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Topic: Anyone Else Reaing Through the AAR Top 100?

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Subject: Anyone Else Reaing Through the AAR Top 100?
Date Posted: 11/30/2007 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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I've never been interested in histoical romance before and very little contemporary, though I read an Amanda Quick novel and fell in love. I decided to start buying books that looked interesting on the list at my local UBS, and I'm sure I'll get a lot from the library. Anyone else planning to go through the list? I look at it kind of like a really good Romance 101 list :) Here's what I currently have in my TBR pile- all the J.R. Ward books 2. Dreaming of You- Lisa Klepas 3. Pride & Prejudice- Janue Austen *already had* 4. Outlander- Diana Gabaldon 7. Devil in Winter- Lisa Keypas 15. Lord Perfect- Loretta Chase 16. Romancing Mr. Briderton- Julia Quinn 19. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb (already read) 32. A Knight in Shining Armor- Jude Deveraux 41. Sea Swept- Nora Roberts 48. Suddenly You- Lisa Kleypas 52. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte 53. When He Was Wicked- Julia Quinn 62. Lady Sophia's Lover by Lisa Kleypas 90. Rising Tides- Nora Roberts Also, are there any books that you'd recommend especially for a historical newbie?

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Ok you definitely need to move #4 to the top of the list!!!

Sherri

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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I've actually had it for a long while, it's just the size intimidates me... I have so many unread books I keep putting off the super long ones!

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 36
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Any of Julie Garwood's historicals are great!  My personal favorite is Ransom, but also try The Bride and The Wedding (all are Scottish historicals)  but all of her books are on my keeper shelf.  Others that are great: Stephanie Laurens,  Cathrine Coulter, Shanon Drake, and my other favorite ,Judith McNaught (love, love, love, Kingdom of Dreams, Whitney My Love, and Paradise a contemporary but one of the best I've read, try these and you won't be disappointed)... I could go on and on.  I also agree with the response about your #4, I just started reading Outlander and it is fantastic so far, I've already put the others in the series on my wishlist : ) 

But beware, now that you started reading historical romances you are going to be addicted to them, which is what is so great about this forum, because you are not alone!  We are all here for you : )  ENJOY!!!

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I'm not reading through the list, I have so many books already - but I did order The Lady's Tutor based on the list.

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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I would recommend Amanda Quick novels-Ravished is wonderful.  Also Elizabeth Hoyt's books.

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 2:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm working through my own ever growing list.  I'm taking a romance break and reading some historical mysteries now. I had one that was WL so I read that so I can send it off to a new happy home.  Then I made the mistake of posting one thinking I'll read it later.  I figured it would sit a while on my bookshelf.  Wrong it got requested almost immediately.  I should have checked the system because I don't think there are many of this author's books posted.  Now I have to read that one next before I send it out. 

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 7:11 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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Where can I find a copy of the whole list? I may have/have read some of them and would like to see what all is on the list:)

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 8:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2006
Posts: 1,530
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Last Edited on: 1/19/09 11:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/3/2007 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Historical is ALL I ever read, so I'm a conniseur (sp?) so to speak.  The Outlander series is the best you'll ever read, IMHO.  I got obsessed with Gabaldon when I read Outlander and read all 3 million words of her six (to date) books in the series in approx. 6 weeks.  At about 900-1000 pages per book, that' s a lot in six weeks. 

 

I haven't read their top 100, but I use AAR's reviews a lot and find that I generally agree with them.  I especially like the fact that they include sensuality ratings so you can choose the level you're comfortable with.  Your reading list sounds great so far.  I've read a lot of them. 

 

I'd especially recommend a title I haven't seen on this list that is also by an excellent author.  "The Last Arrow" by Marsha Canham.  Based on the Robin Hood legend; takes place in medieval england, but concentrates on Robin's sister, Brenna.  It's actually the last in a series of 3, but by far the best one.  I think I may even have written a review; can't quite remember.  

I'd also recommend a couple of others 1) "Flowers from the Storm" (Kinsale) and "Lord of Fire" (Foley).  I have plenty of other suggestions.  Just look at my signature line and the ones in bold are the ones that I considered good enough to be keepers. 

 

Also, "Thunder and Roses" by Mary Jo Putnery. 

 

Also, if you like medievals, I highly recommend Elizabeth Lowell's series--Untamed, Forbidden, Enchanted; it has a little fantasy/mystical theme too, but not so much that it's overwhelming.  Personally, Julie Garwood is not my cup of tea for medievals.  Her heros seem cold and wooden sometimes without  enough character development.  I did enjoy Garwood's The Secret, and the Bride, which had a great heroine.  The Wedding had a really cold obnoxious hero who didn't reform by the end of the book and I absolutely hated the book because of him. 



Last Edited on: 12/4/07 8:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/4/2007 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Re:  Outlander.  Yes, the length is intimidating and it takes a couple of hundred pages to really get into it, but once you do, you won't be able to put it down.  I found myself reading at stop lights -- it was that good.  Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride and pick a week when you don't have a lot else going on in your life when you read it.  By the time the book ends, you will think it wasn't nearly long enough and you'll be compelled to read "Dragonfly in Amber" (next in the series).

