Day 19 – Kindle Gal – Connections and Happy Endings

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Hi friends ~ It’s Blogger Day at Read-A-Romance Month!

I’ve invited some friends of Read-A-Romance Month to do their own posts on why we should Celebrate Romance. Hope you love the posts on Day 19 of the calendar and here, where you can find more friendly bloggers I’ve met through the RARM Facebook page sharing their thoughts.

Happy Blogger Day – Celebrate Romance!

Celebrating Connectedness

Hooray for Blogger Day! :o)

I am so honored and excited to be a part of this year’s Read-A-Romance Month. I am also humbled to be included among keep calm RARthis gathering of strong, wicked-smart, amazing women. Seriously, have you looked at that calendar? It includes so many authors whom I admire and adore. Being here, sharing a slice of cyberspace with them this month is pretty much the highlight of my young blogging career.

So, let’s talk romance, shall we?

This might come as a shock to some of you, but I am a fairly new romance reader. About three years ago, I was getting ready to leave for a holiday weekend at the lake and needed a beach read. I was in the mood to try a new author, so I perused Amazon and came upon a title that sounded like it would fit the bill. Perfect. {1-click.}

Fast-forward one day later. I’d inhaled the book I downloaded and 1-clicked the author’s entire backlist. Which I finished reading before the end of the following week.

Who is this author? I wondered. And WHY are none of my friends reading her?? 

Well, her name is Julie James and, as I learned through some stalking research, she is a contemporary romance author.

{insert screeching record scratch sound effect here}

Wait. I don’t read romance.

(Yep. I used to be one of “those” readers.)

Needless to say, I’ve grown much wiser since that holiday weekend three years ago. Not only did I decide to read more romance, I ended up creating a blog so I had someone (anyone!) to talk to about these amazing books and authors I was discovering. And, lo and behold, there you all were: the romance community. My people.

To be honest, I have no idea why it took me so long to discover romance. (Hello? I love happy endings!) But now that I have, it is my preferred genre to read. Why? Because at the end of the day, after I’ve corralled my three sons and all their busyness (and loudness) and have a moment to think and do something for myself, I just want to relax. I want to smile, laugh, swoon. I want to feel uplifted and know that no matter what, everything will all work out in the end. It helps me to feel optimistic about the world, even though I know I’m reading fiction. (Well, mostly. I’m still angling to visit Lucky Harbor someday…)

I think romance should be celebrated every day—in fiction and in real life. After all, love is what makes the world go ’round, doesn’t it? We are social beings, meant to be in relationships. To be connected.

So for me, today is a celebration of the connectedness between blogging and the romance community. Having a blog that is not exclusive to romance, I can say with absolute certainty that there is no other relationship quite like it. There is a unique and powerful connection my blog has with romance authors, publishers and, especially, readers. We all feed off of each other, support each other, lift each other up. It’s something that I never anticipated when I started blogging, but I completely love.

Which is why I’m so grateful for that day three years ago when I inadvertently read a romance. Because it led me here … to all of you. ♥


The two authors I will drop everything for and make my family fend for themselves while I devour their new release are Julie James (yes, still!) and Jill Shalvis.

Lauren Layne is a new-ish author—her debut with Loveswept dropped last August—who I’d recommend contemporary readers try. (She also writes New Adult.) I love her voice, which is laced with sass and snark. Layne’s latest release, Only with You, is a great place to start, since it’s the first book in a new series. I loved it!

Questions for the Author:

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

I am not a daring person by any stretch of the imagination, which made my decision to leave the security of my day job—a director-level position with a publishing company I’d been with for 12+ years—pretty shocking to most people who knew me. But that’s exactly what I did a year and a half ago. Now I am a full-time freelance editor. I work harder than ever, make less money, but I am the happiest in my career I’ve ever been.

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?)

I started blogging two years ago on a whim. All I wanted to do was talk about the books I was reading with anyone who would listen. I asked a few of my book-loving girlfriends if they wanted to join me, and that’s how Kindles & Wine began—just six girlfriends, chatting about the books we were reading (and drinks we were drinking ).

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

Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James. It was my gateway to romance and I haven’t turned back since.

Kindle Gal is generously giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a Kindles & Wine mug, and a Kindles & Wine canvas tote bag to one U.S. winner. Entry form below, apologies to international friends.


KG avatarKristi is best known around the web as Kindle Gal, because her Kindle Paperwhite is her BFF—she has it on her person 24/7. She started her Kindles & Wine book blog because she wanted a place to talk about books with anyone who would listen. The blog has won numerous awards and is known for its highly selective and eclectic taste, reviewing across all genres and always providing a beverage pairing to go with each read.

When Kindle Gal is not blogging or drinking red wine, she works as a freelance editor. She is also a wife and mom to three amazingly loud (but adorable) boys.

