In a comment to my last post, mirkamo, said: “I’m really curious about your favourites. Is it possible to list them?”
Setting out my list without any explanations of this is what I liked about X even though… is difficult for me, but I’d be reviewing, at least to some extent, if I did that and don’t want to get into reviewing. (*For anyone new here who wonders about the unwillingness to review, see the last paragraph of this post.)
So after some thought, I’m sharing as much as I’m comfortable with. Here goes.
Looking over my list, the thing all the books on it have in common is that there’s no instant lust that is supposedly all that’s needed for true love that lasts the ages. I said before I was sure that for most of my list, I’d be the single vote, and I confess that my Americana listings were chosen with the thought in mind that they are classics often mentioned in recommendation threads on forums, and so they might have a slightly better chance of actually making the list than others I like just as much.
I also included a couple that I thought might be disqualified as not true romances, but then on AAR and another forum, I saw posts by others who also included them, so maybe not.
Anyway, with a bit of a blush, I admit that my #1, and currently my favorite romance in spite of the fact generally I don’t care for Regencies, is Mary Balogh’s A Summer to Remember. I could pick a couple of nits about the book, but in truth I’ve reread it several times and there is no real even though.
After that the order things are in isn’t really relevant. There are even thoughs for all the rest, and you could write all the titles on slips of paper, put them in a hat, shake them up, and pull them out and the order wouldn’t matter. For my Americanas, I listed Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer, Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne, The Outsider by Penelope Williamson, Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath, and Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Guhrke.
The ones that I think might be disqualified as not really romances are Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley and Where Shadows Dance by C.S. Harris. The Kearsley book (and all hers) is slightly woo woo, and generally, being a wuss about such things, I avoid anything vaguely ghostly, spiritly, etc., but it’s very light and non-scarey in her books, so I managed. No one should be surprised that what lured me to try one of her books was the title of one: Shadowy Horses. Some of her books are more romantic than others, but I didn’t think of them as romances when I read them.
The C.S. Harris book is one of her Sebastian St. Cyr historical mysteries and also has a romantic thread, less than the Kearsleys, and also isn’t in my opinion a romance. The one I picked is a bit far into the series but the one that strikes me as the most romantic. We’ll see. I’m sure AAR doesn’t have Romance Favorites Police to come arrest me over it.
* The reason I don’t review is all the accusations about indies swapping good reviews, dumping bad reviews on rivals, etc. In fact Amazon now has a policy that authors shouldn’t review books in their same genre. I’ve never swapped reviews with anyone, but I know it’s done. I think people who give one-stars to rivals must be both a little crazy and a lot stupid, but I know that’s done too. There was a scandal in the UK when some well known author was caught doing it. Anyway, I just decided to stay out of it. When a careless comment about a book here on the blog resulted in people searching “O’Connell review of ___________,” it only redoubled my determination, as I didn’t consider the comment a review and didn’t like it being taken that way.