I don't read "romance", per se -- the closest I get is chicklit (which I have a love/hate relationship with) and the Stephanie Plum novels. In fact, outside of Janet Evanovich, I don't know that I'd ever made it through a whole romance in my obsessive-reading life!
This is probably why I had no idea what I was getting into when I pulled the audiobook for "What I Did For Love" off the shelf of my local library. I was looking for something light and fun to listen to while I did my spring cleaning, and I don't think I even read the back of it (slim pickings that day, maybe?), I must have just gone with the title and cover, figuring it was some random chicklit author and I'd try her out. I remember being surprised to discover the protagonists were actors when I put it in the CD player.
I was so unprepared for how much I enjoyed it. It was just so much *fun*. And when it was over, I felt that itch that you get sometimes with books -- where even though you are finished the book, you still want more. So I decided to see what else the library had on audio. I picked up Natural Born Charmer about a week later, and loved that one even more than WID4L -- I was thrilled that April Robillard and Jack Patriot were in it, since they'd appeared in the first book I'd listened to, and I loved loved loved Anna Field's reading. Some of her line readings were so funny I had to pause the CD to recover.
From there, Dean lead me to Match Me If You Can, which led me to the rest of the Stars books. At first I was all "I don't want to read about football players!" -- but I find that even when I think, from the summary, that this will be a book I won't like, I'm always proven wrong. I'm on Nobody's Baby But Mine now, because I cannot resist reading the book that introduces Kevin Tucker. Even though the summary made me wrinkle my nose, I'm enjoying this one just as much as I've enjoyed the others.
I don't think that this experience has sold me on the romance genre, but it's sold me on SEP, and at the rate I'm going (8 books down, I think), I will probably be through her whole back catalogue by the end of the summer. I was actually laid off earlier this month, and with all the stress of looking for a job, the SEP novels are my therapy. They make me grin like an idiot -- not only because they are legitimately funny, but also because the characters are so well drawn and relatable, and the romances themselves *make sense*. My favourite at the moment is This Heart of Mine (also the last one I finished), and on the long list of things I loved about it, I have to put how much SENSE Kevin and Molly make as a couple at the top of the list. So satisfying.
Also, I love Daphne the Bunny more than I can say. The sentence "Daphne wiped her eyes on the strap of her electric guitar" gives me profound joy.
I'm ridiculously grateful I picked up that audiobook a few months ago. I honestly feel like I owe SEP a debt for being in such a good mood while looking for a job! She is honestly keeping my spirits up.
Hopefully I'll have a new job before I run out of books!