Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Rule of Seven

“Medical school suffers from a distinct lack of period costume.”
– Theresa

As a migrant fourth-year medical student, a friend of mine recently found it necessary to sell off her entire romance novel collection. Now she finds herself in possession of a temporary residence and (gasp!) a bit of free time. When last we spoke, she was carting Middlemarch about and looking for a bit of light reading on the side. As Queen of Light Reading, it fell to me to make some recommendations that were a little less Honors Book List…

And so,
Theresa, I place these three lists online in hopes to distract you from classic literature. Note that some of these books are part of a series (For instance, Don’t Tempt Me is the last of a trilogy). These are not listed in any particular order, and the lists are certainly not comprehensive.

Seven Favorite Contemporary Romances:
Bet Me (Jennifer Crusie)*
Charlie All Night (Jennifer Crusie)
Manhunting (Jennifer Crusie)
Don’t Tempt Me (Julie Ortolon)
Body Rush (Deirdre Martin)
The Chesapeake Bay trilogy—can’t just choose one! (Nora Roberts)
Woman Most Likely To… (Jennifer Greene)

*Quite possibly the best romance novel of all time. (Honorable mentions: See Jane Score, by Rachel Gibson, and Dream Man, by Linda Howard.)

Seven Favorite Regency Novels:
So Wild a Heart (Candace Camp)
The Duke (Gaelen Foley)
The Devil You Know (Liz Carlyle)
Something About Emmaline (Elizabeth Boyle)
The Bargain (Mary Jo Putney)
The Viscount Who Loved Me (Julia Quinn)
Educating Caroline (Patricia Cabot)

Seven Favorite Random Historical Novels:
Highland Bride (Hannah Howell)
Amazing Grace (Julie Garwood)
Ransom (Julie Garwood)
By Possession (Madeleine Hunter)
Something Wonderful (Kate Rothwell)
A Vision of Light (Judith Merkle Riley)
In Pursuit of the Green Lion (Judith Merkle Riley)*

*These last two are not precisely romance novels, but they are absolutely marvelous—a funny medieval series, if you can believe it. Read it and fall in love with the pragmatic Margaret and deliciously absurd Gregory.

Anyone else out there have a list of seven, or another reading recommendation for our good friend T?


Theresa said...

You're the best -thanks!

TaraGel said...

I would submit these contemporary romances as pretty darn good:
1) The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie (instead of Manhunting)
2) Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Crusie (instead of Bet Me)
3) Remembrance by Jude Deveraux (though this gets a little weird right at the very end)
4) Second Star to the Right by Mary Alice Kreusi (esp. if you like Peter Pan)
5)It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (back when she was funny and not horribly cliched)
6)Acts of Love by Judith Michael (esp. if you like sagas or Broadway)
7) Breath of Magic by Teresa Medeiros (a hint of paranormal; for fans of Bewitched)

1) Educating Caroline by Patricia "Meg" Cabot (great opening scene)
2) The Proposition by Judith Ivory (or anything else by her)
3) The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (one of a series of great Bridgerton family novels)
4) The Bride by Julie Garwood (romance kickin' it old school)
5) Just Once by Jill Marie Landis (another good 90s romance)
6) The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux (another oldie but goodie--and the heroine rocks)
7) An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott (technically not a romance novel I guess--but the romance in it always charmed me)

Kate D. said...

My fave Susan Elizabeth Phillips has to be "Nobody's Baby But Mine," which Theresa actually recommended to me long ago...

And I think the worst SEP novel definitely has to be "Breathing Room." Ugh. I resented the time it took me to finish that one.

TaraGel said...

I couldn't even get through Breathing Room. But did you read Match Me If You Can?
What a wallbanger. Her heroine/hero should have been the secondary couple--a much more interesting pairing--she got it all wrong.

theflitgirl said...

Match Me was the first SEP I read, so...I liked it! Now that I've read some others, I can see it wasn't her best, but I liked her voice and style and characters and it introduced me to her world, and now I'm a fan.

The one I liked best, I'm almost embarrassed to say, it's SO romancey. Kiss An Angel. It's set in a circus! And the hero turns out to be the long-lost Romanov heir! There's an arranged marriage of convenience! Even the hint of a secret baby!

But it made me cry. I'm such a sap.

TaraGel said...

It's ok. Honey Moon was terrible (characters were white trash stereotypes complete with grating hillbilly accent and there was a pivotal scene on a roller coaster) but I loved it. Oh the secret shame.

Kate D. said...

I also just finished "Blame it On Chocolate," by Jennifer Greene. It was actually quite good... flitgirl, you might like it. There was a pregnancy. Not quite as fun as a secret baby, but hey...