Megan Mulry – The Tingle and the Joy of Romance

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.

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Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

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The Romance, The Joy and, well, The Sex

Of course the prompt for an essay entitled “The Joy of Romance” immediately brought to

©Chris Foss

©Chris Foss

mind a memory of slipping into a childhood friend’s parents’ library and stealing a glance at a forbidden copy of The Joy of Sex. I was probably about eight years old, but I can still envision those pen-and-ink drawings like it was yesterday. I remember thinking, “Hmmm…that looks awfully complicated…and awkward…and hairy.” *stops to Google the pen-and-ink drawings and goes down 45-minute rabbit hole about Chris Foss, the artist, who is now a well-known sci-fi book illustrator and did the Blu-Ray cover for Guardians of the Galaxy*

Anyway, most of my immature suppositions have turned out to be entirely true. Sex and ENCORE resizeromance are undoubtedly complicated, awkward, and hairy. And joyful! That last part was something my pre-adolescent self couldn’t have possibly grasped. Those dreadful moments of awkwardness and fear and confusion that we all experience (“we all” being “me” of course) when we begin to navigate romantic relationships—all of that weirdness eventually leads to this incredible joy. (Or not. But there’s literary fiction for that. Sorry, Bobbi, I couldn’t resist.)

I didn’t really get a full understanding of the aforementioned joy until I started reading and writing romance novels. I know it’s not just about the sex, but, well, in most of the books I write and most of the books I love to read, it kind of is all about the sex. Because when two characters are really on the same wavelength, when they are communicating openly (like Veronica and Gabe in Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl, or Wulfric and Christine in Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh) the sex becomes a manifestation of the complex, deeper feelings. All the awkwardness falls away (okay, not all of it, because, hey, sex is messy), but usually the awkwardness falls away because the HEA or the HFN offers a rare glimpse of two people who really get each other. That is the prize.bound-4-cover-hi-res

Romance novels are really the only place I find that type of emotional connection being explored and revealed. Sometimes I find it at art museums (see below), or concerts, or really good restaurants, but my hands don’t usually tingle in those places. And I like when my hands tingle. The tingle is the joy of romance.

Megan recommends:

Debut Contemporary: author Amy E. Reichert released The Coincidence of Coconut Cake a few weeks ago and I loved it. I’m always drawn to restaurant romances and this one was perfectly charming. amyereichert.com (See Amy’s RARM post here.)

Classic Historical: I recently started reading Mary Balogh and now I am totally hooked. If you’ve never read her (I know…impossible) I would start with Tempting Harriet then work your way into Slightly Dangerous. marybalogh.com

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

The two times I saw James Turrell exhibits were moments of sheer joy. His exhibit at the Houston Museum in 2013 and at the Guggenheim later that summer, were both occasions for sheer joy. His ideas about light and color and emotion and science and mystery (and love) made me want to weep with pure joy.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

New York City always brings me joy, the Metropolitan Museum in particular. The collection of art and human artifacts never ceases to amaze me, and always reminds me that human beings have basically been doing and feeling the same things for thousands of years.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

The three Grateful Dead 50th Reunion concerts in Soldier Field, Chicago: the perfect intersection of music, friendship, love, and joy! I was especially joyful during Scarlet Begonias on July 3, 2015.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion brought me so much joy! It was like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time mixed with a cheerful dash of Susan Elizabeth Phillips-like humor and sarcasm. One of the most joyful books I’ve read in ages.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

This is torture! I would’ve said Hemsworth a few weeks ago (because I loved him in Rush), but I just saw Guardians of the Galaxy and I thought Pratt was absolutely adorable. So, just for today, it’s Pratt.

Megan is generously offering 3 titles from her backlist, one each for  three readers, winner’s choice. Domestic only (apologies to international readers).


mulryMegan Mulry writes sexy, stylish, romantic fiction. Her first book, A Royal Pain, was an NPR Best Book of 2012 and USA Today bestseller. Before discovering her passion for romance novels, she worked in magazine publishing and finance. After many years in New York, Boston, London, and Chicago, she now lives with her family in Florida.  meganmulry.com

Buy Megan’s books:

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  • Kareni

    Ah, you mentioned one of my favorite couples ~ Wulfric and Christine. I recently read and enjoyed your Bound to be a Groom and look forward to reading more of your books. Happy writing and reading!

