Once upon a time, in a land far far away there was this young woman reading a lot of romance novels. She was perceived by some of her friends as a complete fool/romantic (according to her understanding these two terms were one and the same, that is, in the eyes of the aforementioned friends). She was always swooning over some male character, Rhett Butler, and Mr. Darcy, to be more specific, but any hot vampire warrior or handsome lord would do. To put is frankly, she always had her head in the clouds. When she could she read until the wee hours of the morning. When she couldn’t she counted down the hours until she would be holding her current read again and forgetting about mundane tasks like homework or household chores. I don’t blame her! Who would choose to do the dishes over reading about Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe?
That was a long time ago, and that young woman is now a bit older and wiser (or so she likes to think). Reading romance novels is a thing of the past, she claims. But every once in a while she looks through them and picks up an old favorite. Rereading them always brings her back to when she was young and wild and free (if you can call reading past your bedtime, wild). These words are written thinking about that young woman, the sixteen-year-old me.
Being November I thought I would collect my all-time favorite romance novels/series as I think winter is the perfect time for reading a love story. The list is a combination of stand-alone novels and series, written at different moments in time, all with the common theme, LOVE. I will number the list but the numbers are figurative, I love them all more or less equally. So here we go!
- Judith McNaught – The Westmoreland Dynasty Saga is a series of five historical romance novels, the last of which will be published in June 2017. I have read the first three: ‘A Kingdom of Dreams’, ‘Whitney, My Love’ and ‘Until You’. Think handsome lords, period dramas, and damsels appearing to be in distress but whom go against the time and can speak their minds and fend for themselves. The stories are well written with amazing characters and a well-rounded Each novel tells the story of a Westmoreland heir. They will make you swoon even if you’re not a big fan of the romance genre. And the characters you fall in love with will pop up in the other books too so you’ll be able to see what happens after ‘happily ever after’.
- Francine Rivers – ‘Redeeming Love’ is also a historical romance novel with Christian themes. This one is a real tearjerker so keep your paper tissues at hand! I remember to this day how deeply moved I was and it is the one I think about rereading most of this whole lot. It is about a woman sold into prostitution as a child who expects nothing but betrayal from men until she meets Michael Hosea.
- Marguerite Duras – ‘The Lover’ is set in prewar Indochina and tells the haunting love story of two outcasts, an impoverished French girl, and an older Chinese businessman. It is a captivating story and it’s only about a 100 pages long. The story is that of love but it’s not a romanticised love, it is raw, carnal and obsessive. In one word, intense.
- Jane Austen – ‘Persuasion’ is a novel most of us know of. A classic! Persuasion is Jane Austen’s last fully completed novel. It is the story of Anne Elliot who fell in love and accepted the marriage proposal of a young but not wealthy naval officer and then was persuaded to break the engagement as it was not viewed appropriately by her family. The story starts seven years after this event. Anne is still unmarried and the captain is now wealthy and as handsome as before, if not more. Need I say more?
- Margaret Mitchell – ‘Gone with the Wind’ is set during the American Civil War and describes the struggles of a young and spoiled daughter of a plantation owner, Scarlett O’Hara. The movie adaptation is well known, starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh. This novel is epic, a must read for everyone! The ending is a bit of a bummer and not at all typical for a romance novel, so I would recommend to pick up ‘Scarlett’ by Alexandra Ripley as it is a continuaton of the story (with a more palatable ending).
- Nicholas Sparks – ‘The Notebook’ needs no introduction. We have all seen the movie and swooned at the sight of Ryan Gosling. Everyone needs to read at least one Nicholas Sparks novel, so why not this one.
- M. Montgomery – ‘Anne of Green Gables’ is the bosom friend everyone should have. I’ve seen the series over and over while growing up and I can never get enough of it. I own the first two novels, Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, and I plan to buy the rest and reread the whole story again. It follows an 11 year old orphan’s life. It is considered to be a children’s novel but it is written for all ages and as you continue reading the story you will see Anne growing up. She is one of the lovelies and funniest fictional characters ever. I simply adore her.
- R. Ward – ‘The Black Dagger Bortherhood’ is a paranormal romance series about a vampire brotherhood protecting their race against the lessers. Each of the books tells the story of one of the brothers. The books are easy to read, the plot decent, the sex scenes hot, and the vampire warriors hotter. What else can a girl expect?
See anything you read or you feel like picking up? I definitely feel like rereading them. They all bring back such nice memories.Follow me: