Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ten Romance Novels That Have Stuck With Me, Part the First

Have you seen the "Ten Books That Have Stuck With Me" meme? I knew as soon as I saw that one that I'd have to do it, and filling in the slots was pretty easy, especially when the instructions were to not put too much thought into the process. This was what I came up with, in short order:

Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Wideacre by Philippa Gregory

Sword Dancer by Jennifer Roberson

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Lovesong by Valerie Sherwood

Broken Wing by Judith James

Giving this a quick once-over, I see three genre romances (Skye O'Malley, Lovesong, Broken Wing,) three historical novels (Wideacre, Brideshead Revisited, Remains of the Day,) one horror (Flowers in the Attic,) one fantasy (Sword Dancer,) one children's book, (Black Beauty) and one piece of contemporary fiction (Long Way Down.) Since Black Beauty has a historical setting, we can give that credit for the historical category as well. Interesting spread there, everything with a deep emotional core - I know each book has made me cry at least once, and never fear, I like crying over an emotional scene- but I immediately started thinking of a list comprised only of my genre of choice, historical romance?

Though I did repeat authors on this second list, I purposely chose not to repeat books. Picking only ten was more difficult with the narrower focus, and made me think of narrowing the focus even farther, which I will likely do at a later date. For now, let's take in the list itself:

Ten Historical Romance Novels That Have Stuck With Me:

1. The Kadin by Bertrice Small

2. The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux

3. Bold Breathless Love by Valerie Sherwood

4. Libertine’s Kiss by Judith James

5. Daughters of the South Wind by Aola Vandergriff

6. Tapestry by Karen Ranney

7. A Love So Bold by Annelise Kamada

8. A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

9. Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain

10. Call Back the Dream by Barbara Hazard

What are your top ten most enduring historical romances?


Lynn Viehl said...

Happy New Year, Anna. :) I haven't seen this meme, although the holidays and bad weather have curtailed my online time of late.

My top ten most enduring historical romances would be:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Dancing with Clara by Mary Balogh
Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh
The First Snowdrop by Mary Balogh
Mistress Devon by Virginia Coffman
Lady of the West by Linda Howard
This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
The Windflower by Laura London
Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain
House of Scorpio by Pat Wallace (technically a fantasy historical romance, but it's stuck with me since I read it)

My list is heavy on the Mary Balogh regencies but these are all the books that I have completely loved and still read and enjoy every year, which I think is the ultimate litmus test of enduring. :)

Anna Bowling said...

Happy New Year to you, too, Lynn! I'd say a list heavy on Mary Balogh is a good list. I remember exactly where I was when I first encountered Dancing With Clara: the traditional Regency section of a UBS I came to love dearly, flipping pages because I couldn't wait to get home to devour the story.

I will admit to the sort of "oh" only a reader who's been reminded of a gorgeous book can utter when I saw This is All I Ask on your list. Moonstruck Madness is a big favorite of mine as well, and I say fantasy historical romance definitely counts. Fantasy and romance are often cousins of a sort.

Lynn Viehl said...

I'm shocked; you are too young to have read Moonstruck Madness! Or at least you strike me that way. ;)

Most of the books on my list have spiritual medicinal value, too. Every time I encounter a historical romance lover in a reading slump I give them one of Mary Balogh's Regencies. And I'm pretty sure This is All I Ask kept one of my writer friends from throwing in the towel after a bad year. I told her, "Read this book and it will restore your faith in the power of a great story." And it did. :)

Looking forward to reading more of your lists.

Anna Bowling said...

I *was* too young when it first came out, and didn't read it until many years later, but I've always had a special place in my heart for some of the first wave of historical romances. Which could be another list, I'm thinking.

Spiritual medicine in books, yes. That's a wonderful term, and a very apt one. I love the idea of giving a friend a healing romance when they've had a tough time. Might be time for a reread of Thie is All I Ask, too.

Thanks. I'm looking forward to posting more lists.