Day 14 Carly Phillips – Real-Life and Fantasy Romance

CarlyPhillips_DaretoDesire_HRWhat is Romance?

What is Romance? Is it the perfect gift? The bouquet of flowers? The huge heart shaped box of candy on Valentine’s Day, or on your birthday or anniversary? Or is it the little blue velvet (or whatever) color jewelry box from your favorite store? Maybe it’s seriously sappy cards? Or humorous fun ones.

Before I give my opinion, I admit to loving all of these things. I’ve been married 25 years this July 1 and my heart still does a little leap when the florist comes. Honestly, my husband isn’t a “true romantic” and that’s okay. As long as there’s a way he remembers important dates, I’m happy.

The fact is, a lot of men just aren’t wired to be romantic. Even if you’ve tried to retrain them, they just don’t think that way. Some weren’t raised that way. Still, if they value you and have their own way of showing it, that should be enough. Which doesn’t mean that we don’t need the fantasy, hence the Romance Hero. The Book Boyfriend. He can step in and show his heroine just how special and important she is to him. That’s the escape from reality, why we read Romance.

But we live in the real world and that means accepting men for who they are. For me, I don’t need the big fancy gift or the flowers (although it’s nice when I get them.) We’re usually leaving for a family vacation right after Valentine’s Day which makes flowers that will die while I’m gone a waste of money. But it’s enough for my man to say “I would have gotten you flowers but we’re leaving the next day.” That tells me he remembered.

That said, I have also learned to tell him what I want for any given holiday – birthdays and the like, and then sometimes I even go out and buy it. He does the same. That way we each get what we like, no one is disappointed or upset with the other for forgetting. And we do get each other cards … Romantic? Maybe not to some. But it works for me.

To answer my original question, what is romance? It’s the little things all year round that mean the most. To know he’s there when I need him, that he takes care of me in his own special way. But I wouldn’t return anything inside a little velvet box, ::hint:: ::hint::


I love reading. I jump in and devour books. The best thing in the world is finding a new to me author and having a whole back list to go through! I have so many writer friends and writers I love to read it’s hard to pick just a few.

Lexi Blake – Masters and Mercenaries series – it’s sizzling hot (BDSM) erotic romance – a bit of romantic suspense, a whole lot of alpha male and strong women. Love.

Juliana Stone – writes a combination of sexy tear jerker to comedic enjoyment – from The Barker Triplets to The Bad Boys of Crystal Lake … I love her books.

Shelly Laurenston – shifter insanity. I can’t describe it any better. She’s amazing.

 Questions For The Author

Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

I went parasailing in Aruba. And I took my daughter with me. Today, when I see the scary stories in the news about people getting hurt, I wonder what the heck I was thinking!

DareToSurrender_highres Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

Oh, I never knew I wanted to be a writer. Now that I am one, I can look back and see the “signs”. I told stories in my head when I was bored, on long car rides, to put myself to sleep. I put myself in situations where I needed to be rescued by whichever hot guy I liked at the moment. To sum up, I’m kinda nuts. As for my journey, when my first daughter was born, she was colicky and cranky and I needed an escape. I’d always been a reader but I read hardcover and whatever my mom read. When my husband let me know we couldn’t afford my reading habit (one h.c. a day), he sent me off to buy paperback. This led me to the Romance section of the bookstore and when I figured out I could always be happy with the ending of a book – that the main character could end up with the right guy – I was hooked. Eventually I decided I wanted to TRY to write one … and the rest is history!

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

Hmm. I guess I would choose the book I read that made me want to try writing romance- LaVyrle Spencer’s Separate Beds. I reread it recently … still loved it but could not believe the differences in how point of view was handled! But a solid good love story J

Carly is generously giving away 2 ebook copies of DARE TO LOVE to a domestic winner (entry form below), and one to an international winner (enter here.) Winner’s choice of eBook format.

#8173 Carly Website PhotoAfter a successful fifteen year career with various New York publishing houses, and over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels published, N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips is now an Indie author who writes to her own expectations and that of her readers.  She continues the tradition of hot men and strong women and plans to publish many more sizzling stories.  Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website.  She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly at

 Sign up for Carly’s Newsletter        Friend Carly on Facebook      Follow Carly on Twitter


Buy Carly’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo


a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Anna

    I don’t need the romantic gestures either. At the end of the day, it’s enough to know that we’re together because we want to be there.

