16 October 2009

In memory of Kathleen Winsor my top 16 romance list

Quote Jessica from Racy Romance Reviews: On October 16, in honor of the birth date of Kathleen Winsor, author of Forever Amber, please consider posting your top 16 romance novels. Thanks to Maili for idea. If the thought of “all time” faves daunts you, just post what strikes you as 16 of your faves on that day — no commitment to keep the list in perpetuity.

I did a bit of pondering and would've added a few other authors on this list too like CL. Wilson, Elizabeth Vaughan and Anne Bishop but the HEA does not occur within one book so I didn't include them. So in honor of Kathleen Winsor and celebrate the romance on my shelves I present you with the list of my top 16:

I did my list alphabetically:

no. 1: Anna Campbell - CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. Anna is one of those authors who keep my fire burning for the historical romance genre.

no. 2: Kresley Cole - DARK NEEDS AT NIGHT'S EDGE. This was a five star read, the romance and passion where intrinsically build up with two multifaceted characters. I would've re-read the book instantly upon closing if I didn't have such a large TBR pile.

no. 3: Jude Deveraux - A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR. The ending of this book is much debated but 'I Believe' and with that, the ending worked for me. Deveraux was a must read in my teen age years. I still have my faves on the shelves.

no. 4: Jennifer Donnelly - THE TEA ROSE. I don't know how we came to talk about this book but Marissa had read it and recommended it to me. I'm so glad she did, one stormy weekend and this book was read from cover to cover, what a powerful romance that turned out to be and much more!

no. 5: Diana Gabaldon - THE OUTLANDER. I was still in my library phase when this book showed up on the new releases table. I took it, I read it and Jamie and Clare will live forever in my heart. What a trip!

no. 6: Julie Garwood - SAVING GRACE. Just like Deveraux, Garwood was one of those authors I devoured in my teenage years and the beautiful, tender and poised romance that swept me away to Scotland has never left my bookshelves.

no. 7: Sherrilyn Kenyon - UNLEASH THE NIGHT. I love the dark-hunters, I really do, but when I want to re-read a Kenyon novel it is either Unleash or Night Play. I love Wren and Marguerite together, tender but still wild and raw too.

no. 8: Elizabeth Lowell - FORBIDDEN. I love the medieval time period and Forbidden even has a dash of Pagan magic in it. I was completely in to Duncan and Amber and the only thing I regret is that Ambers brother never got his own story.

no. 9: Karen Moning - THE IMMORTAL HIGHLANDER. After my Moning week do I still have to explain why she is one of my favorite authors and why this books ranks so high on my romance list? Adam Black, the wicked evil Fae got his own romance with a HEA that screams to one and all; this is how a HEA should be.

no. 10: Nora Roberts - CAROLINA MOON. I discovered NR with Born in Fire/Ice & Shame and from that moment a love was born. I re-read all her books I got from that period but Carolina Moon is one of my all time favorites. Because two childhood friends never got the chance to be more than that and it tugged my heartstrings like no tomorrow.

no. 11: Paullina Simons - THE BRONZE HORSEMAN. After I read Jennifer Donnelly I heard the name Paullina Simons drop in the same sentence very often and i went in search why. With the discovery of The Bronze Horseman I was transported to WOII in Russia to absorb an epic romance.

no. 12: Nicholas Sparks - THE RESCUE. This is also an author I discovered mid-twenties and my sister gave a her copy of THE RESCUE when she emigrated to Ireland. I still thank my lucky stars because it turned out to be a life-like and emotion rich romance. From there I got to read THE NOTEBOOK & THE WEDDING, both equally compelling with that Sparks bittersweet that is hallmark for his writing.

no. 13: Lisa Valdez - PASSION. I remember a roadtrip with Pearl and the conversation about this author and her debut book. I bought, I read, and was blown away. Like Anna Campbell this author delivered a historical romance novel that kept my love burning for this genre.

no. 14: J.R. Ward - DARK LOVER. it was one fall, about two or was it three years back, that I got introduced to a group of warriors. I don't remember it all that well but I do remember is that I instantly fell for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. In little time I devoured the three released novels at that time and knew I had me another keeper. (<- edit self: I didn't want to imply I didn't remember the brothers all that well, because who can forget the introduction scene of their first meeting *thud*, I was referring to the time frame of two of three years!)

no. 15 & 16: Kathleen Woodiwiss - THE WOLF AND THE DOVE & A ROSE IN WINTER. Both novel have resided on my shelves for so long that i went from paperback issue to hardcover. Also an author I devoured in my teenage years and these two novels have been re-read to pieces, romance with a capital R!

Well, this concludes my top 16 list, if you have one up on your blog let me know, I always love to lurk at other peeps lists :)

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  1. Cool I must think about this :)
    Oh I actually have this thing by Woodwiss, she and 3 other authors. I so must read it

  2. Looks like we have similar old skool author tastes, I also have Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux, and an older Nora Roberts on my list too!