You can connect with Kindle Gal on her blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

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  • Laura Marsh

    Thanks Kindlegal for invite you are Awesome

    • Thanks for stopping by, Laura. Love my K&W readers! 🙂

  • Macti3964

    i love this! I too, did not “like” romance but I have to say there are some incredible authors out there that suck you in!! thanks for all the links and I look forward to stalking you 🙂 In a good way of course. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Thanks, Macti3964! I look forward to being stalked by you. 🙂

  • Stella

    Romance is always surprising..

  • michele serabian

    Hi Kindle Gal! Great recommendations! You know how much I share your love for Lauren Layne :). We may or may not have fought over a certain hero of hers in the past (cough, Mitchell, cough). I love Jill and Julie as well. You should try Selena Laurence. She’s another fave of mine and since we have similar tastes in books I think you’ll really like her. Great seeing you “out and about”!

    • So great to “see” you here, Michele! I’ll take any author/book rec of yours since you obviously have AMAZING taste. 😉 But seriously, babe, you know that Mitchell is totally mine.

  • Jennifer McElroy

    Julie James was a bit of a gateway for me, too! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

    • She is amazing, isn’t she, Jennifer? Julie James fans unite! 🙂

  • Ginny Slamka Prince

    I have been reading Romance Books for forever… as a way of reminding myself that it is possible to have a Happy Ever After…

    • Exactly, Ginny! And I *so* wish I’d been a romance reader earlier in my life like you. Sometimes I get sad thinking of all the years’ worth of books I’m never going to be able to get to because of my late start…

  • Heather Bokon

    I stopped reading romance for years, then found my way back about 5 years ago. Now there are more books than I’ll ever have time to read.

    • You and me both, Heather. You and me both. 🙂

  • Lori Ha

    I have always loved history so my first intro into romance was historical romance but I enjoy a variety of authors and genres. I will have to read some of your author recommendations. Thanks for sharing 😉

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lori! I’m new-ish to historical romance, so I should get some of YOUR recommendations too.

  • Pat Egan Fordyce

    So happy to see you here! I love the blog and everyone’s reviews. Kindle Gal and the “girls” have introduced me to so many authors. We share a love for Jill Shalvis books among others! I share your enjoyment of Lauren Layne, love her humor. Thanks Kindle Gal and {{waving}} to all the great reviewers on the blog.
    Love you guys!! xoxo

    • Hi, Pat! *waves* Love you back. ♥

    • Sunny

      Thanks for your wonderful following and support of K&W, Pat!

  • Pamala Knight

    Woo! So glad to see Kindle Gal here. It doesn’t matter when and what road you took to being a romance reader and blogger–only that you’ve arrived 🙂 Thanks for all the wonderful “research” and recommendations over the past few years. Keep up the great work!

    • Aww … thanks so much, Pamala! Thanks for being a reader and follower. You and all the other commenters on K&W help to make our blog what it is.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I’ve always loved reading romance since I discovered historical romance back in my early teens. Since then I’ve jumped from subgenre to subgenre but almost exclusively staying within romance. Although I do have a weakness for a few other books and genres out there (Harry Potter, Ready Player One, etc). I can’t tell you how excited I was to see the review last week on one of my few non-romance favorite books. Anyway, I love, love, love your blog and I’m so excited I discovered it a year and a half ago. Your reviews are always fantastic and I love the addition of the drink recommendation 🙂 I just want to thank you for starting your blog and also for all of your amazing giveaways! So glad you are a romance reader like me and I can always count on you to find new authors/books to read and fill up my poor, overworked kindle.

    • Your taste in books always seem to match ours, Courtney. Clearly, we are a match made in book heaven. 🙂

      We’re so glad to have you as a loyal K&W follower! Our blog would be nothing without people like you. ♥

  • MK

    Wow, only 3 years! That’s a lot of romance authors’ backlists to get through!

  • Daniele K

    I like to see people get their HEA, but really enjoy romance more if there is a historical setting or mystery and suspense thrown in, too.

    • I do love me a good mystery too, Daniele. One of my favorite romantic suspense authors is Pamela Clare. I love her I-Team series! And my absolute favorite Julie James book is one that has a suspense subplot (A LOT LIKE LOVE).

  • Robin The Book Nerd

    I love Kindle Gal’s blog! A book that changed my life was reading Gone with The Wind in school. That books made me fall in love with romance. I have had over a 20 year affair with many lead men thanks to Scarlet and Rhett!

    • Hi, Robin! *waves* It’s so fun to see my K&W peeps here today. 🙂

      Amazingly, I never had to read GONE WITH THE WIND in school, but I have read it. One of my favorite lines is: “You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”

  • Sue G.

