Friday, September 24, 2010

Favourite romantic novels?

Over on the New Voices website - while you're all waiting for the announcement of the top ten submissions to the contest , the editors are talking about their favourite romantic novels.

So far,
Gone with the Wind
Cross Stitch
Wuthering Heights
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Devil's Cub
Lady Chatterley's Love
The Mists of Avalon
The Far Pavilions
These Old Shades
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller's Wife

. . . are all on the list

And I have to admit to putting my vote in for - from this list - Jane Eyre, Devil's Cub, These Old Shades . . . Not Wuthering Heights? I can hear the questions already. I love WH as a novel - But for me it's is not a love story - passion, possession - yes - but love?? There is a love story in the second half - young Cathy and Hareton but most people don't think of that. The book is the story of Cathy and Heathcliff - but for me it's not a love story.

Other romantic novels I've loved and re-read again and again and would have to include in my Top Ten list would be the Game Of Kings (Lymond Chronicles - All 6 books!) by Dorothy Dunnett and the book that hooked me into reading everything Mary Stewart ever wrote - The Moonspinners. . .

What about you? If you had to choose a favourite romantic novel, what would you choose?

PS For those of you who would like to see more photos of the post-AMBA party with Mills & Boon editors and authors, editor Lucy Gilmour has posted a selection over on I(heart)Presents.


Teresa F Morgan said...

I think I need to add those books to my To-Read pile... The only one I've read is The Time Traveler's Wife. lol!

Quillers said...

It's probably Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier for me, Kate. I know it's rather a dark, romantic novel, but it's still got a great love story at the centre between Maxim and the unnamed heroine.

I'd also add Jane Eyre, but have to admit to absolutely hating Wuthering Heights. Sorry.

Sandra Schwab said...

Francis Crawford of Lymond ... *swoons* He is one of my all-time favourite heroes. Dunnett was a divine author! So I would probaby choose Checkmate as my favourite romantic novel.

Or Gaskell's North and South (which I actually prefer over Austen's Pride & Prejudice - heresy, I know! *G*)

Or Austen's Persuasion.

Or Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne novels.

Or Heyer's Bath Tangle and Ventia.

Or *wibbles* Victoria Holt's The Devil of Horseback. This was the first Holt novel I've ever read and I loved it to pieces (literally - by now my German copy is falling apart).

Or Mercedes Lackey's Magic's Price, the last book in her Last Herald Mage trilogy and one of the few fantasy novels that features a gay hero (who looks a bit like Michael Praed in the Robin Hood series *smiles).

It's a bit difficult to decide, isn't it?

I have to admit that I wouldn't have called "The Mists of Avalon" a romantic novel. But then, I was seriously under-impressed by it when I read it ages ago. So the only thing I now remember about this book is how they kill that poor bard(?) by thrusting him into the trunk of a dead tree and leaving him there to die. Which takes some days ... I much prefer Gillian Bradshaw's version of the Athurian legends!

And Vanity Fair? Mr. Thackeray is rather acerbic in this one; The Newcomes is probably more romantic in the traditional sense of the word. Poor Clive! Lusting after Ethel all this time, while she keeps making plans to marry either English or Scottish lords. Richard Doyle's illustrations are an added bonus. :)

Julie said...

I know that Pride and Prejudice is everyone's favourite, but am quite surprised that Persuasion didn't make the list as it's easily the most romantic of Jane Austen's books. I love the longing, the yearning and the desire...and the letter Wentworth wrote to Anne towards the end of the novel, always make me cry.

Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South is another favourite, although I did find the TV adaptation to be more romantic than the book.

I have recently devoured Eva Ibbotson's A Countess Below Stairs and adored it. It's funny, moving and magical and has gone on my list of favourite romances.

I adored Daphne Du Maurier as a teenager, but having re-read Rebecca recently, I was struck by how un-romantic the book actually is!

I was also a huge fan of Victoria Holt. For me Menfreya in the Morning is my all-time favourite and have a very ragged copy on my bookshelf to prove just how many times I've read it!

Of course, Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart have penned many an unforgettable romance as well!

Top 10? I don't think a Top 100 would suffice for me!

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