Romance Novels and Falling in Love

All my life, I was surrounded by them. I consider them my very first love, and even if that love goes in a one-way street, I just can’t make myself love them any less.

I can’t exactly tell how it all started, I can’t even say when. All I know is that I simply woke up one day and realized I developed a particular addiction for them. And it’s an incurable addiction that sees no end.

Ah, books. They are the fuel that keeps me going, even if most of the time I don’t know where I’m supposed to go. They give me what I want and what I need. I can take a break from reality and enter someone else’s realm of what is real. I can go places, reach beautiful and historical cities, pass through far away kingdoms and explore the magical world without having to leave my seat. I can experience new things and be in someone else’s shoes, a great change from my truly dormant life. And it’s even possible for me to travel through time, go back to the distant past or move forward to the far future.

I’m a sucker for stories of any kind. But my taste has developed exclusivity over the years, and right now, I’m partial to romance and love. It doesn’t mean though that I refuse to read other genres. I’m crazy about JK Rowling. I admire Stephen King, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, Geoffrey Chaucer, JRR Tolkien, Dan Brown and many more. I was inspired by Nicholas Sparks, Paulo Coelho and Mitch Albom. The list is endless. I just can’t stand the gory scenes and heart-stopping thrills all the time. Nor do I have the great desire to drown myself with prejudices and traditions of centuries ago and tales of vampires and dark creatures. (Unless it’s Harry Potter.)

I go for something light, even melodramatic. Something filled with romance and love, and always has a happy ending.

And I’m very particular with the authors. Once I pick up a novel and start reading, I won’t be able to put it down unless I know the ending. If I like the story, there’s a great chance I’m going to note the author’s name and hunt down the bookstore for her other works. For more than ten years, I’ve read countless romance novels and have a growing list of my all-time favorite romance authors.

Here are the top ten of my list:

Johanna Lindsey

She’s my all-time favorite for historical romance. All of her books are hard to put down once you start reading them. Her stories were always an amusing blend of romance, love, passion and history. I fell in love with most of her heroes, and I regard them as real. Wishful thinking, yes. But who wouldn’t dream of finding their own Devlin St. James, Selig Haaldrad and Jeremy Malory? *sigh*

Personal picks: Man of my Dreams, Surrender My Love, A Loving Scoundrel, Angel, The Joining, Love Only Once, Tender is the Storm

 Nora Roberts

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

Her works are incomparable. She simply has this way with words that could turn even the most ordinary plot into something extraordinary. Her characters are remarkable. You’d find yourself laughing, crying, falling in love and grabbing the happy ending along with the hero and the heroine. She made me fall in love with Ireland and wishing I can meet Shawn Gallagher of Ardmore and marry him. But I also fell in love with the Quinn brothers, especially to Phillip and Seth. And how can I forget the sexy geek, Mac Booke from Three Sisters Island? There’s also Cian from the Circle of Six trilogy and Grayson Thane from Born in Ice. Ah, I just love all her heroes. Period.

Personal picks: Tears of the Moon, Face the Fire, Dance of the Gods, Daring to Dream, Born in Ice, Inner Harbour, Chesapeake Blue, The McGregor Grooms, Blue Smoke, Carolina Moon, Angels Fall, Hidden Riches

 Elizabeth Lowell

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

She’s the Queen of passion for me. Her books are filled with sensual plots and romance, taking you into the depths of the rugged American territories and teaching you unforgettable lessons about life and love that can stand the tests of time. You will find yourself in a dilemma when it comes to her heroes-you’d want to hate them but you’ll love them instead.

Personal picks: Beautiful Dreamer, Dessert Storm, Reckless Love, Only You, Amber Beach, Forget Me Not, Granite Man, Winter Fire, Autumn Lover

Katherine Stone

Her novels have one thing in common- intricate plots magnificently woven around several characters. There are usually three pairs in the story and each of them are interlinked and connected in a game of danger, defeat, triumph and everlasting love.

Personal picks: Imagine Love, Thief of Hearts, Pearl Moon

Joan Johnston

She made me fall in love with Texas. Her heroes are mostly cowboys or rangers with a painful and tormenting past. It revolves around family feuds, dark secrets, pain of betrayal and the joy of being together again after years of being torn apart.

Personal picks: Maverick Heart, Texas Woman, The Price, The Lone Wolf,  The Cowboy

 Judith McNaught

Cover of
Cover of Whitney, My Love

I read one of her books and instantly fell in love with the characters. It was titled, “Something Wonderful”, and I really did find something wonderful in it. She has all the ingredients for an excellent romance novel.

Personal picks: Something Wonderful; Whitney, My Love; Until You

Sandra Brown

Her books are very entertaining. There’s always something about the characters that draws you to them, be it their dark, painful past or their shortcomings. I found myself gritting my teeth, shedding a tear or two and smiling as they came to their own happy ending.

Personal picks: The Devil’s Own, Silken Web, Above and Beyond

Catherine Coulter

It all started with her particular book, “The Lord of Falcon Ridge”. I can’t quite forget her characters even if I can’t remember the story all too well. I learned a great deal about Scotts and got intrigued with the monster of Loch Ness.

Personal picks: Lord of Falcon Ridge, Lord of Hawkfell  Island, The Wild Baron

Julie Garwood

One of our upperclassmen recommended this particular author to me. Her setting is often in Ireland or Scotland, and her characters are witty and exceptional.

Personal picks: The Bride, The Wedding, The Gift

Lynne Graham

The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress - Lynne Graham

She’s my favorite Harlequin author. I really do love her heroes, especially the Italians and the Greeks. If you want passion and love, then you’re in for a real treat. The passionate banters of her characters are truly entertaining and I never get disappointed with the ending.

Personal picks: Rafaello’s  Mistress;  Reluctant Bride, Blackmailed Wife, The Italian’s Inexperienced Mistress

I’ve known so much about love and passion after more than a decade of reading too many romance novels. Sometimes, I even feel immune to relationship and all it entails. And to be honest, I don’t feel like falling in love because I have set a very high standard when it comes to my own love story. Ahmm…I don’t think it wise to describe everything I have in mind though, seeing as it’s made up of truly unreachable plots.

I really feel awkward around guys, and I’d rather watch couples weaving their own fairy tale than be involved in one. Urgh. I actually feel the goose bumps whenever I imagine myself in a romantic situation, unless the man in my fantasy is either of the three- Alex Pettyfer, Phil Younghusband or Prince Harry. I only think about that when I’m alone, riding a jeepney, listening to songs of Westlife or Dashboard Confessional, if I’m about to fall asleep or if I’m really bored with life.

Actually, I don’t want to think about falling in love. At all. Besides giving me the goose bumps, it makes me want to shudder too. Haha.

I like my life the way it is now. No strings, no complications. No demands on my time. I love being alone when I feel like it. I can meet up with my friends when I want to. I can drown myself with a river of romance novels, and the hell with the world.

But if given the chance, I don’t think I’ll fall in love with just any man. He’s got to be exceptional. And I don’t think I will fall in love because he made me happy or because I was afraid to be alone. I am very certain that I can live alone and be happy without a man in my life. I have to fall in love because I just can’t help it. I don’t have to look for reasons; it’s all about feelings after all. But it does not mean I will throw my senses to the wind just because he can make my hand shake, my knees weak and my heart beat faster. If I have to go gaga over a man, I have to make it absolutely sure he’s worth the foolishness.

And since we’re so off the topic, I have to end it here. Slán go fóill. Goodbye for now. *winks*

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