We love this great list of the Top 10 Romance Novels You Should Readopens a new window - which is highly subjective, but has some phenomenal books on it anyway.
Have you read any of these? Do you have any other novels to add to this list - tell us in the comments below!
10) Black Ice
Why? Julia Quinnopens a new window's books appear deceptively light, but always carry darker depths underneath the sparkle. And there is loads of sparkle—Quinn excels at dialogue, and at making a historical setting seem approachable, peopled with characters you could imagine knowing at any period in time.
Why? Before long-running series were the norm, J.D. Robbopens a new window (aka Nora Roberts) began her In Death series, still going strong 30+ books later. The book is set in the near future, is a police procedural, and is also strongly romantic. The series' couple, Eve and Roarkeopens a new window, are the paradigm of a strongly-matched pair.
Why? This book by E.L. Jamesopens a new window converted millions of people into readers. For that alone it should be part of the romance canon. It is also one of the most striking direct examples of the obsessive, controlling hero who finds something unique—something addictive—in an otherwise normal woman.
Why? The heroine is that completely unlikeable, manipulative, gorgeous, most popular girl in high schoolopens a new window—laid completely low nearly a decade later, returning to her hometown and having to eat a lot of crow. She hasn't had a change of character, but her character changes through the course of the book, and the reader ends up rooting for her. A remarkable witty and gritty contemporary romance from Susan Elizabeth Phillipsopens a new window.
Why? This historical by Laura Kinsaleopens a new window tackles some very intricate and delicate subject matter, and ends up a tour de force, a book that includes a devout Quaker, a brain-damaged Duke, mathematical genius, and the vast and incredible power of loveopens a new window.
Why? J.R. Wardopens a new window's Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance seriesopens a new window is chock-full of over-the-top tortured vampire heroes, and the women who love them. Zsadist is the most (literally!) tortured hero of the BDB, and his journey to love is compelling, angsty, and utterly poignant.
3) Bet Me
Why? In Dreaming of You, Lisa Kleypas opens a new windowcrafted one of the most memorable heroes ever, Derek Cravenopens a new window. Derek's rough upbringing, his ruthlessness, his need for his heroine, and his resultant emotional fragility is the epitome of the tough on the outside/gooey on the inside alpha male.
Why? Loretta Chaseopens a new window's Lord of Scoundrelsopens a new window frequently tops Best Romance Novels Ever lists, and so it needs no further justification for being tops here. But since we're here...its lummoxy hero, Sebastian Dain, gets felled handily by his heroine, Jessica, and she seems to recognize, almost immediately, what Dain is like on the inside (see that tough/gooey analogy above). Their courtship is sensual, witty, and delicious throughout, and doesn't shy away from difficult moments.