Romantic Life Lessons

Romance is often an accident…

Me knitting at the Museum of Natural History

I moved to New York City for a guy fifteen years ago. How does this translate to a career in editing romance novels? Especially when he broke up with me the instant I quit my steady teaching job and decided to move to his city. It was too late for me to change my plans. Three days across country in a truck with two cats and suddenly single wasn’t very romantic.

The irony came within three months of settling into this overwhelming city: I was hired to sit in a room and read romance novels. Me with no editing experience, a background in teaching, and no skills in sustaining romance. I only read a romance novel once a year during moments of absolute decadence. Reading one and getting paid for it? This seemed ludicrous at first, but over time, I came to love the work and the people behind these very entertaining stories. Then, the company hired me full time.

A career in reading Romance turned out to be quite enjoyable. Romance itself made people happy. It gave some a reason to get up in the morning. A book about romance would do far less harm than the real thing.

Three months after I settled into my new job, in my new tiny apartment on the Upper East Side, the guy wanted me back. At first, the rush of pleasure compelled me to dive right back in. Maybe he was just scared of his intense feelings for me. Then I remembered the long drive alone across the country, the struggle to move into the city, my escape through various knitting projects, and the pavement pounding for a job. No way could I go back to this guy, I said.

I knew my hero would be a better man–and would definitely ride in the truck with me.

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