Everything I Know About Love, I Learned From Romance Novels: ARC Giveaway!

EIKAL Behold, the excitement! I am containing myself to one exclamation point (not including the title) and that was it. Please appreciate my restraint, here.

I have A Pile Of ARCs to give away of my October book, Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Romance Novels, which so very, very many of you helped create.

From the depths of the box on my dining room table currently being fought over by my cats, I have 10 shiny copies to giveaway.

But that is Not All.

This book is all about the lessons we’ve learned from reading romance novels, and it includes stories from romance readers and authors. My goal with this book was to show that the romance community is filled with incredibly smart and thoughtful readers and writers, and to put to rest the tired idea that romances create unrealistic expectations of love, relationships and sex. Romances, as many of us know, are more often a road map of What To Do and What Not To Do in real life relationships.

So many people contributed, and so very many people went above and beyond to make suggestions and provide stories and lessons learned that this book really isn’t about the genre so much as it is about the women who read and write romance, and how much we have learned from our favorite books. Therefore just giving away the ARC isn’t really enough.

Here’s my plan. Leave a comment and please tell me the one romance novel you want to recommend above all others to someone who hasn’t tried the genre (yes, just one) (yes, I suck) and you are entered to win.

What can you win? Awesome stuff!

Ten winners will be picked at random and each winner will receive an ARC of Everything I Know About Love, I Learned From Romance Novels (Which I refer to as “EIKAL” because there is nothing I love like a REALLY LONG TITLE, BABY, YEAH!). 

The winner will also receive one of the following titles from these authors who also appear in the book:

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

Book CoverBook Cover

Bet Me Welcome To Temptation OmnibusBut wait, there is still more. I have 10 copies of a special Jennifer Crusie omnibus edition that contains both Bet Me and Welcome to Temptation in one book – and each winner will receive a copy of that book, too. Each of these authors, plus many many more, appear in the book, providing stories and advice or landing a spot on one of the recommended reading lists in the book.

There will be more chances to win, do not worry. I’m giving away 10 here, and a few on Goodreads and on Twitter. (Any possible giveaways on Facebook will have to be random like a semi-drunk fairy landing on the keyboard and highlighting someone’s comment by chance while I’m half-looking at the screen to stay in line with the Facebook Terms of Service. Then I have to contact the winners by semaphore with hot pink flags while facing the eastern skyline.)

Standard disclaimers apply: I’m not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Do not wear a pelisse in the rain. Stirrups are required, but boots are optional. We’ll sell you the whole seat but you’ll only need the edge. Stripes and plaid are rarely a positive fashion statement.

Comments will be open until noon on Friday, 20 May, and I will announce the winners then. Contest is open to international readers, and since my stats indicate no readers in Greenland, if someone enters from Greenland and wins I’ll send them extra stuff. Come on, Greenland!

Honesty time: I am enormously proud of this book, and humbled by the number of people who shared how much their romances mean to them, and how valuable romances have been in their lives. This book wouldn’t be what it is without the authors and readers who contributed, so I can’t send out the ARC by itself. It has to have company.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Lindsey says:

    I am apparently the only reader who’s up and checking SBTB at this late hour (ah, college life, I will miss you when I graduate in June).

    The one book I would recommend to readers who are unfamiliar with the romance genre is Nalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation. It is one of my all-time favorite books. So much so that once, when I couldn’t find my copy, I became so panicked that I went out and bought another one (so now I have a backup, since I found the original).

  2. 2
    tea says:

    Congratulations on the new book!!
    I’ve just reread Marjorie M. Liu’s first Dirk & Steel book, Tiger Eye. It’s a book I adore and I go back to the whole series when I’m in need detectives and shapeshifters and amazing writing.

  3. 3
    Bibliophile says:

    Just one? That’s tough, but I think I would go with a Crusie or a Heyer, depending on whether the reader in question prefers modern or historical settings.

    *Flips a coin*

    For a reader who prefers modern settings I would recommend Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. Why? It’s strongly focused on the romance, it has funny dialogue and strong characters, there is a lot of sizzle to keep a reader who likes that kind of thing happy but not a lot of sex to scare away a potentially timid reader, a couple of interesting side plots. There is also the cat, the chicken marsala, the wedding cake and the snow globe.
    It’s one of only a handful of books I keep two copies of – a hardcover to grace the shelves and a paperback to take with me when I travel. Now excuse me while I go and reread it.

  4. 4
    Augustina says:

    My first thought was to enter ‘Lord of Scoundrels’ – I know I’m not the only one who would recommend this to readers new to the genre. But then I stopped and reconsidered. ‘Lord of Scoundrels’, while undoubtedly one of the most amazing romance novels ever, is quite intense. I do think you need a little background in the genre to appreciate it fully. It might scare off or overwhelm new readers. So I would go for Lisa Kleypas’ Tempt me at twilight. Something of an unconventional choice – I’ ve noticed that not everyone loved it as much as I did – but I think it has all that is great about romance in a sort of calmer, quieter version. Added bonus: once you are introduced to the Hathaway’s you will want to read the other books in the series, and then the Wallflowers and then Dreaming of You, and then the Julia Quinn in which Sarah’s book ‘Mathilda’ from Dreaming of You is mentioned and then the Bridgertons and … well, you see where this is going. BTW I hope the fact that I managed to mention approximately 19 books in this entry will not jeopardize my chances of winning – I can’t wait to read your book ;)!

