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Monday, July 4, 2011


Do You Admit to Reading Romance?

Do you read romance?

If the answer if yes, then do you openly admit to reading the genre?

Until recently I was a ‘closet’ romance reader. It was only after my debut novel, A Dead Man’s Debt, was published that I confessed to friends that I read and write historical romance. My voice caught in my throat as I did so; watching their response for the tell-tale flicker of derision, the raised eyebrow and suppressed smirk.

Two things surprised me about their reaction; firstly how many people then confessed to being closet romance readers and secondly, the predictable ignorance of those that hadn’t read the genre. The latter was typified a colleague, who, on learning I was the published author of a historical romance responded (in a derisory tone):

“Not Mills and Boon I hope?”

It is precisely this reaction that in the past has inhibited me from owning up to a passion for romance.

And the reason I love the romance genre?

I’m a professional working woman (a veterinarian), a wife, and mother to two teenage sons and so yes, I do need a daily dose of escapism … the Regency keeps me sane!

And not just that, but historical romance throws an intriguing light on the past. The heroine of A Dead Man’s Debt is Celeste Armitage. She has a 21st century desire to be her own woman, but lives within 18th Century social restrictions. Celeste does not want an arranged marriage and risks disgrace when she humiliates an eligible suitor…

When writing Celeste’s character I loved exploring the idea that women’s desires were no different two hundred years ago to now, and yet their lives were a lottery of circumstance and willingness to accept. Reading romance where the heroine overcomes not just her own emotions, but society’s expectations, is certainly not a matter for derision…as the uninformed think…and besides, what harm in a little escapism?

So how about you: Do you admit to reading romance, and if not, why not?

A Dead Man’s Debt - Grace Elliot

Celeste Armitage has a plan…and it doesn’t include marriage.

Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country, where she finds a sketch book of nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This cynical lord is the exactly sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the sight of him!

Lord Ranulf faces ruin as a blackmailer uses his late brother’s debts to destroy the Charing’s reputation. When Ranulf unexpectedly falls for the rebellious Celeste he must chose between true love and family duty…but Ranulf underestimates Celeste’s resolve to clear his name and unwittingly places his soul mate in mortal danger….

“Historical romance at its best.” OnceUponAChapter
“Totally engrossing…sensual and evocative writing.” FictionBooks.
“Breathtaking sensuality…page turning drama…a wonderful talent.” The Romance Reviews.

A Dead Man’s Debt is available from Amazon ($2.99), Books on Board, Smashwords and most eBook stores.

US link:

Here is the UK link:

Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night, and firmly believes that intelligent people should read romance as an antidote to the modern world. Grace is addicted to books and all things feline and is owned by five cats and a guinea pig. She lives just outside London and is married with two teenage sons. Her debut novel A Dead Man’s Debt has consistently received 5 star reviews (from the likes of Night Owl Reviews, The Romance Reviews, Once Upon a Chapter, Fiction Books, Sizzling Hot Books…and more!)

If you would like to know more about Grace and her work please visit:


Grace Elliot said...

Hello everyone, I'd love to hear whether you read romance openly, or are a closet reader.
Grace x

Romance Girl said...

I am proud of the fact I read romance novels and I really don't care who knows. For me it is the old adage, don't knock it till you've tried it. I had a friend one time tell me she doesn't read anything that doesn't teach something. She doesn't read for pleasure! I told her if she read some romance or such, she just might learn a few things. Oh well, there are those who will always raise their brows about what others read. I say, their loss, not ours. Thanks for the great post.

Anonymous said...

I used to hide that I read and write romance, but stopped after I finished my manuscript. I had a coworker commend my efforts, before asking if I plan to write something for real one day. His was the only weird comment I got. I'm w you, I work, have two kids and a husband. I need some escapism in my life.

Sarah said...

Reading is my escape from a high energy high stress job and now from a demanding 3 yr old that fights bedtime. I do readily volunteer to my close friends that I read romance. If someone else asks I tell but dont volunteer if not close with them. Most people I talk to in my workplace dont read outside what is necessary for work. That is so sad.

TGFK (thank goodness for Kindle). Now I can read my racier stuff where ever and whenever I want. Those are harder to admit to. :)