My First Smut

My First Smut: Romance Gets Us Through the Hard Times

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, romance novelist Sara Ohlin talks about romance getting her through high school. We can relate.


First romance novel you read:

I was always lost in a good book growing up so it’s hard for me to remember my first romance exactly, but it was either a Danielle Steel or The Heir by Johanna Lindsey. Nora Roberts books and Rosamunde Pilcher quickly followed.

How old were you?

I was around 16 or 17. My family had just moved from our beautiful life in Colorado to Ohio. I started a new high school as a sophomore and I was miserable! I was also used to reading classics and horribly sad books with unhappy endings. Discovering romance books was so much fun!

How’d you get your hands on the book?

I got them all from the library. Thank goodness for libraries!

What was the reading experience like?

All of these authors swept me away with their emotions and sometimes over the top plot and I loved all of it. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover characters in books could have a happy ending. And they were great escape from my real life full of family tension and secrets and a high school I hated going to.

What made the experience special?

It was definitely lovely for me to read about women discovering their strengths, finding themselves, falling in love, and getting their happy ever after. It was also a way for me to learn about sex because we never talked about sex growing up. Ever. Not even the emotional component to sex, which is just as important in my humble opinion. And to discover that women deserved love, deserved sex, deserved to enjoy sex and to be treated wonderfully, it was eye-opening.

What role does smut play in your life?

I’m happily immersed in the romance genre, from writing it to reading it, to trying to get other people to appreciate it. I love romance books and am usually reading several books at once, mostly on my Kindle because I can make the font bigger, but if I love a book to pieces, I’ll buy the print copy as well.

I still adore the library and have often discovered new to me romance writers at the different libraries in the different cities I’ve lived in. When I was first married, my husband and I moved to a small town in Georgia and I devoured every Brenda Jackson, Nora Roberts and Johanna Lindsey novel the library had. For such a small town, they had an amazing romance section.

After my mom died of cancer ten years ago, I found I mostly only had the stomach to read romance novels. I wanted to be swept away with great emotion, great love and great sex, and I wanted a guaranteed happy ending.

Today I still mostly read romance, and I love all the categories, from contemporary to paranormal to monster, to historical. And I love finding so much more diversity in romance! Some of my favorites, and I know I’ll forget some, are Talia Hibbert, Kristen Ashley, April White, Naima Simone, Tasha L. Harrison, Penny Reid, Olivia Dade, Fiona Quinn, R.M. Virtues, Kennedy Ryan…so many! So many great books, never enough time!


Bio & Links

Puget Sound based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher, Salvaging Love, Seducing the Dragonfly, Igniting Love and Flirting with Forever. She has over sixteen years of creative non-fiction and memoir writing experience, and you can find her essays at Anderbo.com, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Although she’s the author of many essays about life, grief, motherhood and the connections we make through delicious food and shared meals, Sara loves creating imaginary worlds with tight-knit communities in her romance novels. She credits her mother, Mary, Nora Roberts and Rosamunde Pilcher for her love of romance.

If she’s not reading or writing, you will most likely find her in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals with her kids and husband, or perhaps cooking up her next love story. She once met a person who both “didn’t read books” and wasn’t “that into food” and it nearly broke her heart.

You can learn more on her website.

Connect with Sara: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | BookBub | Goodreads


Thanks Sara! Sara’s latest book, Flirting with Forever, just released on Tuesday, and we’re excited to give it a read! Watch this space for a review coming soon.

Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us an email or fill out our questionnaire and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.

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