    Hi Kindle Gal! I didn’t realize you used to read those “other” books and that you are fairly new to romance. I would never have guessed that and I have been following your blog since close to the beginning! I’ve read romances for over 30 years (probably close to how long you have been around—lol) I love my happy endings. It is relaxing and at the end of the day it makes me feel good. Great write up! Thanks!

    • Yay, I fooled you! (Just kidding. ;))

      Yes, I did and still do read those “other” books, but I read predominantly romance right now. Like you, Sue, I tend to gravitate toward them at the end of the day. I think it’s the best way to unwind (with a glass of wine, of course).

      • Sue G.

        During the winter I read mine with a cup of hot tea in my Kindles & Wine coffee mug! 😉

  • Debbie Oxier

    Love your posts!

  • Kathleen O

    I have been reading romance since I was a young girl.. now I am an old broad and still reading it.. I got my love of reading and books from my mom and her mom before her.. Most of the woman in our family read. Not too many of the men. Although I do have one brother who likes to read. My oldest nephew does too.. I love Julie James’ books and Jill Shalvis. great reads.

    • I love that your love of reading was passed down from your grandmother to your mom to you, Kathleen! I am from a family full of readers, including my dad, who was a reading teacher, and my two older brothers who still give me books to try.

      I have 3 boys and, so far, all of them love to read. Fingers crossed it sticks! 🙂

  • sadie

    Romance has a way of bringing people together, which is why I love K&W and all the reviewers, including Kindle Gal. (Just call me Nook Girl, lol). You know you have found something special when readers and authors get to come together, where happy endings are celebrated, and where reviewers strive to share books that have touched them, no matter the genre.

    I stared reading romance when I was barely a teen and it continues to be my go to genre. There is something cathartic about a story where no matter the struggles, no matter the conflicts, disappointments, and challenges, you know that in the end there will be a happily ever after. There is such comfort and hope in that.

    • Thanks so much, “Nook Girl.” 🙂 And you said it perfectly. All of it.

      • NR Lines

        Sorry for the ‘guest’ posting. Disqus and I have a love/hate relationship. Glad I double posted and you figured out who I am. 🙂

  • Betty Hamilton

    Love your blog!! TY

    • Love having you as part of our K&W community, Betty! 🙂

  • anne

    Thanks for your wonderful posts, reviews and features. Reading romance gives me pleasure and allows me to dream.

  • NR Lines

    Romance has a way of bringing people together, which is why I love K&W and all the reviewers, including Kindle Gal. (Just call me Nook Girl, lol). You know you have found something special when readers and authors get to come together, where happy endings are celebrated, and where reviewers strive to share books that have touched them, no matter the genre.

    I stared reading romance when I was barely a teen and it continues to be my go to genre. There is something cathartic about a story where no matter the struggles, no matter the conflicts, disappointments, and challenges, you know that in the end there will be a happily ever after. There is such comfort and hope in that.

    • Aha! This was YOU earlier, NR Lines (it originally posted as “Guest”). I wondered… 🙂

      • NR Lines

        That was me. I have issues with disqus, or rather disqus has issues with me. 🙂

      • NR Lines

        Yes, that’s me. Disqus and I have a love/hate relationship. 🙂

  • Beverly DeeAnjello

    I remember reading Pride and Prejudice as a freshman in high school and discovering how wonderful romances were. I had always been a reader, but not of romances. Jane Austen opened a whole new genre for me.

    • I am a HUGE Jane Austen fan too, Beverly. Love her sassy heroines!

  • Mj

    Your blog is not one I have read yet but definitely will because I love to read

    • Would love to see you over there someday, Mj. We have a lot of fun on K&W! 🙂

  • Anna

    We’ll get you reading historical romances too, before you know it!! 🙂

    • Yep. I’m counting on you and the other K&W readers, Anna! 🙂

  • Krysten Mich

    Yes! I love this blog! It always has good reviews/recommendations! I started out reading sci fi/fantasy books and slowly worked my way to straight up romance 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Krysten! We love having you at K&W. 🙂

  • Erica H

    I enjoy your blog, I only came across it a few months ago- it is always fun to read.

    • Thanks, Erica! We’re so glad you found us. 🙂

  • Bridget Hastings-Taylor

    Love reading this blog.

  • BJ’s Reviews

    I’ve always enjoyed reading romance novels. From time to time, I have had more or less time to read or listen, but I always come back to my favorite genre when I do. Reading about other people’s HEA puts a smile on my face! I also find it much more enjoyable than watching TV these days.

    • Me too, BJ! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  • I love it when I see people enjoying a new genre. Any genre, but especially romance 🙂 And a Calgon, Take Me Away moment away from all the testosterone is always great!

    • Exactly, mctclover! In fact, I’ve been known to say/yell, “There are too many penises in this house!”

  • Rita Wray

    Love Julie James books.

    • Isn’t she great, Rita? I totally lucked out with that choice three years ago.

