So in honour of Valentine's day, I'm starting with my five favourite romance novels of all time. Enjoy!
In no particular order:
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Okay, so this pick is a no brainer - who doesn't love Pride and Prejudice???! It's the first line that gets me every time: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." It sets a wonderful tongue in cheek tone and propels you right into the middle of the story. That's all the set up she needs. And it also gives you the theme of the book. That's a helluva first line!! I'm drooling with jealousy over it...
2. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Apart from the terrible casting, I didn't think the movie was that bad. Never mind that, we're talking about the book. No one, and I mean no one, does comedic timing like Janet Evanovich. If you want to write comedy study this book. She's a master at propelling you in one direction and then, with a short sentence, bringing you up short where you least expected to go. That's skill.
3. Dream a little dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
This book has it all - humour, heartbreaking emotion, great characters, entertaining plot and fab dialogue. The heroine is so well rounded that you feel you know her by page two. How many other writers can pull that off?!
4. A hunger like no other by Kresley Cole
Love, love, love this book. It's so well written that I almost pass out with envy every time I read it! The characters are unusual and have depth - I mean who wouldn't want a man who rips off his own leg to get to you?! (Okay, I'll admit, that sounds disgusting, but the hero is a werewolf so we'll let him off this time...) The humour is fab too. I love the dialogue and the secondary characters. If you haven't read it, you really should!
5. Lucky's Lady by Tami Hoag and French Silk by Sandra Brown (couldn't decide between them, so I'm putting them both in!)
These books have two things in common - amazingly drawn setting that's so atmospheric it sucks you into it and you feel you're right there with the characters. And great plotting - the kind that leaves your head spinning. Lucky's Lady was Tami Hoag's breakout novel and you can see where she's still learning the ropes. But it's all there - fab atmosphere, great characters and good plotting. You can totally see that she's finding her way forward as a crime writer, while still focusing on romance. A great book.
Sandra Brown's French Silk is set in the same region as Lucky's Lady - the luscious New Orleans - and again uses the setting to layer atmosphere and depth throughout the story. A fabulously rich read that's halfway between romance and crime. I love it!
So there you go - five (six!) favourite novels that I reread. They say that the sign of a great book is the fact you go back to it. I guess that makes these great books (in my humble opinion!)
So have a great Valentine's day and remember:
see you next week for more Friday favourites.