Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Book Discussion & Recommendation > In through the out door: which came first for you?

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message 1: by Jeffery (last edited May 30, 2012 05:13PM) (new)

Jeffery Sargent (thesarge) | 169 comments Are you a fangirl (or boy) who discovered that romance caters to your interest (as opposed to old school "bodice ripper" stuff), or a romance reader who stumbled into the world of fantasy/sci/supernatural etc?

With the barrier pounding successes of Harry Potter and Twilight, I would imagine that a number of people who looked at sci fi/fantasy as "that stuff over on those other shelves I never go to browse" have discovered a whole new world - for good or ill. It just occurred to me that "50 Shades" might have languished as simple fanfic had not the Twilight hungry audience sought out anything even tacitly connected. Fanfic - traditionally existing as a subset of fandom, and marginalized as such - might well gain a level of market penetration that it couldn't get as just an element of fandom because there's a broader market now dipping their toes into the fan pool.


message 2: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 335 comments fantasy first. from before i was old enough for romance beyond cinderella & co. :]


message 3: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Sargent (thesarge) | 169 comments I should weigh in - despite being named for a romance novelist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffery_... - I go by Sarge, but my first name is Jeffery) I have been into fantastic fiction since I was a sprat - 40 years or more. The classics more than the most recent, which is one of the reasons I'm here - to get more up to date. Try to blend in with the hip younger crowd, with their iPads, and bell bottoms and hoola hoops. I've already learned that the young folk call orgasms "rainbows" now. Whoda thunk?


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 68 comments Fantasy has and always be my first love. I had always considered the romance genre with disdain, it's something those silly people with little imagination and too much time on their hands read!

However, my most fav fantasy series are in all honesty epic romance stories set in a fantasy world... But I still reserve the right to laugh at all things Twilight, damnit!


message 5: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I was a fantasy reader as a kid (the Hobbit and the Pit Dragon series by Jane Yolen ranked among my favorites as a wee one). Romance was something my mom read that I would sneak from her bookshelves sometimes but were super boring (to be fair, I was a child so didn't get the nuances of relationships - there were no swords/dragons/wizards involved so therefore I had little to no interest).
I think that it wasn't until I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon in high school that I realized that there were aspects of both genres that I could enjoy. It's pretty heavy on the romance but the time travel aspect was really cool and it went back to 1700s Scotland so I could get a bit of fantasy/magic/epic battle that I always enjoyed.
From there it's been hit and miss for me for romance and I still sometimes cringe when I have to go into the "romance" section because there are a lot of bare-chested men holding heaving-bosomed women in awkward embraces - I think everyone's back would be sore. But it's hit and miss for me in fantasy as well, so no system's perfect.


message 6: by Valarie (new)

Valarie | 5 comments I started out with Fantasy when I was really young, and I'm still a fan-girl. During my high school years one of my aunts introduced me to historical romances. They held my attention until my 20s when I found Ann Rice. I went from her Vampires to Sleeping Beauty I love the Sleeping Beauty books. I guess that says a lot about me, LOL. Meanwhile, Science Fiction and comic books have been a part of my life since age six. A few years ago I picked up a "Dresden Files" book and fell into the world of the paranormal, again....Now I'm here to stay.

Is this my first post? I think this is my first post.


message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ndayeni) | 64 comments I'd say I entered both worlds separately, for different reasons, and was happy when they started to merge and I could have the best of both worlds.

I've been a fan of vampire fiction for as long as I can remember. I first read Bram Stoker's Dracula when I was in 5th grade, and remember being bummed even then that Dracula was killed in it. I then read whatever books I could get my hands on that had vampires in them, always searching for the ones in which the vampire wasn't just a monster, and/or wasn't the villain of the piece such as Interview With the Vampire or Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Count de Saint Germain series. I wasn't necessarily looking for ones that had a romance in them, but wasn't bothered if it did have one in it. Mostly I was just thrilled anytime I found a book with a "nice" vampire in it since they were pretty rare prior to sometime in the 90s.

As far as romances, thinking back, I suppose I've been reading those since I was in elementary school too. I used to read my mother's books, many of which were gothic romance type books by authors such as Phyllis Whitney or Victoria Holt (just to name a couple I can remember off the top of my head). Not necessarily the sorts of things I wanted to read given a choice, but I was a pretty voracious reader and would read most anything I could get my hands on at times, and at times my mother's books were what was available to me that I hadn't read yet.