  • gailhollingsworth

    Romance books are my favorite! Sheila Roberts, Debbie Macomber, Susan Mallery, three of my favorites. I love reading the Kindles and Wine blog and have even won a book or two every now and then!

    • All great recs, Gail! And yes, you have been very lucky on K&W, which is great. We love showering our regular followers with bookish goodies. 😉

  • AmyR

    I enjoyed the post and follow the Kindles and Wine blog.

  • cheryl c.

    I am also a huge fan of Julie James. She has such smart heroines and snappy dialog.

    • Right, Cheryl?? That is exactly why I love her books too. And the dialogue … it’s no wonder she started out writing screenplays!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Wow! I almost thought I wrote this, your words and thoughts are identical to mine.

    • Great minds, Debbie … great minds. 😉

  • Sunny

    Great post, Kindle Gal! I loved being reminded of your journey to romance. Thanks for inspiring me to do more reading. Making time for it has been one of my biggest blessings these last few years. 🙂

    • Thanks for being one of the first and only friends of mine in real life to put up with all my romance ramblings, Sunny! I’m so glad we have the blog as an excuse to keep in touch more now than ever before. K&W wouldn’t be the same without you. ♥

  • BDragon30

    Love K&W, and I include Susan Mallery’s Fools Gold series on my autobuy list, too. Have found several new authors through your recommendation, Kindle Gal – thanks very much!

    • I definitely need to catch up on Fool’s Gold.

      Thanks for being a loyal K&W follower, BDragon30. We love having you! 🙂

  • Danyelle Bauman Ferguson

    I love Jill Shalvis. I’ll have to definitely try out Julie James. Thanks!

    • Yes, you definitely do, Danyelle. Her books are fantastic!

  • Rochelle

    Practice Makes Perfect is one of my favorites. Julie James and Jill Shalvis are always on my list of to be read. I’d also add Susan Mallery, Sarah Mayberry, Tessa Dare and Kristan Higgins! And while I’m thinking about it, about 15 others! I love escaping into a good romance.

    • I love your additions, Rita! There are so many great romance authors out there, it’s hard to pick just a few. Such a problem to have as a reader, eh? 😉

    • Ack! I called you by the wrong name, Rochelle. I’m so sorry! This is the problem when I’m traveling and commenting on my phone. Grrr…

  • Rita Andrews

    Thank you for giving suggestions for so many great books!

  • Sheila M

    OK, you convinced me to give Julie James a try. Thanks!

    • Yay! I hope you love her as much as I do, Sheila! 🙂

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    Love your post – but then I”ve been with you & your blog almost since the beginning. I love the way you & your friends are able to include a community into their reviews. I have been reading romance probably as long as you’ve been alive & have the same feelings you described here. Julie James & Jill Shalvis are 2 of my must reads also.

    • Thanks so much, Eileen. K&W wouldn’t be the same without all of our awesome readers/followers, like you!

      P.S. I might be a little older than you think. 😉

      • Eileen Aberman-Wells

        Are you sure? I keep wondering if any of the Kindles & Wine crew are former students of mine. I know you wouldn’t let on. 😀

        • Wouldn’t that be a crazy coincidence?! I’m pretty sure none of us were, though. 🙂

  • Kim R.

    I love that you have come so far in so little time from new reader to blogger. Most of us are still hiding our books under a different cover or on our ereaders.

    • Ha! I never thought of it that way before, Kim. That probably isn’t the “normal” path to blogging, is it? 🙂

  • Diane Bryant

    Going to check out Julie James immediately!

    • Yay, more Julie James converts! 🙂 I hope you love her books, Diane.

  • rissatoo

    I’m so glad you accidentally read that first romance. The blogging world would be much diminished without Kindles & Wine! 🙂

    • Aww … this comment totally made my day. Thanks so much, rissatoo! ♥

  • Quinn Fforde

    Julie James is stunning, isn’t she? I love your blog!

    • Yes, she is, Quinn. And since I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting her last year, I can tell you she’s just as awesome in person as she is on the page.

      Thanks for being a part of our K&W community! 🙂

      • Quinn Fforde

        Jealous of you now!

        • If you ever get a chance to go to a reader convention or book signing that she’s at, definitely go! Meeting favorite authors in person is an experience all fans should have. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Breese

    Love kindle gal!

