In 2010, when I’d fallen deep deep deep into the wonderful world of romance novels (as an adult), my husband got curious. “What do you love about them?” he asked. “To begin with, everything,” I answered. As I read more, he commented on how happy I was when I finished a book I’d especially enjoyed. He claimed–and was right–that reading romance had improved our, ah, private time. He’d stare at me, in some annoyance, as I laughed aloud while we were quietly reading. Finally he said, “I’d like to read one.”

After giving it a ridiculous amount of thought, I gave him The Duke of Shadows. He devoured it. After that, he read Lord of Scoundrels, and, still his favorite, What I Did for a Duke. He began to recommend books to his patients and hectored–unsuccessfully–our sons to read one. (“It will help with with women. I PROMISE.“)

He read about ten of them and then, he was done. He returned to his beloved mysteries–there isn’t a Jack Reacher book the man hasn’t read–and that was that.

But his reading romance did help him with this woman, and, I suspect, with his female patients as well as his daughter. It altered, in lovely ways, how he saw sex and love. Romance novels for the win!

Today, if I were offering him a romance novel for the first time, I’d probably suggest The Madness of Miss Grey–he’d find the medical stuff interesting–,  Bench Player–he does love sports–or, given his love of mysteries, The Madness of Sunshine.

But really there are so many.

Not all men are interested in reading romance although it’s clear from our commentators here that many do. But for those who don’t whom we wish would, what would you recommend and why?


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Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.