Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: Romance Is My Day Job by Patience Bloom

Who better to understand real life romance, love, and marriage than a romance editor at Harlequin, right? Well, yes and no. Romance cannot be forced. It will appear, or not, in its own time. Patience Bloom's new memoir, Romance is My Day Job, details her own search for happily ever after outside the pages of a book.

Bloom has been a romance reader for most of her life. She devoured the books, watched the tv shows and movies, and fantasized about when her own Mr. Right would come into her life. Her romantic life has ups and downs from her high school years through college, early career, and into adulthood even as much of the rest of her life unfolds along the path she wants live. Bloom has humorously captured modern dating life and the number of Mr. Wrongs you have to kiss before you find "the One." Bloom deftly portrays high school crushes, the intensity of college loves, the awkwardness of online dating, and the uncertainty of finding love after a certain age. She is honest and forthright about her myriad of disappointing relationships, the destructiveness of fighting for the wrong relationship, the desire to take a break from the pressure of dating, and the wariness that comes from long experience. But she's also honest about the sweetness of a remembered kindness, the glow of a potential relationship, and finally the unexplainable giddiness and joy of finding the right person.

The structure of the book is charming as she breaks down the chapters of her life based on the men present in them, comparing them to the heroes in the books she edits, to characters in the shows she watched, and to the stereotypes so prevalent in all forms of the fictional world. Bloom has had some whoppers of bad experiences in her dating life but she's had some pretty universal experiences too and her continued optimism is a nice change from the usual cynical stance about finding love and companionship. While the memoir focuses in large part on her romantic explorations, it also lays bare her relationships, both good and bad beyond repair, with family, her brother, her mother and stepfather, and her father and his wife. All of this adds up to a funny and quick reading book. It is perfect for those who love their happily ever afters in romances but sometimes despair over the lack of realism. A book with the subtitle A Memoir of Finding Love at Last must surely promise the best of both worlds and Bloom does deliver.

1 comment:

  1. That must be something, to reconcile working in the romance novel industry with romance in one's own life. TBR'd on GoodReads.


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