Best Romance Books
My Favorite Romance Books
Every year publications put out a "best of" list for movies or books, generally for the previous year. I'd really like to see those same reputable publications put together a "Must Read" list of books by genre, based on reader reviews and comments, not just those of a paid critic. Wouldn't that be valuable to people like us who love to read specific types of books?
So, romance book lovers, I'm here to help.
Here are the books that make my list of personal, "Must Read" best romance novels. These are the books that I have read and loved so much that I have read them over and over again.
Because I love recapturing the journey. I love revisiting the interplay between the two characters that has the perfect balance of tension and uncertainty. And I love reliving that moment, that wonderfully special moment when two people come to understand (sometimes not at the same time) that they love each other. If you've ever read good romance, just one good romance book, you know exactly what I mean.
That's why I created this hub. To share the books that no matter the year or even the century, keep a spark of magic that comes alive the moment you open them and turn to page one.
Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
It would be impossible not include Pride and Prejudice on my Must Read list of Best Romance Books. It is the classic and the one that so many other romance books are really based on, whether they want to admit it or not. Take a look at its initial sentence; you can't help but envision the book upon reading it:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
The story is timeless, of a mother trying to marry off her daughters to a couple of eligible bachelors, and the misunderstandings and amusing characteristics that come with the schemes. Who can forget the scenes between the shy and demure Jane and the pure-of-heart Mr. Bingley? There's Jane, who wants to follow her heart and openly show her love for Mr. Bingley, but can't because of social convention. And Mr. Bingley, who desperately loves Jane but holds back from declaring his feelings because he misinterprets her seeming lack of interest, and his best friend and sister insist that her actions are that of a woman who harbors no romantic feelings for him.
And then there's the wonderfully romantic clash-of-wills relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. If you've never read the book I promise you that one of your favorite scenes will be the first time Elizabeth visits Darcy's Pemberley estate with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners. Thinking Darcy is away and not expected to return for a while, they tour the beautiful estate. While there, Elizabeth is surprised to hear how fondly the housekeeper speaks of Darcy. Much to her surprise, Darcy returns unexpectedly:
"They were within twenty yards of each other, and so abrupt was his appearance, that it was impossible to avoid his sight. Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of each were overspread with the deepest blush."
Darcy, to Elizabeth's astonishment, is the epitome of the gracious and kind host. He invites her uncle to come back to fish in his pond and asks Elizabeth if he could introduce her to his sister:
"Elizabeth was not comfortable; that was impossible; but she was flattered and pleased. His wish of introducing his sister to her was a compliment of the highest kind."
As the scene continues, Elizabeth slowly realizes that Darcy may not be the cold, proud person she thought he was; perhaps there's more character in him than one sees upon first appearance.
Jane Austen references this important scene in the last 2 sentences of the book
"With the Gardiners, they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them."
The book builds upon this seed of doubt in the most wonderful way and seeing the gradual warming of Elizabeth's heart is one of the reasons I love this book.
Austen was masterful at bringing us into her world which is probably why the book has been the basis for several movies, mini-series, and spin-off books, the most popular being the Colin Firth BBC production, the Bridget Jones films, the time travel novels, and the Pride and Prejudice sci-fi mashups.
I have re-read this book at different times in my life and it stays true to my memory of a satisfying and thrilling romantic read.
And that is the magic of Jane Austen.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
This book is a fantasy romance that takes place when men wore doublets and carried swords. In this world, a few special individuals are born with eyes of a different color, which marks them as being "Graced."
Each individual's Grace is different, for example, Katsa, the female protagonist, has a Grace that makes her a talented fighter, and also nearly invincible. It also makes her a pawn in the king's tyrannical reign of terror; she serves as his enforcer who tortures and sometimes kills his enemies, or anyone he chooses. Katsa doesn't like it and is secretly working behind the scenes against him.
While on one of these subversive missions she meets and fights a man named Po, but to her irritation, is unable to beat him. That's because he's also Graced, but with different skills. They eventually meet again and it's then that Kasta's life changes forever. Over the course of their conversations and travels together Po reveals secrets about what it really means to be Graced, and it's not all good.
