You always remember your first.

They say you always remember your first … and romance books are no exception. Mine was Jewels of the Sun, Book One of the Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy by Nora Roberts.

I was stranded. Chicago O’Hare airport and ice storms have a very unhealthy relationship, and I was stuck in the middle of one of their spats. With a very efficient travel office at my company, I quickly secured a bed at an airport hotel.

Now, I needed some entertainment. Up until this point, I had been a literary book snob. I’d just completed The Reader and The Pilot’s Wife because they had been Oprah’s Bookclub recommendations. But that day, with my travel plans at a grinding halt, with work piling up and a deep-seated desire to spend just one night in my own bed, I was in dire need of cheering up.

I was almost embarrassed to be browsing the romance section. The bright yellow book cover of Jewels called to me. I purchased it and went to my hotel where I promptly devoured the story of Jude and Aidan. As I awaited departure the next day, I went back to the bookstore to buy books 2 and 3. On the flight home, I lost myself in Shawn and Brenna’s story.

There have been other books and series since then that have changed the way I read, and view, all genres of romance. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series was my first paranormal romance. Vivian Arend’s Granite Lake Wolves were devoured in Barcelona. I blushed my way through Cherise Sinclair’s amazing Masters of the Shadowlands series and recently asked Cherise via twitter if she would consider a swap … my husband for Master Marcus … she said she’d think about it :-)

I’ve gone back to those heavy bookclub type books now and again and can appreciate them for what they are. I probably wasn’t the only person who gasped out loud at the end of We Need To Talk About Kevin. But for me, I’d rather escape in a great romance with a strong, alpha hero and a confident, capable heroine.

Thank you Nora :-)