It’s Valentine’s Day week! Time for romance and true love. To celebrate the festival, here’s my top favourite romances. All these books are old (well, most of them, anyway), and have stood the test of time. Just like true love. And if you want to check out a sample of these wonderful novels then just click on the title; you should be able to read a preview on Amazon.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Okay, so I know this is my book, but as a writer it’s impossible NOT to fall in love with a romantic hero of your own creation. And what’s not to like? Will is kind, dependable, vulnerable, athletic – oh, and a kick-arse fighter!
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
It’s hard not to go past storm-browed Heathcliff, whose good looks and moody personality became the ideal persona of a romantic hero. Personally, I’d find him just a little hard to live with – but who said romance was practical?
“Reader, I married him.” The best ending to a book ever. Plus, the gothic, creepy setting. Plus, there’s Mr Rochester, with his complete absence of a first name, and his mysterious past.
I adore Marian Keyes: like the best romantic novelists she explores both the dark and light aspects of humanity, but always with a veneer of Irish humor. This, to me, is a stand-out exploration of the fantasy culture of LA – how hard people push themselves to appear better than they are. It’s also really funny, especially the description of Mass. It’s not just a church service – it’s a SHOW.
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
This is my favourite Jane Austen. I love Mr Darcy’s flawed personality and the finely observed mannerisms, the ironic, almost sarcastic tone. This novel also makes the heroine powerful; although Lizzie Bennett is poor, she has integrity of character – and through this, Mr Darcy recognises his own shortcomings.
These Old Shades – Georgette Heyer
The story of Justin, Duke of Avon, and Leonie, orphaned urchin, turned mysterious beauty. Set in Paris in the years of Le Roi de Soleil, this story exudes decadence and melodrama. It’s exciting and romantic, full of understated descriptions of the fashions and culture of the time. Highly recommended.
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The clothes! Rhett Butler! Scarlett O’Hara! Their very names mean romance. Yet, this novel is so much more. It’s a tale of a time long gone, of ignorance and greed. It’s the story of a selfish, privileged girl with a total lack of insight – and yet, how can you not enjoy her. She’s flawed, yes, but she is human; she’s a battler, and she’s courageous. And Rhett is pretty hot too 🙂
Romance is always in fashion. 45% of Amazon sales of ebooks are Romance – yet despite that, the genre has a bad rap.
“Oh, it’s just a romance novel,” say the critics, disparagingly. And yet, who doesn’t love a good romance? What is so wrong with a happy ending (or, in the case of Gone with the Wind, happy-ish)?
Romance is much, much more than escape; a great romance is a portrayal of a society, an exploration of character, and at heart, its triumph over adversity.
We all need more romance.
Happy Valentine’s Day!