Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Need a Little Romance

Sometime back around 1975, when I was married to my first husband and the marriage was starting to fall apart, I discovered Rosemary Rogers. Sweet Savage Love. OMG!


I remember I was taking a few college classes and I found the book in the college bookstore one day when I was wandering around, killing time between classes. Over the next couple days, I could barely put the book down! That was the first time I ever read anything like it! And I wasn't alone. Here's what Wikipedia has to say: "Rogers is considered to be one of the founders of the modern historical romance, and many of today's writers cite her writing as one of their biggest influences."

Over the next few years, I devoured books by Rogers and several other writers of historical romance. Then there came a time when I lost interest. All the romance writers, it seemed, were starting to sound like all the other romance writers. Until Diana Gabaldon came along.

I don't remember how it happened, but somewhere, somehow, I got my hands on Outlander. OMG!


For years I've spent a whole lot of time looking forward to Gabaldon's next installment in the Outlander series. I think Gabaldon ruined me. After reading her books, nothing else was anywhere near as good. I'm still waiting for more.

In the meantime, I found Sara Donati and her Wilderness series. According to some of the material I've read, Gabaldon is Donati's mentor, and a few of their characters have made an appearance in the other author's books. The first book of the series is Into the Wilderness. OMG!


If I can't have Gabaldon, then I want Donati's Wilderness books--and I'm waiting for another one of those too. Donati has recently written more modern romances under her real name, Rosina Lippi. I tried one; not quite as wonderful as the historical romances.

Nora Roberts? Well, I've enjoyed a few of her trilogies quite a lot and one or two of her single books, but some of them have felt like a waste of time. Too predictable, or not enough character development, or nothing to hold my interest. So, for my tastes, Nora Roberts is a crap shoot.

Most of the time, I read mysteries. But every now and then, I feel I need something different. Over the years, I've read a fair number of romances, and most of them disappointed me. I know many of you enjoy reading as much as I do. So here's my question to you: Can any of you recommend a really good romance? A thinking-woman's romance? 'Cause Friday night's coming, and based on your comments from last weekend's post, I think we could all use a little romance in our lives!

22 comments:

May Kristin said...

I don't know any of the writers you've named here, except Nora Roberts. But I wonder if you have read anything by Jane Austen? She has a lot of good reads. There's another writer named Philippa Gregory, she writes historical romances/fictions from England, about The Boleyn Sisters, and many more. I haven't read her books, but my sister loves them. Good in your search for a good read!

Karrin Hurd said...

How about Lynn Kurland. She has a bunch of Highlander,time-travel type books. I love them. I had some, and recently discovered more at the used book store I hadn't read before. How about Teresa Medeiros. How about Knight in Shining Armour by Jude Devereaux. I have read that one about 15 times.

Louise SS said...

I just love Diana Gabaldon... I bought the first book for myself as a Christmas present one year (to make sure I would at least get one book that Christmas!!)Got my unexpected! package on Christmas Eve and read it on Christmas Day, yes, all of it! Then I turned the last page and it said: here is the first chapter in the next book... Wonderful... Stores are closed here in Sweden during Christmas...As soon as the shops opened up again on the 27 I was at the book store and bought the next book. Only to have the same thing happen again... here is the first chapter in the next book!!! I have been devaouring that series. Great books.

Melzie said...

I just discovered Lynn Kurland also, that book I read oh what was it (looking all over my messy desk) pooh I don't see it but I just bought at Walmart last week. It was so romantic it made me get butterflies several times.

Not for romance but one of the very very very best author I've ever read is Kris Radish, Dancing Naked at the Edge(or break) of Dawn is my #2 fave book. (Anything by Diana G. being my #1 fave) For the epic book like Diana and Sara try the Clan of the Cave Bear books, very very good and addicting and LONG to guarantee many hours of reading fun ;) xoxo melzie

Colene said...

How about Knight in Shining Armour by Jude Devereaux.
I agree with this commenter. This is my all time favorite, and I've read it countless times.

paula, the quilter said...

O. I read all of Rosemary Rogers' books! On the same time frame have you tried Kathleen Woodiwiss? The Flame and the Flower is a good one and The Wolf and the Dove. I reread both of them at times.

CandaceP said...

Kim, I've been lurking on your blog for weeks and weeks - always a delight to read your adventures and I get so inspired by your quilts! These are not romance - rather mystery, which you like, but Laurie King's Mary Russell mysteries are wonderful - her romance with Sherlock Holmes is really a "thinking womans" love! Start with The Beekeepers Apprentice and work your way through. Once you get hooked on these, you will want to read all of Laurie Kings novels! Cheers!