    Although I never turn down things that sparkle. 😉

  • Thanks for your words, an for the international part too! I love Lexi Blake and Shelly Laurenston. I’ll surely try your books!

  • Sue G.

    When my hubby and I first got married, I told him I don’t want presents for every little thing, just a card. I enjoy what he writes inside of each one more than any present he could give me. For our first Anniversary he write up a Year in Review of all the things that happened during our first since. He said since the first anniversary is the Paper Anniversary, he thought it was appropriate. It was one of the sweetest things he ever did.

    Love your books. 🙂

  • Martha B

    I have learned (over time,) that my husband’s way of showing love is performing acts of service (changing the oil in my car, emptying the dishwasher, putting toothpaste on my toothbrush….) Not one BIG thing but a series of little things every day. I feel treasured and appreciated. Additionally, he thanks me for normal things (like making dinner, stopping for the mail, picking up bananas for him at the grocery store, etc). I am challenged by his kindness and loving thoughtfulness. Bottom line, he makes me be a better person.

  • Jo-Ann Forrest

    Love all her books

  • Violet DiDomenico

    Thanks for chance to win….love her books.

  • cheryl c.

    My husband isn’t prone to romantic overtures; instead, he shows his love in countless everyday ways.

  • mariannewestrich

    Loved meeting you at AAD this year! 😎

  • Kathleen O

    I just love these “Dare” books.. so HOT

  • M Kuxhaus

    Your books helped me thrive when I was nannying a colicky (undiagnosed dairy allergy) baby ten summers ago. Thank you!

  • Lady Fitz

    My husband rubs my feet every night. THAT is romance to me 😉

  • Judy van Ryn

    Romance to me is making someone special laugh, having fun, actung like teenagers and sharing little gifts for each other. I would wrote signs and put them in my window when I knew my sweetheart would drive by to show
    i loved him.
    Love reading your books

  • Kylan Alexander

    I found the Hot Zone series and fell in love with Carly Phillips writing. Then came Serendipity and I fell in love all over again! 🙂

  • Stephanie M.

    My husband got me flowers the other day for no reason. Just wanted me to have them. He does little things like that every now and then. Our anniversary is next week and I can’t wait to see it there’s a velvet box, or that blue box with white ribbon from my favorite store, with the card he gives me. Thanks for the author recommendations. 🙂

  • Brenda E

    I love what you said about husbands and gift-giving. A long time ago, I was complaining to my mom about how disappointed I was because my hubby wasn’t intuitive enough to just “know” what I wanted for my birthday, and my mom gave me the best advice. She said, “You’re a grown up now, you just go out and buy what you want and say ‘Happy Birthday to me!’ And then just accept whatever he brings you as icing on the cake.” I’ve been happy with all holidays since. We’ve been married 36 years now and I feel more loved each year. Love your books, Carly, keep on writing!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Looking forward to starting one of your books, the sound wonderful.

  • Tammy H

    I really enjoy your books!

  • Britt

    I agree my hubby is not a typical romantic but there are certain things he does that are just romantic to me He will pick me up my favourite ice cream, he will watch a silly show with me. Tons of little things. So I love what you wrote and enjoy your books immensely

  • Patty Vasquez

    After 23 years, my husband has figured out the key to my heart is books. I know he loves to wander through antique stores. When we find a well-stocked Goodwill or Savers, we’re both in heaven! That’s romance. 😉

  • Martha Lawton

    I admire how you have moved to become an indie author who writes to your expectations and how your stories meet our wants and are seriously HOT

  • Christy R

    I always look forward to reading new Carly books and I love re-read them in between other authors!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    My husband is one of the not-so-romantic types, who shows his love by being there for me. And fixing things! LOL! Glad your recommended Juliana Stone’s Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series – great series!

  • Courtney Cogswell

    My husband and I are not the most romantic couple either and rarely make any of the big, sweeping gestures. However, he knows me well and does so many little things that mean so much more to me. It may just be bringing home my favorite candy bar or doing the yard work because I hate it, but these are pretty romantic to me 🙂 And when I do get a fun surprise in a fancy box, that is icing on the cake. I love all of your books and I am so glad to see you here on RARM…great post!

