by Susanne Bellamy
As a very young teenager with three older sisters, two of whom read romance, I discovered Violet Winspear. Palace of the Pomegranate and Tawny Sands (Mills & Boon) were two of the earliest I recall reading, and I loved the exotic settings and the thrill of danger in the desert.
My family had sailed through the Suez Canal when I was seven years old, during one of the regional conflicts rife in that part of the world, and I had seen the desert sands and experienced the heat so perhaps I had a child’s understanding of another country, but I loved those desert stories.
Then there was Love in a Stranger’s Arms and the conflict of a woman suffering amnesia who couldn’t recall her Spanish husband. Internal and external conflicts abounded and I decided one day, I would visit Spain (fingers crossed for next year!) Violet Winspear shaped my early reading of romance, and while the stories were very 70s in values and attitudes, the settings fired my imagination.
For the non-romance reader today, there is a huge range of sub-genres that incorporate romance or romantic elements. Starting with a romance in a sub-genre you already enjoy is a good beginning. Eva Scott’s Red Dust Dreaming would be a great introduction if you enjoy rural stories, or Lee Christine’s A Dangerous Arrangement for lovers of suspense and exotic locations.
Born and raised in Toowoomba, Susanne is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations, and rural romance set in Australia. She adores travel with her husband, both at home and overseas, and weaves stories around the settings and people she encounters.
Her latest book pits an Irish billionaire against a struggling Australian charity.