing your talent. 🙂

  • Laurie Sherman-Roberts

    I’ve been reading your books for years. I get so excited when I find one I haven’t read yet and of course have to get it. Now that I have a Nook my husband doesn’t have to know how many books I buy!

  • Tin

    Hi, Mary! I love both your recommendations and am looking forward to Candice Hern releasing a new book. Glad that she’s getting her backlist out in e-format.

    I love that you define romance novels as “love-filled stories” — I think that captures the essence of the genre perfectly.

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your books, Mary; thanks for sharing yourself with us here, today.

  • girlygirlhoosier52

    Always a great story and I keep my copies and re-read them!

  • Sarah Gianocaro

    Love definitely matters.

  • Virginia Kelly

    I’m way late on reading the posts at Read a Romance Month. Wow on
    reading that one of my favorite writers recommends another. Adore the
    work of both of these ladies. Thank you both for countless hours of
    romance.