The romance between Katsa and Po is a slow burn that gradually creeps up on each character as the story unfolds. Katsa is tough, sharp tongued, rough around the edges, and accustomed to fending for herself; after all, she's a killer. Po has a Grace that greatly tips the odds of survival to his advantage. He's more knowledgeable about their uniqueness, and understands how easily the Graced can become victim to the emotions that accompany their gifts. The tension between them is wonderful to experience.
But the romance and their relationship becomes something much deeper and richer than that. It involves tough, selfless decisions and the sacrifice of things we hold most dear. All of this is done humbly and sincerely in the name of, and as a testament to, Love.
I was truly sad when this book ended and thought about Katsa and Po for many days after. You should know that this is an indication of whether I've read a great book. When I truly care about the well being of the characters, when I'm emotionally invested in their fate, and when I start dreaming of alternate or additional storylines for them, I know the book has its hooks in me good and that I've come upon a story that I won't soon forget.
Such is the case with Graceling.
Summer Romance for Any Season
Although for many the summer is the season for reading romances, I love it when I find a summer story that works in any season. It's even better when the book is by an author I really enjoy. That is why I was so pleased to read Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery.
We get to know our two heroines, Michelle and Carly, and the trials and tribulations they go through as friends. Best friends as kids, that relationship is torn apart when Michelle’s dad runs off with Carly’s mother. Then, just as they were getting their friendship back on track, they fall in love with the same man! Unfortunately, he doesn’t sound like the best of all possible guys, since he proposes to one and fools around with the other. But seriously, what would you do if you and your best friend fell in love with the same man, and he proposed to her and not you? Even tougher, what would you do if he then came to you and said he felt he had made a mistake and it was you that he really loved?
It was amazing reading this part of the story but surprisingly, that's just the setup – the real story happens years later. Ten years have passed, ten years of one friend hiding her guilt in the army, only to return to the island when her mother dies and leaves her the family inn to take care of. An inn that houses her best friend and the baby she had with the man they both loved. How they find peace together is the real story of a romance and the consequences that evolve for two best friends at a place called Blackberry Island.
What I found particularly charming about the book is that she based two of the characters, a dog and a cat, on suggestions made by her readers. She asked her readers to name the dog she was planning to put in the story and got a wonderful picture of a dog and cat curled up together. They were so perfect she put them both in the book! You can see that picture here too, along with the book. They are just so great together; it's almost like an extra gift in the book.
Susan Mallery is one of those writers whose books feel like they are populated with people you already know. You are going to feel like these two gals are people you met somewhere before, and just forgot about until now. It's one of her endearing qualities as a writer and one that keeps me coming back for more every time.
---- Great Mystery Romance ----
And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
This romance book, which begins in Victorian England, starts with a most unusual love story. It occurs between a wife and her dead husband. Let me explain.
Lady Emily's husband died while away on safari shortly after their wedding. Emily, upon hearing of his death, didn't behave like a normal wife in mourning. You see, she married him in order to get away from her overbearing mother and therefore, barely knew the man.
Until now, almost two years later.
Emily has been reading her late husband Phillip's journals and has discovered that he was deeply in love with her. He truly adored the woman. Conversations with his best friends confirmed that his feelings for her were sincere. She further learns that he was quite scholarly and was a collector of antique art. These are things that greatly interest Emily because she's not a conventional woman, she's very forward thinking and outspoken for her time. As she discovers more about her husband she comes to admire and care for him through his writings.
But all is not what it seems. She uncovers secrets that indicate that some of the art pieces that her husband collected and donated were forgeries, and that her husband and one of his two best friends were well aware of the scheme. To complicate things, both friends have shown a romantic interest in her. Determined to uncover the truth about her deceased husband she begins retracing his steps by traveling to other countries to learn more. Along the way she develops a friendship with one of her husband's friends, but can he be trusted?
And Only to Deceive is the first book in the best selling Lady Emily mystery romance series by Tasha Alexander. The romance between Lady Emily and the male interest gradually builds in each book. I can tell you that the two are perfectly matched in intelligence and temperament, but the relationship most definitely has it's share of challenges, each realistically written by Alexander. The evolving romance, like that of the mystery, has superb pacing that kept my interest level high from start to beginning.
