It’s Gotta Have Heart

photo credit: Edgar Barany via photopin cc

My husband and I were having a discussion the other day about couples. We’ve gotten to the stage in our lives when we’ve rubbed a lot of the painful edges off each other–not quite to where we look alike but I can see the day looming coming.

You can find a recap of the couples discussion on my personal blog, but the point I’m exploring today is a bit different.

Couples in books.

photo credit: cdrummbks via photopin cc

photo credit: cdrummbks via photopin cc

Growing up I read a lot of science fiction (Isaac Asimov, the Danny Dunn series (which just came out on Kindle in November!!)), fantasy (C.S. Lewis, Five Children and It), magical reality (Zilpha Keatley Snyder, the Freddy the Pig series), historical fiction, and mysteries (Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe).

About my late teens I found the romance section. Remember your first introduction to romance? Me, it was a Harlequin I can’t find again (darn it!), Kathleen Woodiwiss, and Johanna Lindsey.

I was hooked. I thought I’d be reading only romance for the rest of my life…

Well, no. Eventually I found traditional romance didn’t give me all the things I looked for in reading. Action, adventure, mystery, wonder…these things are subgenres now but then I had to widen my search.

Who did I find? Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum, mystery/humor). Jim Butcher (Dresden Files, SF/fantasy). Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody, mystery). Just recently I started on James Rollins (Map of Bones, Sigma Force series–thriller?), and I’m enjoying the stories immensely, but I’m not totally convinced I’ll read the whole series.


Because strangely, the rest all have romance somewhere in their makeup. HFN or HEA; it may not be more than a small part of the story, but there’s attraction somewhere in there that has the potential for committed love and is not just James Bond hitting on the Girl of the Week. (Revolving-door romance does not qualify for me. I’m not sure Rollins will give me that. I’m not sure he’ll give his heroes their one-and-only, or if he’ll give them a revolving door.)

Point being, when I looked at the books I read, I discovered that small or large, I need romance!

What about you? What was your stepping stone into Romance? Does a story have to have romance for you to read it?

Let’s get to know each other! In my first year as a Magical Musings blogger, I’m exploring my 10 favorite things. This is number three.


About Mary Hughes

Who am I? A lover of stories that crackle with action and love. A mother, a flutist, a binge-TV-watcher of NCIS, Sherlock, and Agents of SHIELD. Most of all, a believer in grand passion. Mary's online and would love to hear from you! Website Blog Group Blog Group Blog Facebook Twitter Newsletter signup
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4 Responses to It’s Gotta Have Heart

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    My experience was similar to yours, though I was in my early twenties when I was first enthralled by romances. Before then, I did read Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, so that was probably my really first intro to romance. (I loved both authors deeply – and still do.) For a long time before this, I was a mystery reader addict, but even there I like romance with it. Yet, when the relationship between the characters in the mystery series become static, I have to admit I become a little bored. I think I need a romance that has passion, conflict, and resolution.

    • Mary Hughes says:

      Austen and Heyer are great! I remember reading one of the Austen “and” books (Sense and Sensibility?), being surprised it was a classic because I enjoyed it so much! lol.

      I think you put your finger on something important, about static relationships being boring. I know a lot of television shows lost their edge when the main characters got together. I was afraid Bones and Booth (and Castle and Beckett) marrying would kill the show but somehow they’ve found ways to keep the interest lively.

      “Passion, conflict, and resolution.” –maybe that’s how, because they resolve the questions and conflicts, creating story arcs rather than just throwing conflict on top of conflict in an effort to be interesting 🙂
      Mary Hughes`s last blog was …January 1T Olio

  2. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Mary,

    I ran through all the genres throughout the years and I love romances. I’ve always said that it seems like 99 percent of the books out there have romances in them. It always confused me as to what I wrote because I always cross those blurry lines between the genres – and that was before it was okay to do so!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Eyes to the Soul – up for pre-order

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