HARLEQUIN EDITOR FINDS HER OWN “HAPPILY EVER AFTER,” 25 YEARS LATER


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In 1984, high-school-sophomore Patience Smith, wallflower and devourer of romance novels, gets ditched by her date at a formal dance. Sam Bloom, a popular, handsome, devilish senior she’s crushing on big time, whirls her into a dance. After he graduates that spring, she doesn’t think she’ll ever see him again.

Fast forward to 2009. Patience, now a senior editor at Harlequin, has “dated everyone in Manhattan” and is sick of it. She has passed the age of the standard romantic heroine whom she reads about every day at work. If she still holds out hope for true love, it’s the kind you put in a pretty little box in your attic and try not to think about every day.

From out of the blue, she gets a Facebook message from none other than Sam (a French professor who now teaches at FIT), to the tune of “Weren’t you that redhead I danced with all those years ago?” He produces this photo, taken at that formal, her dropped jaw not yet shut:

This story’s glass slipper: a photo of Patience Smith and Sam Bloom at a high-school dance in 1984.

They discover that their long-ago interest was mutual, and they quickly fall in love. Wedding bells ring in 2011.

She takes his last name, because, duh, “Patience Bloom” is like the most perfect name for this story, so perfect that when it appears in the upcoming memoir (did we mention that her memoir, Romance Is My Day Job, debuts in February from Dutton/Penguin?), readers will probably roll their eyes and decide it’s a pseudonym.

Cue the orangey sunset.

The cover of Hue magazine, Summer 2013.

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