Romance Review: Lady Dearing's Masquerade by Elena Greene
Sometimes we all just want a great little romance to get lost in for the afteroon. Something that will tells us that all our little problems are nothing and we can just lose outselves in another place where feellings run high and men come to the rescue in the end. This is one of those stories. Set up in an improbable situation, you love it all the more because of how unikely it can all be. So escape from your life of cellphones and freeway rage, and come with us to a time and place where seduction can be dangerous, but never something to be avoided. Here is a little bit of a peek at the story, according to the lovely folks at amazon.com:
Finally free after a desperately unhappy marriage, widowed Lady Dearing goes to a masquerade. She thinks it’s just a lark, but matters turn serious when she kisses a costumed stranger who protected her from a drunken lout. Word leaks out, scandal escalates and she becomes the ton’s most infamous widow. Shunned by society, she retreats to her country estate. Having no children of her own, she finds joy in caring for children she’s taken in from London’s Foundling Hospital. But every night, she is haunted by the memory of the gallant stranger, whose seductive voice and gentle touch awakened desires she’d thought long dead.
Two years later, Sir Jeremy Fairhill still hungers for the lady from the masquerade. She felt like his match, more than his saintly deceased wife, more than any of the respectable ladies his friends urge him to marry. Failing to find her, he throws his energies into the cause of the Foundling Hospital, where he serves on the Board of Governors. Hearing that a notorious woman has some of the foundlings in her charge, he is impelled to investigate. He has no idea that she is the lady he seeks, but soon his sense of honor is at odds with his dangerous passion for the elusive, alluring Lady Dearing.
Review: A Secret Affair by Mary Balogh
‘A Secret Affair’ is the fifth book of the Huxtable Family Saga series of romance novels from author Mary Balogh. And in this novel she elegantly brings the series to a gratifying end. The protagonist of the novel – Constantine Huxtable – is the second cousin of the central characters we saw in the first four books of the series.
If you have never read any novels by Balogh, I would definitely suggest this series to start with. For once you start with her style of novels, you’ll surely be hooked! But of course start with the first book in the series. Just like any other concluding novel in a series, this one’s also full of characters and references to the previous books. I’m sure you’ll still enjoy the main plotline but you’ll be able to enjoy it better if you understood the surrounding storylines and context as well.
Here is a brief synopsis of the book:
“One year after her husband’s death, Hannah Reid, Duchess of Dunbarton, decides it’s time to take a lover. Of course, being Hannah, she has already chosen her paramour: tall, dark, and sinfully sexy Constantine Huxtable. Hannah may have already decided they were meant to be together, but Con is a man used to making up his own mind. At first Con is amused by Hannah’s blatant campaign of seduction. Then he becomes intrigued by the enigmatic beauty. Finally, because he always takes a lover during London’s social season, he begins to ask himself why shouldn’t it be Hannah?
Although Hannah and Con might have agreed to become lovers, neither one expected to fall in love, which, of course, greatly complicates their secret affair. The exquisitely crafted chemistry that develops between Hannah and Con is pure passion deftly leavened with tart wit, which ensures that A Secret Affair, the concluding volume in Balogh’s Regency historical Huxtable series, is a sweetly romantic, deliciously sexy triumph.”
This novel more than proves why Balogh remains one of the favorite historical romance authors of many like me. Unlike other historical romance characters Balogh’s characters don’t think and act like present-day characters unusually stuck in 19th century England. As you follow the lives of Hannah and Con in ‘A Secret Affair’ you begin to see what it must’ve really been like to live in that era. Each character seems strongly rooted to their time and day revealing to us the complexities of that early society through their lives. This one is everything a romance novel should be. Thumbs up!
Book Review: Sealed with a Ring
Sealed with a Ring is the third book in the ‘Sealed’ series of romance books from author Margaret Daughtridge. Yes, the books has the same old formula seen in love stories but the sheer skill with which Margaret has described the worlds and passions of the protagonists will make you go on reading!
The book sure has a lot of references to characters in the previous books of the series, but you don’t have to read them in order to understand this love story.