After awhile I left off reading those, and didn't really read romance books per se until I was in high school, when I grabbed a Silhouette romance book we had laying around for some reason as I was leaving for a babysitting job because I needed something to read during the hours between when the kids would be in bed and their parents would get home, and that was the first thing that came to hand. I was surprised that I actually enjoyed reading it, as I hadn't expected to. After that I started seeking out romance novels, especially the quick, easy Harlequin type that didn't require much thought.

To make a long and mostly boring story short, during college I got busy and didn't read much, but was tending to read fantasy novels such as Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series, just to give one example. Eventually I got busy enough I didn't read much of anything for several years and got out of touch with what was being published, and was thrilled to discover the new PNR sub-genre that had emerged that combined all my favorite genres into one. And so it is I find myself with a TBR list that'll last me the rest of my life and beyond most likely before I get through them all.


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura | 111 comments Fantasy before romance for me is a sure thing.


message 9: by Claire (new)

Claire (cacromwell) | 221 comments I started off reading fantasy & sci-fi around late elementary/junior-high age - thanks to family viewings of ST:TNG!! I loved Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall trilogy, the Enchanted Forest Chronicles and Jane Yolen's Pit Dragon series. I suppose all of them had romantic sub-plots, but it wasn't anything I really paid attention to until late high school. I remember telling my friends about this really cool book, Dead Until Dark!!
I don't venture into the romance section of the store, and even until recently I turned my nose up at a lot of what I thought (wrongly) were "light-fantasy fluff" books. Other than the Southern Vampire series, my first PNR author I've really enjoyed is Patricia Briggs (and I do wish her books had better cover art...)
What I do appreciate about a lot of books in this genre are the strong female leads who aren't always tough-chicks, or have some supernatural ability.
Now that I'm following this group, and the blog Forever Young Adult, my reading list has grown so much!!!


message 10: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Sargent (thesarge) | 169 comments @ Michelle - part of your problem back before Anne Rice is that in centuries of vampire lore and folktales, they weren't sexy: they were properly identified as "Monsters". ;)

So, no "romance first" takers?


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 89 comments I started with fantasy and science fiction, and my favorite stories tend to be very character driven. So interpersonal relationships, including romance, tend to drive a lot of the plot and action. I am fond of urban fantasy because one of the tropes is of an awesome, competent female lead.


message 12: by Michelle (last edited May 30, 2012 10:25PM) (new)

Michelle (ndayeni) | 64 comments Sarge wrote: "@ Michelle - part of your problem back before Anne Rice is that in centuries of vampire lore and folktales, they weren't sexy: they were properly identified as "Monsters". ;)

So, no "romance first..."


Yeah, I know, but I didn't really care for horror fiction, and I wanted the vampire to win ;) Or to not have to fight like that to begin with because he was a nice guy.

I have of course read a fair amount of horror fiction to feed my love of vampires...even they're the icky kind. Thankfully I don't have to do that anymore ;)

Oh, and it's possible I read some of my mother's gothic romance before the vamp stuff. I really don't remember at this point. And even though those books weren't *really* my thing, there's a few of them that still stick in my mind to this day. The Shadow of the Lynx is one of them. Haven't read it since I was a kid though, so is entirely possible I wouldn't like it now.


message 13: by Lina (new)

Lina (tseeta) | 17 comments I'm also one of those people who came from both sides separately and is now thrilled to have them combined.
Technically I started out with fantasy, I read a lot of it as a child and teen, mainly in the young adult genre. I really liked it to have a romance in it (though I never would have admitted that I liked that part)
In the last few years while studying for university I didn't really read that much at all, cause every time I picked up a book I felt bad for not reading anything on my reading lists. I only read during semester breaks and then usually typical chick lit. Ever since I was a teen I lusted for the "real" romance books but would have died from embarrassment if someone would have seen me even looking at those cheesy covers.
Luckily I grew some confidence in the meantime and I'm now really happy to read fantasy that has a good romance in it and even some smutty scenes which I enjoy more than I ever would have thought.


message 14: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 938 comments I'm not sure if it's romance or fantasy that came first.... When i had the pleasure to read my first fantasy book i was also enchanted by the "Ladyhawk" movie so i guess both


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Fantasy first and romance only since joining the group. I'm an oddity and almost never go for stories for the character relationships, more for the cool world and magical creatures.


message 16: by Emy (new)

Emy (emypt) | 67 comments I started with fantasy - J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Then I fell for Elinor M. Brent-Dyer and Georgette Heyer after encouragement from my sister. As a teen I then added spy stories from John le Carré and Len Deighton. At university I started studying Russian folklore, and got introduced by friends to what is now classed as Urban Fantasy and Paranormal... Romance wise, I have always called historicals my anti-depressant books, because they were nice simple stories with a happy ending. In some ways I see Romance as a label or a marketing tool. Relationships (of all forms) are part of human life, so ignoring how people interact stops it being as interesting to me - whether that's friendship, love, families or sex.

