Day 2 Lauren Dane – All In For Romance

Discovering the Magic of Romance

I didn’t really start reading romance until I was in my thirties, though I’ve been a book lover for as long as I can remember so it wasn’t that surprising I’d fall in love with a genre all about love.

And while I can point to Judy Blume’s Forever as a really memorable romance from my teen years, it’s really all Diana Best Kind of TroubleGabaldon’s fault that I’m a romance fan today.

I remember having people recommend Outlander to me. And then I’d go to the bookstore, look at the blurb and put it back. This happened to me several times until a friend sent me the first three books in the series and I gave in and read it.

By the end of chapter three I was totally invested. I read those first three books that week, and then ran out to buy the fourth, which had only recently released.

Outlander made me into not just a fan, it turned me into a romance novel hand seller. Because of the way I still feel when I think about the scene in Voyager in the print shop when Jamie looks up and sees Claire for the first time after thinking her impossibly away from him forever.

It’s always unlikely books for me. What can I say? I’m odd. So when a book I resist makes me love it, I’m in.

It’s romance authors who dominate my list of unlikely-love-verging-on-worship books. Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Sugar Beth, the former popular girl I was sure I did not care about and ended up loving. Ain’t She Sweet led me to Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome To Temptation, a book I still point to as one of the best contemporary romances of all time.

And it’s sort of right around this point that I realized the right story could take all sorts of unlikeable things and bend them and show me a different side of and make magic.

I knew this from literary fiction and other genres, but I think for me, romance absolutely shines as a way to see things we take for granted—for good and ill—and elevates them to something better.

Love is the closest thing to magic we know exists. It marks us and changes us, it makes us better and stronger and sometimes it breaks our hearts. What better way to understand ourselves than through the way others see us? Or how the characters in the hero and heroine’s lives view them?

That this ardent lover of romance is fortunate enough to be able to write romance too is really just the coolest thing ever. For me, every day is reason to celebrate romance and I’m just glad Diana Gabaldon got me hooked.


Speaking of authors who take flawed characters and make me love them – If you love paranormal romance full of quirky characters, original world building and a whole lot of laughs and sexy chemistry I can’t recommend Shelly Laurenston to enough people! Her Pride series is a do not miss!

And if you like romantic suspense you know it can be hard sometimes to find and you hoard your favorites and re-read – but if you haven’t checked out HelenKay Dimon (RARM 8/27) you’re missing out.


Questions for the Author:

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

I met a guy with long hair, a muscle car and no job a few months after I graduated from high school. Within three months we’d moved in together and we’ve been together ever since. That first meeting was twenty eight years ago and we’re still united against our wild children when they attempt uprisings.

2 – 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’ve always loved writing but I never believed I could actually make a career out of it. So I pursed a law degree (making my parents very, happy I might add) and out of the blue an unexpected pregnancy meant I also had unexpected complications so I spent a lot of time on enforced rest.

My husband came home with a secondhand laptop and I wrote the first two books I ever contracted on it before it finally died.

Once I started doing it I loved it and I work really hard to keep on doing it. It’s a fantastic blessing and I’m thrilled I get to write books as my actual job.

3 – Tell us about the (or a) book that changed your life. (Why?)

Since I talked about Ain’t She Sweet, Welcome to Temptation and Outlander in my essay I’ll talk about Terry Tempest Williams’ memoir, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

Williams’ beautiful and heartwrenching story of her mother dying slowly as the Great Salt Lake is also dying, and of the subsequent healing after her mother is gone came at a time in my life when I’d suffered a significant loss as well. It was just exactly what I needed to hear exactly when I need to hear it.

Lauren is generously offering one copy of Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie to one U.S. reader and one copy of Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips to another. Enter using the entry at the bottom of this post. She is also offering a title from her available backlist to one lucky international reader. (International readers enter here.)

Lauren DaneLauren Dane is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over sixty novels and novellas across several genres including romance and urban fantasy. She has three wild children, a patient husband and a terrible addiction to the internet.