JJ and David meet at a wedding. David is a handsome SEAL and has never quite come across a woman he couldn’t have. He is a medic in the group which explains his elevated sense of responsibility and desire to help others but his opinion of women is quite low. JJ’s captivating beauty and style catches his eye at the reception and he knows the very moment he sees her that he has to hook up with her.
JJ on the other hand, has had a rough day! Her beloved pet died that day and to top it all, her grandfather – who she lives with since her parents died in a boating accident – had given her an ultimatum to be married within the year. She is furious that her grandfather had threatened to sell the car dealership that she has put her heart and soul into.
The two of them literally run into each other and there is an instant chemistry. One thing leads to another and JJ ends up spending the night with David. She realizes it’s a mistake and tries to sneak away in the middle of the night but David wakes up. There is a confrontation and JJ threatens David with her stiletto! And of course, although he can easily overpower her, he lets her go.
That night brings on a great big revelation for David. He realizes he doesn’t even know JJ’s name and it dawns that most of his relationship with women have been that way. He tries to find her but in vain. The call of duty awaits and David is forced to leave without as much as a goodbye.
In Afghanistan, David is seriously injured and airlifted to Germany where he is left with the residue of a severe brain injury. He suffers from chronic headaches and has large gaps in memory and trouble with numbers. He can’t quite remember what happened with JJ but he often sees her in his dreams.
David attends another of his friends’ weddings and guess who shows up? Yes, JJ. If you’re looking for a light romance, then this is the book for you! The book’s pace will certainly keep you gripped from beginning to end.
A Review: Starlight and Promises by Cat Lindler
Starlight and Promises by Cat Lindler is a refreshing romance novel with all the complexities and facets of human relationships. Both central characters are strong and tough in their own way. You can imagine the drama then!
Perhaps the best part (or at least for me) are all the exotic expeditions and travels in locations I can only dream of being in! I really enjoyed those tasteful descriptions of their adventures. Another refreshing part of the novel is that the romance between our hero and heroin does not develop in a matter of days which is the norm in most romance novels. Here the two central characters grow fond of each other over a period of one year.
Samantha’s uncle, Richard Colchester, discovers a Saber tooth tiger (Smilodon) during one of his journeys in Tasmania. He sends a letter to Samantha (who is in Britain) asking her to get geared up for an expedition. However right after he sends the letter he is kidnapped by a bunch of pirates!
Samantha is not a regular “lady.” She is a herpetologist (a branch of Zoology concerned with the study of Amphibians and Reptiles) and as expected she loves all those creepy crawly things that would normally scare a lady. She has pets like snakes, lizards and iguanas. Lindler describes her as someone who can be reckless, stubborn and bratty but she can also be resolute and high-spirited. Every person in England capable of leading the expedition is unavailable and just when she is ready to give up she has the idea to ask Christian Badia, the American feline biologist.
Christian on the other hand, is a self-exiled aristocratic Lord whose work in the scientific community has gained him quite a reputation. He is used to getting a zillion petitions to lead game hunts till he decided to retire early. He is confident to the point of being arrogant that is almost animal like!
Well, it turns out the two of them end up going on this expedition together. It takes almost a year for them to get to Tasmania where the expedition is to commence and on the way they get to see each other’s fine sides and imperfections. There is no shortage of fights or misunderstandings. And strangely, the more infuriated they are with each other the close they draw to one another. There comes a point when Christian has to choose between locking up Samantha and marrying her – he chooses to marry her and boy does he pay the price for that! In the end though, it’s all worth it… The novel is full of crazy situations and well paced action and you will surely enjoy every aspect it.
Miss Foster’s Folly by Alice Gaines
Miss Foster’s Folly from writer Alice Gaines seems to be the other extreme of Romance novels today. Most novels explore the overwhelming chemistry between the main couple and find themselves having to put a leash on their sexual instincts for various reasons. Here though, our heroine is free to explore her sexual appetite! If you enjoy spicy sex scenes, I’m sure you would find this book a perfect source for it.
Juliet Foster’s sudden magnetism – her inheritance from her father – draws more men than she can count. Although she had to share her deceased father’s wealth with her brother and sister (with the brother getting the businesses and the sister the real estate) she is still left with plenty. She is no longer just another American spinster but a very desirable heiress! With men throwing themselves at her from every corner (in an effort to gain control of her assets) she decides to make hay while the sun shines!
