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Read-a-Romance Month

The Joy of Romance

To me, the joy of romance is all about the little things. Sure, those grand gestures are nice, and we often expect them in our romance novels, but in real life, I’m the kind of girl who prefers the hundred small gestures my hero makes on my behalf. That’s love. If I had a choice between a piece of jewelry for our wedding anniversary or traveling, I’d choose the getaway every time. Spending time together, away from the every-day stresses and interruptions, and enjoying each other’s company are essential to a romantic. The simple act of holding hands, chatting about nothing, strolling along the beach, or cuddling on the couch while you watch a favorite TV show are the moments that make up a lifetime of love.

Those small gestures work both ways, of course, and I’m happy to reciprocate. I’m not thinking just about sex here. Sure, sex is wonderful and is a beautiful extension of the romantic relationship, but we all know that sexual intimacy alone doesn’t define or create a couple.

As a romance reader and writer, I especially appreciate those moments in the story where the hero and heroine each take those emotional next steps to bond more with the other. They discover common interests or join together to achieve a shared goal. You know, they do the little things together and that makes all the difference. Like in real life, the main characters also need to grow or change, overcoming their inner conflicts, such as learning to trust again after past hurts or believing in their worthiness of love if the relationship’s going to last. Achieving those levels of emotional intimacy within the story’s romantic journey are what I believe make reading a romance novel so satisfying and inspiring.

I’ll believe the hero and heroine have earned their forever love when they show, either with that grand gesture or in all those little ways, that they are willing to make that leap of faith and commit to being their best, all while bringing out the best in their loved one. To me, that’s the joy of romance!



When was a moment in your life where you experienced sheer joy?

Path to ParadiseOn our first couple’s getaway to Key West, my husband and I rented Conch Cruisers. I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since high school. I’ll never forget how exhilarating the salty breeze rustling my hair and tickling my face and arms felt as I peddled along quiet side streets of historic Old Town. All the daily worries of adulthood melted away, replaced by a sense of freedom I’d missed since childhood.

What is a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy?

Anyone who has known me for more than ten minutes can answer this one! Key West’s my home-away-from-home. My Honey and I have traveled there on more than a dozen occasions, often staying for only four or five days at a clip, but we always make incredible memories there and I can’t wait to return. I adore the island’s tropical vibe and the town’s accepting attitude, their motto being we’re all part of “One Human Family.”

What sound brings you joy?

My son at five years

The greatest sound to me by far is when my son talks to me and especially when he says, “I love you.” Born with autism, he struggled to learn to speak. After many, many years of hard work on his part and early intervention to build his communication skills, it’s such a joy to just sit and talk with him. I’ll never take that gift for granted.

What book have you read in your life that has brought you so much joy you haven’t forgotten it? Why?

Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World
Hogwarts Castle

My daughter was in the third grade the year the first book in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series was released. She had always been more of a Daddy’s Girl, but when I bought two copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone–one for her and one for me–our relationship changed from caregiver and child to fellow adventurers. Together, we  enjoyed and connected with the characters and their journey of good vs. evil. We eagerly anticipated, read, and discussed all seven books as they were published. When the movies later released, we watched them together. Then, in celebration of her nineteenth birthday, we explored Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, creating even more wonderful memories.

Which Chris (Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans, or Christopher Plummer) brings you joy?

I truly appreciate nature’s art, and that includes the male form. Each of the “Chris” choices are beautiful examples of nature in their own right, as well as men who are talented in their craft. That said, I’d have to choose Christopher Plummer because I’m a die-hard fan of The Sound of Music, and Captain Von Trapp was one of my first celebrity crushes.


To celebrate the joy of romance, I will randomly choose one lucky commenter (Must be 18 or older) to receive a selection of romance books and swag from this year’s Romance Writers of America National Conference in New York City.


I’m an avid reader of romance. I couldn’t possibly list all the incredible authors I enjoy reading so I won’t try here. However, if you’re like me and you enjoy discovering up-and-upcoming authors in the genre, these two woman are two of my recent favorites:

Maggie Van Well – Ms. Van Well writes contemporary and paranormal romance. I couldn’t put down her most recent title, Crazy Little Thing Called Matchmaking. She writes smart, tightly woven romances that I really enjoy, and I think you may too! Visit Maggie’s Read-A-Romance-Month Post and Giveaway.

Meara Platt – If you’re a fan of Regency historicals, you’ll fall for Ms. Platt’s Farthingdale series. She aptly describes them as having “a dash of humor and a pinch of suspense.”

I’m so excited to share in our celebration of romance throughout the month of August at READ A ROMANCE MONTH. A special thank you goes out to Lorelei’s Lit Lair for inviting me to participate. I’d highly recommend you read Lorelei’s Joyous Journey to Romance if you haven’t gotten the chance to do so yet. Talk about inspirational! 🙂

Author Biography~

jo-profile_225x2A country girl at heart, I live my own happily-ever-after in Long Island suburbia with my real-life hero, two wonderful children, and a very-furry cat. I’m the author of the contemporary romances, Christmas Light and His Kiss, as well as the upcoming romantic suspense/magic novel, One More Sunset. I enjoy crafting delicious tales of love for my readers, because I believe that as imperfect as we each are, we all deserve someone perfect for us. Connect with me here on my website and on social media (see links above). I look forward to seeing you there. To receive news of future releases, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Happy reading!