Buy Lauren’s Books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

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Also be sure to check out the giveaway page to enter the Read-A-Romance Month Weekly giveaway:

Week 1: A Month of Romance from Berkley/NAL
31 Books by Berkley/NAL Romance Authors (U.S. only)

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  • Tiffany Boatwright

    I am a Lauren Dane fan, and loved welcome to temptation, as well.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll start by saying I love your books 🙂 I read the Outlander series in college while spending a summer with my aunt in Barcelona. She is also an avid reader and had a stash of books in English that she has acquired over the last 40 or so years she has lived overseas. I plowed through so many of her books but the Outlander series really stuck with me and when I came home to NC, I was even more invested in romance than before. I am a voracious reader and love all genres but no matter what book I read, I am always searching for an element of romance to truly engage me. I have always loved reading Jennifer Crusie and Suzanne Phillips as well. Any author who can make me laugh or cry out loud is a definite keeper! Love your essay and I’m looking forward to checking out some of your other recommendations.

  • May

    Love your books and so great to read this post!

  • Karin Anderson

    I also love Shelley Laurenston’s alternate identity, G.A. Aiken’s dragons series. It is just as funny, but with dragons. 😉

  • Sue G.

    I LOVED Judy Blume’s Forever! Tried to get my 3 daughter’s to read it when they were teenagers and they didn’t get into it.

  • helena rizzuto

    I agree that love is the closest to magic! We don’t see it persay but oh do we feel it!

  • Nicole Fortuna

    I too liked Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Ain’t She Sweet and I didn’t think that I would Sugar Beth was a character I expected to hate. I agree that love is the closest thing to magic and romance novels celebrate that magic in every story.

  • Teresa Kaplan Biggie

    I had a ton of people recommending the ” in death ” series and I resisted for many years… I was NOT a fan of future stuff. I like historicals and present days…took me years to read them. Now I am a huge fan. I am always amazed when a book blurb that to me sounds so horrible ends up being a book that I reread.

  • Kathy Johnson

    Love all your books!

  • Martha B

    It was fun to read the back story of how you became a writer. Outlander got me hooked, too.

  • Christine Klimes-Houser

    Now I see where some of your stories come from. I think that it is awesome about you and your husband. My book shelf keeps browning with all of your books and I work crazy overtime to pay for my addiction. (Reading) Thank you for all that you do.

  • mariannewestrich

    Hi Lauren – just have to tell you that I love your books. I found the Brown siblings first and have since devoured every word you have written. Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent with us!

  • Erica H

    Love this post

  • Aidy Aaward

    I heart Lauren Dane books! 🙂

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    I can’t imagine writing one book, much less sixty! You’re amazing!

  • Glittergirl

    It’s no wonder I <3 your books…so many similarities between us. Your paragraph above "Love is the closest thing to magic we know exists. It marks us and changes us, it makes us better and stronger and sometimes it breaks our hearts. What better way to understand ourselves than through the way others see us? Or how the characters in the hero and heroine’s lives view them?" says why I read romance. Thank you!

    • Hi glittergirl! Nice to see you here again! :o)

      • Glittergirl

        I wouldn’t miss this. I applaud you for all the work this takes. Thank you for taking this “tiger” on 😀

  • Melody Gonser

    I love “Welcome to Temptation” by Jennifer Crusie. Her books are great. They make me feel good. They make me laugh. I think your laptop was a fantastic gift from your husband. I don’t know how I could possibly not have read any of your books. I will have to go through a list of your books and see. I appreciate the giveaway and a chance to read your book. I enjoyed your post. Thank you.

  • TrishJ

    I really loved learning how you became a writer. I love your books, and now I know “the rest of the story”. I read romance books because I know I will get a HEA, but I want the anguish, suspense, laughter, action and sexy times too. Thanks for the recommendations.

  • catslady

    Looking forward to this one!

  • Sheila M

    Thank you for giving a history of how you got interested in romances.

  • Thank so much, Lauren – great post and I love the story of you and your husband. xo

  • Michelle Harlan

    Great recommendations- I love Shelly Laurenston!
    Thanks for sharing your view on romance with us!

  • Kathryn Trask

    Love reading about how you feel in love with the Outlander books, they are amazing reads. Susan E Phillips and Jennifer Crusie are wonderful writers too.

  • Jen CW

    I love Shelly Laurenston. What a great recommendation.

  • Jen C

    I also didn’t start reading romances ’til my thirties. Oh! And I just finished watching the first episode of Outlander on Starz!!!!!!!

  • Gina Burgos

    Great to have you here! 🙂

  • Lynne Oberdieck Ernst

    You have just convinced me to give Outlander another try.