She is determined to avoid being trapped into marriage and decides to explore love in various countries – a perfect setting for an insatiable romance novel addict. She plans to go to Britain first, find a settled man with whom she can lose her virginity, then move to France where she can become a more refined lover, stop off at Spain for a little passion and then she can end with perfect Italian lovers!
David Winslow the Marquess of Derrington, is the unfortunate bearer of the Winslow curse which apparently skips generations. If he is to be truly successful and happy he will have to find a bride that is wilder than he is and tame her! (Conveniently suited for our heroine don’t you think?!) For in taming her wild spirit he will learn to tame his own desires. His dying grandmother wishes him to settle down soon and that brings him to America in this wild Bride hunt.
David’s mission is to find that perfect woman who will meet all of his grandmother’s prerequisites and also not care his wealth or title. His encounter with Juliet – in which she asks him to be her first lover – convinces him that she is his perfect match. (Wild? Check, sexual deviant? Check, weird? Check!)
Here on it’s a cat and mouse chase. Juliet with her fear of commitment is always running away and David has to keep on chasing her (that’s his curse!) The novel is filled with steaming hot sex – degenerate but o so delectable!
The Redhead Revealed
The Redhead Revealed by Alice Clayton
The Redhead Revealed is the second book in the Redhead series by Alice Clayton. The series about a highly fitting couple Grace and Jack. Grace is almost a decade (9 years) younger than Jack, but it worked for them thus far. They are happy; they are funny, spirited and crude – and everybody’s favorite!
Jack is a successful movie maker and Grace a talented theatre persona. Their careers are just about taking off, but not everything works out perfectly. Grace gets the chance to play a wonderful character in a musical, which means she needs to move to the big city – New York. Jack on the other hand is preparing for his big movie premiere, which means he has to stay in LA. With the couple on opposite coasts, the story of their emotional turmoil begins.
Grace finally sees the other side to Michael her ex-boyfriend and writer of the musical she’s playing a part in. Now that Grace is forced to work with Michael they find a way to put the past behind them and in due course they realize the misunderstanding that drove them apart in the first place. Michael and Grace are friends again and New York – with Michael by her side – doesn’t seem so bad after all! In fact, she begins to see why she was with him to begin with – he is funny, cute and really nice! They are so good for each other that even Jack notices their chemistry on one of his visits.
Jack is as busy as ever, traveling around the world in an effort to promote his new movie – Time. The paparazzi are on his tail 24 hours a day and the pressures of his career coupled with managing his long distance relationship with Grace are mounting. Their fun filled sex life and the love they share is not doing it for them this time! With Grace spending more and more time with Michael, Jack starts to get jealous.
Grace is an emotional wreck this time around and is always seen questioning her relationship with Jack. To top it all, rumors about Jack and his ex-girlfriend hit the limelight and Grace begins to wonder if there is any truth in it. These real-life misunderstandings, the distance, and their demanding careers finally succeed at driving a wedge between them. Will they make it this time around?
Alice Clayton has done a fantastic job at recreating real life in The Redhead Revealed. The emotions and the misunderstandings are something we can all identify with, and that’s what makes this book so very gripping.
The Perfect Love Song
'The Perfect Love Song'
The Perfect Love Song, author Patti Callahan Henry’s latest romance novel, is a touching holiday saga tracing the life of Jimmy Sullivan (the protagonist.)
Jimmy Sullivan is a lost soul of sorts. His home is the road and his only friends the band (The Unknown Souls). Music is his life and passion and he thinks that anything beside that is a mere waste. As expected, Jimmy is a real rock star waiting for a break and he doesn’t believe in family or love.
Jack and Jimmy are brothers who play for the band The Unknown Souls. Kara, their childhood neighbor, is Jack’s girlfriend. Tired from another show, Jimmy is convinced into staying for a family reunion in Kara’s family home which he normally would have evaded. Charlotte Carrington, a common childhood friend and now best friend of Kara, is also present at the get together. Unexpectedly Jimmy falls in love with Charlotte and love, as it always does, inspires Jimmy to write “the perfect love song”.
