I was about to start a post on one of my favourite series when I checked Twitter (which I do a lot during the day, since TweetDeck is usually open from the moment I get up and have had some coffee so I can check on the news and the likes). There was this tweet by Michelle M. Pillow:
I never hid the fact that I’m an avid romance reader. There is something about the happy endings that is, for me, a great motivation to read them. At first, I was mostly into historical romances. Now, I’m mostly into contemporary, paranormal, fantastic, urban fantasy, science fiction, and romantic thrillers.
But what was my very first romance?
It was a classic: A Knight In Shining Armor, by Jude Deveraux. I was 12 and it was summer. My mum had all those books that her friend (who was then our next door neighbour) was lending her. Those big red J’ai lu romances (I didn’t speak English back then). I decided to pick up the one that had the word “knight” in its title.
It was love at first read.
What is the story about?
A Knight In Shining Armor (KISA for the fans) is the story of Dougless Montgomery, a fifth-grade teacher who had always been unlucky in love.
One summer, she and her boyfriend, Robert, take a trip to England, where she hopes that he will propose. Yet nothing went as expected.
Left stranded in a church of Ashburton, in the English countryside, discouraged, Dougless can’t stop the tears from falling while she kneels in front of a tomb, wishing for a knight in shining armour. There appears Nicholas Stafford, a tall, dark, handsome Englishman. But a very angry tall, dark, handsome Englishman, who tells her to send him back to where he came from: the 16th century. Not believing him in the least, Dougless nonetheless decides to play along and “help” him.
Of course, with her luck, she develops a major attraction for the so-called Elizabethan Earl. And despite his “good judgement”, so does Nicholas.
A classic love story
KISA is a totally classic love story, and one that made me laugh, cry, smile, get angry. Jude Deveraux’s storytelling and accurate research also makes it possible for the reader to believe that Nicholas really is an Elizabethan Earl, and makes the time travel completely believable.
Who wouldn’t want to find their Nicholas after such a read?
Then I was a fan for life
This was the first of Jude’s books I’ve read, but it was far from the last! It is now 28 years later and I have read almost everything she’s ever published. (One exception: the elusive Casa Grande, a book that is very difficult to find.)
I fell in love with the Montgomery and Taggert families (no, I don’t know which I like best!), then with the folks of Edilean, and now with Sara, Kate, and Jack (from her Medlar Mysteries). To this day, Jude remains one of my favourite authors, and this is not likely to change.
If KISA was my first romance, it wasn’t my last. Afterwards, I started to read Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter. Those five writers marked my foray into the world of romance, and my teenage years. Some might read Young Adult fiction when they are teens; I read romance. Today, at now 40, I still do. I simply added to the list.