Susan Mallery – Thrilled To #LoveRomance

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!

If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!


Susan Mallery: I #LoveRomance

I love almost everything about writing romance, but there’s one thing that makes me crazy—and not in a Daughters of the Bridegood way.

Let me set the stage: romance novels have always been my favorite thing to read. I started reading them in high school, and they still get straight to my heart. The promise of the first kiss, the devastating black moment when you can’t imagine these two people will ever find their way back to each other, and the hard-earned happy ending that fills me with elation. I love them. Love. Them. If you told me that the rest of my life, I could never read anything other than romance, I’d be thrilled.

I love that every journey to finding love is unique. We can relax into the story because we know that things are going to work out, even when things seem bleak. And yet the authors still manage to surprise us with what happens along the way.

I love the way romance novels reinforce my belief that the world is a good place filled with good people. Yes, bad things happen every day, but so do good things, and reading romance allows us to focus on the good in a way that leads to us living happier lives. That’s huge.

So what is the one thing I don’t like about writing romance? When I’m writing one, I don’t read them, to avoid unintentional crossover between the stories. With my very busy writing schedule, that means I spend a good chunk of the year away from the books I love to

(I can feel your sympathy coming toward me in waves. Thank you.)

It was even worse with my latest book, Daughters of the Bride. This is my hardcover debut, which means that the story is bigger, longer, with even deeper emotions. Daughters of the Bride is what I call “romance-plus.” It’s the story of three adult sisters finding love against the backdrop of their mother’s wedding. Three romances in one book, and all the family drama that goes along with it. It was a pleasure to write, other than that one nagging aspect.

Because Daughters of the Bride is a romance, and because it’s a bigger story than I’ve ever written before, it forced me to spend even more time than usual away from the books I love to read. But you know what? It was totally worth the sacrifice. Read an excerpt and see if you agree:

Do you ever go on hiatus from reading romance? Why or why not?

Susan recommends:

Alexis Morgan – – (at Amazon)

Christine Rimmer – – (at Amazon)

Tessa Dare – – (at Amazon)

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.Susan Mallery

Usually, love is hard to quantify, but last year, I visited the Love Locks bridge in Cologne, Germany, where people attach a physical representation of their love for each other to the bridge, in the form of a lock. Then they throw the key into the river to symbolize that their love will last forever. It’s one of many such bridges in Europe, and many have been so loaded with locks that the structural integrity of the bridge is in danger. That’s a lot of love.

 Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.

Does my cat count? It’s always lovely to read a romance with a cat curled up in your lap.

Susan Mallery photo by Annie Brady

Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?

The sound of the garage door opening as my husband returns from a trip… sigh!

 Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?

I have so many favorites. I’ll reach back to one of the lesser known books by a favorite author—Wishes by the fabulous Jude Deveraux. It takes place in Colorado in 1896. Nellie is a pudgy spinster at age 28, as sure as everyone else is that she’ll remain on the shelf the rest of her life. A fairy godmother of sorts makes her as beautiful and thin as her spoiled younger sister, only to discover that Jace Montgomery would fall in love with her heart, and not superficialities. Although Wishes is out of print, it is available in ebook format.

Tell us about your dream date. 

My husband and I still have regular date nights. I think it’s important to spend time with each other one-on-one, without distractions. Our favorite is dinner a deux at a nice restaurant, with a good bottle of wine.

Susan is generously giving away three signed copies of her #1 NYT bestseller, Thrill Me (Fool’s Gold), plus some Susan Mallery swag. (US only, apologies to international friends.) To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the *Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST Aug 9, 2016. Good luck!

(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. Also consider joining the Read-A-Romance Book Club page, where we discuss romance of all kinds and will have drawings and events throughout the year.)

#LoveRomance  #HappyReading

Susan Mallery photo by Annie Brady

Susan Mallery photo by Annie Brady

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey.

Daughters of the Bride (July) is her hardcover debut. 

Learn more:     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Buy Susan’s books:

availableon-amazon       availableon-nook    availableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help and support!

  • Amber Ag

    Sometimes I go on hiatus from reading romance because I want to see what’s new in other genres. I love romance, but I like to try and stay open to all great books, even if they’re not romance.

    • I do the same thing reluctantly, but whatever the type of book, the only great ones to me are those that have happy endings. I hate investing my time, my heart, my energy into falling in love with characters only to have them come to a tragic end. 🙁

      • Amber Ag

        Yeah, sadly that’s the risk you take when a book isn’t romance. I read a great fantasy trilogy, but the ending about tore my heart out. :'(

  • Sue G.