The song becomes an instant hit and Jimmy is suddenly finds himself amidst this new found fame and fortune. Jimmy is soon caught up with the world of money making and popularity – after all music was his first love. Like most that pursued living over life or love, Jimmy ends up making a few bad choices that eventually leads him to the crossroads of his life. At the sore end of a loveless, meaningless pursuit of material nothings, Jimmy comes to his senses. He must now choose between love and a life of toil and dreams.
On one fine Christmas Eve, will Jimmy choose his faltering love life or would he rather stage one of his biggest shows of his career?
The author of this compelling holiday tale Patti Callahan Henry is America’s own writer. Patti, a professional clinical nurse specialist, did not debut into the exciting world of fictional writing till the birth of her first child. She is also the author of several other invigorating novels such as Losing the Moon, Where the River Runs, When Light Breaks, etc. and is one of New York Times’ Bestselling authors. Patti learned very early in life (being a minister’s daughter) the power of good story telling. She often found comfort in books and stories as a youngster which led to grand inspirations in later life. Today, she lives on the banks of the River Chattahoochee (outside Atlanta) with her husband and three children.
Rescue Me by Christy Reece
Debut romance author Christy Reece’s Rescue Me is the first in the ‘Last Chance Series’. With this romance book she has secured her spot in the suspenseful romance genre.
Eden St. Claire has been working for an organization called Last Chance Rescue (LCR), which locates and rescues abducted individuals. She's been working for them for 7 years under this assumed name.
Eden's story links her personally to this organization. Several years prior she met someone at a Washington, D.C. society party which resulted in a one-night stand. After making love the man in question became extremely angry at Eden which prompted her to flee from his home into the night, alone and frightened. Eden was abducted that very night.
It's because of LCR that she's now alive. As such she's decided to devote her life to helping save other abductees. Eden's real name is Devon but she put both her legal name and her past behind her. Eden hides her emotions and vulnerabilities under a mask of secrecy, rescuing kidnapped children and women around the world.
Jordan joins LCR and hopes to locate a woman named Devon, who appeared to vanish into thin air 7 years ago. Jordan is soon attracted to the mysterious Eden, not knowing that she's in fact the woman from the past that he's looking for. They begin working on a case together that involves kidnapping and sexual slavery.
Jordan eventually discovers Eden's true identity. He's understandably angry at her betrayal but unfortunately, by then he's fallen in love with her. Jordan is a very likeable hero and Reece does a good job exploring his conflicting emotions about Eden. Character portrayal is strong in this book.
Reece does a fine job combining romance, mystery and suspense into a story that will keep the reader interested until the very end.
What a Scoundrel Wants
What a Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty
Carrie Lofty’s debut is an adventurous addition to the legend of Robin Hood. The leading hero instantly reaches out to the reader’s hearts as only a bad boy can and this is one of the best adventure romance I have ever read. An eclectic mix of adventure, emotions and romance, the book is an absolute delight to read.
Will Scarlet wasn’t sure why was he in the forest with the sheriff of Nottingham and he definitely didn't feel good about the upcoming battle. He leaps in to help when he hears a woman’s distress call but she then turns on him! Another dilemma in Will’s life is facing his uncle, Robin Hood – the Earl of Loxley; he was entrusted with the Earl’s wife and children’s safe custody while the Earl was away and Will had deserted them.
Meg of Keyworth is looking for revenge and when she is with the man who arrested her sister for selling counterfeit jewels she hopes he roasts in hell. However, from the moment they meet Will stirs something deep inside Meg – a love and a wanting that only he can help quench.
Meg has been trained as an alchemist by her father and loves making potions and jewels. An illness left her blind since childhood and she has been living in seclusion, developing other senses. She is a loving and lovely character and bedding her is sensual bliss for Will due to her amazing sensory perceptions. Will wants to cherish her forever . . .
Meg’s character is fresh and complex, prickly and fascinating – quite a shift from the heroines usually portrayed in this genre. The lovemaking is heart breaking and sensual at the same time! The book showcases medieval England in all its dirt and glory. These are people with complexities, feelings, relationships and motivations.
