In honor of Valentine’s Day we turned to the experts, and asked several of our favorite romance authors to name their most romantic reads (aside from their own books of course!)
“I love romance books that sweep me off my feet and leave me with a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling. One of my favorites is Christina Dodd’s The Runaway Princess, which has a heroine who has told a TINY lie, a hero who is an honest-to-God prince, and a rollicking adventure in an exotic (and fictional) European kingdom when the prince kidnaps the heroine in a mad plan to win back his throne. Pure. Bliss.”
“Confession: I love a good reunion romance. One of my favorites is Kaitlin O’Riley’s,One Sinful Night. There’s no better way to reunite than at a house party where your long-lost love has been invited…which is what happens with Vivianne and Aidan. Adding to the anticipation is that nagging danger of being caught! There are other factors working together to keep our hero and heroine apart, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself. Never tried a romance novel? Go ahead, indulge in a ‘Happily Ever After” ~ your inner romantic will thank you for it!”
“I have so many favorite books from so many favorite authors – Jill Shalvis, Erin McCarthy, Catherine Mann, Macy Beckett… It’d be impossible to name them all. But if I had to pick one favorite read from *recent* books, it’d be Pushing the Limits, a YA (my first!) by Katie McGarry. The characters are young but smart, wounded but caring, and the entire book touched me deeply, making me sigh and smile, leaving me more convinced than ever of the power of love. If I go back in time a little, well, I can’t think “romantic” without naming Honor’s Splendor, by Julie Garwood. That book, along with Lion’s Lady and The Bride epitomize the very best of romance, of strong heroines and protective heroes and love that conquers all. The stories are like old friends and I still pull them out to reread when I want to lose myself in a really good book.”
“I have hundreds of romance novels on my keeper shelves so it is always hard to pick out favorites. But some that I consider to be classics would include Coming Up Roses by Catherine Anderson about a woman dealing with the scars left from her dead husband’s cruelty and the rancher next door who saves her daughter even while risking his own life. When Lightning Strikes by Kristin Hannah is about a writer who gets “kidnapped” by a character in her own book. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a wonderful contemporary romance in her Chicago Stars series. Jayne Castle’s paranormal After Dark starts her Harmony series with the unforgettable dust bunny characters as well as steamy romance between the hero and heroine. I would also add that I love Jayne Ann Krentz’s romantic suspense novels and Suzanne Brockmann’s military romance Frisco’s Kid. Because the romance genre is so large and so diverse it was impossible for me to name just one…and even now I can think of many more but I’ll stop myself before the list gets even longer.”
“I randomly discovered author Harper Fox on a book blog, where the reader was going on about Fox’s Life After Joe. I’d never read gay romance before, though I loved books with romantic gay subplots (J.R. Ward, Ann Aguirre, and Suzanne Brockmann, to name a few). Intrigued, I bought Life After Joe and instantly fell into deep, deep love with Fox’s gorgeous prose and the terrible struggles she puts her men through before they come together forever. For me, it’s not (totally) about the sex, but about the intensely emotional situations she crafts around her couples. I know that when I read Fox, my heart will break a million times as I fall in love with not one, but two, men. I will crave their first kiss and first declaration of love, then probably shed a tear or two when the obstacles rise up, and then I get to witness them being blessed by what we all desire so much: a love that lasts.”
“Historical romances are my favorite escape, but when I looked at my bookshelves, I couldn’t pick just one, or even just one author! They sit like glittering gems, reminding me of what fun I had reading stories by Mary Jo Putney, Sabrina Jeffries, Cathy Maxwell, Madeline Hunter, Elizabeth Hoyt, Tessa Dare, and Julie Anne Long. Submerging myself in another era, one filled with elegance and secret passions, is pure luxury, especially on Valentine’s Day!
What are your favorite romantic reads? Let us know in the comments!