I have a confession to make. I am now a Romance reader. Perhaps I'm just getting sentimental in my old age, I don't know. When I was younger I wouldn't touch a Romance novel with the proverbial ten-foot pole. I was above that sort of thing, don't ya know. But now an entire, very diverse, genre has opened up to me that I had dismissed outright. And I have discovered some damn fine writers to boot!
It started with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Now that series is not solely Romance. Diana's writing touches so many levels and crosses over other genres that it gets shelved in bookstores not only as Historical fiction or Romance, but Sci-fi, Paranormal and Horror. (Though the Horror categorization totally defies understanding!) But the relationship between Jamie and Claire galvanizes the novels and keeps us coming back for more, hence the tendency to call it Romance.
Diana's books led me to the Compuserve Books and Writers Community. And there I was introduced to some excellent writers of Romance. I eagerly await Joanne Bourne's next Spymaster novel and Darlene Marshall's next Pirate adventure. Who'd a thunk it?
I've even stretched myself into Romantic Comedy, aka Rosina Lippi's Pajama Girls of Lambert Square.
I've gone through many different genre stages as I've plodded through my almost 60 years. I read Mystery novels by the boatload when I was pregnant and had toddlers running around. Then I discovered Sci-fi and Fantasy. Ursula LeGuin remains my favorite and most admired writer and Jack McDevitt still gets my imagination traveling into other worlds.
I've recently delightfully discovered Neil Gaiman's American Gods, and found Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policeman's Union one of my all-time favorites. Urban Fantasy, here I come!
I guess the draw is just plain good writing. It doesn't serve for me to be a genre snob. If it's well-written, I want to read it!