Thursday, April 23, 2009

Romances/romantic books that knocked me on my ass...

I started reading romance under the covers with a flashlight when I was about twelve years old... My parents were not exactly liberal, and considered all romance trashy, even pornographic, so I got very, very sneaky about it. But you simply can't keep a true romance genre addict away from the books, and I've been reading them for more than 20 years now!

I thought I'd start the day off by telling you about some of those books that I truly loved, books that shaped how I write and think about the genre. The funny thing I've found is that some of them don't really "hold up" to my memories. They aren't necessarily what I'd read now, and when I go back to look at them again some just don't hit me the same way. Others are as great now as they were the first time I saw them ;)

So, I'll show you mine if you show me yours! What books have you loved over the years? What books really caught you and brought you into the genre???

Joanna Wylde's list:

"Flowers from the Storm" by Laura Kinsale
"Shield's Lady" by Jayne Ann Krentz
"After the Night" by Linda Howard (hell, just pick ANY Linda Howard, especially her earlier stuff before she went more mainstream romantic suspense!)
"Dreaming of You" by Lisa Kleypas
"One Summer" by Karen Robards
"Wild Swan" by Celeste de Blasis
"The Duke" by Gaelen Foley
"Dark Prince" by Christine Feehan

Oh, and can any "formative" romance list be complete without "Sweet Savage Love" by Rosemary Rogers??? It's a scary old book on soooooo many levels, but it was the first book I ever read with explicit sex scenes! I babysat for a woman who had a copy on her bookshelf. Damn, I couldn't WAIT for those kids to go to sleep ;)

So, what books touched you as an early reader, for better or worse? I want to hear about them!

9 comments:

Tracy said...

I used to read so many romances when I was younger but a ton of them were Harlequin's and Danielle Steel books. Now I just kind of cringe at Steel - but that's just me. :) I don't think anything really made that much of an impression until I was older.

Katie Reus said...

Yay! Another Linda Howard fan :) I'm more partial to her mainstream stuff, but I love most of the oldies too!! All the Queen's Men by LH was what turned me on to romantic suspense. It was actually how I discovered her, then I went back and read most of her backlist.

Carolyn Jean said...

Oh, great list! Good thing you persisted in reading those books! Though didn't the flashlight make it all the sweeter?

I was the opposite - I remember when I was in high school a friend lent me Sweet Savage Love, and it freaked me out and I didn't read it. I wish I had - it took me years to discover I love romance. What was wrong with me?

Kati said...

Great list! Welcome to DIK, a day late, sorry I missed yesterday's fun.

Formative romance? Oh, there are a ton!

Whitney, My Love, McNaught
The Flame and the Flower, Woodiwiss
A Kingdom of Dreams, McNaught
The Gift, Garwood
Irish Thoroughbred, Roberts
Captive Bride, Lindsey
A Rose in Winter, Woodiwiss

I love, love, love the Old School of romance. I know it doesn't work for a lot of people, but damn it worked for me when I was 12!

Sarah said...

Hey there! I used to do the same thing. I'd pinch the torch off the fridge and sneak it into my room so I could read FAR to late at night. hehe.

I love some of your favorites. I have Flowers, After the Night (and you're so right, just pick any one of hers!) and one of my favorite re reads is One Summer, such a cool book!

Mine would have to be the Rosemary Rogers books and Valerie Sherwood. My 1st romances novels!! And, Shirlee Busbee. All historical strangely enough but other fiction I was into was all ghosty, scary or vampires. Is it any wonder I like paranormals? heh. Cool post!

lisabea said...

I started reading romance under the covers with a flashlight when I was about twelve years oldI could have written that line!

Rosemary Rogers. Ah those were the days! I was addicted to those Fern Michaels lady pirate books and all the Woodiwiss novels. They were so racy!

Kati basically stole my list. ::sticks out tongue::

Aymless said...

I found my mom's stash when I was twelve! Danelle Steele was big then, so Wanderlust was my first romance. Then I went the classic romance route... you know The Thornbirds (nothing ever went well for them), Gone with the Wind and all.

Kytaira said...

I started with mainly Harlequins and Sillhouettes. The first full size books that made and impression on me, I can't even remember the titles. In fact several times I've tried finding the titles on search sites.

One took place during regency times in Japan. The heroine was English by birth but raised by nuns in Japan. Her father married her to a sea captain that was also English.

Another historical took place on the American Mexican boarder. The heroine was in love with the hero but kidnapped, raped and eventually rescued by the hero. In the mean time she started feeling a little ambivilant about the rebel that kidnapped her. Very much an old bodice ripper.

Kate Diamond said...

I used to read the Sunfire Romance Series. They were sweet teen romances from the mid-'80s set in different eras of American history.

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