Yes, Romance Matters…
Romance novels saved my life.
Dramatic, right? Silly, maybe? True, definitely.
Let me tell you a story. A story of a young girl, painfully shy, who knew she wanted to be a writer one day and read voraciously. She had a few tight knit friends but never fit in with the “right” crowd. She stayed on the sidelines of life, afraid of…everything. She felt trapped, depressed, stagnant with what the world showed around her.
When she was in a small bookstore, she picked up her very first romance novel. The cover was bright red, the couple was sexy, and she read through the blurb on the back page as a shiver of excitement raced down her spine. She bought it. Went home. And read it in three hours.
Life exploded from black and white to Technicolor. Suddenly, the veil of what a relationship could be, should be, lifted, and she saw past the hormonal awkwardness, past the limitations of school and cliques, past the frustrating levels of boyfriend/girlfriend crap around her in the school hallways. No, this was much more, this was passion, and independence, and hope.
She raced back to the store and bought every romance possible and read them all.
And she learned some important lessons.
Did she believe the perfect man would suddenly swoop into her life, rescue her, and make everything happy and pristine?
Did she believe great sex meant great love?
What did she learn?
The heroines taught her to be brave. Lift her chin and fake it when trembling inside. Believe in yourself and that you’re meant for more and shouldn’t settle.
The heroes taught her about respect, and that there was something deeper behind the face of some random hot guy. There was depth and soul and pain. She learned to look past the surface and be more patient of what could be discovered there. The story taught her happy ever afters were the beginning of a long journey, but it was damn satisfying to have hope and happiness after a painful struggle.
Romance novels gave the girl something to believe in, and be happy about. To dream. To imagine. Those few hours under the covers, or snuggled in a chair, or lounging in the hot sun, miles away from every day life, was a gift. A gift she wanted to give back one day over and over and over…
I only hope I do. Romance novels made me want to be a writer and made me happy.
That’s what romance means to me. That’s why romance matters.
One of my favorite authors is Susan Elizabeth Phillips (*posting tomorrow~B) – she incorporates amazing characters with fun adventures and scenes that make me laugh out loud. She is my go to author for a great summer read but there are so many more!
Some wonderful, talented, go-to authors I would recommend my readers try?
The fab Alice Clayton and her novel Wallbanger.
The talented Ruth Cardello and her yummy Maid For A Billionaire series
Happy reading everyone!
Questions for the Author
What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?
A hot pink garden gnome! My son got it for me for Mother’s Day, and he was so proud when I unwrapped it, he raced over to the main shelf in the house and put it on there and it has not moved since!
If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)
Expect the Unexpected. That’s how life is, a continuous surprise if you show up every day, ready to play. And who would play me? Rachel McAdams. Nope, she doesn’t look like me, but I love her laugh and spirit she brings to her roles and I’ve learned humor is everything.
What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?
My first book cover in a beautiful frame. Made everything real and magical.
If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be? (Any picks for romance novels in general?)
Definitely The Marriage Bargain – it’s where my marriage to a billionaire series began, and a great introduction to readers regarding my voice and style. Nick and Alexa portray everything I love to write — sexual tension, humor, emotion, and I’d definitely direct romance readers to the scene where Alexa hides a roomful of dogs from Nick!
Jennifer is generously donating one signed copy of The Marriage Trap and one of The Marriage Merger to U.S. readers and one copy of The Marriage Mistake to international readers (enter here). To enter the U.S. drawing , either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both. (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.) Comment entries must be posted by midnight EST Aug 7 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons, one 6 and one 8, keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of both sexy and erotic contemporary romance including The Marriage Bargain, The Marriage Trap, and The Marriage Mistake and her new release, The Marriage Merger. She has been published with Gallery, Entangled, Decadent, The Wild Rose Press, and Red Sage Publishing. She has also written a children’s book, Buffy and the Carrot, co-written with her niece, along with a short story about a shelter dog, “A Life Worth Living.” All of her books are available at her website, jenniferprobst.com