  • Karen Mikusak

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Linda Henderson

    I have been reading romance books for a lot of years and I still enjoy reading them and I just turned 63.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I enjoyed reading your essay. I love Mary Balogh’s books.

  • catslady

    I’ve enjoyed your books and most romances – thanks.

  • Beth K. Vogt

    Yeah, that whole “finding a hidden copy of The Joy of Sex” memory reminded me of my adolescent exprerience of doing the very same thing while I was babysitting. (The kiddos were asleep.) And now I have confessed that here in the comment section of your blog. Thank you, very much. 🙂

  • “The tingle is the joy of romance”: so true! Thank you so much!

  • Christyna

    Thank goodness for the tingle, whether it’s from a good romantic story or…other sources. 😉

  • mariannewestrich

    Love the Met! It’s one of the most magical places in New York!

  • LaurieL

    So glad you found Mary Balogh’s books! Bound to be a Groom was one of my favorite reads last year.

  • Debbie Fuller

    You are a new author to me, so if I win you will have to help me pick which of your books I should start with. Thank you for sharing and posting here.

  • Emmel

    Balogh is my favorite author. Search for her earlier Signets. Some of those are amazing. My fave is The Temporary Wife.

  • cheryl c.

    I am a big fan of Mary Balogh’s books too. She has written so many wonderful series.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I love Mary Balogh as well and after this post I look forward to reading your books! Really fun post and now I’m going to have to move The Rosie Project up my to be read list…I’ve just heard so many good things 🙂

  • Dawn Anderson

    It took me a while to read a Mary Balogh book, but once I did I was hooked. Also, I love that you used the Grateful Dead as your joyful sound.

  • Michele Hayes

    I love finding authors that are new to me. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Erin F

    I love Megan’s books!!! I loved your point about romance and sex 🙂 a great sex scenes isn’t about the mechanics of the act but the emotion surrounding them. Thanks for sharing!

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    Thank you for your post. I really enjoyed it. I have yet to read your books but have heard about you & your books from other authors, so you are already on my must read list.

  • Joan Varner

    You are “new to me” but I agree that romance novels are the only place that I can experience the emotional and physical connection between characters that brings a story to life.

  • Melisa Safchinsky

    I love your Unruly Royals series and your Regency Reimagined! I love the twists you put on traditional historical romances!

  • Molly

    I haven’t read one of your books yet but I will be looking for them after my college classes today.

  • Carol Luciano

    You’re a new Author for me but I’m looking forward to reading your books. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Sharon Forbes

    You are a new author to me, but I’d love the chance to read a book by you! I enjoyed your post here, too.

  • Sue G.

    I’m going to have to look into The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. This sounds adorable.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I love the NYC Met, too. Have you seen the Christmas Tree? I’m also into loving THE ROSIE PROJECT. we have too much in common, perhaps we were separated at birth. I’m excitedly looking forward to reading your books.

  • Pamby50

    New author. How can you not like the Grateful Dead. Soldier Field, downtown Chicago by the lake.

  • Texas Book Lover

    NYC is on my list of places to visit next!

  • Marcy Shuler

    LOL I used to check out The Joy of Sex when I was babysitting and the kids were asleep. 😉

  • Sheila M

    I love Mary Balogh — especially Slightly Dangerous.

  • Deana Dick

    I love meeting new authors!!!!

  • Kai W.

    Megan, I bought Bound to the Groom about a month or two ago. Love the story.

  • Sharlene Wegner

    Hi Megan! I love the Metropolitan Museum, too! I haven’t been there for years, even though I could make a day trip in from Long Island. I have to get the family on board!

  • kirsten west

    Enjoyed your interview. Uncle John’s Band is my favorite Grateful Dead tune.

  • Angela H

    I am new to your books but they look great.

  • Diane Sallans

    Mary Balogh is a favorite of mine – glad you found her!