    And I am also a "believer" in the HEA of A Knight in Shining Armour, plus Douglass was such a great heroine!

    Here is my top 16: http://lustyreader.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/top-16-romance-novels-in-honor-of-kathleen-winsor/

  3. First let me thank you for including me in your top sixteen! I'm really honored... but the real reason I'm commenting is because of your choice of Forbidden by Elizabeth Lowell. That is one of my all time favorite romances- the whole trilogy is something I reread even now every five years. I wanted to see Eric and Cassandra's (or was is something with an S?- crap can't recall) story (jeez, I hope I got the names right, she was the weaver and he made some comment that she was eldery only to be corrected that her sacred weaves (which played a role in one of the books) were in fact accomplished by a beautiful young woman.) TBH I have long been heartbroken that that thread and potential has been unexplored- now that I'm an author, I can understand how time and circumstances take you in different directions. I think in my romantic heart, though, I'll always wonder what the story would have been like.

    Funny that they resonate after all this time. I read that series like, years and years ago- and still see them through my much younger eyes. What is it about books that we read before adulthood truly gets ahold of us that makes them so resplendent in the memory?

    Probably the distillation of time sweetens the love story- and our recollections of it- in the same way our youths tend to be a far sunnier destination than our presents.

    Sorry to go on so- I apologize! Just in a reflective mood I guess- and it's nice to hear someone feels the same way. Oh, and without being egocentric, yes, this is really me lol

    Long live Elizabeth Lowell's back list- the westerns and the medievals!!

    Best wishes and thanks again, J.R.

  4. Well I can't do better than that lovely post by J.R. Ward, but I love your list of 16!

    I had forgotten a few of these and now desperately want to go back and read them again.

    Thank you!

  5. hey Hon...

    A few of those are some of my early forage into romance reading...

    Johanna Lynsay and LaVryle Spencer would be added to those on my list...

    Love the post...


  6. aka Ferishia:

    Awesome list! :D Some I've read, but I lot I haven't. So I have lots to add to my TBR piles. :) ITA with you on Kresley Cole's Dark Needs At Nights Edge. That is one of my very favs in the series. Dark Lover and Unleash The Night are additional favs.

    Awesome for you that J.R. commented on your post! :D

  7. OMG!! J.R. Ward commented on your blog! *fan girl scream*!!

    We share some of the same favorites. :)

  8. @Blodeuedd - Woodiwiss knows how to write her historicals. I've read both titles over and over. Such great romance between great characters. If it is all possible this is really an author you can't miss in the HR genre!

    @Lustyreader - I will hop by later and check out your list :) I have more Nora Roberts (Homeport, Birthright, End of The River etc) and another Deveraux that really sit among my keepers shelves but didn't make the list.

    @J.R. Ward - Don't get me started on Eric...oh well, you already kind of did now :) Forbidden remains my favorite in Lowell's medieval trilogy but Eric was such an impressive secondary character in both Forbidden and Enchanted that I had to look up if E.Lowell was going to write up his story. I felt such a loss when she answered that question with a no. The way his warrior side was portayed and at the same time his affinity with animals made him such an intriguing man to get to know. I just wanted his own story with a HAE and I was sad when that wasn't going to happen.

    Thank for stopping by J.R. Ward, it was a surprise that made my day! And there was no doubt about it, Wrath deserved a place in my top 16 list :)

    @Cheeky Girl - Sometimes the books read in the teenage years create an impact but what often surprises me is that those upon re-reading in the present still gives me that romance glow. I am trying to imagine reading the listed authors at the age of 80 in a retirement home or something...because I am sure they will remain on my shelves like forever! Perhaps have a read-out-loud session...that might liven up coffee time :D

    @EH - Hey hon, oh J. Lindsey another of my teenage authors..lost track of her after my mid-twenties but I had some fine Lindsey reads in those days. I just realized I am reading romance for 20 years...how time flies!

    @Ferishia - Dark Needs At Night's Edge, I don't often have that five star vibe but from start to finish it was like K. Cole hit the bulls eye one right after the other and to date is my fave among her IAD series.

    @Fiction Vixen - LOL Yeah I had to check like 2-3 times but then J.R. Ward's comment hit me:

    Quote: Oh, and without being egocentric, yes, this is really me lol

    I always love it that authors drop by, and it doesn't happen all that much, but I treasure all their visits!

  9. Wow! Great list and well, maybe I ought to read forbidden, too! Golly. I'm glad you chose Dark Lover of all hers. Isn't it just the best??

  10. First of all I mirror what Fiction Vixen said. Secondly I loves Julie Garwood's Saving Grace all time fav since I started reading romance.

  11. Great choices Leontine! Many on here that are on my keeper shelf. I would have a really hard time making up this list lol.

  12. If I ever get the time to read more traditional romance novels I will know what list to come look at to get started. I have read three on your list though - the Kresley Cole, the J.R.Ward and the Gabladon. That was very sweet of J.R.Ward to drop by.

