My Favourite Romance Books

My Favourite Romance Book Covers

It’s February, it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s the perfect time to look at book romances!

I normally read sci-fi or fantasy novels but I do have a soft spot for romances, and if a book I’m reading has a bit of a romance in it even better 🙂

Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie

Jennifer Crusie has been my favourite romance writer since I was a teenager, and this is my favourite of her books.

Lucy Savage is divorcing her husband Bradley, Officer Zack Warren is trying to find him to arrest him for embezzlement. When someone shoots at Lucy and then blows up her car Zack decides he has to move into Lucy’s house to protect her.

It’s funny, fast-paced and entertaining with obvious attraction between the two characters that starts with conflict and a lot of banter, and builds slowly into the romance.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Mariana Zapata does slow burning romances so, so well. If you don’t like insta-love then this one is for you. It builds very slowly as the characters start out disliking each other but gradually become friends.

Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane

Downside Ghosts has one of my favourite book boyfriends in Terrible, a gruff  ‘enforcer’ working for the local drug lord who is more intelligent than he looks. He is also incredibly sweet and makes my heart melt.

It’s another slow-burner, in that it takes at least four books for them to sort themselves out, but there is enough magic, mysteries and ghost hunting going on for this series to be worth reading even if it didn’t have the romance.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

The book that inspired the brilliant Studio Ghibli film. In my opinion, the book is even better than the film because it goes much more in depth into Sophie’s family, and we also get a lot of Howl’s backstory and family history.

Sophie has magic of her own in the book and is a much stronger and more complex character in general. Howl is also a more interesting character and we can see Sophie and Howl’s relationship builds into mutual respect.

The romance is there, and it is sweet and believable, but it’s not overly important to the story.

Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair

Linnea Sinclair writes romantic sci-fi, and she does it well. The sci-fi side is big and adventurous and the romances are full of sparks.

Here, Captain Trilby Elliot is a down on her luck trader trying to patch up her old spaceship on an uninhabited planet. When another spaceship crash lands nearby she thinks she can steal parts to fix her own ship. But the pilot is still alive, and he commanders Trilby’s ship for his own.

I loved the characters, and the sci-fi plot is well developed and could just about stand on it’s own without the romance.

Garden Spells (Waverley Family #1) by Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen’s books are set in the real world but there is always something magical about them.

In Garden Spells the Waverly family has an apple tree in their garden, eat an apple and you will see your future.

Light and sweet, this is one to lose an afternoon in.

The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance

This is full of short sci-fi / romance stories. Some are good, some are not that great, but there are a couple in here that have stayed with me long after I finished reading.

The Derby Girl (Getting Physical, #2)

I play roller derby (with Wakey Wheeled Cats) and I like reading books set in the roller derby world.

This one is well written, the main character Gretchen is unusual and complex and love interest Jared has a bit more to him than the normal alpha male.

The romance is believable, Gretchen and Jared spark off each other and definitely don’t fall in love at first sight.

It’s a stand alone so there’s no need to read the first book if you don’t want to. I didn’t and I had no problems following this.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

the lonely hearts hotel

Book Description

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes after years of searching and desperate poverty the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true.

My Review of The Lonely Hearts Hotel

The Lonely Hearts Hotel has an unusual writing style, it’s almost like a fairy tale style of explaining what is happening. Little things are described in great detail like the food that they’re eating, or a girl that has so many holes in her stockings “they looked like oil paint on water”. 

It’s a magical, almost childlike style but at first I felt disconnected from the characters and their emotions. It did take me a bit of effort to keep going but after the first few chapters I got used to it, and I ended up really enjoying it.

It’s a very adult book though, it starts with Rose and Pierrot as children in an orphanage where they suffer physical and sexual abuse. It’s set during the great depression and a lot of the book is about the things people have to do to survive poverty. There’s a lot of sex in it and heroin addiction plays a large part in the book. 

The fairy tale style story telling sometimes felt to me like it was at odds with the darkness in the book. It did stop it from being too depressing and brought a much needed lightness to the story, but at the same time it softened the impact of the abuse and maybe glossed over it a bit.

But the magical style brings the city of Montreal to life, I could almost feel the cold and the poverty, I could see the girls on the streets and picture them in their outfits they were described so well. The story is full of nightclubs, theatres, clowns, make believe and show girls and it sucked me in to it’s world. 

I cared about the characters, and the end of the book was hard for me to read because it’s hopeful but so bittersweet. I got that sad feeling I get when I really love a book and I feel like I’ve lost friends when it ends. It’s not one I would want to read if I was already feeling sad!

I received a free copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel
Heather O'Neill
Fiction
February 7th 2017
400

 

Made For Sin by Stacia Kane

made for sin book review

Description

A lot of bad hands get dealt in Vegas, but E. L. Speare may be holding one of the worst: He’s cursed with the need to commit sins, and if he misses his daily quota, there’s hell to pay—literally. Fortunately, his hometown affords him plenty of chances to behave badly.

But Speare’s newest case really has him going out on a limb. The right-hand man of a notorious crime boss has been found dead in a Dumpster—minus his right hand, not to mention the rest of his arm. What catches Speare’s attention, however, is that the missing appendage was severed clean by a demon-sword, a frighteningly powerful tool of the underworld.

Speare’s out of his element, so he turns to a specialist: Ardeth Coyle, master thief, dealer in occult artifacts, and bona fide temptress. Ardeth’s hotter than a Las Vegas sidewalk on the Fourth of July, but she’s one sin Speare has to resist.

The dismembered corpses are piling up, unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows, and if this odd couple hopes to beat the odds, Speare needs to keep his hands off Ardeth, and his head in the game.

My Review of Made for Sin

Well I really enjoyed reading this one, it was one of those books where I could happily have turned the world off and stayed at home curled up on the sofa until I’d finished it.

I liked Speare and Ardeth, they were both interesting and the attraction between them sizzled nicely. I want more of them, it can’t end the way it did! And I want to see Ardeth again, using her thieving skills more, and generally being clever and winding Speare up.

The only thing that felt a bit off for me was that I couldn’t picture Speare very well. Near the end of the book it says that he’s tall but other than that I didn’t get a good mental picture of what he looked like.

View all my reviews on GoodReads

Made for Sin
Stacia Kane
Urban Fantasy
August 30th 2016
266