Sunday, October 01, 2006

Where have all the good books gone?

Before I get too in to this I should let you know -- I've been a bit hungover for two days. My son got up three times last night. I had Sunday all set aside to do some work -- which I didn't do. And because of the hangover I've eaten everything that has crossed my path and not gone for a run.

So - I'm in a bit of a funk.

But through all of this I have just wanted to be entertained. I have just wanted to hang out in my bed and read something really really good. A page-turner. A character driven romance of moderate epic proportions. I would skip the epic. Alas -- I can't find them. Where have all the good books gone? Three four years ago when the romance world was turned upside down by chick-lit and dark erotic paranormals -- amazing things seemed to be happening. Heros were dark and tortured again. Heroines were flawed and real. Plots didn't rely on a mis-understanding (though I like a good misunderstanding ala Judith McNaught who I've been re-reading during the dry spell). But most of all there was TENSION. Not just sexual though that abounded -- there was tension between me as the reader and the book. I couldn't turn pages fast enough.

I felt- as a reader - totally energized. As a writer I was totally freaking out! But those were some good days as readers. Fun authors came out of those years - Eileen Rendahl, Susan Squires, Susan Donovan (She was around earlier but I found her then and gobbled up everything) Mary Kay Andrews and dozens more.

Maybe I just need to be reminded of the good books I've read. The ones I really remember are The Dark Queen and even more so The Courtesan by Susan Carroll. So - someone remind me or inform me of the great books I'm missing. Because I need some romance. The best romance I've come across in months is The Office season finale from last year and the premiere this year. Now, that's tension.

So - let me have it. Best romances you've read this year....


Anonymous said...

Not technically Romance, but two books I could not forget, both by Elizabeth Berg

Say When

Never Change

Both are what I call fractured romances, and I'm longing to go back and read both of them again, and again, and again....

Molly O'Keefe said...

SHe's an always consistent read. This year I read What We Keep - not a romance but one of the best books I've read this year that's for sure. Range of Motion is a good one too. I will pick up those two "fractured romances" (good description)

Anonymous said...

Best book I've read in a long time that kept me turning the pages (you're right - a rare event these days) was "Lady Luck's Map of Vegas" by Barbara Samuel.

Sara Hantz said...

Not romance - but romantic elements: Louise Bagshawe's Sparkles. I totally loved it and couldn't put it down.

Wylie Kinson said...

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.

Molly O'Keefe said...

WOw I should have done thisages ago -- it's so good to get book recommendations. I too enjoyed LAdy Luck's Map of Vegas and Barbara Samuel's new one from this year - LAdy Mirabou's School of Love? I think -- another very satisfying read. Thanks guys!!

Sinead M said...

I have't read a really great straight romance in a long time.

I did just finish Poison Study and enjoyed it.

It's been a dry spell for me as well.

so sad.

Diana Peterfreund said...

Most of the best romances I've read this year are not found in the romance section.

HOW I LIVE NOW, by Meg Rosoff -- it's a YA and a romance.

VALIANT, by Holly Black -- another YA romance, this one paranormal urban fantasy.

MAJOR CRUSH, by Jennifer Echols -- YA contemporary romance.

SOMETHING BORROWED, by Emily Giffin -- very unconventional chick lit romance

THE BOOK OF TRUE DESIRES, by Betina Krahn -- ah, at last a romance that is traditionally called such. Victorian romntic adventure by a nYT bestselling romance novelist.

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