    • You mean I’m not the only person not to have read this?? I promised two friends I would try again, and I’ll be listening to it on Overdrive from my library — even though I own the book, as it too was a gift. I’m #56 on the list after nearly a month. (sorry Lauren – I hope you still love me! I’ll give you an update after I’ve finished.) You too, Lynne, if you want one. ;o)

      • Lynne Oberdieck Ernst

        Yes please. I have the ebook and just got the Audible version. I am going to try again tomorrow.

  • Pamby50

    I was always spelling Jennifer’s last name wrong when looking for her books at the library. I love her books along with SEP.

  • Samantha Hodges

    I love reading Shelly Laurenston

  • donnas

    Ok, I just started Outlander. Glad I decided to after all you said. But it took quite a while as I have looked at it a few times without picking it up.

  • Timitra

    I’m adding these books to my wishlist! Love your most daring thing answer

  • Stephanie M.

    I received Outlander from my boyfriend (now my husband) as an anniversary gift because he knew I loved to read books. I had to go out and buy all the ones available as soon as I finished the first book. Thanks for all the book/author recommendations. 🙂

  • Ruth Lee

    I love to read and you’re one of my favorite authors! I found you in my library (at work whilst shelving books) and via audiobooks and ebooks you have travelled the world with me…we currently reside in Australia serving our country. This opportunity to hear your heart is wonderful and I thank you for your recommendations.

  • LisaVH

    I recently picked up Outlander. The raw emotion and devotion between Claire and Jamie is amazing!

  • rebecca moe

    Love, love, love Welcome to Temptation! And I too thought I couldn’t stand Sugar Beth–until I loved her. Excellent choices, and great post!

  • Marcy Shuler

    I’ve never read Gabaldon. I think I’m afraid I’ll get hooked and then have to read her entire backlist. LOL

  • Mary McCoy

    Okay, now I have to try reading Outlander again. And I love Shelly’s Pride series, too!

  • Beautiful post! Hope you don’t mind I have translated it in italian, here: I love Shelly Laurenston too, she makes me read-and-laugh all the times!

  • Texas Book Lover

    I absolutely agree with your Shelly Laurenston recommendation! She is fabulous just like Lauren Dane!

  • Meredith Richardson

    Thanks for sharing your real life love story 🙂

  • Becky in Georgia

    Ok. Now, I need to begin making a list of the authors that are recommended. Thanks so much!

  • Rosemarie N.

    I never read Outlander or Jennifer Crusie books but I’ll put them my TBR list. Thanks.

  • Hannah B

    I enjoyed your post, thanks for the giveaway. I loved Outlander when I read it years ago, I may have to watch the series.


    I was like, oh gosh, Lauren Dane has another book out. Gotta read it. Yea, I am a fan. LOL

  • Christine Maria Rose

    I absolutely relate to you Lauren about the scene in Vogager when Claire comes back to Jamie – I still get chills when I read it over again. I’ve read those first 3 books countless times and Voyager is my favourite. I read the first book after it came out, so I’ve been reading the series for 20 years, and had to wait for 3 years in between every book! The waiting was the worst part :-). I’m not as big a fan of the in-between books but I really liked an Echo In the Bone and I’ve picked up Written in my own heart’s blood but haven’t started it. When I was reading Outlander et al in the 90’s I didn’t have so much competition for my reading time. I was getting 5-10 books from the library for a 3 week period. Now, I have 1000 books on my e-reader and I’m much more likely to start a book that is 300pg or less than to start a behemoth like the Outlander ones.

  • Linnea Bassin

    I have almost read all of your books I can’t wait for the next ones to come out.

  • I love Jennifer Cruise’s books. She was my gateway drug, so to speak, to reading romance. I started in my late 30s although I used to read my aunt’s Harlequin’s when I was in early teens. I never realized how much I enjoyed and missed reading romances until I picked it up some 20+ odd years later.

  • Glenda

    Great post, love your books!

  • victoria schultz

    Oh my I love your daring love story that is so awesome!!! 🙂

  • Ruth

    Jennifer Crusie is one of my favorites. Also, loved the story of how you and your husband got together.

  • Karen G.

    I also took awhile to jump into Outlander and was finally glad I did! Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie is one of my all time favorite books and love SEP!