Patience Bloom's 10 Favorite Romances

Romance is My Day JobOne of our selections in the True Love category of our Valentine's feature 150 Love Stories, Romance is My Day Job is the sweet story of a romance book fan who lands a dream job as an editor of romance novels, only to stumble upon a reality that lives up to the fiction she's surrounded herself with--ten years later, that is. Harlequin editor Patience Bloom's memoir begins in 1984 with all the drama of a Sadie Hawkins dance and ends with a wedding picture from her ultimate happily-ever-after.

She shared her thoughts about True Love with us, as well as a few of her own favorite romance novels.

My 10 Favorite Romances by Patience Bloom

Patience BloomWhether you love it or wear black in protest, Valentine's Day is almost here. If you're a die-hard romantic, it can be the best or the worst day of the year. Maybe it just depends on how much chocolate you have?

As a long-time editor of romance novels, I experience most days as a sort of Valentine's Day. When I'm at work, all I need is a good story, juicy characters and a mind open to love. But believe it or not, until a few years ago, I would have said real-life true love was just a fantasy, that it only existed in the romance novels I edited. Then one day my Prince Charming appeared out of nowhere, wooing me with laughter, talking into the wee hours, and offering the promise of a future --a future that came true in a story that ended with my own fairy-tale wedding.

It seemed so crazy--me, married--that I had to write our story.

I hope your Valentine's Day is extra special this year and filled with hearts, admirers, and chocolate. And if you're looking to add a romantic book to the mix, here are some of my favorite novels about love.

Something Blue

Something Blue by Emily Giffin

There are mean girls you might consider unredeemable, but Darcy Rhone will win you over (even though she steals boyfriends and mooches). I'd campaign for Darcy in a heartbeat and, by the end of this book, I felt desperate for her to find love.
The Fall of Shane MacKade

The Fall of Shane MacKade by Nora Roberts

A playboy hero falls for a bookish heroine--and has no clue how it happens. It's an absolutely adorable premise with Roberts's trademark humor. Shane is unforgettable.
The Sheikh's Arranged Marriage

The Sheikh's Arranged Marriage by Susan Mallery

I tend to enjoy reading about unbelievable situations and this was my first Susan Mallery romance. The heroine, Heidi, is a joy: curious, scholarly, and noble. To honor her adoptive family, she marries a son, who of course, winds up being her dream come true. I sobbed at the end, and I don't cry easily when reading….
When She Was Bad

Something Blue by Cindy Kirk

It's hard to keep me away from a good-girl-who-finally-lets-loose romp. Here, the heroine decides to live a different life with new name and skimpy wardrobe, and boy, does she ever enjoy herself. It's sexy, fun, and emotional—all in one page-turning read.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back

How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan

The romance in this amazing story shows how age doesn't have to matter. Plus, who doesn't want to see how a woman “finds” herself again? We all need help. I read this in my twenties and adored Stella, how she learns to enjoy life/love again.

Bombshell by Terry McMillan

Don't hate me, but I enjoy reading about the trials of beautiful women. In Bombshell, Grace is a too-gorgeous heroine who's been through all kinds of man-torture. She wants a baby and winds up with her own unforeseen happily ever after. Curnyn's stories are great fun.
Bring Me Back

Bring Me Back by Karen Booth

My first attraction to this story was that the author loved Duran Duran, just like me. But this romance grabbed me to the point where I was angry that it had to end. The rock star romance is quite tantalizing and I think many of us have dreamed this story. Am I right?
A Husband of Her Own

A Husband of Her Own by Brenda Novak

A captivating enemies-become-lovers story. Even though I read this story ten years ago, the romance is so vivid in my mind. Novak builds a heartwarming community and makes you want to live in Dundee, Idaho.
Bridget Jones's Diary

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

"Bridge" is instant validation for those of us with healthy—and sometimes unhealthy neuroses. Bridget is so good-hearted, nuts (in the best way) and loveable. Of course, Mark Darcy would love her. And of course, I started tracking my weight and daily vices thanks to her.
Confessions of a Shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I fell in love with Becky Bloomwood instantly. She can't control herself, gets in over her head, then has to learn harsh lessons to get back on a saner path. And she does this is such an enjoyable way. This book compelled me to start shopping.

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Romance is my Day Job looks like a great read that my wife and sister would enjoy, and I plan to recommend it to them.

I had a chance to read the "look inside" preview on Amazon and Patience's personality (highly likeable) jumped off the pages. Full confession, as a married man past the point of no return when it comes to crushes, it's not a book I'm likely to read. That being said, if I were to read it I think I would be glad to know that the author does eventually find love and, as the intro to this blog post says, her "happily ever after." I think it would make it easier to handle any of the disappoints she will describe on her journey. It would be sad to think Patience might have to deal with heartbreak without an eventual happy ending. Depressing might the word.

I had the mirror opposite effect with Pat Controy's Great Santini. Because I had seen the movie and knew the ending, my reading of the book was colored by a sense of sadness, especially in the scenes between father and son. One in particular when they are driving cross country to their new home and having one of those bonding moments that cement a father-son relationship. Knowing the outcome, and knowing they did had no clue what fate held for them, made the scene feel very sad to me.

Thanks for sharing your memoir and your Valentine's Day picks and best of luck with what seems like a charming and very well-written memoir.


Posted by: RC O'Leary | Monday February 10, 2014 at 5:49 AM

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