I have a small obsession with romance novels.
I can’t help it. Really, some of them are well and truly awful bits of trite trash and it is hit or miss with loads of them, but occasionally you find some gems. It’s time I admit that a decent chunk of my reading is often occupied by them.
There. I said it.
I like romance books. Like more than I should.
I think the attraction, no pun intended, in romance for lots of ladies, and some men, is that everyone loves falling in love (or often times lust). Nicolas Sparks isn’t the first author to cash in on unrequited love stories and he won’t be the last.
(book cover parody courtesy of Smart Bitches Trashy Books)
While I haven’t touched a single Sparks book or voluntarily touched any of the 50 Shades novels, I do think the fact that love stories sell so well says something about who we are as humans. We all want to be desired, loved, unforgettable and cherished (sometimes to the point of dying of a broken heart) by one person. We all want mind-blowing bedroom shenanigans, to be best friends with our lovers, get married (most folks anyhow) and live a fulfilling and meaningful life alongside that one person.
But, it’s often nice to escape reality because, as so many of us know, we’re not perfect and living a life with one person isn’t always unicorn farts and marshmallow rainbows.
I can’t vouch that everyone will like these books or the series but these are by far the ones that I love to read again and again. Yes, there are love scenes, bodice ripping, paranormal happenings, but they do have actual plots! These have all earned spots on my physical bookshelf or my tablet.
1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: This is the ultimate book for so many women. It’s really a work of fiction, but it’s an amazing story of love, marriage(s), danger, history galore and adventure, no matter what genre you place it in.
2. Once and Always by Judith McNaught: this is book #1 in the Sequels series and all 3 are wonderful. I’d classify this one as Regency or Historical Romance. It can get angsty in parts.
3. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden: I really liked this, even if it’s not entirely accurate, even if it’s written from a Western perspective, even if you’re not much into history and you just enjoy the book for what it is, a story of love found, lost then found again, then I think you’ll get a lot out of it.
4. The Princess Bride by William Goldman: The book is pretty hilarious but if you’ve seen the movie you’ll have read this already. Still, worth a quick respite.
5. The Dark series by Donna Grant: I’d start with the Dark Sword series and read from there (Dark Warriors series and then Dark Kings series). It’s paranormal romance, a bit boring with it’s “formula” in parts, but the plot moves this along well enough and it gets interesting enough that you’ll find yourself quickly moving along thru each book. This is my newest find and they’re aren’t half bad even if they are “bodice rippers”.
Do you have a genre you covet?