  13. hi,i am new to this blog but i just wanted to thank you for mentioning "the wolf and the dove." my cousins and i passed it back and forth like a favorite shirt when we were about 13. i've since graduated to jr ward (love those brothers!) but it really took me back when i saw your list! thanks again.

  14. Great list! I still have to read KMM's Highlanders but I'm looking forward to them. I also enjoyed 'The Tea Rose' and 'Outlander'. Fond memories of 'Saving Grace'. Believe it or not, I've never read anything by Kathleen Woodiwiss!

    Love your new layout, BTW. You've done a great job.

  15. Wow! J.R. Ward commented. So cool!

  16. I haven't read all of these but I can definitely agree on Cole, Deaveraux, Kenyon, Moning, and Ward. Great picks!

    And I have to say it's so cool J.R.Ward stop by and commented!! Awesome!

  17. I will try the Woodwiss book quicker now :) I am glad to have it, for some reason I think my brother got it for me, yay for him.

    And wow a Ward comment, I am in awe

  18. @Carol Crane - I must warn you, FORBIDDEN is part 2 in a trilogy with connected main characters. Though each story can be read separately there will be small references to previous events. And Dark Lover...*shiver of delight* Yeah, I knew it the moment I read the scene where all the brothers were introduced as they walked in the room for a meeting. But what got me the most was when Beth protected Wrath from the lessers in the end WOW.

    @smokinghotbooks - Saving Grace, man that romance gets to me every time. Julie Garwood at her finest!

    @JennJ - I had a hard time too but it is those i can re-read at any given time that made this list. For me that signals the absolute finest on my shelves. Of course I would have no trouble giving a top 100!

    @SciFiGuy - I really hope you'll try a few someday!! And yes, it was quite a surprise party for J.R. Ward to drop by.

    @Pet - The two titles of Woodiwiss can stand the test of time on my shelves and the Borther's...yeah...I share your love!

    @SarahT - No Woodiwiss?? *shock* *gasp* Okay, I think you had the same reaction a while back when I said I didn't read one of your all time favorites. I am so horrible at remembering names...will get there and post another comment *wink*

  19. Great list! I love your top 16. Numbers 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, would be on my list as well. You have great taste!

  20. I'm really going to have to think about this one, who would be on my top 16 romance list and why???? I know what I'll be doing tonight ;-)

    Love your list and I think Forbidden by Ms. Lowell is amongst the favorite of many, I know it's on mine too!

    Uhm weren't you the one who said I don't like things too organized??? And then you go and put this list in style a-la me rofl. Me lubs you sweety!

  21. Great list Leontine!! I actually wrote down some that I haven't read :)

    I was just on JR Ward's message boards and she posted this link :)

  22. Honey, I do not have to tell you that you freaking rock!!! And now to boot that JR Ward posted here.... You GO Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And by the way... thanks... my debit card ran away... It was on the run from Heather D giving me the Kiss of Midnight series to check out... then Tracy giving Patricia Brigg's Mercy series great reviews.... the debit card was just hiding... Well, find it's leaving note. My debit card has left me!! LMAO!!!!
    Love your list honey!
    I hope you (I know you had) a great weekend!!! And I hope your Monday is just as wonderful!

  23. @Natascha - I am utter chaos when it comes to my shelves so I'm guessing you must've rubbed off on me :D

    @Mandi - That explains a few things...didn't now I was linked LOL

    @Cecile - We can so terrorize our bankacounts and cards with out "passion" LOL And heather has been doing quite some pimping for Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series. it actually sits up to the latest release on my bookshelves...unread...the horror! Pearl has been with this series from book one and every time i read her reviews of the series I say; "Soon Leontine, you must read these vamps very soon!!" But there are always many others coming in between...*sigh*

  24. Reaching back into the mists of time... when I was an early teen my favorite (and still well remembered) books were:

    ~ Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (my mom snuck this in on me -- I didn't know it was a "classic" when I read it)

    ~ Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer

    ~ Practice to Deceive by Patricia Veryan

    ~ Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

    ~ Ravished by Amanda Quick

    ~ Beauty by Robin McKinley (the old version, not the 2005(?) rewrite)

    These days I am adicted to series and it is very hard to pull just one favorite out of them... because once I do I end up rereading the whole series anyway.

    ~ Stephanie Laurens
    ~ Lisa Kleypas
    ~ JR Ward
    ~ Patricia Briggs
    ~ Ilona Andrews

    The list goes on and on. :) I was happy to see your list because some of them I've loved and some I haven't read yet. Onto my TBR pile they go!

  25. Saving Grace is one of my favorites! I love Julie Garwood's historical books. I also really like Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books and Johanna Lindsay's Mallory books.

  26. @Vorpaks - I hear many about Judith McNaught and I really need to read ALMOST HEAVEN. Thanks for reminding me!!

    @Debbie - I have several of JG's historicals on my shelves but Saving Grace is the one I can re-read at all times. I think I was more in to Lindsay's Viking books...though i did read a couple of Mallory's of course.

  27. @Leontine Ahhhh finally, I've worked on it for years ;-)


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