  5. 5
    StephB says:

    If I was going to recommend just one, it would be Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me. So smart and so much fun!

    And CONGRATULATIONS on your new book! I can’t wait to read it.

  6. 6
    LadyRhian says:

    Just one? Wow. I guess I’d have to go with “Dangerous” by Amanda Quick- which details the Romance between a bluestocking who is interested in Spectral Phenomena and a Duke who has his own investigations. When they meet, there is an instant attraction, but when they get caught in a compromising position, they have to pretend to be engaged- something that allows them to deal with each others investigations… and discover the true depth of their attraction to each other.

  7. 7
    Aliyah says:

    I think the book that you suggest has to depend on the person. If I were to suggest the book that I keep going back to whenever I am stressed out and I think one of my first romance novels, it would have to be Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. It has action, adventure, strong and smart characters, and most importantly HEA.

  8. 8
    Shiny says:

    Wow, just one? I guess if I have to pick, Nora Roberts keeps me coming back for more. I can never put them down before I finish. Even when I’m supposed to be doing other things. Bad me. As for which one, let’s say Montana Sky. I loved the developing relationship between the sisters. And between the hero and heroine. And somehow she does setting so well it makes me want to move there. Not to mention that it was the first one I bought and the only one I owned for a long time, so I kept going back to it, and it has a special place in my heart by virtue of repetition alone :)

  9. 9
    Sally says:

    I’ll admit, this post sounds like an infomercial, but I sure am excited!!!!!

    < --unlike you, I cannot contain the extra exclamation points.

    I’d recommend

    The Viscount’s Scandalous Return by Anne Ashley. It’s a bit light on the romance side, but IMO the mature and intelligent characters will make up for that fact. :)

  10. 10
    Alassea says:

    For readers new to the genre I’d definitely recommend The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James, one of my all time favourites!

    I just finished reading a Kiss at Midnight which I adored as well, but since we’re only allowed one title I’ll stick with Imogen & Rafe.

  11. 11
    Maureen says:

    For someone who has never read a romance I would pick Cry No More by Linda Howard since it has a great romance and an amazing heroine.  Congratulations on the new book!

  12. 12
    EbonyMcKenna says:

    Only one? You are so mean, and yet so generous.

    Righto, if this person had never, and I mean NEVAH read the genre of romance before . . .  well I’d be feeling so sorry for them I’d have to give them The Princess Bride right away.

    And this will make me sound like a complete suck, but I’ve also been lending out my copy of Beyond Heaving Bosoms because it’s a really great intro to romance. A friend’s husband picked it up and got so hooked he wouldn’t let my friend read it until he finished.

  13. 13
    Kate Vinée says:

    It depends on the person, of course, but my go-to for skeptics is Agnes and the Hitman. Crusie for the win! What’s particularly apropos about Agnes is that the first time I ever heard of it was from my twenty-something male friend who had seen it in the library and thought it looked interesting. (He has now read all of the Crusie in our entire county library system.)

  14. 14
    Juliana says:

    I’d also go with Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. In fact, I have done so, and each one of them have gone on to either trying more romance books or gone on to being all out romance fans.

    I think the success rate is so high because Crusie almost always blows the common romance misconceptions right out of the water, and makes you laugh while she’s doing it.

  15. 15
    Tina C. says:

    The one romance that I have recommended to someone who doesn’t usually read them is one that you already have up above:  SEP’s Natural Born Charmer.  The opening is hilarious and once the book grabs you and pulls you in with that, there’s no way you’re putting that book down for sleep or anything else.

  16. 16
    Nicky C. says:

    I’d recommend Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James, it’s my personal fave of her books, although Just The Sexiest Man Alive seems to be more well-known. I adore Ms. James’ writing and wholeheartedly recommend her stories to my non-romance reading friends, who are due to surrender to my begging/threats/nagging any day now…

  17. 17
    Beth K says:

    If I had to pick just one, it would REALLY depend on who I was recommending it to. I mean, I wouldn’t be recommending the same book to my mother as I would to some of my …less conservative… friends.

    In general, I’d probably go with a Heyer – specifically Cotillion (it’s my favourite). It’s funny, and not too super-cheese-romancey for the newcomer. Plus, the hero is nice and unassuming (rather than the stereotypical Alpha Rape Man which many people expect from romances).

  18. 18
    Sarah A-B says:

    Congratulations on the book!!

    What I’d recommend would depend on what the reader liked
    to read.  But assuming they liked modern stories, I’d go with
    Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise.  Great main and secondary
    characters with nods to fairy tales and Elvis and Krispy
    Kreme doughnuts!

  19. 19

    This is a hard question, because there are so many awesome romances out there, but the one I have to recommend above all others is Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie.  It showed me how important humor is in a relationship. Life is so much more pleasant if you know how to laugh!

