Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Make me read a romance novel!

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I'm not a fan of romance novels or even really of romance in novels (unless it's done so well, I can really believe it). But a combination of factors have led to this post, wherein I ask you to pick a romance novel for me to read.

There was My Friend Amy posting back in February about challenging yourself to read outside your genre comfort zone. Then there is the radical change in reading tastes that Alea of Pop Culture Junkie went through this year - she went from never reading romance to swimming like a (nice) Scrooge McDuck through piles upon piles of romance novels - and she wrote a guest post back in March over at Sarah MacLean's blog giving 9 rules to beginning romance readers. And then most recently, Nicole of Linus' Blanket hosted a bookworms carnival called Outside the Zone, where 8 readers shared reviews of books they loved that they wouldn't normally read - which made me breathe deep and think...I can do this!

Romance is still the genre which is most out of my comfort zone (I've done pretty well in the fantasy department lately, though I still struggle with epic fantasy) so I've decide to tackle it head on!

Admittedly, it wasn't always this way. Between the ages of 13-16, I dipped into my grandmother's collection of Harlequin Historicals rather frequenty. My favorites were the ones where the heroine would dress up like a man, such as TO TOUCH THE SUN by Barbara Leigh (Don't ask me how I remember the title of this now out of print book all these years later!).




Check out this summary:

To be a knight, chivalrous in deed and courageous in battle, was all that Drue had ever wished for. Dubbed Sir Drue, she had sworn to serve her king and seek revenge against her enemy, Connaught. She had vowed to slay the treacherous knight, yet one look into the depths of his fire-blue eyes and she knew she could never kill him.

Though she had captured him fairly on the field of battle, it was Drue who was completely in his power, and she shuddered to think what the proud Connaught would do when he discovered that the "lad" who had defeated him was nothing more than a woman.


Oh yeah.

But then, I discovered the classics and high-brow literary fiction and abandoned romance novels. My grandmother would still fill my car trunk up with bags of Harlequins when I headed back to my college dorm, but I'd just pass them on to friends.

****Short tangent...there was this one novel, ROARKE'S FOLLY by Claire Delocroix, that kept my roommate up all night reading...and because she was so tired, she slept through her alarm and missed a test. We started to referring to the incident as "Lua's Folly".****

So basically, I haven't gone anywhere near a genre romance novel (with one exception) since the late 90s and YOU have the power to change that right now!

How? Please recommend a genre romance novel (you know - the ones that usually have covers depicting a charming, dangerous, possibly-shirtless man) that you have read and loved in the comments. Let's stick with contemporary and historical romances for now (I am not up for any eye-ball scalding werewolf sex at the moment).

I will pick the one that appeals most to me and then BUY it, read the entire thing, and post a review here.

Go, go, go!

56 comments:

Meghan said...

Haha, had to laugh at eyeball scalding werewolf sex! I'm not a huge fan of that myself. LOL.

For historical romance, I'd recommend Meredith Duran with Bound By Your Touch. It's a recent favourite that I just adored. If you want something lighter, go with Julia Quinn, and I'd start with The Duke and I in case you too get addicted, because it's the beginning of her best series. ;)

bermudaonion said...

Sorry, I can't help you with this one. Romance is way outside my comfort zone too.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm no help either. I haven't taken part in this type of read since my Danielle Steele days back in high school and college! The best person to talk to would be Tasha/Heidenkind at Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books!

Anna said...

I wish you the best of luck! ;) I haven't read a romance novel since I was in junior high. I don't mind when there's romance in a book about something else, though.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Alea said...

I'm still learning my way around the terms here and not sure if this is "genre" but.... it has to be Sarah MacLean's 9 Rules, since that's the book that made me fall for the genre! I can't wait to see what happens with this hahaha!

Sarah said...

There are so many wonderful romance novels being written now, I hope you find one that at least changes your mind a tiny bit.

Sarah MacLean said...

First, I'm so excited that you're going to try romance! If you don't like it at least now you can say it having given it a whirl...but I'm guessing you're going to like it just fine. :)

I am an historical girl first and foremost...so my vote is for you to start there. (And you already know you've enjoyed them in the past!) AND...since you like crossdressing heroines...here are three VERY different books with three VERY different heroines for you to choose from!

