After this past week of reflecting on the positive and all the many things that we are most grateful for and all the various ways we are blessed. I wanted to share the top books I am so thankful for reading. These books are what made the most profound difference in reading and discovering the romance genre.
Return To Love by Anita Stansfield
This was the first actual book that had romantic themes in it. My father (love him for this forever) gave this to me when I was fifteen. Its a LDS romance fiction. It showed me when I was just a teenager that life isn’t simple or easy and love isn’t always what you expect. Our heroine and hero were high school sweethearts. But when they were eighteen, Janna finds herself pregnant. And doesn’t want to keep her boyfriend from serving a religious mission which she knows is one of his dreams. But when he went on a mission, he comes back two years later to find that she married someone else. Eight years have passed, Colin has no idea he is a father. Or that Janna’s husband is abusive. What this author and this book did for me was made me fall in love with a true emotional love story with real characters.
Catherine and the Pirate by Karen Hawkins
Now this book, got me hooked on the style of romance novels. This was part of a series that a group of authors with Avon put together called “Avon True Romance” aka Avon Teen Romance. So if you like Avon romance novels and like YA themes, I would highly recommend you pick these up. Catherine and the Pirate was addicting, witty and charming and adventurous and exciting. The romance was sweet and fun.
Dark Challenge by Christine Feehan
I was browsing about four years back, in our library audiobook system and saw the cover to this book. And I knew I needed to look into listening to it. And I grabbed it right up. And I never regretted it. This was the book that got me hooked on the paranormal romance genre and also showed me that vampire romances could be written well!! I truly love the earlier books of this series the most and Dark Challenge is still a personal favorite and the narrator especially “Juanita Parker” is at the top of my list of favorite narrators to listen to. What I loved was the romance and the characters. Julian is one of the most powerful hunters of his people. He rescues Desari, who is in danger from human hunters who view her as a threat. Desari is a powerful Carpathian, and has been around for a long time. What I really liked about this book, was seeing such a wonderful heroine be the perfect match for such a alpha male. Because quite frankly, in many books of this series the heroines are pretty reserved sometimes. But Desari is just as powerful as Julian is and love how she shows him to treat her as a equal. LOVE that and love seeing these two fall in love.
The Bride by Julie Garwood
This is the book, that got me addicted to audio books!! I remember I had to have eye surgery for a detached retina (which was horrible could do nothing but watch tv for a month—there is only so much TV you can watch before you go stir crazy hehe) and I needed something different. I wanted to read so badly but couldn’t. And then I realized I needed to try out an audiobook, that way I could still get some reading done and not feel like the world had ended hehe–I was feeling depressed at this point. And man was it so dang good. It got me hooked especially on highlanders and audiobooks big time. I loved the history and the characters and the humor was fantastic. The narrator Rosalyn Landor became one of my all time favorites to listen to.
Texas Glory by Lorraine Heath
Lorraine Heath is such a wonderful author, but Texas Glory was one of those books that made such a impact on me. I can’t even tell you why I fell in love with this book so much but dang I can still read it like it was the first time picking it up. It is one of the most emotional romances I have ever picked up and still gets to me sometimes. Its a bit of a marriage of convenience and opposites attract type of story–western style.
Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
For quite a long while I could only read historical’s and PNR’s. I just couldn’t pick up contemporaries. They just seemed too much like my own life, and I wanted some adventure. And most of the time I just was never in the mood for a contemporary romance. However, Blue Eyed Devil got me hooked back into the genre. I know not everyone has loved Kleypas contemporaries but I LOVED them, especially Blue Eyed Devil. This book was fantastic, and if you like audio books I do recommend picking this up in that format if you can.
This Is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
This is another book that I had to put on the list. It introduced me to a world of medieval England, that I never knew before and to this day I still have my original copy. Which the pages are starting to fall out, I have read it so many times. I really admired how Kurland wrote this book, so emotional and characters you just have to root for!! Honestly, these two and some of the other side characters are so well written, they just feel so real whenever I pick it up.
All Through The Night by Suzanne Brockmann
Now the reason I mention this book is what this series really did for me. This author was one of the very first to introduce a M/M romance in a romance novel. (at least as far as I know) Now at the time of this publication which was almost ten years ago (I can hardly believe its been that long) The LGBTQ community was NOT accepted as it is now. Now I had no problem with them at all, but quite frankly I was never around it at all where I was born and raised. But this author really opened my eyes back then, and made me fall in love with M/M romances. We see these two through much of the series especially Jules. Jules is pretty much in the WHOLE series, I think in just about every installment. The series is based on a SEAL team and is fantastic. Jules however isn’t military which he couldn’t be because quite frankly he was not exactly quiet about his partner preferences. So he is a FBI agent and hilarious. His partner Robin is a actor. Yeah they are opposites and their romance that builds in the previous book isn’t an easy one at all. In fact, its pretty tough to see. But I loved this book because it shows what their relationship is like after they get through the tough spots and find their HEA.
Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsey
Now I love pretty much everything that this author has written, but Silver Angel is one of my favorites. It was also the first Sheikh romance I ever picked up and I just can’t get enough of this setting. Its very sensual and exotic and Lindsey did such a superb job of writing this book. Its not as angsty as you would expect either, has quite a few sweet moments in it.
Price Of A Kiss by Linda Kage
This is one of those books I could never regret reading, and it got me hooked on the NA genre. This book was so well written and introduces some aspects that I never thought I could be okay with in a romance…but this author wrote it in such a way that you can’t help but fall in love with it too.
Declaration Of Courtship by Nalini Singh
oh I had such a fun time with this one, and is one of my favorite books of the series which is saying something considering its a novella. I have no clue why I love it so much. And quite frankly, I LOVE and ADORE every book in this series I just couldn’t pick one hehe. So really its the whole series I am really grateful for. Nalini Singh is brilliant in writing this series and I just can’t get enough of the changeling culture she introduces here. What is so fantastic about these books, is how she balances out intricate all types of relationships and make them work just right.
Questions For My Readers:
So What books are you most thankful for?