I discovered my first romance novel at the age of 12 when I accidentally picked up a Harlequin (or was it Silhouette?) title from the library. Since then, I've mostly gravitated towards historical romance and more recently, urban fantasies. I live in the Washington DC area with a cat and the biggest Star Wars nerd this side of Tatooine.
It's a toss up between Judith McNaught's Something Wonderful, A Kingdom of Dreams, and Paradise. Paradise may feel a little dated now with references to Meg Ryan and people writing letters and talking on landlines, but it is one of the first romances I've ever read that blew me away and one of the few books I still re-read from time to time. I also have this habit of purchasing a copy whenever I see it at a library book sale.
This is a tough one. There are so many genres to choose from!
Andy Weir's The Martianis my favorite science fiction book.
I love watching two strangers getting to know each other and fall in love. I also love a good friends turned lovers story. So I guess I just love all types of romances as long as the romance is well developed and the author can show me why these two people belong together.
What I Hate in a Romance
Feisty heroine; Big Misunderstandings; Lust at First Sight; Epiloque in which the hero and the heroine are shown to be blissfully happy with at least 3 children.