Choosing Happy

My name is Kathy, and I read romance. I read other stuff, too, but for the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on the love story part of my insatiable reading habit.

I’ve never picked up a traditional Harlequin category romance, I must admit, though I’m sure there are lots of great ones out there. Very short novels, as so many of those are, have never attracted me. But longer romances like Nora Roberts’s trilogies, contemporary romances by the likes of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Susan Wiggs, regencies by Mary Balogh and others, and women’s fiction that isn’t technically romance but often still has a strong romance element, like those by Kate Harrison and Cathy Kelly and many others, these are all books I enjoy. It’s what I write – more the romantic women’s fiction end than straight romance – and it makes me happy to read it.

For me, there is something to be said for sinking into a joyful story, for coming out the other end of conflict and possible loss and ending with something good. I like romantic gestures and love and seeing people connect, whether in the real world or in fiction.

I happened across this lovely bit below in the Mary Balogh book I just finished the other day, from the main character’s thoughts in Seducing an Angel, and it sums up why I like to read happy books, watch movies that leave me feeling good, write what I write and surround myself with people I love who bring joy to my life. I’m think I’m going to adopt this as my philosophy of life. Something to pin on the bulletin board beside the computer, don’t you think?

“The world was a wonderful place, and if it was true that there was no such thing as happily ever after, then at least sometimes there was happiness pure and unalloyed, and one ought to grasp it with both hands and carry it forward to make the hard times more bearable.”


  1. HaleyWhitehall
    Mar 9, 2011

    I haven’t read too many romance novels but have been wanting to. What are some of your favorite titles? Sometimes you just want to read a story that will make you feel good. I like watching romantic movies so I’m sure I’d like romance books as well.

    • Kathy
      Mar 9, 2011

      Oooh, tough question. So many good books out there. My favourite non-romance book with a strong romance element is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. (Actually, the first three books in that series still stand as three of the best books I’ve ever read.

      If you’re interested in trying out Regency historicals, I’d recommend the Simply series by Mary Balogh.

      Women’s fiction… There are so many enjoyable books out there. One of the ones I read and enjoyed this year was Nice To Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers. I like a lot of British authors in this area, too. I enjoyed Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me and Kate Harrison’s Brown Owl’s Guide to Life and lots of others.

  2. kc dyer
    Mar 9, 2011

    So your cranky friend didn’t end up in this post after all…[g]


    • Kathy
      Mar 9, 2011

      Ahahaha! You’re not cranky. You just got me thinking about why I read it.

  3. Deb
    Mar 10, 2011

    So true, Kathy. We all search for ways to bring order and chaos, happiness, into our lives – some days, that pleasure is found in a good romance or romantic-type story. Other times, it’s a dandelion flower from once’s child, or a bubble bath and chocolate. :)

    Take care,