The book shows that Lofty has done her research and combined with her vivid imagination, the book is a great success. In the backdrop of shifting loyalties, the author manages to bring together intrigue, suspense and action along with just the right amount of passion and romance in one of the most amazing adventure romance story written in years! It is hard not to love the characters and their heartfelt life’s journey.
Tangled Up In Love
Tangled Up In Love by Heidi Betts
A complete laugh riot, Heidi Betts’ Tangled up in Love is chock full of humor. It is a battle of the sexes which is sure to remind you of the Tracy vs. Hepburn classic movies. The funniest moments of the book are when the battle ensues - once the main characters get to know each other well the relationship turns sensual and romantic.
Ronnie and Dylan burn the pages with their sexy banter, sizzling and steaming each page. This book will keep you up all night anxiously anticipating the story's end. A thoroughly enjoyable comic romance, this book is a must read for anyone looking for a story combining humor and passion.
Dylan Stone beat Ronnie Chasen out of a job at the Cleveland Herald which eventually led to Ronnie taking a job at the rival Cleveland Sentinel. Ronnie and Dylan are extremely competitive with one another. In fact they regularly challenge one another to do crazy things, like Dylan getting his legs waxed to Ronnie getting a tattoo. Throughout the book, they constantly taunt, challenge and insult each other in a bid for one-upmanship. But because they run in the same circles they frequently run into each other after hours.
While this challenge continues, we learn that Dylan is secretly fascinated by Ronnie but refuses to be taken in by her charms and her sexy and funny nature. We see more of this after Ronnie challenges Dylan to learn to knit and she reluctantly ends up joining his knitting group. Dylan offers Ronnie private knitting lessons and she agrees.
Dylan’s sweet and kind side starts to show and he learns how much Ronnie is afraid of losing her job and returning to her former impoverished lifestyle. He offers her comfort and advice and soon enough the hate turns to lust. This puts Ronnie in a difficult position – she can't possibly tell her friends about her change of heart for somebody she hated so publicly.
For a romance book the story occasionally deals with complex emotions and issues. We learn that behind her sophistication, professional demeanor and a great fashion sense Ronnie is actually a very fearful and self-doubting person. We also discover that Dylan is a man accustomed to getting his way – he's an uber male that doesn't like being challenged. So it takes a while to accept challenges from someone like Ronnie.
So when Ronnie and Dylan finally connect, the intimacy between them is extremely steamy and sexy. If you're looking for hot, funny, and totally engrossing romance books you won't go wrong with Tangled Up in Love.
Burning Alive by Shannon K Butcher
Burning Alive is the first in a new paranormal romance book series by Shannon K. Butcher. The book introduces us to the Theronai, their enemies and allies. The book has wonderful characters set in the backdrop of a paranormal romance and are bound to keep you engaged as the story slowly unfolds. It is a very well written introduction to a new romance book series and will definitely keep readers waiting for the next installment.
Helen Day spends her time delivering meals to the elderly and one day while in a diner she sees a man that looks strangely familiar. It's the man of her dreams! Literally. You see Helen has been experiencing strange dreams in which a man smiles while he watches her burn to death. The man she sees in the diner is the very same man in her dreams.
His name is Drake and he's a Theronai warrior. The Theronai are an ancient race: guardians of mankind who are dedicated to saving the human race from the evil Synestryn creatures. Theronai warriors get their power from the environment around them. However, if they don't have a way to offload their power they're in constant pain. Fortunately for Drake, hearing Helen's voice lessens his pain and touching her totally removes his pain. Meeting Helen gives Drake the hope that he might have a chance defending the future of mankind.
Unbeknownst to either Helen or Drake, their combined forces have the power to turn the balance of the war between the Theronai's and the Synestryn's to their favor.
Okay, I'm sure you're wondering about the sex – I mean after all, this is a romance book right? Well rest assured, the sex scenes in the book are steamy and well written. And they work, primarily primarily because Shannon Butcher does such a great job developing the relationship between Drake and Helen. We learn that Drake is a proud man who stuggles with accepting Helen's help. As for Helen, she's still reeling from being introduced to Drake's world of the supernatural. She's understandably scared to death about the life threatening situations they have to deal with but she's also thrilled that she's found her true soul mate.
If you are a fan of paranormal romance or fantasy romance books, you should definitely read this book. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
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