In honor of the upcoming holiday, especially since I lost my mother that day last year, I'd like to bring a little romance back into Valentine's day for us all. The best way I can do that is to discuss those special romance novels that were more than a good read. You know the ones. By the time we finish with them, the characters are still with us, for we can't let them go. We often read them over and over again and replace them when they are in tatters. I will list some of mine. Not all are paranormal, but I feel they have a place here anyway.
These are not in order.
1.) Until You, by Judith McNaught: This book puts a whole new twist on the "governess wins the heart of an Earl." In fact, due to her having amnesia, neither of them find out she's a governess until just before the wedding...and then shit hits the fan. This tale will make you laugh and cry.
2.) Tempted, by Virginia Henley: A brazen, bad-ass Scottish lass, a sexy-as-hell Scottish Lord with an accent that'll make you quiver...what's not to love? The sparks and conflict in and out of the bedroom, set against a rich tapestry of the historical events leading up to the battle of Flodden Field will have you on the edge of your seat. As a bonus, there is also a ghostly love story in the background. I adore all of Henley's novels, but the romance in this one is by far the most powerful.
3.) Night Play, by Sherrilyn Kenyon: I love this book because the heroine is not perfectly trim and gorgeous, but a sexy werewolf loves her for it. The exciting plot developments and delightful shifts between humor and poignancy makes this book in the Dark Hunter novels one of my favorites. I love when a book gives me happy tears.
4.) Infinity, by Maggie Shayne: This is the second in her Immortal High Witches series and was my fave until I read the 3rd one. Now I can't decide. When the kick-ass Arianna recovers her beloved's heart, she wastes no time restoring him to life. Problem is, he thinks she was the one who betrayed him and cost him his life centuries ago.
5.) Almost Heaven, by Judith McNaught: When Elizabeth's asshole miser uncle makes the a ludicrous offer of her hand to men that had previously proposed to her before her reputation was ruined, a mistake sends Elizabeth to the hunting cottage of Ian Thornton, the very man who ruined her. The compounded misunderstandings and intense chemistry between the two keep the reader turning the pages.
7.) Lover Unbound, by J.R. Ward: This is my fave in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, no matter what anyone says. The chemistry between the vampire, Viscious, and the human doctor, Jane was sizzling. Also, Jane was one of the most developed heroines in this series so far. I'm not a fan of the ending, but I made peace with it.
8.) Dance With the Devil, by Sherrilyn Kenyon: The Dark Hunter Zarek is one of the grumpiest heros I've ever encountered. But he has good reason. His back story will make you cry. When Astrid, little sister of the 3 fates, is sent down incognito to decide whether he will live or die, sparks immediately fly between the two, and eventually start an inferno.
9.) Destiny, by Maggie Shayne: When ancient Immortal High Witch, Nathan discovers his former love, Nidaba in an asylum, he rescues the near-catatonic witch and nurses her back to health. Their back story in ancient Sumer is revealed as past betrayals and a rival high witch threaten the hope of their love being rekindled.
10.) The Hawk and the Dove, by Virginia Henley: When sheltered Sarah Bishop is wed by proxy to Shane Hawkhurst just for her land, she is infuriated. She hatches a plan with Shane's brother to become a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, and ultimately Shane's mistress. She takes on the name, Sabre Wilde, and intends to wrap her unsuspecting husband around her finger before revealing her identity and demanding a divorce. This book is a blast. Also HOT as hell.
What about you? What novels have you read until the pages fell out? What romances have made you sigh and daydream even on the worst days? I'm always looking for more.
Have a happy Valentine's day, all!