32 comments on “Read-a-Romance Month

  1. Jolyse, I couldn’t agree more – those little gestures, the ones that catch you (in real relationships) or your reader (in a novel) by surprise – those are the magic moments. It’s like a sudden revelation, a puzzle piece suddenly slipping into place. The promise of deeper and more meaningful connections to come.

    Thanks for an enlightening post!

    1. Hi Frances!

      I love your comment about how, in a romance, these little gestures take us by surprise and adjust our understanding of the characters and how their relationship is blossoming.

      Enjoy read-a-romance month! 🙂

  2. What a great post. I so agree it’s the little things we do for each other makes for a wonderful relationship. My husband and I enjoy our get aways to. Life is so busy, it is our time to regroup as a couple.

    1. Hi Shari!

      Life’s definitely busy. I’m looking forward to another “regrouping” getaway with my husband after I finish this current project. Hope you two are enjoying the beautiful summer weather together. 🙂

  3. I agree, Jolyse. I’m not interested in the expensive gifts or extravagant meals, it’s the small things, done each day, that mean the most. I’ve always felt a true test of love is experiencing a serious illness with your partner.
    Happy Weekend!

    1. Hi Jill! I’m hopeful that most couples don’t have to cope with serious illness, but I’d have to agree with you that it was a true test of love when we’ve faced life-threatening illnesses together. I also hope you’re enjoying what’s left of our beautiful summer.

  4. I totally agree with you Jolyse, it is the small things and communication that makes a relationship. My husband and I have gotten so much closer since our kids are grown and left the nest. We talk all the time now and I like it are lives have slowed down some.

  5. Hi Jolyse! So happy to have found you via Lorelei’s Lit Lair! I loved reading your bio, especially about your son. I also loved reading your recommendations for us and am super excited to read that your new novel has a little magic in it. Love a little magic! 🙂

    1. Hi Jennifer! So nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your feedback. I’m so excited about One More Sunset. Check back here soon for more details, which will include the blurb, excerpt, and cover reveal. 🙂

    1. Hi Diana!

      Thanks for letting me I’m not the only crazy girl who prefers the little things to the grand gestures. Happy reading this and every month. 🙂

  6. I read nothing but romance books these days. I want the happy-ever-after ending in the stories I read. This crazy world we live in often does not have happy endings. When I read I experience joy, comfort, and escapism.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      One of the reasons I began writing romance was to give other readers that happy-ever-after and faith that good will always win in the end. Romance novels had given me that hope and allowed me to escape as a reader through some very difficult days. It’s not always as easy to see those things in our daily life, but I’m wishing you patience and peace and joy. oxo

  7. How fun reading Harry Potter with your daughter. My kids never got into those books until they were in high school but my husband and I enjoyed them!

    1. Hi Sue!

      My daughter didn’t enjoy reading the first few chapters but we always had the rule in our house that we’d give a book five chapters before we decided it wasn’t for us. Thankfully she was hooked by chapter four. Even now, with her away at med school, she and I message or email each other any time we see HP-related news.

      Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!! 🙂

  8. What a beautiful post, and like you I believe in the small things and gestures as well! We have so much in common❤️ Thanks for joining me for RARM !

    1. Thanks, Lorelei! I feel so blessed that we’ve met through our mutual love of romance stories, and I’m so honored to be part of RARM. 🙂

  9. I loved reading your post. I definitely agree that it’s the moments spent together and the small (or large) gestures of love that truly count. If I don’t see a couple in a book connecting on that greater emotional level, it ruins the magic of the book. I look forward to reading your books and thank you for the opportunity to win some books and swag. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Crystal, and wishing you luck on all your RARM entries. Happy reading!! 🙂

  10. What a great post! I totally agree that it’s the little things that helps build the relationship into something deeper. It’s hard to root for a book couple if I don’t feel they have an emotional connection beyond the physical. Love your choice of Christopher Plummer!I can’t ever get enough of the songs from The Sound of Music. Every time it comes on TV I have to watch it, even though I’ve seen it a gazillion times already. LOL Thanks so much for the chance to win your giveaway!

    1. I love the Sound of Music soundtrack. Timeless. Thanks for commenting, Ada and happy reading! I’ll be selecting the winners today!! (Where did the time go? It’s already September 2nd!)

  11. Thanks so much for sharing you Read-A-Romance-Month essay, it is so nice to learn more about all you wonderful authors. Like you, I believe in those small gestures too. It doesn’t always have to be the big, grand over-the-top gestures, the little everyday things counts too to show how much you care.

  12. What a great post. I love hearing about what romance means to others. Its really amazing all the things that it can do.

  13. Congratulations to Lynn Brooks! You’re the winner of my RARM giveaway! Please email me with your street address. Thanks to all the entrants in the contest. I enjoyed chatting with you. Happy reading!

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