1. Gentle Rogue a classic by Johanna Lindsay -- the Heroine stows away on a trans-atlantic ship masquerading as a cabin boy.

2. Or Eloisa James's Duchess By Night, the Heroine masquerades as a man at a naughty house party thrown by one of London's biggest rakes.

3. Or...*cough*...Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, where the heroine wears breeches once or twice. I forget who that author is, though. ;)

Whatever you choose...I can't wait for the verdict!

Zibilee said...

I used to absolutely inhale romance novels, but since I have started reading more serious books, I haven't really given romance novels much time. I did recently pick up one called Love Wild and Fair by Bertrice Small, but I haven't finished it yet. There is a lot of stereotypical stuff in it, but one of the reasons I like it is because it features a kidnapping and a harem. I don't know if that would interest you or not, but it's the only recommendation I've got for right now! I will be excited to see what you pick and what you think about it!

Jess said...

Ooh, I recommend Sarah MacLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake! I loved it.

Steph Su said...

Yeahh, that description. SO HOTT. With two t's, yes.

I haven't read much straight-up romance in a while, but I have been getting into Megan Hart's books. She writes romances that are more on the erotica side, but they're *tasteful* erotica, with plot, character development, and sex scenes that are steamy, but not trashy or forced. Recommend you starting with Broken - that's what I started with! I'm linking you to my review on Goodreads. Good luck with this awesome idea of yours! :D

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/79282923

Mama Bookworm said...

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James was fun.

Sandy Shin said...

It's been such a long time since I last read a romance novel that I'm afraid I can't help with this. However, I'm prowling the comment section for good reads! :)

Kay said...

I do occasionally still read a romance novel and I also reread old favorites. Those comprise some of the "comfort" reads.

I'm going to suggest a couple by Julie Garwood. My absolute favorite of hers is THE SECRET, set in 12th century Scotland. It's funny. It's informative. It's definitely got romance. Another one by Garwood that is set 18th or 19th century England is CASTLES. Again, really funny. I like the fact that heroines are innocent in some ways, but they are nobody's pushover and they definitely have brains.

Romance gets critcized by a lot of people. They consider it too fluffy or describe it as brain candy. Well, we've learned that chocolate is actually good for us in moderation. I think reading outside your comfort zone could be a healthy thing as well. :-)

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I read more chick lit than straight romance, but Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a new autor for me and she's pretty funny. I've been told Natural Born Charmer is her best.

As for YA, I think Perfect Chemistry is straight up romance for teens and I liked it a lot, so you might give it a try.

I'm eager to see what you come up with. After reading about Alea's new love for romance, I'm thinking I need to try some of those romance novels I often laugh at! (Although I refuse to read the one we have at my library called "Branded With His Baby"-ugh!)

Book Blogger said...

I'm not a huge romance reader either, but have been reading Nora Roberts' "bride quartet" series. I admit this series might be classified more as chick-lit though. It's pretty fluffy and not erotica. Vision in White is the first.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I think you should try A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. She doe s a really smart blend of historical fiction with some comic moments. Her book made sense to me, and had other things going on besides the romance. At least I thought so in college, so you'll have to take my 19 year old word for it. Good luck!

Raspberry said...

Agh. Not a fan of the nake-guy-on-cover genre. But I do like a little romance in my books if it's well done. On that line may I suggest the Witch of Blackbird Pond. Sorcery and Cecilia, and The Blue Castle. All clean, all with rereadable plots, and all favorites. None of which are technically found in the romance section...although Blue Castle might eb the closest. :)

Lisa S. said...

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase seems to be the go-to book to convert people who think they don't like romance. It was my first foray into the genre, and it has a strong, snarky heroine and lots of banter.

For a contemporary, Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me or Agnes and the Hitman. Bet Me's heroine has a Non-Traditionally Gorgeous Body Type, and Agnes has, well, hit men. Both have lots of humor.

With romance, I've learned to ignore the cover, and the summary blurb, and even sometimes the title. (Lord of Scoundrels being a prime example. I never would have picked it up just seeing it in a bookstore!) I go by word of mouth and reviews from sites like Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Then once I find an author I like, I start in on their backlist.

I compare romance to any other genre-- there are lots of terrible titles, many good ones, and a few great ones.