  • ceblain

    I always enjoy reading your blog Kristi. I am new to the romance genre, and began with the light side of romance with the Janet Evanovich romance and also the ones that she co-wrote quite some time ago. Then it took awhile to find other authors that I liked and found that the romance and mystery or suspense genre was more to my liking as I was a big mystery reader. Being in a neighborhood book club means that you read EVERYTHING and so I am introduced to authors whom I would not normally find online and order their books, so that is a good thing. Since the first of this year, I have been checking out many authors romance novels and have read at least one from my short list of each author’s books as I have not found just one or two romance authors to follow yet. So anytime I can get information about authors and their books I enjoy that and make notes in a book to check out this or that author.
    So, thank you for introducing me to various authors and maybe some day I will be reading only romance, but until then, I am enjoying a couple genres and a note to check out your two favorites soon. I have one of Jill Shalvis’ books so should start reading soon then and definitely get one of Julie James to check her writing out as well. I might even have one of them on my e-reader who knows?
    Thank you for the wonderfully informative and well written postings.
    Cynthia Blain.

    • What a great testament you and your husband (and family) are to the power of lasting love! Congratulations on 50+ years, Cynthia!

      Truth be told, I don’t read romance exclusively, but 8 out of 10 times, I’ll choose it. So it’s definitely become my go-to genre. 🙂 I hope you keep dabbling in romance and eventually find those must-read authors that work for you. There are so many to choose from, I have no doubt you will.

  • Tammy H

    I love Lauren Layne’s books, too!

    • Yay, another Lauren Layne fan! So glad you commented, Tammy. 🙂

  • Love it!! And, while I didn’t leave my full time job to become a writer and editor, I was laid off after having my daughter and the path just kind of emerged before me! <3

    • You’re a writer/editor too, Amanda? Awesome! (Although, to be clear, I am definitely NOT a writer. It is a little pathetic how long it took me to write this 600-word guest blog. ;))

  • Jan Terry

    Hi Kindle Gal! I’ve subscibed to various book blogs but after awhile, I got tired of them. But yours is one that I made sure to keep! I love your style of blogging and the books you choose. The books aren’t always the most recent releases, so it feels like you’re going through my TBR pile…and helping me move the next book to read to the top! I also really look forward to the wine/beverage suggestions at the end of your reviews!

    • Oh, I just LOVE this comment, Jan. Thank you so much! We’re glad you decided to stick with us at K&W! ♥

  • Kim

    Julie James writes the best dialogue. Her h/h are intelligent, have great careers and also have terrific friends.

    • Exactly, Kim. That is exactly why I love her books. Clearly, you have fantastic taste. 🙂

  • TrishJ

    Hi Kindle Gal! I have been following your blog for a long time, over a year at least. I love the book reviews. You gals have shown me lots of new authors. And once I find one I like, I tend to glom all their works. I also love the blog’s sense of humor. Romance readers are the best!!

    • Hi, TrishJ! *waves*

      Thanks for being a longtime loyal follower of K&W. You know we love having you. 🙂 Romance readers ARE the best!

  • mariannewestrich

    Love your blog … I’m already a follower! 😎

  • Debby B

    Your favorite authors are the same as mine! Jill Shalvis is always my go to…I just discovered Lauren Layne on Net Galley and was instantly hooked! Some add ons would probably be Lori Foster and Kristan Higgins…I always grab their books on release day too!

    • Great minds think alike, right, Debby? 🙂

      I do read and love Kristan Higgins, but I have yet to try Lori Foster. I do have the novella and first book in her new MMA series on my Kindle, though. I’ve been meaning to try her out for a while now. Will have to bump that up on my TBR list after your rec.

  • Staci Pope

    Great sense of humor! We are all those types of readers!

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I love all romance genres. I’m happy to find your blog K-Girl.

  • Leanna Hiner

    I love Kindles and Wine and Kindle Gal. I also love Julie James and Jill Shalvis. I wish Julie James could write faster, she just announced the title of her book coming out May 2015. Keep up the good work Kindle Gal!

    • SHE DID??!?!?!? I’ve been traveling all day today and haven’t been able to properly stalk—

      I mean, check on what’s going on with her today.

      Thanks for the heads up, Leanna. And thanks for the kind words and being a loyal follower of K&W! 🙂

      *scurries off to Julie James’s website…*

  • LSUReader

    Practice Makes Perfect was such a good book. What an excellent entry into the genre. Julie James and Jill Shalvis are among my favorites for contemporary romances, too. If you like historical romance, try Grace Burrowes, Julie Ann Long, Sherry Thomas, Sarah MacLean and Courtney Milan. And even if you are new to romance, you simply have to read Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series. Thanks for the post.

    • I think I totally lucked out, LSUReader. Or, Amazon is a mind reader… (Eek!)

      I’m just getting my feet wet with historicals. I recently read my first Courtney Milan book and have many of these others on my TBR, including the Bridgerton series. Thanks so much for the recs! 🙂

  • Soft Fuzzy Sweater

    I never had the pleasure of reading Julie James. Too realistic for me.. I prefer to go far, far away when I read romance. Although after reading this post, I’ll have to give her a try.