    No, I only read romances. I like to have my happy endings.

    • That’s my promise to readers–they can relax into my books knowing that the characters *will* reach a happy ending, no matter what is thrown at them along the way. You’re going to close the book with a happy sigh.

  • Tracey Parker

    I like to read a wide variety of romance, so I tend to go in stages. There are also times like right now where I have books that need to be read and reviewed but ny pain stinks lately. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your comment, Tracey! I adore how much variety there is in romance. Thrillers, futuristic, historicals, sweet, or spicy. No matter what a person’s reading tastes, there’s a romance to suit. 🙂

  • Ooo… Wishes… I loved that book in high school. As a pudgy girl, I dreamed of someone looking past my weight to fall in love with the inner me. *sigh*

  • Stephanie Stevens Chalbeck

    I find the most happiness in reading romance. When I feel like a change, I will change the type of romance: contemporary, historical, western, military, etc.

    • That’s usually my preference, too. So sad that I can’t read romance while I write it! I used to be able to, but I can’t do it anymore. (Sad face)

    • Hi Stephanie – You’re one of Susan’s US winners. Please either reply here, send a mssg to the RARM FB page, or send an email to – include Susan Mallery winner in the subject please – with your email address and we’ll get your book to you.

      I hope you’re following all of the posts on xo

  • Nita Gill

    I do read and enjoy a lot of romance, but I also really like urban and epic fantasy too. I love immersing myself in a new world.

    • I must admit, The Hunger Games dragged me in. 😉

  • Doris Marie

    I love reading Romance stories and very seldom read anything else. They fill me with hope and good feelings that I sometimes don’t have in my everyday life.

    • It’s hard these days with the 24-hour news cycle. Romance takes us away from all that and reinforces our belief that there are good people in the world. We need more of that!

  • Nannie Welling

    I love the happily ever afters in romance books. My husband laughs at me because I always finish a book by saying “and they lived happily ever after”. Thanks for giving me hours of fun, hope, excitement and peace.

    • I love that, Nannie!!! Sometimes readers will ask me to write a follow-up book for a certain couple, but I just can’t do that, for exactly the reason you mention. I want readers to KNOW that my characters live happily ever after. But a book needs conflict. Once my characters fall in love, they only experience the everyday conflicts of happily married life. They don’t have any conflicts that would be big enough to sustain a book.

  • mariannewestrich

    So excited to see your post! I’ve been a huge fan since the beginning of Fool’s Gold. Thanks for all the hours of reading!

    • Aw, thank you, Marianne! That’s so nice of you to say. <3

  • Pamela Aares

    *smiling* about the not reading when writing comment, Susan! When I write contemporary I tend to love to read historical and when writing historical, I read contemporary. I can’t imagine not reading romance during all the time I spend writing! Bless you! And I love that the sound of the garage door opening is a romantic sound– and I get it– so blissful to be reunited with the man one loves!

    • The struggle is real, Pamela. I used to be able to read romance and write it simultaneously, but after 140-something books, I simply can’t anymore. Something changed in my brain. 🙂

      • Pamela Aares

        *smiling bigger!* I HOPE I get to 140 books! Can’t even imagine. And your love stories rock! Thanks for them!

  • Tracy Marr

    I usually have a romance novel going, but read a wide variety of books, from natural history and travel to historical fiction and the classics. Just finished and LOVED Ithaca by Patrick Dillon, and am reading some classic science fiction titles now.

    • Wow, Tracy, you really do have eclectic tastes! Good for you.

      • Tracy Marr

        But, of course – I’m a librarian! Hahaha

  • Jennifer Bidne

    I have enjoyed many romance novels and have started to make them more go to genre when shopping! I can understand your pain of not being able to read them when writing.

    • The more negative the news in the real world, the more I yearn for the world of romance. Fortunately, I’m immersed in that world when I’m writing, even if it does mean that I can’t read romances. I’m still very much in a happy place.

  • JoAn Varner

    I have enjoyed so many of the Fool’s Gold series and I have almost all of them for “keepers”. I was sad to hear that the series is now ending but I am so excited to hear that you’ll be starting a new series soon. Thank you for providing me with so much joy every time I open one of your books.

    • Thank you so much, JoAn! Fool’s Gold is nearing the end, but we’re not *quite* there yet. A brand-new Fool’s Gold novella will be out in October. It’s titled A KISS IN THE SNOW. You can get it on its own in ebook, or you can get it in print as the bonus story with the paperback reissue of MARRY ME AT CHRISTMAS.

