Marijana and I live in the same city, and I suspect in the same kinda part of the city, and yet we have never met in person. Not only do the two of us share many a romance novel discussion, but I find our views align politically too, and I much admire her sharp, incisive tweets on all matters. I am sure that one day, the two of us will meet but for now we will enjoy each other’s reading recommendations. Oh! And noted on Kleypas’s Wallflower series, Marijana.
Can you describe yourself?
Marijana rediscovered reading when she was on maternity leave the first time around. She started with the Russian classics, delved into the Bronte sisters (love!) and through chance discovered urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Through discussion boards and blogs, she picked her first historical romance, which was a Mary Balogh (she now knows that technically it was a regency romance).
She’s an unashamed book pusher (you HAVE to read Imprudent Lady) who loves to see what people on the train are reading (sadly, it’s rarely romance). She is also known to binge-watch TV shows, most recently Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
On twitter @__Marijana_. While not at her day job, she tries to wrangle her children and a husband, which can sometimes make work feel like a holiday.
What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?
Books. I’m on public transport on a daily basis so use this time to read. My book reading varies but I’d say about 10-15 hours a week.
I used to be an avid blog reader but this has dropped off drastically. There are a handful of blogs that I read now. I’m finding it hard to find a blog that reviews books from all romance subgenres, they’re usually quite focused on just one.
What or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure?
The reread! Time is a limited resource and I know I should be spending more of it reading new books and finding new authors, but there is nothing quite like rereading a book which you know will bring you joy, especially after reading the news of the day.
My followers on twitter will know that I regularly pull out the same books, which tend to be historical romances (my favourite romance subgenre).
Honestly, who doesn’t love Kleypas’ Wallflower series (side note: Vassiliki, if I recall, you have not read these. This. Must. Be. Rectified!), and Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books (two words: Michael Stirling). And then there’s Judith McNaught. Where to start?! My favourites would have to be Paradise, Almost Heaven, Something Wonderful…
Mary Balogh and Jo Beverley’s older regencies are truly wonderful. I highly recommend Beverley’s Deirdre and Don Juan and Balogh’s Lord Carew’s Bride and The Famous Heroine.
LaVyrle Spencer and Pamela Morsi.– I love their female characters. They are strong and independent, while still being a product of their time.
I could go on, but it would be never-ending.
Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?
This is hard because a good writer can make me enjoy a storyline I thought I would NEVER like. Example: years ago I started to read Sherry Thomas’ books but refused to read Private Arrangements because it involved infidelity. I don’t know what made me pick it up, but I did. I was wrong!! I love that book. She made the situation believable. She made me connect with the characters and empathise with them. So I’m cautious to say ‘never’.
But the storylines I tend to enjoy are enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, marriage of convenience, and class difference. It’s probably more to do with the h/h going through a journey to learn each other and stripping away the misconceptions they may have. Each of these setups mean there is little chance of insta-lust, which is kind of a pet hate of mine.
Why do you/don’t you use a public library?
I love public libraries and am a member of many (I think it also has something to do with wanting to be a librarian). However, I have this little problem where I am always late returning my books and rack up late fines. It’s terrible, but I’ve probably read other books so haven’t managed to read the library ones and have already renewed them the max number of times….what’s a person to do!
I’m glad to see that some libraries are getting on the ‘no late fee’ bandwagon. We need more of them.
There’s also an issue of checking out way too many books at the one time. I need to learn how to pace myself.
I usually use libraries to borrow books that are outside the traditional romance genre. I think they really need to improve their romance selections. It’s hard to find a good range, which is why I do so much one-clicking.
Do you RUI*. If so, what?
Does under the influence of sleep deprivation count?
Do you have a favourite reading spot?
More a favourite reading time. At night, once the kids have gone to bed and it’s quiet.
Look, if it’s a good book and I need to find out what’s going to happen then yes. It’s with my books only so I’m not going to feel ashamed about it!
Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?
I am a firm believer that if it does not have a HEA then it is not a romance. We can argue the technicalities of what makes something romance fiction but I want a book that finishes with the couple reaching a good place in their relationship.
What would you give up reading for**?
I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.
Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?
It’s how you use the car, Vassiliki, not what type it is.