I also read romance pretty much solely on my Kindle to avoid anti-romance prejudice from others. Really, the covers are completely cringeworthy!

Jan von Harz said...

I have been so over straight romance novels for at least 30 years. So if you want a good straight romance novel then not can do. However, I am currently reading Graceling and the romance is a definite part of the plot, but not is total interwoven with the rest of the story.

Good luck, I will be interested in checking back with you and seeing if what you end up reading.

Jodie said...

Going to go out on a limb here and rec something I haven't yet read. I'm also not a romance reader, but the Booksmugglers convinced me to pick up 'In for a Penny' by Rose Lerner with this review:

http://thebooksmugglers.com/2010/02/book-review-in-for-a-penny-by-rose-lerner.html

and author spotlight:

http://thebooksmugglers.com/2010/02/guest-author-and-giveaway-rose-lerner-on-inspirations-influences.html

I own it and when it arrived I read the first page (but had srs reading commitments to get to)and I'm dying to get to it because there is humour and wip crack dialogue right there at the begining.

NotNessie said...

Lol. I think it's funny that you're forcing yourself to read romance. Many people admit to reading romance only under torture.

Hope your eyeballs don't get scalded.

LovesSam said...

I read romance a lot way back when. I think the genre is actually pretty good, but I really have to be in the mood to actually read a book that focuses on romance primarily, which isn't quite often.

I read and loved, Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson. I loved that she put in character development and an actual storyline, even though the book was romance. I think I even cried.

I'm interested to see how this pans out, and happy reading!

Staci said...

Egads...so many books to choose from. I would recommend The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon because it is so much more than romance, it's history, time travel, adventure...spans decades and centuries...fantastic book!!!

John The Bookworm said...

Okay, Johanna Lindsey. Seriously, she isn't new, but her stuff is among the best in historical romance. My first romance was actually by her - Gentle Rogue. It's one of her best Mallory family books, and has the fun of a regency, with the enjoyment of being on a boat. :) Lindsey did the whole pirate/sailor thing quite well, and interestingly enough, the heroine actually stowed away on the ship by dressing up as a guy (!!) to get the position of a cabin boy. And the sexual tension was nice without being in the 'mind-boggling werewolf humping' category.

Cinnamon (A Journey of Books) said...

A Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore.

Sas said...

Good on you Lenore! Romance is compley outside my comfort zone too!
I hope you enjoy whichever one you pick. :)

SJ said...

Anything by Julie James for contemporary romance with humor. Or how about the Wallflowers series by Lisa Kleypas for historical - the first book is Secrets of a Summer Night.

Angiegirl said...

LOL.

Well, as you know, I tread lightly here as well. But from my meager experience I'd recommend BET ME by Jennifer Crusie or PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT by Julie James.

Dwayne said...

Aww I'm sorry I'm rather not romance novel savvy - but I do hope you find your romance book match soon!

Donna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

You know, last year I held my first Fear Itself Challenge where I challenged people to branch out and read outside their comfort zoned. Hopefully with all the changes in reading people are making (myself included!), more people will participate this year! It starts 7/1 and runs through 12/31.

But I'm still not going to read romances! Well, maybe I'll try a straight up Harlequin for one of my Fear Itself books. I've been surprising myself lately with what I've been reading but I wish you luck with the romance stuff! I can't offer anything to recommend. This well's as dry as yours!

Rosalia said...

Okay I am going to break the rules but I have a very good reason for doing so, which is that I am going to reccommend a science fictiony danielle steel romance novel and a historical fiction danielle steel romance novel. (Danielle Steel books are my guilty pleasure.) But they will not have pictures of big burly men on the cover, sorry. The Klone and I is a tiny bit science fictiony so you still feel like you are a little bit in your comfort zone and Granny Dan is a good historical romance one by Danielle Steel.

Elise said...

I tried my very first Mills and Boon book earlier this year and loathed it. It was just appalling! So I completely understand your reluctance with the romance genre, I am also not a fan. Not a very useful comment I'm afraid, just wanted to say that I get it!!

Melody said...

Before I started blogging, I read romance a lot. Kat Martin ("Hot Rain"), Anne Stuart ("Black Ice"), Jude Devereaux ("A Knight in Shining Armour") are just a few of my favourite authors. I hope you will give them a try! ;)

Becky said...

