How Romance Saved My Sanity

I inherited my love of romance books from my mother. When you PCS from Turkey to Scotland with six children, two of them actively sick with the flu, baby, you need to escape. Preferably into a world more glamorous and less throw-upy, you know? When you’re living with your mother-in-law while your husband is at sea for a year—365 days people—you seriously need to escape. Romance books saved my mother’s sanity.

They did the same for me. Growing up a Navy brat, then an Air Force spouse, and now an Air Force mom with two of our children serving—reading romance has long been a part of my “Don’t Lose Your S#*!” toolbox. Sure there are other things in the toolbox like spending time with friends, exercise, yoga, caffeine, wine, more caffeine, naps, chocolate, and laughter. But romance books are nice because they don’t have calories and unlike friends, I don’t feel guilty if I reach for it at say, two in the morning. And even if I’m too tired to exercise, I can always flip the pages of a book or an e-reader. 😉

Reading helped me escape from stress. The stress of moving and the stress of helping my children get through the emotional goodbyes to friends and watching them struggle with finding new ones in another new town. Escape from the lonely hours once the kids were in bed during my husband’s deployments. And is it just me or were Friday nights the hardest to get through? That’s just the everyday stuff. Throw in the emergencies like when the dog went into shock after swallowing a poisonous frog or going into labor or the emergency appendectomy our 2nd grader needed—not in the same year, but all while my husband was off training. Romance books have helped me through many tough times.

My “go-to” genre has always been romantic comedy because sometimes life as a military spouse already feels like living in a women’s fiction novel. We’ve already got angst, right? So for me, I liked the laughter and romance. Years of reading romances eventually led me to writing them. I write romances with just enough angst to tug at your heartstrings but add in some quirky humor to make you laugh too. Because when you find out your spouse is going TDY overseas—in a week (surprise!)—as the movers are unloading your household goods in a state you’ve only been in for two days…if you’re like me—you’re going to need to laugh. And de-stress so you can roll up your sleeves and deal with the unique life of a military spouse.

In my newest contemporary romance series a rough childhood tore the Thorne brothers apart. Beckett. Wyatt. Gray. Asher. Eli. Ryker. Five out of six very different brothers are reunited—and working to make their construction firm, Six Brothers Construction, a success. Like many who grew up seeing the ugliest, most dysfunctional side of love, the brothers have locked up their hearts rather than risk exposing themselves—or worse, someone else—to that kind of pain and suffering. But, change is in the air when Beck Thorne, the oldest brother, is forced to team up with an old flame in order to save their business.  

GIVE IT UP is the first book in my new Thorne Brothers Series. It’s a fun, quirky enemies-to-lovers romance. Hopefully the perfect book to escape into when life gets crazy—so you don’t.

Want to get your hands on Lee Kilraine’s first Thorne Brothers’ novel, GIVE IT UP? Click on cover below!


A former Air Force spouse, Lee Kilraine moved seven times over eighteen years before finally settling with her husband in the pine woods of North Carolina. She has worked as a physical therapy aide, a cashier, a waitress, an English tutor, a ballet teacher and a stay-at-home mom. Holding tight to her mother’s motto, “There’s nothing you can’t do if you try hard enough,” Lee returned to college as an adult and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Writing thirty-one papers in two years (she counted) rekindled her love of writing, and she set her sights on her other dream—writing romance. When she isn’t swinging on her front porch swing or watching another of their four young adult children leave the nest (she swears she isn’t pushing them out!), you can find her typing away on her computer with her golden retriever, Harley, destroying something at her feet. Lee is a 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist. Please visit her website at www.leekilraine.com.