I've never stopped reading a genre once I've 'found' it, just added it to things I read. I've always just been an inveterate book work who will read almost anything. Basically, if it has words, I'll give it a go.

As an aside, for me I find human interaction fascinating as being Aspie I don't 'get' it. In some ways even stereotypical romance novels are fantasy for me as they are still portraying another world from mine...


message 17: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (poppysocks70) Fantasy first. It started with fairy tales, then I discovered Narnia and The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper.

Romance came later in my late teens and twenties, but it all got very samey and boring.

Then I had my two boys and Harry Potter madness happened and by reading them to my boys I rediscovered my love of fantasy (and reading). I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

I was introduced to Twilight and because of those books discovered Sookie Stackhouse and here I am.


message 18: by PointyEars42 (new)

PointyEars42 | 476 comments I was halfway through Isaac Asimov's Foundation series when I realised my peers were reading Sweet Valley High or whatever unrealistic saccharine tween tripe it was at the time. I spent a year reading every romance I could get my hands on to try & catch up - desperate to finally have a shared frame of reference with someone who wasn't 5+ years older than me. By the end of that year I was reading Shirley Conran's "Lace" when they were reading...Sweet Valley High or whatever unrealistic saccharine tween tripe it was at the time. Then I discovered Piers Anthony & David Eddings and ceased to care about the opinions of the Mundanes entirely. At 11.

So, science fiction first, then romances. Old school science fiction is light on female characters worth connecting to, but then so were the women in romances. It's great that there are finally crossovers that try to balance genres. For a decade or so there were plenty of science fiction/fantasy/horror novels I read with a romance awkwardly & distractingly grafted on top, Iron Duke style, and as many romances set on a planet exactly like this one but with two moons so it could claim to be spacey-wacey. Bleugh!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Emy wrote: "As an aside, for me I find human interaction fascinating as being Aspie I don't 'get' it. In some ways even stereotypical romance novels are fantasy for me as they are still portraying another world from mine... "

I tried to do this at first, but found it confusing as real life interaction was somehow different to that of fiction. It wasn't until I studied Chekhov that I really made any progress. (Please note as I am mid-diagnosis I do not wish to claim to be Aspie, just wanted to discuss)


message 20: by Emy (new)

Emy (emypt) | 67 comments I managed to get a special course on Chekhov in my final year :)

And yeah, it can be confusing - probably why I stick to historicals where there is a much more rigid set of social rules - modern stuff can be SO confusing... I generally prefer modern-set books to be more Dresden where the romantic aspects are just there rather than the reason for the story.


message 21: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 68 comments Valarie wrote: "I started out with Fantasy when I was really young, and I'm still a fan-girl. During my high school years one of my aunts introduced me to historical romances. They held my attention until my 20s w...

...I went from her Vampires to Sleeping Beauty I love the Sleeping Beauty books."


Can you tell me a bit more about the Sleeping Beauty books?

I've read the first couple of her vampire books... but stopped as life got in the way and they weren't holding my interest that well.

But fairytales are kind of an obsession for me. And I would love to get my hands on any good adult fairy tale retellings..


message 22: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Sargent (thesarge) | 169 comments Lisa wrote: "Can you tell me a bit more about the Sleeping Beauty books?"

It was a series of early Anne Rice novels (under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure), and are pretty far away from the story of "Sleeping Beauty": it's fairly heavy D/s fantasy, about a Princess who is put into sexual slave training along with other Princes and Princesses. A fair amount of "pony" training as I recall (an area of D/s that involves the submissive taking on the role of a pony - a "tail" attached to a plug, inserte...where a tail should be, wearing harness, bit, and reigns, and trained the way you would train a show pony, up to and including, pulling carts). There's also a lot of gay sex. Mildly diverting, but I was never a big Anne Rice fan - your mileage may vary...


message 23: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 47 comments Another person coming from the two genres separately. My first fantasy novel was the Elf Queen of Shannara by Terry Brooks - randomly pulled from the adult paperback shelves at my local library for a book report because at the time there wasn't a YA section and I was beyond the children's books at that point. My first romance novel was "The Wolf and the Dove" by Kathleen E Woodiwiss.

