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Topic: Best Historical Romance you've ever read?

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Subject: Best Historical Romance you've ever read?
Date Posted: 10/4/2008 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
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What is your favorite historical romance novel?  Mine would have to be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  (This book got me started on historical romances..)

Date Posted: 10/4/2008 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I just got that one from the library after someone was posting about it in one of the threads - probably the weekly 'what we're reading'..I'm fairly new to historical so can't say what my favorite would be..couldn't do that for any genre I don't think!

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Outlander (Gabaldon); the Last Arrow (Canham); Flowers from the Storm (Kinsale); Devil in Winter (Kleypas)


Impossible to pick just one.

Last Edited on: 10/7/08 9:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/7/2008 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2008
Posts: 4,596
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I love historicals but fell off the planet for awhile. I am big on sagas so I would say its a tie between the books by Sharon page (historical eroticas); Hot Silk, Black Silk<S in etc. and an OLD one but amazing story: Ashes in teh Wind by Kathleen Woodweis. I actually read my mom's copy from when she was my age as a teenager and loved it so I tracked a copy down for myself. A Rose in Winter is another great book by her.

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2008
Posts: 36
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I second the Outlander vote!

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2007
Posts: 679
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Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Jennifer, how are Woodiwess' books? I remember my mom having a lot of hers but I only skimmed through a couple just for the sex(hey I was a curious teen LOL) but how are the stories? HEA's or long separations, level of drama?

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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They are very old skool, "sweeping" style, and very purpley prosy.  Think flowery euphemisms for sex.  The penis & vagina do not exist in Woodiwiss's world, you understand.  Rather, the H&H have "loins".  Adjectives abound.  A woman doesn't just have thighs, she has silken thighs.  No plain old breasts either.  They're quivering breasts - and usually meagerly clad at that:P  The hero doesn't have anything so mundane as muscles; he has "iron hard thews", if you can figure that one out.  Dialogue so old world, it's like some crusty old British actor reading Shakespeare:P  Honestly - I can read her books, but we're talking about the books that got me started reading romance to begin with, waaay back in the 70's.  I have to be in the mood to do one of them now, and recommending them to someone else, is a very iffy thing.  Maybe you'll enjoy it, maybe it's gonna hit the wall:P  Hard to say...

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2008
Posts: 465
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I remember the first book that I read was called 'Peter Proud' way back in the 70's.  I was a very young teenager and hid the book so that my mom would not know what I was reading.  I don't even remember who wrote the book or what the book was about.  But it was the book that started me reading.  And I would have to say that my favorite book is 'Shanna' by Kathleen Woodweis.  I am another big fan of her books.

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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I would usually pick anything by Kathleen Woodweis, since I am also a huge fan of saga-like romance.  But this year, I think my absolute favorite would be Rapture by Rosamond Royal, author better known as Valerie Sherwood.  This is a huge book, I couldn't put it down for 2 days! lol  Edited to add:  Although this book was written in the late 70s, this book has no cheating... I thought I'll mention it, but it does have other horrors... you wont be bored, lemme tell you..

FROM THE BACK COVER: 640pgs; copyright 1979

By the time Rosamunde Langley was sixteen, her golden hair, flawless face, and perfect body struck sparks in every man who saw her. But in the tumultuous 17th century, beauty meant danger as well as power for this woman made for love. Until the one lover stronger than she led her into a gamble that even she might not win.....

A legion of men knew her
as the Wild Rose.
But only one
Knew her secret.

The Wild Rose was the title she had taken and the legend she had created- the beautiful blond aristocrat who roved the highroads at the side of England's most notorious highwayman-and matched him, valor for valor, reckless deed by reckless deed.

But the Wild Rosewas more than a legend. She was a woman, with womans needs, a woman's hunger, a woman's weakness..



Last Edited on: 10/19/08 5:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Outlander - bar none!

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 217
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Outlander, Gone With the Wind, Pride and Prejudice!

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I still love Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss, but then again, as many times as I've read it, I haven't reread it since I got back into reading romance again just a few years ago.  I'm more than a little concerned that I would have a much harder time with her writing since nobody writes like that anymore (not that anyone else but Woodiwiss exactly ever did:P), and I'm just not accustomed to it anymore.  I think everyone who really enjoys historicals should read some of her books - especially Shanna, Ashes in the Wind, and The Flame and the Flower, just because they give you a deeper appreciation of how much the genre has evolved over the years.  I had read my share of cheesy bodice rippers before I started on Woodiwiss, and they were so different from the usual crap that the big name historical romance writers like Rosemary Rogers were putting out at the time.  It was like the thinking back then was that a hero couldn't go on to redeem himself unless he'd cheated on the heroine at least twice in the story:P   And even then, redeeming themselves was really a matter of opinion - mostly theirs - because most of these guys started and finished as A-holes, IMO.  Ruark Beauchamp (funny name, eh?) from Shanna was just THE coolest hero ever to grace a historical.  And in the context of the story itself, all purple prose and silly dialogue aside, he still is really.

My very favorite historicals now:

Across a Moonlit Sea and The Last Arrow by Marsha Canham

For My Lady's Heart and Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

Untie My Heart, The Proposition, and The Indiscretion by Judith Ivory

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor

My Beloved and After the Kiss by Karen Ranney

The Bridal Season and Bridal Favors by Connie Brockway

The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran

And the ever-controversial Delicious by Sherry Thomas

There are more, but who has time to list them all?


Date Posted: 10/20/2008 8:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 467
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Johanna Lindsey was my first romp with historical romances and surprisingly enough she isn't necessarily author of one of my favorite books. After all these years of reading romance I still am stuck with some favorite authors. It wasn't until this last year that I finially picked up a couple books that were highly recommended and loved loved loved them....

Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood


are just a few of my all time favorites.

Date Posted: 10/20/2008 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 496
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I really enjoy the Slightly series by Mary Balogh. Pretty much anything Balogh writes I enjoy. I also love Until You by Judith McNaught. One of my all time faves. And Ashes in the Wind and Flame and the Flower by Woodiwiss,
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2007
Posts: 4,850
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For me, it is DEVIL'S BRIDE by Stephanie Laurens. That is the one that got me hooked on romance.
Date Posted: 10/25/2008 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2008
Posts: 4,596
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OOH I never saw your post-sorry! I really like her writing (woodweiss) I mean it IS Flowery but so what? The stories themselves are just so good that you can overlook the prose even if its not your style. I have all of her best books on my keepershelf. Ironically I didnt care for SHanna but I loved:

-Ashes in the Wind (Such a sweeping saga and the characters are great)

-The Wolf and the Dove

- A Rose in Winter


The rest of ehr books are sort of hit and miss but I def reccomend those three.

Date Posted: 10/25/2008 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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Two of my very favorite historicals are:

Simply Love by Mary Balogh (her books always make me cry)


England's Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch

Date Posted: 10/26/2008 3:34 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 19
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