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What Book First Led You To Romance?

Yesterday, myself, Maili, DA Jane, and a few others were having a debate about iconic romance books. The books that formed the basis of the romance that we read today, for example Anne Rice’s vampire books, Linda Howard’s Mackenzie’s Mountain, (love, love, LOVE that book) Katherine Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower, Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm etc, etc.

Dear Author is going to be doing a series where canonical romance books are celebrated, but that’s not what I really wanted to talk about. Maili and I went back and forth on whether or not the books that started you off down the romance path was integral to the evolution of the romance book. I said it was, but I guess as there are several paths that led us to our love of romance today, including films like Gone with the Wind, I guess she was right:)

Anyway, I want to know what book or film led you down the romance path. I’m assuming that we all didn’t just grab a Mills & Book or a Silhouette Desire straight away?

Well mine was Anne of Green Gables. Yeah, yeah, I know it wasn’t a romance in the traditional sense, but I loved the connection between Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley, although their romantic relationship didn’t truly begin until Anne of The Island.

I think I mostly enjoyed the unrequited love aspect of it. We all knew that Anne must have secretly liked Gilbert or she wouldn’t have been so mad at him when he made fun of her hair, but my little feminist heart secretly enjoyed Anne turning her nose up at Gilbert every time he made an effort to make up with her.

Anyway, enough of me prattling on, what book or indeed film, led you to appreciate the romance novel?