I'm glad to see the barriers between genres becoming increasingly porous. A story that gives *equal* attention to a plot line - be it a mystery, a fantastical quest, a spaceship exploring the great unknowns, etc., etc. - AND to a romantic relationship is my ideal. I'm really into characters and also happy endings (not a euphemism... though I'm happy for my romances to be steamy ;) ), and I find that a romance often gives me that foundation on which the novel can build to take me on a crazy new adventure :)


message 24: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Sargent (thesarge) | 169 comments Once I got out of genuine juvenile fiction - like Encyclopedia Brown, Tom Swift, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and the 3 Investigators - I think the first adult fiction I read was Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard. After that, the standards: Heinlein, Bradbury, Wells, Verne, Piper, Asimov, Moorcock, et al. Spent some quality time with Robert Howard and a serious dive into the Pulps - Doc Savage, the Shadow, etc. Chandler and Hammett. Tolkien, Lewis, and L'Engle. By the time I got to High School, I'd spent more time on other worlds/other times, than I had in this world. In high school, I started to read more classic lit - Shakespeare, Donne, Dante, Homer - developed a fascination for Poe and Coleridge. Except for Shakespeare (and I think some Poe), most of this reading was outside of the curriculum. Didn't get to Lovecraft till high school, and those nameless, shapeless, writhing obscenities still mock me to this day, spawning in the dream-addled shadows of every veiled twilight.

My fantasy/scifi reading started to slow after high school, and by the 90's slowed even more because I was working fulltime doing brain intensive work, plus I was reading more general fiction and mystery - just found a lot of science fiction and fantasy so derivative (Sword of Sha-na-na et al) or pointlessly long just to warrant a trilogy or to show off all the work they did on world building - it's supposed to SUPPORT your story, not replace it. So, I'm not as well versed in the more modern trends (say the last 20 years - it's not that I haven't read ANY, just much more selective when it comes to sci fi and fantasy). And there was always comics - the 80's and early 90's were heavy on comics. It grew from probably around 1970, into a full blown passion in the 80's.


message 25: by Valarie (new)

Valarie | 5 comments Lisa wrote: Can you tell me a bit more about the Sleeping Beauty books?

Sarge is right. These books are nothing like your average fairytale. They would make the Brothers Grimm run screaming for the hills.


message 26: by RogueHireling (new)

RogueHireling (rogue_hireling) | 76 comments Lisa wrote: "Fantasy has and always be my first love. I had always considered the romance genre with disdain, it's something those silly people with little imagination and too much time on their hands read!"

Thats me also. And then I joined Goodreads and joined the Paranormal Romance group and started doing their challenges. Before I knew it I was reading ten romance books a month.

Though I have tried to read traditional romance novels since and I still dont like them. Clearly my romance needs to contain some sort of 'other'. The closest I get to standard romance is bodice rippers. But then I sort of think of the victorian era (at least in literature) as pretty fantastical.

I think, in the end, what really appeals to me about the romance genre, is the happy ending. I really like knowing that everything will turn out alright. The sex is just bonus. =)


message 27: by Katherine (last edited May 31, 2012 04:10PM) (new)

Katherine (masquerader888) | 22 comments I guess I am in the super minority here in that I started with romance.

I wasn't much of a reader as a child, a fact that saddened my mother to no end as she adores books. I was more likely to want to go out to the park and play or hang out with friends than read a book...that was school work. My mom did try on a constant basis to find something I would like to read; she is of the firm opinion that anyone can learn to love reading, they just need to find the one book that unlocks the door into literature for them. That makes them want to continue to discover the hidden worlds found between the pages.

