Guest blogger: Jennie Jones
I call it a fast date because it takes very little time to read a book if you consider the umpteen chores and hassles we face throughout every day of every week of our lives. But why do I say it lasts a lifetime? Because our favourite romance books (new, loved, re-read, and still loved) meld together over time to create one big, energetic relationship between us and life.
I need a fast date occasionally, and I know I’ll find one in a romance book. If I have been drawn into a particular story, it will simply and perfectly fit alongside the other romance stories I’ve read over the years, and add to my collection of memories, and to my appreciation of love—in whatever form love takes.
Reading a romance story reminds us that there is love in the world, even if it hasn’t tapped us on the shoulder recently. Perhaps we’ve just got over a relationship, marriage, or friendship, and are waiting for the next, but we see proof of love everyday with feel-good stories, and we smile, and think, ‘Aw, isn’t that beautiful?’ Because it is. Because it happens. All the time. All around the world.
I started reading romance when I was twelve years old. I’m still reading it. I got into trouble on many occasions for reading it. At age thirteen my geography teacher caught me reading a Mills & Boon under cover of my world map (I was made to stand and I was shamed in front of the class. Not because I wasn’t attentive, but because I was reading a romance book, and I still feel that moment burning in my bones). At age seventeen I found a copy of Anna Karenina in my bedroom, which should have been returned to the library two years earlier (I can’t apologise enough for that one. I hope I’m making amends now by gifting my paperback books to some of the remote libraries in Australia). Or how about the time I had to hide my love of romance books from fellow students while I was at drama school, because they weren’t considered notable? ‘Why?’ I wanted to cry out. ‘There’s some serious drama and comedy happening in these books!’ But I was too shy, and too academically unaware of how to make those statements without feeling like a fool. Fortunately, we learn as we get older, and I can now face anybody who dares suggest I shouldn’t read or write a romance story, with a smile, and an answer. (Go me!)
I know I’ll find much more than kissing and excellent abs in the romance books I read. I’m not kidding anyone, I love those bits, but I also know that surrounding the erotic, sensual, sexy, sweet happenings—or whatever floats your romance boat—there will be love. That’s what the romance genre gives us. Love. In its broadest form. Romance books incorporate love on every level whether it be love of the heart, of family, of our children, of friends, or for those times we miss love, feel we’ve messed up with love, or have forgotten about love.
Love isn’t easy to find and it’s not easy to keep, but it rears its head and roars at every person on earth. Everything we are and all we endeavour to achieve, give, and receive comes from love, and love is every shade of life. As far as I’m concerned, love equals respect.
I’m keeping my fast date with romance going. I couldn’t live without. It broadens my horizons. How about you?
Leave a comment and go into the draw to win a signed paperback copy of The House at the Bottom of the Hill (Australian postal addresses only). The giveaway will close on 5 April. (The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Lyn W.)
The House at the Bottom of the Hill
The mysterious death of her mother has left Charlotte Simmons on edge and off-balance for too long. Searching for the truth, Charlotte buys a Bed & Breakfast establishment in Swallow’s Falls, a small town in Australia’s Snowy Mountains, as a ploy to get close to the man who might have the answers. She’ll jazz up the old place, flip it, get her answers, and be gone in two months – max.
What she doesn’t count on is opposition from the dogmatic and slightly eccentric members of the town council. And the hotshot owner of Kookaburra’s Bar & Grill and his two-hundred-squats-a-day physique is simply poking his handsome nose in when he offers to act as mediator between Charlotte and the council.
Easy-going Daniel Bradford knows progress is slow in Swallow’s Fall. He’s finally about to put his plans into place to upgrade the hotel when a prim-and-proper, citified redhead blows into town, putting everyone on edge. The only way to contain the trouble she’s about to cause is to stay close – he knows trouble when he sees it, and soon it becomes very clear that there’s absolutely nothing containable about Charlotte, or the way he feels about her.
Born in Wales and now living in Australia, Jennie Jones loved everything with a romantic element from an early age. That’s why she became an actor before she started writing. She toured the UK in all the grand old theatres, becoming someone else for two hours, eight performances a week, loving every second.
Now, Jennie loves writing rich, warm-hearted and refreshing stories of adventures of the heart. She’s a self-confessed would-be small town country girl and longs for the day when she and her family can set up home in a cute country cottage in the middle of a huge field. Until then, Jennie is enjoying life a five-minute walk from the beach. She can hear the ocean as she types her stories.
She says writing keeps her artistic nature dancing and her imagination bubbling, and like acting, she can’t envisage a day when it will ever get boring.