Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Top Ten Reasons I’m Thankful for Romance

Dear Readers, Authors, Editors, Publishers, Booksellers, and Librarians,

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are my top ten reasons for being grateful for romance:

  1. In the pages of a good romance, I can re-experience the joy of falling in love.
  2. I've met wonderful people through online romance discussions.
  3. The psychology of relationships is really interesting, and romances are nothing if not relationship-focused.
  4. Nothing (not even chocolate) beats reading a favorite romance when I've had a really rough day.
  5. Romance is a genre that acknowledges the power of emotions.
  6. A great romance can transport me to other places, and sometimes, other times.
  7. I have had some fabulous conversations about romances with other readers.
  8. In romance, tragedy is usually leavened by humor, passion and happiness.
  9. I've discovered some terrific authors this way, authors who have made me appreciate the beauty of the written word.
  10. Romances give me something to blog about. :-)



Janine Ballard loves well-paced, character driven novels in historical romance, fantasy, YA, and the occasional outlier genre. Recent examples include novels by Katherine Addison, Meljean Brook, Kristin Cashore, Cecilia Grant, Rachel Hartman, Ann Leckie, Jeannie Lin, Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, Miranda Neville, and Nalini Singh. Janine also writes fiction. Her critique partners are Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran and Bettie Sharpe. Her erotic short story, “Kiss of Life,” appears in the Berkley anthology AGONY/ECSTASY under the pen name Lily Daniels. You can email Janine at janineballard at gmail dot com or find her on Twitter @janine_ballard.


  1. Kelly
    Nov 20, 2006 @ 09:09:57

    I had to comment on this blog because everything you wrote has been so true for me too. I have been an avid romanc reader for 25 years and throughly enjoyed all the experiences you’ve mentioned.

    I use to chat with people in aisle of the bookstore but knew very few romance readers. Now I have lots of online friends to chat not only about our favorite books but also authors, genres, favorite characters, plotlines and locations.

    Since attending my first convention several years ago, I’ve enjoyed getting together with other readers as well as authors. It’s the only place I know of you can walk into a room full of people and feel comfortable sitting down with a table of strangers. Within minutes everyone is talking about a favorite book, author or genre and the ice is broken.

    I’m thankful for romance books, for all the wonderful authors who have given me hours of enjoyable reads and lots of things to talk about with the hundreds of friends I’ve made through our favorite topic…Romance.

  2. Janine
    Nov 20, 2006 @ 17:52:35

    I’ve never attended a romance convention, but I love the friends I’ve made through reading romances. The discovery of a great new book or author can be magical, and I love that I have the opportunity to turn other readers onto that book or author. So I’m also thankful to the Ja(y)nes for giving me this forum.

  3. Michelle
    Nov 20, 2006 @ 22:15:02

    Also in some books, especially series, it seems as if the characters become friends (I know sappy), but when the new In Death is out-the story always sucks me in and it is like visiting old friends.

  4. wandergurl
    Nov 21, 2006 @ 20:25:02

    I’ve also made a lot of friends because of reading romance novels. I think having communities online has made it a lot easier to do this because a lot of people are ashamed to admit that they read them…sometimes it does surprise me because people you would least expect to enjoy romance do read them. I love being a part of the romance reading community. I also love being able to go back to something and remembering how it made me feel, like the previous commenter mentioned on visiting old friends.

  5. Thanith
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 21:06:45

    As I have realized, reading erotic romances have made me sharper in life and more able to sort out the different types of men out there better than if my mom was advising me through life.
    They are not real-life but they enforce some positive values such as being somewhat more picky in the men I deal with. I have gone through some of the most terrible men and have moved forward in life a little wiser because I know that there are heroines and heroes out there that have overcome heartbreak.
    In idealizing the characters and romance somewhat, I have learned to lift myself up from the degradation that I had experienced from a bad and abusive relationship. Maybe because I have a picture of the perfect romance in my head that I will never be involved with anyone again ever. Maybe idealizing will keep me safe by keeping me chaste. I dont know but I find that to be a better position than to be in a demeaning relationship again.

  6. Jane
    Jul 21, 2011 @ 09:25:24

    @Thanith – it’s a mark of a courageous person to keep persevering in life in the same of many disappointments.

  7. Janine
    Jul 21, 2011 @ 11:16:26


    it’s a mark of a courageous person to keep persevering in life


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