  • Patty Vasquez

    Sometimes when my school year gets really busy, I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like. I can only imagine how starved for a good book you must be when you emerge from your forced writing fast.

    • It’s such a joy to be able to binge-read for a week or two! I just love it. 🙂 I keep buying books throughout the year, and they just wait in my TBR pile (or queue) until I’m ready to read.

  • Judy C.

    Reading is my escape and I love your books Susan. If I read other then romance it is usually books like “The Walk” by author Richard Paul Evans. His “The Walk” series was a wonderful journey.

    • I haven’t read that series, Judy, but I’ll check it out. Thank you for the recommendation!

  • Marie Andersen

    I’m a genealogist, so spend time reading texts and histories, but I usually have a romance by my bed for decompression 😉
    I will frequently take a research break and read several romances in a row – including some Fool’s Gold!

    • Aw, thank you, Marie! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the Fool’s Gold romances. <3

      • Marie Andersen

        It’s interesting to see which books and authors I keep re-reading the most. I do read new to me authors, but it seems like going back to revisit characters who have touched me, whether in their original story or in a story where they might be a cameo appearance or an important part of a new storyline is where I spend most of my reading time. It’s fun to see if a character has children or grandchildren and follow the family stories.

  • Heather Roach

    I can’t imagine being away from my fav books. Your new one sounds really intriguing.

  • Kristen Bodor

    I love my romance my fiancé thinks I’m crazy I’ll pick up a book and finish it that day … I like diving into that world

    • Tell him that men who are married to romance readers are happier. It’s true! I have several theories as to why that is… some of them naughty. 😉

  • Pam

    I read a lot of different genres, simultaneously. So, I don’t ever really take a break from romance, but I do read other stuff. Right now, I’m reading the Foundation trilogy by Asimov; Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose; Martha in Paris by Margery Sharp; Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke by Suzanne Enoch; and Betrayal in Death by JD Robb. I love RARM because I discover new authors to enjoy!

    • This is a GREAT way to discover new authors! I’m doing the same thing–taking notes! 😉 I just finished writing THE SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS, which will be out next year, so I have a short break now when I can read a few romances. Yay!!!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I always read romance, and if I don’t, I watch romantic comedy movies!

    • Have you seen any good romcoms lately, Sharlene?

      • Sharlene Wegner

        I mostly watch the older romcoms on DVD. When Harry Met Sally is my favorite! It doesn’t seem like they make too many any more. Not sensational enough, I guess!

        • Sad. 🙁 I just watched When Harry Met Sally again recently. So good!

  • Hippiechick2

    I’ve been reading romance since my early twenties. I am at the present, 61years old. Some things do change but not this. Yes, there are other genres that I read; I love to get spooked and Stephen King does it for me. Reminiscent ; a good WWII story will always remind me of my father who passed away ten years ago. But when I think of my husband who passed away fortyone years ago, and I think of him a lot, I read romance ❤️

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. <3 It's nice that romance reminds you of your late husband. That's beautiful.

      Stephen King is a powerful writer–he gives me nightmares! I can't take it. But I do love WWII stories… give me some Nazi gold, and I quiver.

  • Pamby50

    Hi Susan, I have been reading romance for a long time. The longest I have taken a hiatus from reading has been 2 weeks. There are so many wonderful books out there to read and not enough time in the day. We will be leaving to go to dinner in an hour. Love spending time with him. Sept 8 will make 35 yrs.

    • Oh wow, Pamby! Happy almost anniversary! 35 years is quite a feat, and especially that you love spending time with him after all those years. <3 Love exists!!!


    I did not understand the attraction to reading romances until I picked up Until You by Judith McNaught at the library. I hate to admit it but I came to this late in life. I have never looked back. I read mostly mysteries, romance and some history, biorgraphy etc. I like the idea that thre are happily ever afters out in the world. And that helps make up for some of the things we see every day.

    • Oh, Judith McNaught!!! What a great writer to introduce you to romance. I can just imagine the feeling that must’ve given you, reading a romance by a master as your very first one. No wonder you never looked back. 🙂

  • Sandy Xiong

    I started reading fantasy with some romance and then spread out to young adult and them now historical romance and contemporary romance. I read my first historical romance book during high school when I “borrowed” one of my sister-in-law’s book and then started to read it since. I don’t think I’ve gone to a different genre ever since.

    • So many of us got started that way, “borrowing” a romance from someone else. 🙂 For me, it was my best friend’s mom. I thought she was unaware that I had been borrowing her books, but then she gave me permission to do what I’d already been doing for months. LOL

  • Carol Opalinski

    Love the Fool’s Gold series. I think Charlie Dixon from All Summer Long is one of my all time favorite heroines!