It wasn't until I was 13 and diagnosed with a heart condition that I truly began to appreciate the written word. I could no longer go places on my own, and spent more time than I would have liked to laying down with nothing to do. There is only so much TV anyone can watch (even a teenager) and I stared at more than enough for a lifetime in those first few months of convalescences. (I still am not too keen on most television.) When I finally discovered the book that turned out to be my key to an appreciation of the written word it was a lifeline. A way to visit other worlds, and go beyond myself and the limitations I was facing; it was my viewport to a happy ending. The first book I ever chose to read cover-to-cover was Amanda Quick’s (Jayne Ann Krentz) Mystique; and I can truly say it changed my life. That I then went out and found and devoured all of her other books was inevitable at that point, and Ms. Krentz is a very prolific writer. I followed her from historical romance into contemporary and then into the world of paranormal. It was here that I found an even greater world to explore, and countless authors later spanning both urban fantasy and PRN I have found many friends between the pages of different worlds, but I still love that happy ending.


message 28: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Sargent (thesarge) | 169 comments Katherine wrote: "I guess I am in the super minority here in that I started with romance."


Not a problem... that's what I was hoping to hear. Thank you for sharing.


message 29: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (masquerader888) | 22 comments Sarge wrote: "Not a problem... that's what I was hoping to hear. Thank you for sharing."

:P No problem, I can ramble anytime...


message 30: by Seawood (new)

Seawood Fantasy first by a long way - I went from the "teenage" shelf in the library straight to fantasy/horror/sci-fi. I was never particularly interested in romance until I did a reading challenge a few years ago with friends from a parenting board - we had to recommend five of our favourite books to a partner. One of my partner's recommendations to me was a Georgette Heyer and I absolutely shocked myself by loving it. Additionally the first few freebies I picked up for my Kindle were romances. From the historical setting it was only a short step to steampunk and over to urban fantasy/paranormal; I saw some of Felicia's reviews of books like Grave Witch and the Lady Julia series, discovered smartbitchestrashybooks.com and...yeah. Here I am. I'm fairly new to the genre and I enjoy both the escapism and the exploration of feminism. If there's magic and battleaxes, so much the better. :)


Mel (booksandsundry) (booksandsundry) I was most definitely both. I was always reading fantasy when I was young, Narnia and the like, but loved the romance in my Baby-Sitters club too.

In my teens I started reading my Mum's romances and discovered Anne McCaffery. So the trend continued. I think I started reading cross-overs, or fantasy with strong romance elements, earlier than I realised. When Felicia chose the jewel series for the alt this month it dawned on me, I'd read it years earlier thinking of it as fantasy only, now I see things differently. Now I'm looking at my fantasy shelves in a whole new light and realise they all have strong romance and I've lemmed a lot of books that didn't.

Recently most of my new books have all been paranormal romance, specifically shifters. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm mostly a romance reader, after spending my life seeing myself as a fantasy reader.


message 32: by Candy (new)

Candy (heartlessone) | 83 comments Definitely fantasy first, and I'm seeing a trend here. When I read romance it's generally in the fantasy genre as well, though not always. I would imagine this is probably because I've been reading since my eyes first opened and I had no idea what "romance" was until well into college, being the D&D playing, Tolkien reading geek that I was/am. Admittedly, I do enjoy a good romance now, but I cringe away from the "bodice-rippers"; if someone's not slaying a dragon or throwing fire from their hands there's not much interest for me.


message 33: by Dawn (last edited May 31, 2012 08:50PM) (new)

Dawn Addonizio (dawnaddonizio) | 10 comments I started reading both Tolkien and Harlequin romance novels in the 4th grade. My grandma would take me to the local antique shop and they had a rack of used books for a quarter each and she’d always give me fifty cents (sometimes even a dollar!) to shop with. I read some really inappropriate stuff from that book rack…like some of the older romance novels where the sex scenes between the main characters were incontrovertible cases of rape (which is another thread). I also picked up a taste for horror there, but have gotten away from that for the most part.

I think my introduction to the blending of fantasy and romance came from movies like Legend and The Princess Bride, which have remained timeless favorites. I think the first novel I picked up that truly blended fantasy with romance was one from Christine Feehan’s “Dark” series, which I referred to thereafter as “vampire romance”, and I could not get enough. I’ve been addicted ever since and now I write my own fantasy romance novels.

For me, fantasy itself (or at least the fantasy that I enjoy) is romantic at its core. It’s epic and all encompassing. It amazes me. It makes me cry and it makes my heart beat faster and it will always be a deep part of who I am. Just as I will probably always be a sap for a good love story. The blending of the two seems only natural.

