Monday, February 27, 2023

Top 5 Favorite Romances...For Now

This site contains affiliate links to products. I may receive teensy tiny commission for purchases made through these links. I only recommend books and products I love. Thank you so much for the support.

My recipe for what qualifies as a favorite romance might differ from yours. For me, the characters must be complex, but likeable, the romance has to be swoon-worthy, but believable and I know it might be cliché, but I love a happy ending. I know, I know it's a tall order. There's something about getting caught up in a love story that makes the world seem a little brighter and a little happier.

My top 5 favorite tried and true romances are below:

1.) The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

It's a no-brainer for me that Canadian author L.M. Montgomery would top my list. I've long been a fan of this author and her books, particularly the Anne and Emily series. The Blue Castle was written towards the end of Montgomery's writing career, is considered to be one her few "adult" works for fiction, and is also one of her few books not set on the author's beloved P.E.I.

Last week I read a quote that said, "Re-read your favorite books at different stages in your life. The plot never changes, but your perspective does." I first discovered The Blue Castle when I was 17 and have since read it 8 or 9 times. The Blue Castle has been one of those books I've read at various stages in my life and what I've come to appreciate over time is how the heroine Valancy is becoming who she was meant to be.

You can imagine how excited and gratified I was to find out that this book has a bit of a trend following online. I'm not the only reader who loves Valancy and Barney's story.

If you take a dive into the romance of The Blue Castle I'd love to hear your thoughts.

2.) The Princess by Lori Wick

I have to thank Miss Conway, my high school Algebra I teacher, for introducing me to author Lori Wick. Beyond the Picket Fence was the first book I read of hers and my early introduction into Christian fiction. Prior to that the only other Christian fiction author I'd read was Janette Oke.

In the late 90s, the Christian fiction genre was still fairly new, and I think what sets Lori Wick's books apart is she wrote both historical and contemporary.

The Princess is a modern-day arranged marriage between commoner Shelby Parker and widower Prince Nikolai Markham. Shelby worries if the prince will love her like he did his first wife. One aspect of the story, I appreciate is the way Ms. Wick intertwined so much of what would make a situation like this difficult. Both Shelby and Nikolai had quite a few obstacles to overcome.

On a recent re-read, I observed a difference in the style of how The Princess was written. Ms. Wick has the majority of the backstory told in the first couple of chapters. Nowadays, character backstory is sprinkle throughout a story like breadcrumbs. While this observation didn't detract from my enjoyment of this read, it's just a contrast to how books are written in the Christian fiction market today.

Nikolai and Shelby's love story is magical and you'll want to re-live it again and again.

3.) Short-Straw Bride 
by Karen Witemeyer

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, I make no bones about being a massive fan of author Karen Witemeyer and ALL her books. Ms. Witemeyer burst onto the Christian fiction scene in 2010 and I've been happily devouring her books ever since.

Short-Straw Bride is THE BOOK that made me a die-hard fan of Karen's. It reminded me of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (except there were only 4 brothers) following the Archer clan, orphans staking their claim on their land, keeping intruders out with shotguns, barbed-wire fences and animal traps. Now grown men, Travis, Jim, Crockett, and Neil Archer aren't quite sure what to make of the beautiful Meredith Hayes.

For me, Karen's books are like coming home. Her stories are always rock solid with complex characters, heart-melting romances, and the gospel message seamlessly woven in. Her books check all my boxes as a reader. I'd start with Short-Straw Bridebut you honestly can't go wrong with any of this author's books.

4.) True to You 
by Becky Wade Award-winning and contemporary Christian fiction author Becky Wade is known for creating characters and worlds you want to inhabit. Don't you just want to dive headfirst into this stunning cover? This is especially true in her Bradford sisters trilogy. True to You is book one in this series.

After a devastating heartbreak three years earlier, Nora Bradford finds burying herself in work and books much safer, John Lawton, a Navy Seal seeks Nora's help digging into the ancestry of his biological family because of an inherited diagnosis.

True to You has it all a great romance mixed with mystery and not to be missed!

5.) Emma by Jane Austen

I feel like it's "somewhat" of a requirement for any English major worth their salt to have a least one Jane Austen novel on their favorites list. While Pride and Prejudice holds a special place in my heart, I've always gravitated towards Emma.

Austen once said about the her character Emma, "I'm going to take a heroine whom no one, but myself will not like."

Published in 1815, Emma was the last work published prior to Austen's death in 1817. Jane Austen's remaining novels were published posthumously (Northeranger Abbey (1818), Persuasion (1818) and Lady Susan (1871).

Emma Woodhouse spends much of the novel trying to pair other people off she neglects the workings of her own heart and comes to realize she's been in love all this time.

My college English professors might disagree, but I feel like Emma is a regency era romantic comedy ahead of it's time.

How do you feel about Emma

I'm so curious which of my top five you've read! Which books would you add to the list?

No comments:

Post a Comment