I'd recommend Julia Quinn. I love, love, love her Bridgerton series. You could read any of the series, you don't have to read the books in order or anything. My personal favorite is Romancing Mister Bridgerton. My second favorite would probably be An Offer From A Gentleman. The first novel in the series is The Duke and I.

Chachic said...

I'm not a huge fan of the romance genre either but I'm always interested in reading books that are well-recommended. For historical romance, I'd recommend The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne. I love historical spy stories and I enjoyed reading this one. For contemporary romance, Bet Me or Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie and any book by Julie James. They are hilarious.

Good luck with this and I look forward to reading your review of whatever book you end up choosing. :)

Kelsey said...

I've never been a huge romance fan myself. They all seem to be around the same plot: girl in danger, guy steps in and saves the day (and gets the girl)!

I'm way more of a fantasy reader than romance.

Two I really liked (but they don't have the bodice-ripping covers) are Michele Hauf's books: Seraphim and its sequel Gossamyr. I accidentally read Gossamyr first, and it's my favorite of the two. It involves fantasy (but not too heavy) and romance.

Niveau said...

Historical: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase is, like, the official novel for first-time romance readers. It's got a Beauty and the Beast element, an intense battle of the sexes, and the coolest snarky heroine ever. And I love the heroine's brother, an honest-to-goodness idiot who never fails to make me laugh. Chase also wrote Mr. Impossible, which is absolutely wonderful. The heroine is convinced that the hero is an idiot, and he does everything he can to encourage that, especially since making her irritated with him is the best way to keep her from crying. Ah, good times. Also, I recently read Janet Mullany's The Rules of Gentility and it made me laugh my head off. Though the Chase books are both funny, they also have their serious parts, whereas the Mullany is just a lot of fun.

For a more literary historical, Pride and Prejudice is a classic. There's also Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm, in which the hero has a stroke and gets confined in a madhouse which is described in a horrifying but historically accurate manner. And let's not forget Black Silk by Judith Ivory, which was recently re-issued in a trade paperback featuring one of The Prettiest Dresses Ever on the cover, is also awesome. The way the words are arranged are just so pretty~! It does have a slow start, though.

I also have to second Chachic's rec of The Spymaster's Lady. What impressed me the most about it was that the heroine is French, and even though her POV is written in English, it feels French. I don't know how else to describe it, but I practically felt like I was reading in French at times. The balance of power is a bit off, though - the heroine is in the hero's custody for most of the book, which (if you're like me) may irritate you a bit. And speaking of seconding recs, I agree with everyone who mentioned the Julia Quinn books. The Bridgerton siblings are all kinds of awesome, and didn't even have to be dysfunctional to get that way! Happy families are so much more fun, y'know?

Contemporaries: Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me, in which gorgeous shoes are described on a regular basis. *sigh* Also, Cal and Min SOOOOOO start off on the wrong foot, but even when they're snarking at each other, the book still feels happy and hopeful and romantic. I also love the same author's Anyone But You, which is short but sweet, featuring an older woman who's neurotic about her age and the best fictional dog ever. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson is my favourite sports romance because it's about hockey~~~ and the hero is Canadian~~~ and it features a heroine who's good at her job, even when she's stuck doing something she doesn't like.

Ooh, and for YA romances, whoever said that Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry is a contemporary teen romance is totally right, and I know it's incredibly popular. And Eva Ibbotson's The Secret Countess / The Countess Below the Stairs is a historical masterpiece, though I'm sure it's annoying to shelve because it treads a fine line between being too old for YA and too young for regular romance. Either way, it's a great story.

Elise: noooo, don't judge the whole genre because of one bad book! This comment thread is full of some of the best titles around. Try one, or better yet, some, of them before saying you don't like romance! (Also, Mills and Boon books are divided into pretty strict categories, so if you didn't like the one you tried, it may be because it's in a category that totally doesn't work for you. The bright side is that that means there are books out there which are pretty much the opposites of the one you read!)

Heather Zundel said...

Oh you are a brave soul. Sadly, I have no ideas to offer you. But it looks like you have a lot on your plate already. I'm looking forward to the review! :)

Liviania said...

