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Poll: Best Romance Novels?


Her Texas Ranger - I own this book.

I know, I know. And if you have read this blog once or twice you know that I don’t know anything about the best romance novels out there. If memory serves I have only ever read two. The first was during a lunch and a dinner when I was working at a goldmine. I was a janitor. The janitor’s closet had exactly one book in it.

I think it was by Jackie Collins. It had a guy named “Jump.” I had to read something and I wasn’t going to see my own books until I got home.

The other was called “Her Texas Ranger.” Janette and I bought this on a whim one night at a grocery store, just to see what it was like. We wound up reading passages to each other out loud, and that was actually a lot of fun.

The book was horrible, by the way, but I’ll be the first that romance is not my scene. Maybe it’s not yours either. But if you are someone who reads romance novels, I would love some insight, a “Romance 101” or “Romance appreciation” to help myself and anyone else understand the appeal.

I’ve heard that they are:

  • Playboy for old ladies
  • Escapism for bored housewives
  • Important books just as deserving of attention as anything else
  • People in loveless marriages
  • etc

But beyond my experience with Jump, that Texas Ranger, and the people I see at the library checking out stacks and stacks of them, I’m in the dark.

There seems to be a premium on Vikings, time travelers, Apache warriors, scoundrels, rogues, Dukes, Earls, Highlanders, Vampires, Demons, and more.

Oh, also MDs. I just saw a book called Taming The Beastly MD.

So if you can help, let’s talk about the best romance books, and why they might be worth reading for someone who might think they have nothing to offer. Also, best romance authors? Who can sort this out?



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Brooke August 15, 2011, 10:52 am

    I have A LOT to say on this subject! And a lot of recommendations. A nice place to start is a really awesome blog called Smart Bitches Who Read Trashy Books-


    • Josh Hanagarne August 15, 2011, 12:35 pm

      Thanks Brooke, I was hoping you’d swing by.

  • Emily August 15, 2011, 3:27 pm

    I’m not into trashy romance, though it seems every romance author has written at least one or two. A romance novel done right is a joy to read. My favorite authors are Jude Deveraux and Susan Wiggs. These ladies do romance justice—plus their covers rarely have a half-naked man entwined with a busty woman wearing a far-off look or pained expression of ecstasy. I wouldn’t check them out of the library if they did.

  • Chris B August 15, 2011, 3:51 pm

    The book was just so-so, but I think it is funny that “Dances with Wolves” was originally marketed as a romance novel. Couldn’t find an image online of my copy, but the cover art is DEFINITELY within the genre.

  • Heather August 16, 2011, 11:32 am

    Wuthering Heights