P.S. I actually clicked on this thread bec/ the title sounded dirty...or maybe that's just me.


message 34: by Cristina (new)

Cristina (crissyg04) | 5 comments For me, they go hand in hand. Though when I began to read both fantasy and romance they were more PG compared to what I am reading now.
When I started to read romance it was mostly age appropriate and the fantasy was mostly historical fiction.


message 35: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Addonizio (dawnaddonizio) | 10 comments Sanasai wrote: "fantasy first. from before i was old enough for romance beyond cinderella & co. :]"

I take back what I said about Legend & The Princess Bride being my introduction to the blending of fantasy & romance. It was definitely Disney! Although the others were probably the first non-animated ones I saw, which made them seem more real.

I also remember being really disturbed when I came across a volume of Grimm's Fairy Tales at a young age, & saw some of those Disney-fied stories being told from their original grim perspective. But that's another topic...


message 36: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 68 comments For me my first blending of fantasy and romance was Lady Hawk. Epic, -EPIC- love story. <3!! Which, funnily enough was right before I dived into the Fantasy genre. I think I'm discovering more about myself than I knew was there. O_o!

Dawn wrote: "I also remember being really disturbed when I came across a volume of Grimm's Fairy Tales at a young age, & saw some of those Disney-fied stories being told from their original grim perspective. But that's another topic..."

Haha, funny how people react differently to shocking and unexpected revelations.

When I came across the Grimm stories, those pesky inconsistencies with the Disney versions finally made real sense. I loved them.


message 37: by Gotobedmouse (new)

Gotobedmouse | 73 comments Growing up I read a lot of Danielle Steel and Judith Krantz mixed in with Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins. During college I read a lot of classics and popular books. After I had kids I went dormant for awhile on reading. I still read classics (if you count "Make way for Ducklings" and "Goodnight Moon").
Then a friend kept pestering me to read Twilight. I get the Twi-mom fascination with the series. You have kids you are tired, you have "Caps for Sale" memorized and then there is this set of books about first love and you can read it quickly (because it is on the seventh grade level). You gain confidence, you remember first love before you had days when you were covered in someone elses poop. It is easy to get lost in the Fork world. I have been in the Young Adult section for the last three years. I am excited to get into the adult section again.


message 38: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 938 comments Gotobedmouse wrote: " and then there is this set of books about first love and you can read it quickly (because it is on the seventh grade level). You gain confidence, you remember first love before you had days when you were covered in someone elses poop. It is easy to get lost in the Fork world...."

that's mostly the reason i liked the twilight saga. I admit it has plenty of flaws (the "vampires" are one) but it's a proper love story whith all the pros and cons. And if i'm not mistaken that's how it was always advertised


message 39: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 938 comments Gotobedmouse wrote: " and then there is this set of books about first love and you can read it quickly (because it is on the seventh grade level). You gain confidence, you remember first love before you had days when you were covered in someone elses poop. It is easy to get lost in the Fork world...."

that's mostly the reason i liked the twilight saga. I admit it has plenty of flaws (the "vampires" are one) but it's a proper love story whith all the pros and cons. And if i'm not mistaken that's how it was always advertised


message 40: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 938 comments Gotobedmouse wrote: " and then there is this set of books about first love and you can read it quickly (because it is on the seventh grade level). You gain confidence, you remember first love before you had days when you were covered in someone elses poop. It is easy to get lost in the Fork world...."

that's mostly the reason i liked the twilight saga. I admit it has plenty of flaws (the "vampires" are one) but it's a proper love story whith all the pros and cons. And if i'm not mistaken that's how it was always advertised


message 41: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 15 comments I started out reading romance books (Harlequin) because they were the only books at the time that I could a) get easily and b) get a large number of books. After a while, I got tired of the formula and wanted to try something different and picked up David Eddings first Belgariad book. I was hooked.


message 42: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 54 comments Fantasy first for me, then paranormal then to paranormal romance and then I was just hooked.

I think my first true crossover series was Charlaine Harris Southern Vampire series, aka True Blood. Which I actually picked up from the mystery aisle at the book store when the series first started up.

I think my first full blown romance was MaryJanice Davidson, though my interest in her books has waned.


message 43: by Gotobedmouse (new)

Gotobedmouse | 73 comments I read the first two Charlaine Harris books. I had a problem with Bubba Elvis the vampire. For some reason that character rubbed me the wrong way.


message 44: by Tangled (last edited Jun 02, 2012 07:52PM) (new)

Tangled  Speculation (TangledSpec) | 55 comments I've always loved Fanatsy and Sci Fi. To be honest, I only like romance if other aspects of the plot are strong (though I admit I image most of the fantasy men as hot). As an adult re-reading older Anne McCaffrey, I'll admit there was some "bodice ripping", but I hardly remember noticing it when I read them as a preteen or teen.


message 45: by Tangled (new)

Tangled  Speculation (TangledSpec) | 55 comments Lisa wrote: "For me my first blending of fantasy and romance was Lady Hawk. Epic, -EPIC- love story. <3!! Which, funnily enough was right before I dived into the Fantasy genre. I think I'm discovering more abou..."

