I suspect that many, perhaps even most, romance readers are like me in that they got their start in the romance genre by reading fairy tales. In fact, my favorite fairy tales (the cleaned up, kid friendly versions my parents let me read and watch) were the ones with a paranormal element - think Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty - which explains a lot of my reading choices as an adult :)
These days I like my romantic heroine's to be a little less damsel in distress and a little more independent and kick ass - which is why I enjoyed Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale so much.
Featuring Raven Queen, the Evil Queen's daughter, as the protagonist and a storyline teaching kids that they don't have to follow the path the world sets for them, Ever After High was a fun, intelligent, and well paced book. Obviously geared toward children, Hale kept me entertained and interested through the whole book and did so with a great deal of humor. I particularly enjoyed Madeline Hatter, daughter of the Mad Hatter and her quirky yet pragmatic view of the world and the people in it.
Interesting questions arise from the story - Can the next Evil Queen really be friends with the next Snow White? What happens to Prince Charming's younger brother? Is your future set in stone or are you master of your own destiny? - blending life lessons and fairy tale enchantment in such a way that kids won't feel like they are "learning" but that adults will appreciate.
If you enjoy fairy tales or have kids who enjoy fairy tales, I highly recommend Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends.
At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens...whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.
As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen's destiny is to follow in her mother's wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven's style. She's starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.
What if Raven doesn't sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both.