We all have our favorite books. The ones we treasure, we keep, and we reread over and over again. Different books have different meanings for us. For me, my first historical writers made me salivate for the next one in the series. I cut my teeth on Rosemary Rogers years ago. We all remember Sweet Savage Love. The heroine, Ginny Brandon and the hero, Steve Morgan, left us begging for more. I remember "borrowing" my mother's books and reading them secretly in my room and then putting them back so she wouldn't notice I had taken them. I was hooked. I would go to the library and scour the shelves for more, hiding them in my bookbag so I could read them without my dad calling them "smut novels" and forbidding me to read them.
While looking over the shelves, I discovered other gems – Kathleen Woodiwiss. Ashes in the Wind blew me away and reminded me of Gone With the Wind with its sweeping scope and feel. My favorite Kathleen Woodiwiss novel was Rose in Winter. We feel the plight of Erienne as her father auctions her off to Christopher Seton, and we are enthralled as they learn to love each other. A classic Beauty and the Beast story with a charming twist. Another of my favorite authors at a young age was Johanna Lindsey. If I'm not mistaken, her books made Fabio famous because it was his face we saw on the cover of her books.
Through these authors, I learned to love history more. I became enamored of the finer details of writing a historical novel and knew this was what I wanted to write. My first novel was a contemporary, but soon I found I loved the historical voice and found my niche. So, tell me who you like. Who inspired you to write romance novels? What books did you sneak and read so your parents would not notice?