 

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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Thanks for the link to the list! I printed it, now I got to go see which ones I've read...

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I agree with Claudia - the size can intimidate you but once it starts to get meaty its one of those "can't put it down" types of books.  And let me just say you think it can't possibly get any better once you finish Outlander...you will be soooo wrong.  Dragonfly in Amber is even better and Voyager even better than that.  It's a fantastic series.

Sherri

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I agree with Sherri that the other in the series are also excellent, especially Voyager (the reunion after a 20 year separation) and Breath of Snow and Ashes (Jamie and Claire settle in North Carolina).  Can't wait for the next one ("Sons of Liberty")?  Is there any word on when book 7 is due out?  I understand that Diana also plans a prequel on Jamie's parents (Ellen and Brian Fraser).  I'm hoping perhaps we'll get to know "little Jamie" in this prequel. 

Moving on, I know this wasn't meant to be an Outlander fanatic get-together, but I could go on forever about this series. 

Date Posted: 12/5/2007 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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I think I'm finally convinced to try Outlander... I've never read a time-travel romance, so it'll be a first for me.

I've read 28 of the books on the list...there are 8 I won't read because they're paranormal (or Jane Austen)...I just can't read something that gives me the willies! There are 5 that are iffy, and about 59 I'll have to check into. Maybe that'll be my challenge for next year, instrad of the New Author Challenge. Reading all of 2007's Top 100 Romances (except for the 8).



Last Edited on: 12/5/07 11:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/5/2007 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Eileen you will enjoy it.  Just get past the first few "dry" chapters in the beginning and you'll be glad you stuck with it. 

Claudia - the next book is scheduled for early 2009 release.  I'm on one of her message boards and that's coming from DG herself.

Sherri

Date Posted: 12/5/2007 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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Thanks for all the great recommendatiosn everybody :) Sorry for my typos, I guess I Should stop typing while tired.... I've also been using the "about the staff" section at AllAboutRomance.com for romance recommendations. Each person has a list of their favorite books in various categories, even in some I've never heard of but sound like I'll like them "IE "Road/Cabin" category. If it's anything like "It Happened One Night" count me in!)

Date Posted: 12/5/2007 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 1
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My favorite historical authors are Carla Kelly; Judith Ivory/Judy Cuevas; Connie Brockway; Liz Carlyle; Loretta Chase; and the divine Laura Kinsale.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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Well I'm almost finished with "The Duke and I" and I can't believe how much I love it. I think Julia Quinn will/has become one of my favorites, and I have almost the whole Bridgerton series (with more on the way) in my TBR pile. I have a nice stack of Lisa Kleypas since I've heard so many good things about her, and "Suddenly You" is next on my list. I'm really glad I opened my mind up to romance (especially historicals), and using the AAR Top 100 has so far been a really great way to get into them. I've also checked out the past years for more recommendations, and it's really interesting to see how tastes have changed (or haven't!) during the years.

The next book I'm after is Jennifer Crusie's "Bet Me", since I've heard just amazing things about it and not one negative opinion. I had previously tried reading "Faking It" and couldn't get into it at all, so I'm hoping this one doesn't dissapoint.



Last Edited on: 12/16/07 7:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/16/2007 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I couldn't read any Jennifer Crusie before I tried _Bet Me_ and I loved it! I've liked a number of her books since, but none as much.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 106
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Got to agree about Outlander, and Elizabeth Lowell's medievals. Amanda Quick's Desire is my daughter's favorite. I can't decide which of Quick's books I like best. I keep them all and re-read them periodically.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 1,002
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I'm not a big historical reader and Mary Balogh is very hit or miss for me.  More misses than hits.  But I loved, loved, loved #6 Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh.  To me it was a lot like Pride and Predjudice only with sex.  And the H's thoughts and reasons for his actions were so much more apparent than Mr. Darcy's.  But it's always great to see a VIP brought to his knees by LUV.

 

Date Posted: 12/18/2007 2:12 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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Well today at B&N I picked up #5 on the list, Laura Kinsale's "Flowers From the Storm". I've heard so many amazing things about this book from so many people I'm excited to read it :)

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 7:09 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
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Finally a list of books where I've read a bunch of them!  I just skimmed through and I think I've read 39, plus I've got several here in the house and one on loan from the library so that'll make 40 before long.

They've got some good oldies in there too!

Date Posted: 12/22/2007 2:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
Posts: 356
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I agree - read McNaught and Garwoods older historicals, Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Krentz, and Ravished is my favorite of those), Kleypas (Worth any Price is another good one).

Mary Jo Putney's Fallen Angels, The Rake; Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase.

We were talking about this year's AAR Top 100 update on my historical reading group (about 50 of us), and most of us were surprised at this year's results overall.  Take a look at the previous results before this, many of us liked that list better, lol.  Also, they did several author updates with readers favorites for each, so you can check those lists out too for the authors you decide to try:

http://www.likesbooks.com/favesbyauthor.html