Friday, October 13, 2006

Thursday Talk-time with Lucy Monroe

This Thursday at The Pink Heart Society best-selling author Lucy Monroe tells us why she loves Category Romance!!!


I'm an unashamed fan of category romance. Long before I sold my first Presents, books from my favorite Harlequin and Silhouette authors dominated my keeper shelves. They are not my guilty pleasure. They are my joy. I am not only proud to write category romance, but quite vocal about my joy in reading it.

Why, though? What about romance in general and the category books in particular engenders such fierce devotion from me and so many others?

I'm with Jayne Ann Krentz in believing that romance novels give life and breath to modern day heroic archetypes, heroes (both of the male and female variety) that our society *needs*. Yes, the books are written for entertainment - just like all other fiction, just like movies, just like live theater, the performance of classical music, the ballet - the list of art that entertains is almost endless. And like all forms of art, the romance novel has its place in our culture, feeding it...revealing it...impacting it.

Romance as a genre feeds hope into a world that can oftentimes feel hopeless. It educates, entertains, strips away the layers for revelation and inspires. It is quite incredible really. The power of romance and within romance, the category novel.

The length of a category book is not the only thing that sets it apart in the romance genre. The sheer volume of stories created on a monthly basis by uber talented authors to be read by a discerning public that won't tolerate the clich├ęd or trite is awesome. Category romance distills the challenges of life, the heroic victories we all long for into a short format, a crucible that grinds out the chaff and leaves only the best, most necessary part of a story behind.

Each category line has its own conventions, making it easier for the reader, whose entertainment budget is limited by both time and money, to find the types of stories they like best and be able to buy them consistently. That's one of the reasons I love them. I don't read all lines because not all literary conventions or story type conventions work for me. But the ones that do enhance my life immeasurably.

I grew up wanting to travel because of the places I read about in Harlequin Presents. I learned foreign phrases, about other cultures and outlooks reading those books. I know many readers who feel the same. Books are a wonderful gift to society, but I think romance novels are the cream of the crop!



So what are your three favourite category romance keepers of all time? We've been discussing keepers and the books we're all reading at The Pink Heart Society's Yahoo Loop too! So why not pop over and join us through the Yahoo link in the side-bar? We'd love to see you there!!!

Lucy's next Harlequin Presents release PREGNANCY OF PASSION will land on bookshelves in North America in December. Check out her fabulous blog for more or visit her website to see what's new with Lucy!

Thanks Lucy!


  1. I love categories! They really hit the spot.

    My 3 faves would be:

    "Daring In The Dark" a Blaze by Jennifer LaBrecque

    "His Double, Her Trouble" a Temptation by Donna Sterling

    "Eye Candy" a Blaze by Dorie Graham

    It wasn't until just now I realized that all 3 stories share the same theme: unrequited love from the hero. I love this theme.

  2. Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie ( I own the original temptation!),
    When You Call My Name by Sharon Sala, and The Winning Hand by Nora Roberts (a MacGregor series book). Each has a different topic, in my opinion.

  3. Hi, Lucy! Glad to see your post if up :-)
    My first adult romances were category romance from Harlequin... I loved them then, and I still do now :-)

  4. Only three??

    Hmmm, let me see...
    1. Night Watch, Suzanne Brockmann
    2. Trust Me, Caroline Cross
    and, of course, one from Lucy...
    3. Blackmailed Into Marriage

  5. Let me see if I can name three off the top of my head

    - ROOM SERVICE by Jill Shalvis
    - DELICIOUS by Julie Cohen
    and the third one's by Trish Wylie but I can't remember the title, I think it was her first one

  6. I can't name three...I love category romance. I can't imagine life without them...


  7. Lucy, romance is a keeper. However, how does one choose? For me there are way too many.

    This years series, my favorites were:

    Lucy Monroe - Royal Brides
    Kate Walker's - The Alcolar's
    Sandra Marton's - The Knight Brothers

    As for reading....all of my life and to dream of travel, YES! I'm so thankful I worked for a cruise line and have been able to see most of the world. However, my new dream is to see The Gold Coast thanks to Trish and Annie for sharing their beautiful pictures!

  8. I love romance books, and to name just three would be so hard. I find that I have so many favourites over the years.

    I really like series books, not to take away from the others. One of my favourite series is Morgan Mercenaries by Lindsey McKenna to name just one. There have been so many more Kathleen Creighton, Marie Ferrella, Suzanne Brockman, and on it goes .......

  9. There are too many keepers for me to name all of mine but without checking, Liz Fielding's The Bridesmaids reward, um, all of my Jessica Hart's, all of my Helen Brooks, Sandra Martons, Kate Walkers oops, ok I confess, I have a lot of keepers.

  10. Lovely to have you here Lucy!!!! I've been visiting your Blog since the NANTY party in July! Great party!!!

    And three books, really? I have to be limited to three???

  11. LOL...I can list three books from my keeper shelves, but not the TOP three. There are literally hundreds of category romances on my shelves...all of which have been re-read numerous times. I think it says so much about our genre that so many readers have keeper shelves to begin with. :)

  12. Three is just mean isn't it??!!

    I have a really old copy of Janet Dailey's 'Enemy In Camp' which was my first ever keeper category roqmnce. the cover is falling off,and cracked and I just can't let it go!!!


  13. I love romance reading so much!
    I'm a fan of series books. I like Susan Mallory's Sheik series, I love your Princess Brides. Sherrilynn Kenyans Dark hunter series is too die for.
    Katie Macalister's Aisling Grey books are a fav for me as well.

  14. Oh no way I can narrow it down to 3. Some of my earliest memories of romance reading include some Betty Neels -- I still have a few that I pull out as comfort reads. Lucy's Royal Brides will always be keepers. As far as themes go I think I'm always attracted to strong women who may start out as the underdog, but get their man in the end. Looking forward to a new release from Lucy in December!

  15. Ok, I meant Royal Brides, not Princess Brides. That mistake actually woke me up last night, lol

  16. LOL Chantal...I knew what you meant. And almost was titled Princess Brides for the series. ;-)

    Oh, Ally...I've got some books like that. They are just so precious to me. And getting a reprint to replace them is not the same.

    Thanks, Melissa! Love that strong woman/underdog theme too. Oh, hey...yeah...I write those. LOL

    Hugs to all and thanks TONS to The Pink Heart Society for having me!!!

  17. Sorry for joining late -- I just found this discussion.

    The following are favorite books but I am not sure if they can be counted as my top three. There are so many books that I love -- these just came to Mind.

    "The Greek's Christmas Baby" -- Lucy Monroe
    "The Lord of Scoundrels" -- Loretta Chase
    "The Gold Ring of Betrayal" -- Michelle Reid


  18. Some of my favourites are:

    The Marriage Miracle - Liz Fielding

    The Greek Tycoon's Ultimatum - Lucy Monroe

    The Virgin's Proposal - Shirley Jump
    Rescued by Mr. Right - Shirley Jump

    A Christmas to Remember - Betty Neels