My passion for books started when my paternal grandfather introduced me to Larry Alcala's weekly cartoon. Every week, he would call me from our house next door and together, we would look for Larry Alcala's head in his magazine.
What does books have to do with Larry Alcala? Well, my grandfather's room is a bookworm's paradise. Wall-to-wall books! If people decorate their walls with artwork or pictures, my grandfather decorates his walls with books. The four walls of his bedroom are all books. Whenever I'm in his room, I would reverently touch the books even if I cannot understand or appreciate the tomes that he collected. All I remember was the smell of paper and someday, I would want to have a room like that as well.
I started speed-reading through the Nancy Drew collection in our school library and was done in less than a year. Somebody introduced me to Sweet Dreams and I was hooked on romance. As I grew older, the romance novels became more...advanced...until my aunt introduced me to Jude Deveraux.
It was love at first word with Jude. Her historical romances on the Montgomery family kept me wanting for more and more and she never seems to run out of stories on this very prolific family. But after more than three dozen books later, she ran out of steam.
Her last good book, for me, was Sweet Liar (about modern-day Montgomerys and Taggerts), after that, her books on modern-day romances were not worth reading anymore. They were absolutely boring and I somehow thought she lost her touch. I didn't bother buying anymore of her books after that.
A few days ago, I saw Days of Gold at National Bookstore and I was curious what kind of story she's telling now. When I saw she went back to her historical romance roots, I bought the book to see if she managed to recapture her magic touch. After finishing the book today, I could cautiously say that she's back. I still have some qualms on the storyline, but reading her book feels like coming home. It's not perfect but it just feels right.