  20. 20
    Lobo says:

    I always recommend my all time favourite Hidden Riches by Nora Roberts and I think although some things are really outdated (car phones!, Kevin Costner and no PC-s in small business) the heroine and the wounded hero are just great together. Not to mention the eccentric theatre family.

  21. 21
    Dawn Green says:

    Only one, huh? I have only been a romance fan for the last two years, now. Since I’m 57, I feel sad that I wasted so many years on other genres. But once I read Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’, I was hooked. And, thanks to this website and Goodreads, I have discovered many wonderful authors and books. Plus topics like these always add to my TBR list! Thanks.

  22. 22
    Elaine L. says:

    I’d have to recommend AS YOU DESIRE by Connie Brockway.  Smart, snappy dialogue, interesting, three-dimensional characters, plenty of action, exotic historical locale that is well-researched, and a main couple whose names are Harry and Dizzy.  I still remember this book vividly, and can recall details of the story years later.  If that’‘s not a memorable story, I don’t know what is!

  23. 23
    Katie Ann says:

    How funny the frequency of “Bet Me” in the comments already!  I agree that it’s a universally well-accepted induction into romance, but I’m partial to “Faking It” by Ms. Crusie, being an art nerd.

  24. 24
    Emma Hillman says:

    Definitely Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. I sense a theme here!

    It’s my favorite romance novel, and here’s why: Sure, the writing is amazing. There are funny moments, tender moments, even some are-they-crazy-or-what moments. But, that’s not really the reason why everyone should read this book.

    It’s because of the effect it’ll have on you. I dare you to read them thinking about The One and not have your heart squeeze inside your chest. Seriously, if you’re feeling blue, read this book. Reread it as many times as necessary. It’ll make you feel better about the world. I guarantee it.

    Come to think of it, it’s the type of book that should come with a “Recommended by the AMA” label!

  25. 25
    Anony Miss says:

    The first one I read in my adult life (not including the nameless, repetitive, alpha Zebra’s of my thirteen year old life, all hid in the closet from my mother) that got me back into the genre was Prince Charming by Julie Garwood.

    Is it the best? No. But it was fun, very sweet, had a minimum of stupidity, and genuine romance. Great gateway drug!

  26. 26
    Elizabeth says:

    Congrats on the book!  I shall check it out as soon as Indigo puts it up (they’d better…or Amazon).  It looks like one of those books perfect for reading on the bus or in between university classes!

    Anyway, my go-to romance novel has always been Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn.  It’s light, romantic, terribly funny (trade marks of Julia Quinn), and features a heroine who is NOT spectacularly beautiful, who is on the plain side of pretty, a bit too plump and socially awkward.  Like me! It’s always nice to read about the ordinary girl who gets the handsome man because it fills me with hope and warm fuzzies.

  27. 27

    One book? Easy! Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole. I’ve re-read that wonderful package of awesome 9x over the years (I never really re-read books).

    I think Bowen teaches the wonderful life lesson of never locking your future S/O in a cave full of starving incubi… even if you’re reaaaally pissed at him/her. Good to know, I think, because I always get that random urge when I’m pissed at a boyfriend to trap him in a cave… ;)

  28. 28
    Kati says:

    I´d go for SEP as well: CALL ME IRRESSISTIBLE

    It´s total cliché in some ways. Small town, HIS town of course. He´s the immensely loved most favourite absolutely perfect son of said town. He´s supposed to get married but the bride´s best friend sees that the bride is not happy and when she flees the wedding (the bride, that is), the bride´s maid is forced (due to SERIOUS lack of money and some “you-finally-got-be-on-your-own-grow-up-eventually” by her parents) to stay in town. EVERYONE and their brothers totally hate our little heroine because she destroyed the heros wedding. And everyone loves the guy, remember?
    So she is the only one that sees his real personality, he is the only one who sees and believes in her talents. There meant to be.
    Its a tad weird that the heroine calls the ex-bride to get approval for doing the deed with the hero. A tad more weird that the ex-bride not only approves but is exceptionally happy because now he is kinda the bad one (hooking up with her best friend…)
    But in the end, everyone´s happy. Especially the reader.
    I loved this book from the first page to the last. Thats a perfect start for someone new to the genre because you totally MUST love this book.

  29. 29
    Noozie says:

    I’d have to recommend The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale, if only because the hero does what that creepy, creepy vampire does and makes it seem almost acceptable because Kinsale has a way of making you hurt almost viscerally for her characters so objectivity flies right out the window. And I love Leda, if only because the women who raised her remind me of all the fabulous women in my life, who are always reminding me to hang my clothes up and make my bed and to set the table just so, because it’s a matter of personal accomplishment and it doesn’t matter is anyone sees because you know you did it right.

    Also, the hero is a ninja, and can I just say, damn, is he foine.

  30. 30
    hechicera says:

    Not an entry, just a plea regarding your new book:
    Available on Kindle, pleeeeze?
    Road warrriors need their fix, too.

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