This blog is for those 18 and older.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Do You Remember Your First?

Do you remember the first romance you ever bought? The first one that caught your eye and said “You must read me”? I remember my first one like it was yesterday (even though it was thirty-six years ago).

I was, of all things, grocery shopping with my mother when I noticed a new bookstore was having its grand opening. I couldn’t resist - I had to go in and browse among the racks.

Being a lover of books from a very young age, I had already read everything from Black Beauty and Beautiful Joe to Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre thanks to my local library, but this store, these books were different. These were romances with beautiful covers and heroes and heroines to admire and adore and excitement hiding within each page.

Every book I picked up was a new revelation to me. And then I saw it. Love’s Tender Fury by Jennifer Wilde. The cover, the back blurb, the pages I read standing in the aisle, everything about the book said I must have it. Well, being fourteen, with no money in my pocket (and no room in the grocery budget), I couldn’t have it.

Such disappointment (as only a teenager in love with romance could feel it), but I persevered and with the earnings from my next babysitting job, I bought that book. To say I devoured the story of Marietta and Derek would be an understatement. I lived each page.

I still have that much loved book. It’s dog-eared, the cover has been repaired with tape, the pages have come loose from the spine and it’s traveled across country with me, but Love’s Tender Fury remains the most treasured in my collection. Do you still have your first romance novel?

Happy Reading.



  1. Hi Marie,

    The first romance novel I ever read I found on my Mom's dresser. It was Shanna, by Kathleen Woodiwiss. After reading it about four times, I finally had enough babysitting money to buy The Wolf and the Dove by that wonderful author. The Wolf and the Dove is still one of my most loved stories. And yes, it is dog eared, taped together, and pages yellowed with age. It will always have a special place in my heart :-)

  2. I don't know if this one counts, but it was Gone w the Wind and I was barely 11 years old when I heisted it from my mother's stash. I recall being scandalized by the word 'breast' which appeared on the first or second page under the description of Scarlett. I think it must have been the first time I saw the word in print! I still have that same copy...the pages are half falling out, and I've donated plenty of books to library sales over the years as I've moved from place to place, but that book will always remain on my shelf.

    Thanks for the article, Marie.
    Lyndee :)

  3. There's something about that first book, isn't there? I, too, loved Shanna and The Wolf and the Dove and let's not forget The Flame and the Flower (which was passed around my high school Home Ec class). Gone With The Wind was a favorite as well (although I didn't read it until I was older). Thanks for the comments, ladies! And hang on to those treasures!

  4. I can't believe that I don't remember the title of "the first." It looks like a tradition, but it was from Mom's bookshelves too. Those naked words were so astounding!
    Which reminds me of "Wifey" by Judy Blume. It wasn't the first, but it was so naughty...then I had to buy it as an adult about two years ago and test my reaction. Good, but tame. I must have been "innocent" when I first peeked at it!

  5. I remember Wifey very well. It WAS naughty (but at 14, a lot of things were naughty)! My mother wasn't a reader of books so we didn't have bookshelves filled with reading material - she preferred those old movie star magazines - the precursor to the Enquirer I think (do you remember the Lennon Sisters? They were frequent visitors in those magazines - Oh gee, I think I just gave away my age - darn!). She also liked true confession stories. Those were pretty naughty too but I confess, I loved them as well (even though I probably shouldn't have been reading them)!

  6. I don't know any Lennon Sister secrets, but I do know who they are. I think anything we read that should've been off limits just made it that much better!
    I remember sitting on the floor between Mom's bookshelves when she was at work. I'd flip through her books looking for things I shouldn't be reading. Ah, the beginnings of a romance reader and writer. Now the world knows how I started.