So another Valentine's Day is sneaking up on us, and I have to tell you, I'm feeling a little odd. I have now been married 20 years, and while I still love my husband very much, the older I get, the more Valentine's Day seems to be for younger lovers.
There are hundreds of reasons to love romance novels, but one of them is that these love stories give us the chance to relive the joy and buoyancy of all the "firsts" of love: The first time they meet, the first electric touch, the first kiss, the first fight, the first chance to forgive and forge deeper understandings.
I sincerely hope my husband and I die together in our sleep at some ripe old age, after we've savored every possible experience in our life together, in which case I will never again experience a first kiss, or any other exciting "first" with a lover. So living vicariously through romance novels is a fun — and surprisingly satisfying — way to experience the spark and tension of those experiences.
Wherever you are in your own love life, I hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day, filled with romance, companionship and passion — whether it's a new love, a long-standing love, your best friend, your dog, or simply a good romance novel.
Wondering what to pick up this weekend? Here are some suggestions:
A few more:
Historical favorite Jillian Hunter has a new series, The Fenwick Sisters Affairs, kicking off this month with Forbidden to Love the Duke.
Lynsay Sands' bestselling Argeneau vampire series takes place in a society whose members are ancient survivors of Atlantis. The Immortal Who Loved Me is coming out at the end of this month, and it's a bit of a sequel to last year's Vampire Most Wanted.
And finally, last year's romantic and touching debut The Red Bikini marked Lauren Christopher as a contemporary romance author to watch. Her followup, Ten Good Reasons, comes out in early April.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Bobbi Dumas is a freelance writer based in Madison, Wis. She writes, blogs and reviews for Kirkus Media, and celebrates romance and women's fiction on her website ReadARomanceMonth.com