Your Romance Conversion Kit

When I encounter a friend or relative who sneers at romance — or maybe just doesn’t read it — I don’t ignore the matter. I try to challenge their assumptions, and open their minds. I point out that Jane Austen, Dickens, Shakespeare and the Brontes wrote romances. I point out that the most-mocked literary subgenre is also the one that is most female — that often provokes some interesting discussion.

And if the skeptics I’m talking to are readers, and willing, I give them a few specially-chosen romances to read that I think they’ll like.

What do I choose? Romances that I think are really good, for starters — but also romances that I think will particularly appeal to non-romance readers. Maybe they have some particularly interesting history in them. Or great humor. Or interesting characters.

In the past, particular books I’ve had luck “converting” people with include:

Georgette Heyer — FRIDAY’S CHILD, VENETIA, FARO’S DAUGHTER, THE UNKNOWN AJAX

Joan Smith — SWEET AND TWENTY, IMPRUDENT LADY

Sheila Simonson — LADY ELIZABETH’S COMET

Jennifer Crusie — STRANGE BEDPERSONS, WHAT THE LADY WANTS, WELCOME TO TEMPTATION

So, what conversion books have you tried? Which have worked best?

Or do you just ignore ignorant remarks, and go off and read what you want?

Cara
Cara King — author of MY LADY GAMESTER, winner of the Booksellers’ Best Award for Best Regency of 2005

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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