    • Oh wow, Carol, that’s so nice to hear! Thank you. Charlie is one of my favorites, too. She’s one of those heroines I wasn’t sure readers would love as much as I did. She’s strong, tall, muscular–almost masculine. She always felt like a clod compared to her ballerina mother. She found where she belonged when she became a firefighter… and even more so when she met Clay. <3

  • Jami Birnbaum

    I fell in love with your writing when Chasing Perfect was released. I will miss Fool’s Gold, but am so looking forward to Happily, Inc and everything else you release in the future. And I loved loved loved Daughters of the Bride!

  • Gina Burgos

    I love reading Susan Mallery’s books! I started with her Marcellis series:-)

  • dholcomb1

    Even if I read another genre, I still have a romance book going at the same time


    • Double-fisting fiction! 😉

      • dholcomb1

        Yes! Exactly what I do! lol


  • Judy Goodnight

    Susan, I absolutely fell in love with the Fool’s Gold series and look forward to reading your hardcover and Happily Inc books! I’m somewhat taking a hiatus from romance books right now as I’m reading two mystery series, but both of the series have a strong romantic line to the stories as well.

    • Thank you for loving Fool’s Gold, Judy. 🙂 I hope you’ll love DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE, as well, when your hiatus ends.

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    I have been reading your books long before the first Fool’s Gold book was published. I’d say, you definitely know the definition of romance. I’m surprised cuddling you cat (which one since you own two?) beat out spending time with Nikki your poodle. Thank you for your post.

    • Alex is more of a cuddler than Lucy, by far. Lucy is usually hiding under a table or under a bed somewhere. She loves my husband, though, so she will occasionally peek out for a cuddle with him.

      Nikki is always right beside me, and I adore her. She’s less restful than the cats, though. She’s not into sitting still for long stretches of time.

  • Jessika Zee

    I’ve really enjoyed the Fool’s Gold series. I do send my sympathy, that would be hard not to read your fav genre, especially for the longer books you write, but you must be on to something because you produce some great ones! Thank you for the post.

    • Thank you, Jessika! <3

    • Hi Jessika – You’re one of Susan’s US winners. Please either reply here, send a mssg to the RARM FB page, or send an email to – include Susan Mallery winner in the subject please – with your email address and we’ll get your book to you.

      I hope you’re following & enjoying all of the posts on xo

  • Becky Rabalais

    Wonderful interview! Love the sound of my hubby coming into the house. Must read Wishes with this recommendation.

  • Meghan Stith

    I’ve read many Jude Devereaux novels, but never “Wishes.” I like her books because she almost always incorporates something supernatural. My favorite of hers is definitely “A Knight in Shining Armor.” Such a classic!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • K Davis

    I think that your cat counts! 🙂

  • Margarete

    Dear Susan,
    I’m absolutely digging the Fool*s Gold series. At the moment I’m reading “Halbzeit oder Hochzeit” (Until we touch) in German. I’m glad, here in Germany there are still a few Fool’s Gold books ahead that I’m eagerly awaiting. Keep writing such great, touching stories! Greetings from Germany, Margarete

  • Debbie Fuller

    Love your books and thank you for your insight into romance.

  • Linda Henderson

    Sometimes I will take a break from romance to read a good biography or a self help type book but usually I’m reading romance. Contemporary, paranormal, suspense, mystery, historical, I love them all. I do love your Fool’s Gold books, keep them coming.

  • catslady

    Only if some one lends me a book that they think I must read lol. I enjoy my romance stories and there are so many genres!

  • Glenda

    I love your answer about reading with a cat curled up in your lap!

  • Melisa Safchinsky

    I read so much romance that I’ve been forcing myself to read one non-romance novel a month. After the first month, I realized I enjoyed the little break from romance. When I return to romance novels after whatever I read, I feel refreshed. Plus the non-romance recommendations usually come from my friends, which means I can discuss the books with them after I finish.

  • rebecca moe

    Not a romance hiatus, per se, but I do have to read plenty of non-romance texts while I finish year two (last year, thank goodness) of my MLIS. Romances are my reward for reading about cataloging rules and the politics of public librarianship.

    So–I feel your pain, just in a different way. Thanks for posting!

  • Ellen

    The only time I’ve taken a hiatus from reading romances is when I’ve been sick and unable to concentrate on reading at all. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Mary McCoy

    I never go on hiatus from reading romance!

  • donnas

    Every once in a while I might pick up a thriller. But I always go right back to the romance.

  • Molly

    I pick up any type of book that interest me.