My romance reviews: http://goodbadandunread.com/tag/liviania/

I rec HIS CAVALRY LADY by Joanna Maitland: http://goodbadandunread.com/2009/07/05/review-his-cavalry-lady-by-joanna-maitland/

Crossdressing Russians in the Regency! Spies! Friendship before love! The cover has his face in her boobs!

I think I've said enough.

TheHoyden said...

Seize the Fire, Uncertain Magic, Flowers from the Storm, Midsummer Moon, For My Lady's Heart, Shadowheart--Laura Kinsale (proof that romance novels can be just as beautifully written and artistic as any genre, even when you have Fabio on the cover)

Duchess in Love, Much Ado About You, Desperate Duchesses-Eloisa James (clever, witty, and fun. I chose the first books in three different series because with her you really need to read the series in order. Otherwise I recommend all her books *except* for her first three books (Potent Pleasures, Midnight Pleasures, Enchanting Pleasures ... her writing style was a lot different when she first started out, the humor and angst were more over the top and cringeworthy to me)

The Proposition--Judith Ivory (a reversed My Fairy Lady)

Delicious-Sherry Thomas (again with the beautiful writing. Plus there's a secondary romance that's every bit as good as the main romance)

The Devil's Waltz--Anne Stuart (I love her historicals because the men are usually amoral, dress really good, and give good drawling banter. Heroine in here is the plain spinster type that talks back to him. A Rose At Midnight seems to be most people's fave Anne Stuart historical but I haven't read that one yet)

Some other people have recommended Meredith Duran & Rose Lerner and I second, third, or fourth those recommendations.

Georgette Heyer is old school, real old school (roughly wrote stuff between 1920's and early 1970s) so no sex or naked man chests but there's a reason everyone seems to get into her eventually. Just don't expect her to be like Jane Austen which is what I thought going in. Her humor is more P.G. Wodehouse. I recommend: These Old Shades, Venetia, Black Sheep, Frederica, Sylvester, Arabella, The Talisman Ring. People seem to love Devil's Cub the most but I think that's because online romance fans really have a thing for heroines who shoot the hero (see Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase) ... I like Devil's Cub too but not really an ultimate fave.

Ana said...

Lenore!!! I am so happy you are going to give romance a try!

Ok, I second the recommendations for:

Lord of Scoundrels
In For A Penny
any Julia Quinn (What Happens in London is a fave)
any Julie James (Practice Makes Perfect)

You can do NO wrong with any of these.

The Reading Nomad said...

The Red Rose by Mary Balogh.

A, for a change BELIEVABLE romance, and NO no sex involved (*phew*)

The Earl of Raymore is as determined to marry off his newly acquired ward, Rosalind Dacey, as she is never to marry at all. They hate each other with a passion until they discover a bond in their shared love of music.

- Sounds sort of superficial when reading the summary like that, but it was actually good. I hope you try it.

Anonymous said...

BET ME - Jennifer Crusie

Thirty-three-year-old Minerva Dobbs is annoyed when her current boyfriend dumps her three weeks before her sisters' wedding. But she's downright furious a few moments later when she overhears her now "ex" boyfriend bet hunky Calvin Morrisey that he can't take her home and bed her. In fact, she's so angry at them both that she lets Cal take her to dinner and decides to string him along until after her sisters' wedding. Minerva pegs Cal as a handsome "used car salesman of seducers." Cal thinks Minerva is a "cranky, starving, risk-averse statistician." But Minerva's hormones keep whispering "this one," although she knows the gorgeous Cal isn't the man for her practical, white-cotton-bra, several-pounds-over-thin, self. And Cal is blindsided by the lust he feels for the voluptuous, sensual woman he glimpses behind Min's actuary exterior. While Cal and Min struggle to deal with their mutual distrust and attraction, their friends and families try their best to interfere and direct the progression of the unlikely romantic connection.

crusty said...

BET ME - Jennifer Crusie

Thirty-three-year-old Minerva Dobbs is annoyed when her current boyfriend dumps her three weeks before her sisters' wedding. But she's downright furious a few moments later when she overhears her now "ex" boyfriend bet hunky Calvin Morrisey that he can't take her home and bed her. In fact, she's so angry at them both that she lets Cal take her to dinner and decides to string him along until after her sisters' wedding. Minerva pegs Cal as a handsome "used car salesman of seducers." Cal thinks Minerva is a "cranky, starving, risk-averse statistician." But Minerva's hormones keep whispering "this one," although she knows the gorgeous Cal isn't the man for her practical, white-cotton-bra, several-pounds-over-thin, self. And Cal is blindsided by the lust he feels for the voluptuous, sensual woman he glimpses behind Min's actuary exterior. While Cal and Min struggle to deal with their mutual distrust and attraction, their friends and families try their best to interfere and direct the progression of the unlikely romantic connection.

