My First Time by Pippa Roscoe

Pippa Hearts Presents: The journey of one (relatively) young, single girl’s romance with Harlequin Presents!

by Harlequin Presents Editorial Assistant Pippa Roscoe

My First Time

(Ladies take your minds out of the gutter – this is about my first Presents!!)

So there I was last night, spreading a little of the Presents love and sparkle to a friend over a (single – honest!) gin and tonic, whilst we shared our experiences of Harlequin romances. And my friend went on to explain, in a slight whisper and only because of the strange man sitting on the other side of us, that when she was at University with her friends, at the end of their exams each year, they would all go out and buy a Presents and share them around once they have finished with them. I LOVE this idea. Yes, I have, in the past, leant one to a friend on the strict instruction – on pain of death! – that she will return my much loved Presents. But never have I developed a reading circle of Presents readers!

Then the conversation turned from just how great Presents is, to ‘our first Presents’. It’s always interested me because so many people have such vastly different experiences. As I said in my first blog, I came to Presents via a fairly long and circuitous route from Jilly Cooper to Tami Hoag, onto Lisa Gardener, back to romance and onto Presents.

Now I am somewhat ashamed to say that I cannot actually remember my first Presents. It was wholly consumed in sudden euphoria of finally finding that one genre that made so ecstatically happy – it ticked all of the boxes I wanted; that heart wrenching emotional roller-coaster ride, the overwhelming passion, and of course the happy every after. So it’s safe to say ‘my first time’ was swept up in a maelstrom of overall impression of about 8 Presents novels in one weekend!

Where as my friend was able to recount the name of the heroine, the Sheikh hero – the title, and even the plot of the whole story. And it was funny – as I watched her recount this story, her face lit up and she became emotionally expressive, and it wasn’t just the story she was remembering but all those feelings and that same joy that took her back to another time and place. And I felt it too, it was as if here was a shared memory of a story that took us outside of ourselves for just a brief while, but took us somewhere fantastic!

So, ladies, I’m curious – what was your ‘first time’ like? How did you come to Presents?

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Comments ( 14 )
  1. Abby Green
    April 6, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I’m pretty sure my first presents was a Penny Jordan…I think that says it all don’t you?! And here I am many years later trying desperately to follow in her footsteps and I’m sure failing miserably…
    x Abby

  2. Maisey Yates
    April 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I remember my first Presents…but not the title! It was a Miranda Lee about a couple that was already married, and had been for a couple of years, but the wife was convinced he didn’t love her. They had explosive chemistry, but he could never say how he felt. And then of course in the end, she found out he’d always loved her, but couldn’t say it. So he had to show her physically. And in the end he..was able to say the words! 🙂 *sigh*

    I wish I could remember the title!!

  3. Juliana Wina Rome
    April 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Definitely was Barbara Cartland.After that,I’m so crazy with all of Harlequin’s collections.Their beautiful love stories are so entertaining me and it has given me spirit to write my own romance novels.

  4. Lia
    April 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    @Abby: you’re not so bad yourself, I really enjoy your stories!

    Mine wasn’t a Presents, but a Temptation: Judith McNaught’s Double Standards. I still reread that story once in a while.

  5. Jane
    April 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    My very first was a Mills & Boon of my mum’s published in 1969 called ‘Revolt and Virginia’ by Essie Summers. My mum still has it and it’s still a cracking good read.

  6. Sophie Pembroke
    April 7, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Mine was late at night, the evening before a university lecture on the romance genre, as part of my English Lit degree. I was supposed to have read a few in readiness, and kept putting it off. So I thought I’d do a skim read through one before the lecture… and stayed up all night reading four of them in a row. Instantly hooked.

  7. Nidhi Arora
    April 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    My first time with Harlequin presents was Lucifer’s brand by Nicola West . It has its own story . Mills and Boons was left by mistake by my Aunt when I was a kid . I always saw the book but never got interested in reading it . Was more interested in comic books and short stories.
    Fast forwarding to couple of more years . I was in Collage first year and one of the worst things happened w.r.t a college kid . I got chicken pox and had to stay at home completely isolated . I started reading Lucifer Brand. I got complexly overwhelmed by the story and thus started my long term fascination with harlequin presents and 12 years down the line the relationship with harlequin presents is still very strong.

  8. Sarah Morgan
    April 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Mine was a Michelle Reid. She writes unforgettable characters and such believable conflict. I LOVE her.

  9. Abby Green
    April 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Ah thanks Lia! I wasn’t fishing for compliments I swear! Remember also reading a Stacy Absalom story – Ishbel’s Party pretty early on and that just blew me away..I get it out again every now and then too.
    x Abby

  10. Rachael Thomas
    April 9, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I’m sorry to say I can’t remember my first Prsents either – other than I was completely hooked. I grew up in a non reading family, but even this didn’t deter me from the wonderful world of romance. Now I fill my home with books – especially Presents!

  11. Amy
    April 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Maisey, I couldn’t help but check the Magical* Harlequin Database (*Magical when it wants to be) for Miranda Lee books with married characters. Is it one of these?

    Marriage in Jeopardy
    Marriage in Peril
    A Rich Man’s Revenge
    The Tycoon’s Trophy Wife

  12. Maisey Yates
    April 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

    AMY WILKINS YOU ARE AMAZING!! I think it was The Tycoon’s Trophy Wife! *is on my Kindle*

  13. Danny
    April 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I first got into romance and Harlequin with Tina Leonard and her American Romance books. I know I had at least one Presents from a yard sale (Intangible Dream by Patricia Wilson, I still have it), I think my first newer Presents was The Padova Pearls by Lee Wilkinson. What really got me hooked on Presents was The Royal House Of Niroli continuity series. I’ve been reading Presents regularly ever since, both new releases and old. 🙂

  14. Pippa Roscoe
    April 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Oh ladies, it’s so lovely to hear so many of your experiences. I’m so sorry for the lateness of my response – we were closed over the Easter holiday. And now that I have emerged from my blanket of chocolate (and sworn to go on a diet for the next two months!!) it is fantastic to hear of the different ways in which Presents has touched our lives.