I always loved the original Grimm stories. I was a particularly bloody minded child. I guess even Disney couldn't protect me from my own twisted nature.


message 46: by Amy (new)

Amy | 1 comments Daeja wrote: "Another person coming from the two genres separately. My first fantasy novel was the Elf Queen of Shannara by Terry Brooks - randomly pulled from the adult paperback shelves at my local library fo..."



The Wolf and the Dove was my first (accidental) romance novel, too! It was slightly shocking, as a thirteen or fourteen year old to randomly pick a book off my grandmother's bookshelf one day whilst languishing in Florida during a family vacation. It definitely changed my view of my stern grandmother a bit!
I initially came to VF via high fantasy novels, where I was happily surprised when a bit of hot sex came along :) but I can't say I really thought about seeking out fantasy (and later sci-fi) books expressly for romance elements. Although after that summer vacation I will admit to raiding the library shelves for additional historical romance novels...though I scrupulously hid them from view. Maybe it was my age or perhaps just that I was (and am) a naturally shy and private person, but I always had the vague feeling that I was reading something naughty and embarrassing. Got smut?


message 47: by AnnaBanana (last edited Jun 04, 2012 07:17AM) (new)

AnnaBanana Pascone (snapdragnful) | 89 comments Sarge wrote: "Try to blend in with the hip younger crowd, with their iPads, and bell bottoms and hoola hoops. I've already learned that the young folk call orgasms "rainbows" now. Whoda thunk? "

AH ha ha...Sarge, you crack me up. Rainbows, indeed.

My mother read Isaac Asimov stories alongside Dr. Seuss as I grew up, so I have never known a time that scifi/fantasy wasn't a part of my life. I discovered Regency romance novels in my early 20s. My bookshelves now have three sections: Regency romance, scifi/fantasy and other. Other is only about two shelves lol.


message 48: by Christopher (new)

Christopher | 14 comments I'm definitely a Fantasy/Sci-Fi first. My transition from true juveniles to YA and adult books were Redwall and the Star Wars books. I read a couple of my mother's romance novels, because she had *a lot* of them, and some of they were even pretty fun, if really formulaic (like Brian Jacques and David Eddings aren't?).

More recently things like the Kushiel trilogies and most especially Lois McMaster Bujold's books have demonstrated not only how SF/Fantasy and romance could mix, but how both genres could be excellent. A lot of the Vorkosigan saga is pretty military space heavy, but A Civil Campaign is basically regency romance in an age of bio-engineering (and a truly fantastic book that I'd totally recommend for the group if it weren't the culmination of an entire series of books that aren't even remotely romance related). Extremely telling about where Bujold comes from is that, along with classic SF/Fantasy influences, she credits romances like Georgette Heyers' with equal credit for her style and technique in writing.


message 49: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Sargent (thesarge) | 169 comments AnnaBanana wrote: "My mother read Isaac Asimov stories alongside Dr. Seuss as I grew up, so I have never known a time that scifi/fantasy wasn't a part of my life. I discovered Regency romance novels in my early 20s. My bookshelves now have three sections: Regency romance, scifi/fantasy and other. Other is only about two shelves lol. "

You'd enjoy my namesake (or whatever the inverse is - I was named for him) - Jeffery Farnol (1878-1952). He is cocredited with starting the Regency romance genre. "Jade of Destiny" and "Winds of Chance" are probably my favorite, though "Broad Highway" and "Amateur Gentleman" are his best known works. Much of his work is the sort Errol Flynn would have starred in.


message 50: by AnnaBanana (new)

AnnaBanana Pascone (snapdragnful) | 89 comments Sarge wrote: "AnnaBanana wrote: "My mother read Isaac Asimov stories alongside Dr. Seuss as I grew up, so I have never known a time that scifi/fantasy wasn't a part of my life. I discovered Regency romance novel..."

Awesome! I will look into that, I am always looking for fresh meat! I mean, new authors. Whatever...


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