I’ve been reading romance novels forever. One book still sticks in my head. I must have been about twenty-two years old. Tired of working all the time and studying constantly, I took a “short” break from homework to read “just a chapter” of a full length contemporary romance novel I’d picked up from a used book store.
I have no idea who the author was or what the book was called, but that book made me so mad!
The short break turned into a long break. I could NOT stop reading it.
I don’t remember the plot beyond the fact the hero and heroine were stuck together in a remote cabin, and he was a fugitive. Naturally, these close quarters made them fall in love. But the heroine didn’t know the hero was a wanted man. Then her friend/family member (I can’t remember!!) contacted her via walkie-talkie or some other outdated method of communication and warned her there was a felon on the loose. The name? The hero’s!
My nerves ratcheted as I kept reading. The hero had been framed, but the heroine didn’t know it. But…she should know it, right? She fell in love with this amazing man, and she should know he could never rob a bank/kill a person/whatever the plot was!
I couldn’t put this book down. The room grew darker. I flipped on the light without looking up from the page.
About 3/4 of the way in, my nerves ratcheted. My fingernails? Chewed off. The hero and heroine knew their little interlude was ending. The law enforcement friends of the heroine were on their way.
Don’t turn him in! You know he’s not a criminal!
And guess what?
She turned him in!!
How COULD she??
I bawled! I just sat there and sobbed. Hours and hours had gone by with me emotionally invested in this book, and I could NOT believe she did it! But I kept reading. And then my heart really pounded, because the hero was so wonderful. He understood why she had to turn him in. And he forgave her!!
That book taught me a valuable lesson about romance novels. Conflict stirs up emotion in the reader. And the more emotionally invested I am in a story, the more likely I am to skip meals, read in the dark, and conveniently forget about my real life.
Am I still mad the heroine turned him in? Yes! But the author of that book wrung out every feeling inside me–and I’ve never forgotten it.
Have you ever read a book that turned you into an emotional wreck for days afterward?
Please share in the comments!!
Jill Kemerer writes contemporary romance novels with love, humor and faith. Her debut novel, Small-Town Bachelor, releases April 1, 2015 through Harlequin Love Inspired. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.
Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&MS, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website, http://jillkemerer.com.