    • I’d give them a try, SFS. Personally, I don’t find them any more realistic than other romances I enjoy. For example, I doubt most FBI special agents are as devastatingly handsome like several of her heroes. 😉

  • Pam P

    I’m usually into so many romance historical and paranormals books I don’t get to contemps as often, but I never miss Julie James. I love her stories and witty, independent heroines.

    • Her heroines really set her books apart for me too, Pam. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  • dholcomb1

    love Kindle Gal–have been a fan for about 20 months!

    • Thanks, dholcomb1! That’s about as long as I’ve been around the interwebs (I think I opened my FB and Twitter accounts 25 months ago), so that’s impressive! 🙂 Love having you as a follower. ♥

      • dholcomb1

        Thank you! I’ve won a few times, too!

  • Martha B

    BTW, I subscribe (and regularly read) your Kindles & Wine blog. Thanks for taking the time for posting (maintaining) that blog. I feel the same way about Julie James and Jill Shalvis I’ve read all their books. I suggest you add Kristan Higgins (another contemporary romance author,) to that list as well. They are all auto-buy and read.

    However, I used to read only Historical Fiction (romances) set in the Regency until a couple years ago. Honestly, it was bloggers like you (or trusted authors) who recommended I move out of my comfort zone and try something new, I was like a swimmer facing the ocean…. willing to dip my toe in, but skeptical I would be able to swim. After all, the ocean is HUGE and I was daunted by the task before me.

    Bottom line, I went beyond my Regency world and have not looked back.

    • Oh, I absolutely read and auto-buy Kristan Higgins too, Martha. If I’d listed all of the authors I must read, Bobbi would have regretted asking me to guest blog here today. 😉

      I love your comment, though, and am so glad you tried something new. That’s why we review anything and everything over at K&W. There are just too many good books out there to be exclusive to any genre. 🙂

      • Martha B

        Glad you read Kristan, too. She and Jill Shalvis have Man Wars on Facebook. They make me laugh.

  • Chanpreet

    I discovered romance early. I remember lugging around my book bag in the 5th and 6th grade with my favorite books in it. The very first novel I recall reading was The Love Stone by Deanna James. That was my gateway to chick lit, women’s fiction, and now new adult and young adult. 🙂

    • That’s awesome, Chanpreet! I wish I had discovered romance as a teen. I think there are so many great messages in them that all young women need to hear.

  • Ellen

    Just discovered your blog recently, and am really enjoying it. Thanks for posting today and sharing with us.

    • Thanks so much, Ellen. I’m so glad you found K&W! 🙂

  • Cindy A

    Only been reading romance for a couple of years?!!! There are so many authors!!!! And, I will try Julie James. Thanks!

    • I know, Cindy! How ever will I be able to read them all?? *sobs*

      Do try Julie James and let me know what you think. I’m excited about possibly having more people to fangirl with over her books! 🙂

      • Cindy A

        Will do!

  • Jennifer Nicholson Agolino

    I will have to check out books by Julie James. I’ve never read her.

    • You must try her, Jennifer! She is fabulous! 🙂

  • Emmel

    Yes, romance is such a great respite at the end of a manic day, isn’t it? I love that it can serve as a relaxation tool for us all–as can that glass of wine as well! 🙂

    • Yes, Emmel! They seem to be the perfect pairing, in my mind. 🙂

  • Lori Meehan

    I love Kindles and Wine. I also want to visit Lucky Harbor. Love Jill Shalvis. You didn’t mention what you were drinking for this post??

    • OMG … you’re right, Lori, I didn’t! I’m a guest blog virgin (this was my very first). I was so focused on sounding interesting, I guess I forgot everything else. 🙂

  • Tin

    Hi, Kindle Gal! Like you, I marvel at how connected the romance community is! It’s such a wonderful and positive group and the authors (and readers) are just amazing! Happy RARM to all of us!

    • Hi, Tin! I absolutely agree. It NEVER fails to amaze me.

      Happy RARM! 🙂

  • Erin F

    Thanks for such a fun post! Nice to “meetcha” 🙂

    • Thanks, Erin. Nice to “meetcha” too! 🙂

  • Chelsea B.

    Kindles and Wine is one of my favorite blogs!

    • Thanks so much, Chelsea! 🙂

      It’s been *so* fun to see so many of my K&W followers here today. I ♥ you all!

  • Veronica

    I love how you discovered romance…..actually surprisingly similar to how I discovered the genre I now love. Read a great book, found the author and then realized I had read a romance lol

    • Which author/book, Veronica? I’m dying to know!

      • Veronica

        I am totally blanking now, but I do know it was a Sylvia Day read but I’ve read so much of her stuff that I can’t remember which one it was lol

  • Kim

    Great post! If you ever figure out how to get to Lucky Harbor, please let me know! I’d also love to visit!

    • Thanks, Kim. And if I ever figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you know. 😉

  • Melissa Mirous

    I’ve always loved romance . Looking forward to checking out a new-to-me author, Julie James.

