Do you love romance novels? If so, you’re certainly not alone. According to Romance Writers of America, the romance novel industry is a $1.08 billion dollar business. So while you may not want to admit it publicly, your internal swooning at the thought of love at first sight is obviously shared by millions of romance novel readers across the world. And, if you simply can’t get enough of the romantic gestures of the perfect man or the way your heart flutters at the way women are treated, the good news is that it doesn’t look like romance novels are going away anytime soon.

So how can you tell if you (or your friends) are a romance novel enthusiast? I’ve outlined three sure-fire ways to know if you’re hooked on the breath-taking, heart-stopping books for life.

1. You can recite nearly every romantic line in Fifty Shades of Grey but pretend you’ve never heard of the book when your friends ask if you’ve read it.

Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic romance novel series that almost every true romance enthusiast has read. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find very many who will own their infatuation with the series. After all, admitting to your friends that you’ve read the book would mean openly sharing your love of romance novels.

Romance Novel Fifty Shades of GreyBut you know every single line in the series. You gasp in the same way as Anastasia, feel your legs quiver at the thought of Christian with his whip, and long to find a man just like him (mega millions included!). If anyone tested you on your knowledge, you’d tell them the exact chapter and page number of phrases, quotes the characters have said or just elements of erotic description. (Ooh-la-la!)

Yet, if your friends ever ask you about the book series, you outwardly deny it. You’ve probably even taken steps to hide the romance novel series from your bookshelf — or better yet, relegated that series to your trusty Kindle. Which leads me to point number two…

2. Your digital library is filled with more romance titles than your local public library.

Any hardcore romance novel enthusiast will tell you the best invention was the Kindle! No longer does a true romance novel junkie have to hide the racy-looking covers romance novels are known for! With the Kindle or Nook, a romance enthusiast can indulge in their favorite romance novel without the sideways glances their friends, colleagues, pastor and mother are likely to give.

Dark Gathering a sci-fi romance novel by Karlene CameronSo just how many romance novels do you have on your digital reader? If you’re a serious romance enthusiast, you can most likely start your own public library with them! But you won’t bother with that. Those romance novels are on your digital device for one reason only: to stop the snoops from looking through your collection and passing judgement!

3. Your budget for romance novels exceeds your monthly grocery bill.

Be honest with yourself about the amount you spend on the steal-your-breath romance novels you love. According to Publishing Perspectives, sales of romance novels increased by 17% between January and May of 2020. Turns out the Pandemic was instrumental in driving more adults to purchase romance novels than in the previous year. According to the Washington Post, sales of romance novels have been declining since 2012, but by May, 2020, that gap had closed and romance novels were once again showing a profit.

So where do you fall in those statistics? Are you the hard-core romance enthusiast who keeps a couple of romance novels on hand? Or do you spend more money on romance novels than your food budget for the month? If you’re anything like me and you had to choose between books or food, you’d prefer to opt for the romance novels first. After all, they are the life force of your being. They emotionally satisfy you better than food. Now, if only they would physically satisfy those hunger cravings…

A Woman reading Dark Gathering, a sci-fi romance novel by Karlene CameronSo what do you think? Are you a closet romance novel enthusiast? Be honest with yourself and own that secret title until you are ready for others to know. And until then, enjoy every sci fi romance and erotic fiction that comes your way.