Alessandra said...

I second the recommendations for Julia Quinn. My favourite of hers is The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever :)

Meg said...

I second the nomination of Lisa Kleypas's Wallflowers series -- they're my favorites! Secrets Of A Summer Night is the first of a four-part book series with one "bonus" novel at the end, A Wallflower Christmas.

Steamy, fun historical fiction with strong-willed female characters -- and pretty swoon-worthy, rakish male love interests. Kleypas was my first foray into the romance genre and she's definitely a keeper!

Trisha said...

So many of my favorite historical romances are out of print. Sad! I know My Beloved by Karen Ranney (slow start, but once it gets going... My favorite romance novel ever, soooo good) and A London Season by Joan Wolf (okay, cliched denouement, but the book and I are roughly the same age, so I forgive it) are available as ebooks in the US, but I don't know about Germany.

Speaking of Germany, Barbara Samuel's A Bed of Spices is awesome. And out of print. Still in print are T.J. Bennett's The Legacy and Sandra Schwab's Castle of the Wolf. The Legacy is a great book, better than Castle of the Wolf, with a setting and conflicts that you rarely see in romances (a forced marriage between a Protestant Baroness and Catholic tradesman. Although now that I think about it, maybe it's a historical-set-in-what-is-now-Germany thing, since A Bed of Spices is also about characters from different classes and religions.).

But I have to go with Connie Brockway's As You Desire. And, hey, it's still in print! Luscious writing, imperfect and likable protagonists--especially the dashing Harry Braxton, though Desdemona is no slouch herself, dreaming of romance after having been paraded around the world by her parents because of her ability with languages--and set in Victorian Egypt.

Sigh.

Harry.

Though for contemporaries, I don't think you could go wrong with Julie James.

etirv said...

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean is brand new, hot, will make you laugh and cry and hook you forever on historical romances! If you're up for a paranormal romance, you can't go wrong with any of Kresley Cole's novels. I just finished reading her latest: Pleasures of a Dark Prince!

Allisyn said...

Having skimmed the comments, I'm going to add another recommendation for Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. I found it to be fun and funny. It's been years since I've read any romance and this one still sticks with me!

Janicu said...

Going to also say BET ME by Jennifer Crusie. That's my go-to book in these "I don't like romance" situations.

Kelly said...

I second the recommendation for The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. A friend recommended it to me a few years ago and it is excellent!!!

Lana said...

Some of my favorites are:

Contemporary - Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James (it's a witty contemporary romantic comedy with a pair of ambitious lawyers battling and bantering)

Historical - The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie (I thought this one was both touching and really funny. I adore the hero.)

The Rogue and the Rival by Maya Rodale (a reformed rake story)

And I also agree with The Spymaster's Lady recommendation. I loved that story!

If you like the cross-dressing element, you might enjoy Suzanne Enoch's Lady Rogue.

Linda said...

Lenore, I used to read historical romance novels all the time. I haven't read any for probably 20 years. But my favorite one, and I still have a copy of it, is The Proud Breed by Celeste DeBlasis. It's about three generations of a family and was written in 1978. Now I want to read it again!

As for contemporary romance, I would go with the Nora Roberts Bride Quartet Series like Book Blogger suggested. Enjoyable chick-lit fare.

Time4u Book Review said...

Great review, Some interesting comments.

student nurse said...

I hope Im not too late to get in on this. I have to recommend four books. First, just a great funny historical is The Lions Lady by Julie Garwood. I LOVE all her older historicals. New stuff, not so much. Also for a great time travel historical I recommend Son of the Morning by Linda Howard. If anyone has not read this, GET IT NOW. It is so so good. I was surprised. Runner up time travel historical is Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. The last one I want to mention is a contemporary. Paradise by Judith McNaught. All her historicals are great and some of my favorite but this is the one contemporary I still think about. Have fun reading!