Crazy for Primitive Quilts & Gardens said...

LOL My older sister in her 20's gave me Wicked Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers when I was 16!!!! Okay, I was shocked (and hooked) on historical romances. I did fizzle out too after about 5 years of her and different authors, but every once in awhile, I will find a good one and read it. I liked Danielle Steele too, but her books have become so predictable, so I haven't read her too much lately. (sorry to any of you DS fans... )

Quilt Nut said...

ah Outlander *sigh*

DPUTiger said...

I started reading romances many, many moons ago when I used to go to our local public library until I could get a ride home from school and they had a paperback exchange rack. I got hooked on the Harlequin novels and have never looked back. It's my brain candy!

I have read Outlander (YUM!) and got halfway through the second one before life interfered. I just bought the audiobook through Audible.com and hope to start "reading" it again soon.

They're mystery with a teaspoon of romance, but they're laugh-out-loud funny and super quick reads. Have you tried the Janet Evanovich series? I'd recommend used books or library -- I can read one in about 2 hours. Book 14 just came out. I haven't cracked it yet but probably will this weekend. They're numbered (one for the money, two for the dough, etc.) I recommend reading in order and not having a beverage nearby (spit-take warning) when Grandma Mazur makes her first appearance at the dinner table.

Kristie said...

It is so nice to see another quilt/historical romance book lover!!! I probably have a couple of thousand historical romance novels that I haven't even read yet! I buy historical romance novels just as much as I buy fabric!!! My all time favorite is...Beatrice Small!!!! They tend to be a little erotic sometimes but the story lines are GREAT! I find them very hard to put down!
Kristie

Lauri said...

I love Diana Gabaldon!!!! I just found her last summer and am on my second read of them. Though I did think Fiery Cross drug a bit. Love your blog, it always makes me smile

Lauri
http://dontcallmecrafty.blogspot.com/

Beth said...

When I was young, I couldn't get enough of the Harlequin romances. I used to go to the thrift shop and get them for like 10 cents a piece! Now when I read, it's mostly books from the "modern literature" section at the bookstores.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I've been trying to finish the same book for weeks. I just do not get into reading books. Now give me a quilt magazine and I'm in heaven. LOL!!! I keep trying though. Maybe I need a steamy romance novel????

Lorraine said...

will be having a look at the comments as I enjoy historical romance type books but havent read any in a while....seem to fall asleep as soon as I start reading in bed....! which is the best place to read in winter!

momma said...

OMG what a blast from the past, I READ sweet savage love, and it was back in 1975 when I was married to MY first husband,LOLOLOLOL......what a scream!!!!!!!!

quiltmom said...

Hi Kim,
I really enjoyed Rosemary Rogers and Diana Gabaldon. Right now I am beginning the Philippa Gregory series about Henry V111 wives.
There are some great books out there - I am going to list a few authors that I love and most all their books are good.
I love Catherine Coulter - series includes Amber Beach, Pearl Cove, Ruby Bayou. She also has a mystery series that Dillon Savich is the lead character- They are mystery with romance thrown in.
I really enjoy Jayne Ann Krentz- at least most of her stories. They are a quick read . She also writes a historical version until the name - Amanda Quick. Some other authors to check are: Linda Lael Miller, Linda Howard, Sandra Brown , Barbara Delinsky and Jude Devereaux. Have fun discovering a new author or two.

Su Bee said...

Let's hear it for the good old bodice-rippers! Without them we'd never know what hot wild romance is.....ROFL!

Nancy said...

I just LOVE reading Diana G! Now that you mention it, I think I may have to go back and start reading the series again! Jamie Frazier...mmmmm!

Teresa said...

Wow...lots of great reading suggestions from your commentors. I know I am going to have to get the ones you show on your blog and try out a few other authors. Thanks for this post and to all of you that have left comments - thanks. I can't wait to try some of these out.

Nan said...

Ooh just thinking about Outlander gets me all goose-bumpy! Excellent sexy series! I'm definately going to give the Wilderness books a read, too! I usually read mysteries, but lately I've been all over the place with my reading. So many books, so little time....... Thanks for sharing!

shyre said...

Hello Ms. Kim,

I agree about what you said with Rosemary Rogers' novel.. I had the chance to read it myself and I can't take my eyes of it. My mom sometimes scold me because of that and tells me "you're too young for that kind of stuff", I slept 4 am in the morning because I find every page appetizing.
I hope to read Dark Fires as well..

good day!!!