Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What romance novel would you recommend?

Romance novels continue to sell well - and in today's society, the trends change as rapidly as movies in a theater. From vampires to zombies to homecomings to Cinderella stories. There's something for everyone and thousands upon thousands of choices to pick from. With the influx of indie authors, it's hard to know where to find a good book. As always, word of mouth is the strongest influence.

Today, I'm offering up five of my all-time favorite romance novels.

1.  On the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holt
For me, no list would be complete without at least one Victoria Holt book. While her style is formulaic, I loved each and every one that I read.

According to ancient Black Forest legend, on the Night of the Seventh Moon, Loke, the God of Mischief, is at large in the world. It is a night for festivity and joyful celebration. It is a night for singing and dancing. And it is a night for love.

Helena Trant was enchanted by everything she found in the Black Forest -- especially its legends. But then, on the Night of the Seventh Moon, she started to live one of them, and the enchantment turned suddenly into a terrifying nightmare . .
. Buy it at Amazon

2.  Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
A brilliant character study that sent me to Scotland in search of standing stones and roguish Highlanders wearing kilts. The second in the series, A Dragonfly in Amber, is equally as compelling (and I actually read that one first). 

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743But it at Amazon

3.  A Knight in Shining Armor - Jude Deveraux
One of the things I liked best about this novel was the attitude toward raising children. Well, that and the romance, of course. Jude does a great job of showing the differences between this century and times past. 

Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there...until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past -- or the grand adventure that lay before themBuy it at Amazon

4.  A Promise of Spring - Mary Balogh
Mary Balogh writes characters seeking redemption from their sins of the past. I particularly liked this one because it dealt with "the one that got away."

Grace Howard has every reason to be devoted to Sir Peregrine Lampman. After all, the gallant gentleman rescued her from poverty by making her his bride. Even more nobly, he did not withdraw his affection after she confessed to a youthful folly that had compromised her virtue. But Grace did not tell the whole truth about the handsome lord who betrayed her—and now the one thing she’s kept from Perry threatens to destroy her last chance at true loveBuy it at Amazon

Geez. How do I round out the top five? With a dash of humor, I think.

5.  Anyone but You - Jennifer Crusie
Jennifer Crusie is fun. She writes quirky characters that make you laugh, and Nina definitely qualifies. 

Part basset, part beagle, all Cupid…

For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom—from the ex-husband, freedom from their stuffy suburban home, freedom to focus on what she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed—a puppy. A bouncy, adorable puppy.
Instead she gets…Fred.
Overweight, middle-aged, a bit smelly and obviously depressed, Fred is light-years from perky. But he does manage to put Nina in the path of Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger-by-a-decade neighbor.
Alex seems perfect—he's a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E.R. doctor—but the age gap convinces Nina that anyone but Alex would be better relationship material. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it's the young, dog-loving doc she wants to sit and stay! Buy it at Amazon

This is only a small dent, but they are ones that I would read over and over. What books would you recommend?


  1. Given that I've only read one of these (Outlander), I'm probably not in a position to comment. My romance preferences are romantic suspense, and J.D. Robb's "In Death" series is one of my all time favorites. Roarke is (IMHO) the perfect hero for the way he loves Eve. "Heartthrob" by Suzanne Brockmann would fall into the 'regular' romance category, and that's a keeper as well.

  2. These books are all fairly dated, but I know a world of people love Nora Roberts/JD Robb. I'm also currently reading a series by Jill Shalvis that I love.