  • Sheila M

    Thanks for the book recommendations. I’ll have to try some of them!

  • alisha woods

    DOn’t think I have read seperate beds

  • Gina Burgos

    Thanks for the chance to win your book!

  • donnas

    Romance is different for each person because gestures mean different things to different people.

  • Romantic and romance is so subjective. Thanks Carly for sharing your thoughts.

  • Glenda

    Sometimes the little daily things mean so very much more than the big occasional gestures. For me it is the morning cup of coffee my husband brings me when I am showering and getting ready for work. — granted some mornings getting me caffeine is his form of self defense….. ;-D

  • Joan Varner

    I agree that it isn’t alwys the “big” showy things like flowers or jewelry but the small things that are there each day. That is love.

  • Leslie

    My hubby isn’t a romance type of guy either. He doesn’t understand my love of romance novels and thinks they are all just “sexy books” so not true! 🙂 He does have his own way of showing me though. Out of the blue he decided one day that I needed an upgrade on my wedding band while we were on vacation, we came back from vaca and went straight to the jewelry store and got a new set. He does little things that show he cares whether it is taking the kids shoe shopping because they drive me crazy trying to find shoes or picking me up a candy bar when he goes to the store just because.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    My husband loss his father when he was 5 years old so didn’t really have a male influence growing up & he grew up with poor. He doesn’t get the “importance” of gift giving. Yet, I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He does little things to show me how much he loves me throughout the year. Not complaining about my one-click habit, cooking & doing the dishes. Sometimes a bouquet of flowers appears on my table or one of my daughters has the talk with him & takes him shopping for a gift for me. Anyway, I wanted to say that romance comes in all shapes & sizes and isn’t a one size fits all. I love your books Carly & have read every single one of them. I am glad you became a writer.

  • Jen C

    My husband sure has come up with some great, surprising gifts for me, but the ones I like best are the surprising little comedic outbursts that make me just stop whatever I’m doing and have a good belly laugh.

  • Kim

    Thanks for the post! I love your books!

  • Judy Goodnight

    Romance is often NOT my husband’s strong suit, but sometimes he goes above and beyond. He knows that I like penguins. One Valentine’s Day he went to 13 different stores looking for penguin jewelry before he found one that had a necklace with a jade penguin to give to me.

  • rebecca moe

    Great post! Book boyfriends are fantastic, but the real life ones don’t have to be Mr. Romance to be their own brand of awesome 🙂

    (But yes, little velvet boxes are always nice!)

  • I have also enjoyed Juliana Stones Barker sister stories.
    Myself, I love the escapism of romance reading. Its my whole reason for reading them. I don’t read them to get ideas for my husband! haha

  • Mj

    I love the characters in your books, now if only I could find one of them for myself 😉

  • Ann Mettert

    I love her books.

  • BDragon30

    Love your books! My husband doesn’t classify himself as “romantic”, yet for my recent birthday, he volunteered to spend the entire day taking me shopping to be sure I got exactly what I wanted. Although he worked on my actual birthday (a 24 hour shift), the next day he arrived home with several bars of hand-milled soaps locally made because I had mentioned my favorite was almost gone. It’s definitely all the little things that really add up, and I love his brand of romance. 🙂

  • Pamby50

    Love your books. My husband my not be the most romantic man in the world but he is to me. A phone call will end with an I Love You no matter who is around. He has given me flowers for special occasions. Unfortunately I can’t wear jewelry because of the medicine I take. So not knowing what to get me, we go shopping together. My little surprise is the Amazon gift card to buy books for my Kindle. He knows me so well.

  • Stephsco

    I agree it’s the little things in life that are romantic. Though I would like to get flowers once in awhile 🙂

  • Blessedmimi

    I love to read different genres, however romance is my favorite. I have enjoyed Carly’s books and I am loving the new Dare to series

  • Cheryl Hastings

    I love the Dare series, have them all…you are always an automatic buy for me 🙂

  • Ruth

    Thank you for your recommendations. Great post.

  • Debbie Kitzke

    I am soooo ready for Decklan’s story

  • Judy Goodnight

    I <3 my Book Boyfriends but they can't take the place of my not-so-very romantic guy. 😉