Patience Bloom, a successful editor for Harlequin Books, chronicles her search for love in Romance Is My Day Job. The memoir commences in 1984 at a high school dance, when bookish wallflower, Patience, a sophomore, is ditched by Ken, her good-looking, 'Harlequin-hero'-like date. Sam, a popular, fun-loving senior rescued Patience, the two of them taking to the dance floor and even posing as a couple for the event photographer.
The picture is all that remained from the thrill of that night. For the next 25 years, Patience endured a series of bad relationships as she moved around the U.S., lived in Paris and finally landed in New York at Harlequin. By the time she turned 40, Patience—professionally successful, but still single—concluded, "My life is nothing like these books, not even a little bit."
References to popular romance books and movies infuse Bloom's honest, witty narrative as she offers a clever, humorous take on hero archetypes and compares lessons learned, often the hard way, from her own romantic entanglements. When Sam contacts Patience via Facebook shortly after her 41st birthday, the two, living on different continents, court each other via Skype for four months. They share an intimacy that affirms Patience's faith in love, encouraging her to reflect upon her life and open her heart. But is Sam too good to be true? Once they finally meet again, face to face, will they be compatible? Suspense deepens as Bloom's beautifully rendered love story illustrates how real life can often be as engrossing as romance novels.
Dutton Adult, $26.95 hardcover, 9780525954385, 320 pp
Publication Date: February 6, 2014
Note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (2/14/14), click HERE