    • Yay! Love introducing readers to new-to-them authors! I hope you enjoy Julie James’s books, Melissa. 🙂

  • M Kuxhaus

    I love my Kindles, too. I have a keyboard Kindle and a Kindle Fire. If my black/white gives up on me, I’m going to get a Paperwhite.

    • I had a Kindle keyboard when I started blogging two years ago, M. I never thought I’d give it up, but the Paperwhite … oh man. It. Is. AWESOME!!!!

  • Deb Z.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Julie James is one of my favorites, too (who needs to be a lawyer?). Love the blog, as well.

    • Thanks, Deb. Love all my blog-loving, Julie James fangirls here today! 🙂

  • Sandypo

    I loved it!

  • donnas

    Great story, I always love to hear about how new people get sucked err hooked in.

  • Stephanie Fredrick

    Love the blog and wonderful post. I love the romance community, from the bloggers, authors and readers I have met, they are so friendly and eager to share their mutual passion for the genre.
    I was lucky enough to pick up my first romance at a young age and feel completely for the genre.

    • Thanks, Stephanie! It truly is a special group of people, that’s for sure. 🙂

  • Gretchen Miller

    Very awesome

  • Alexandra

    I’ve read romance off and on since I was a teenager but it wasn’t until I started reading romance book blogs that I got really into it. I love it just as much for the community as I do the books.

    And Practice Makes Perfect is my favorite by Julie James 🙂

    • You have fantastic taste, Alexandra! 🙂

  • LisaVH

    I love the blog title. I started following without even reading a single post. i just knew anything with my two favorite things had to be for me. I’ve been a happy follower ever since 🙂

    • Aww … I love that, LisaVH! Thanks for blindly following K&W. We’re so happy to have you! 🙂

  • Vickie P

    MY 3 favorite authors, also! I have read everything they have written…actually just got Lauren’s newest book today, Jill’s newest should arrive next week, and just read about Julie’s upcoming book! Can’t wait!

    • Vickie, we are such kindred spirits! 🙂 You’ll have to let me know what you think of Lauren’s newest (you’re talking about ONLY WITH YOU, right?).

  • Sharlene Wegner

    Wow! You got a big turn-out for your essay! I really enjoy your blog & your recommendations!

    • I did, Sharlene! It’s all of you K&W folks, whom I love and adore. 🙂

  • Janie McGaugh

    Glad you discovered romance and started blogging. I’m grateful to the blogging community for all that they share with us.

    • Thanks, Janie! I am too and still consider myself a reader first, so I feel the same way about other blogs/bloggers. 🙂

  • Joan Varner

    Welcome to the “dark side” of reading, Kindle Gal! I enjoy all of the romance genres and love to escape into the new worlds that are waiting for me.

  • Galinda Barefoot

    Thanks for the suggestion on trying author Julie James, I will give her try.

    • Definitely do, Galinda! She also wrote an essay for RARM this year. (Check out Day 10.) In it, she talks about one of the main reasons why I love her stories. 🙂

  • Michelle Harlan

    This made me smile! The romance community is so amazing! Your blog is what got me hooked on Julie James, so THANK YOU. I so appreciate the hours I’ve spent reading her books!

    • Yay, a true Julie James convert! I’m so happy to have hooked you, Michelle. 🙂 Thanks for following K&W!

  • rebecca moe

    I can still remember my first Julie James too–she had me from the dedication in the front (where she thanked the people in the hotel room next door that kept her up all night and inspired a book where one of the noisy next-door-hotel-people ended up murdered.) I knew her books were going to be keepers from that alone.

    Great post, Kindle Gal!

    • Thanks so much, Rebecca! Yes, I remember reading that dedication too. 🙂

  • Timitra

    I love your most daring thing that took a lot of balls I must say but being happier is worth anything at least to me

    • You know, Timitra, with the support of Kindle Guy and my family, it wasn’t nearly as scary as it probably should’ve been. I’m very blessed! 🙂

  • Zonell Conant

    I’m fairly really new to romance reading, I used to tease my daughter about all the time she was wasting. So little did I know.

    • LOL, I love this, Zonell! Way to go, Daughter! 🙂

  • Sarah Blumkin

    I am so glad you started blogging! I’m an eclectic reader and I love that you include a wide variety of books.

    • Thanks so much, Sarah! I find it hard to believe anyone exclusively reads a single genre … there are just SO MANY books out there! After all, variety is the spice of life, right? 😉

      Love having you as a loyal K&W follower!

  • Pamby50

    I am slowly getting into blogs. Will have to join yours. I haven’t read Julie James yet but love me some Jill Shalvis.

    • We’re BIG Jill Shalvis fans on my blog, Pamby50. In fact, you might want to join K&W soon … like before Tuesday. Just sayin’. 😉

      • Pamby50

        Just joined. Just caught up on read-a-romance month. Was on vacation.

  • Connie Saunders

    Thank you. I really enjoy romantic suspense.

    • I tend to read more straight contemporaries, but I do enjoy well-written romantic suspense too, Connie. One of my favorites is the I-Team series by Pamela Clare.

  • Adaffern

    I was one of those readers too, one Kindle freebie changed my mind.

    • Gotta love those freebies! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Adaffern.

  • Toni Linenberger

    Yay for bloggers. 😉

  • Karen G.

    i also started with romance in the last couple years since my kids are older. I wasn’t much of a reader until I had kids and began reading to them every night. My tastes have grown with them an now I love romance and hea! I also love Julie James and am excited to check out Lauren Layne, thanks for the recommendation.

    • Yay, Karen! I say it’s never too late to discover romance. 🙂

      If you love Julie James, I think you’ll really enjoy Lauren Layne’s books. The first time I read her, I thought the dialogue was reminiscent of James’s. Lots of sharp-witted banter, which is my favorite kind. Let me know what you think of her, if you do give her a try!

  • Laura Gutierrez

    Love Jill Shalvis! So happy to discover other women who love romance books, their kindles and wine!

    • Thanks, Laura! You certainly sound like my kind of people. 🙂

  • Stephanie M.

    Thank you for your post. I am new to your blog look forward to reading more.

    • Welcome to my blog, Stephanie! I’m so glad you’re joining us at Kindles & Wine. 🙂

  • Gretchen

    I love Romances, but I also love the community of authors and fans. I don’t think very many other authors are so willing to connect with their fans.

    • I think you’re right, Gretchen, which is just another reason why being a fan of romance is as fun as reading the books themselves! 🙂

  • JanD

    Love Julie James! Romance is my default genre since high school.

  • Cheryl Hastings

    Love your blog, have found many new authors, caught up with favs and even won a contest!! I adore your recommendations, too!!

    • Aww, thanks so much! We love having you as one of our loyal K&W followers, Cheryl. ♥

  • I agree that romance should be celebrated everyday. And I love to learn how people “converted” to romance novels. =)

  • Ruth

    Thanks for sharing your story and your blog.

  • Debbie Kitzke

    Loving all these giveaways

  • Marcy Shuler

    I always say I want to live in Lucky Harbor…and you understand. LOL

    • Oh, Marcy, I absolutely understand! (Seriously, who wouldn’t?) 🙂

  • Meredith Richeson Hillenbrand

    I admit that I have never heard of the Kindles and Wine blog before, but I guess that is why we come here during this month. We learn about knew authors, catch up with old ones. Now I have someone new to follow, thanks!

    • Yay, we’d love to have you join us over at K&W, Meredith! The more, the merrier. 🙂

      • Meredith Richeson Hillenbrand

        Thanks! I officially joined yesterday and already entered to win a book today! 🙂

  • Judy Goodnight

    I’m happy that I discovered your blog. I share in your delight in stories by Julie James & Jill Shalvis.

    • We’re so happy to have you as part of our K&W community, Judy! Our blog wouldn’t be nearly as fun without all of our readers (and fellow Julie James and Jill Shalvis fangirls). 🙂

  • flchen1

    Julie Jame is definitely one of my drop-everything-and-read authors! I also started with Practice Makes Perfect! I’d heard buzz about her for a while, and after I FINALLY picked up PMP, had to slap myself and say, eeek! Why didn’t I pick her up sooner!? Thank you for the recommendation for Lauren–haven’t picked her up yet 😉

    • Oh, fichen1, if you love Julie James, you MUST try Lauren Layne! She is a dialogue-driven writer too. I know a lot of people love her NA stories, but I tend to gravitate toward her contemporary romances.

      Definitely let me know what you think if you try her! 🙂

      • flchen1

        I look forward to it and will definitely let you know! I love getting recs from people who share the same tastes 😉 Thanks again, Kindle Gal!

  • I love Julie James & I like that you also recced Jill Shalvis, who is at the very top of my list of fave contemp authors.

    • They are definitely my “top 2,” Daphne. And clearly, you have fantastic taste too. 😉

  • Pat Egan Fordyce

    Wow, where have I been that I missed this?? I’m a fairly new romance reader also, started when I retired and moved to N.C. Thanks to excellent bloggers like you Kindle Gal, and your “girls” I always have a place to find my next book! I share your love of Jill Shalvis and there’s not enough room to name others!!
    Thanks for all your efforts and wonderful blog!

    • I didn’t realize you were a fairly new romance reader too, Pat! We really are kindred spirits, aren’t we? 🙂

      You know we all love you at K&W! Our blog wouldn’t be the same without loyal followers like you. ♥