Discussion Forums - Love & Romance Love & Romance

Topic: Books that "haunt" you....

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Books that "haunt" you....
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
Back To Top

We've got posts and posts and posts about books we love and authors we avoid like WalMart on Christmas Eve. But what books "haunt" you? It may be a character, a scene, or a plot twist so unusual, so compelling that it's on your keeper shelf and you don't even have to reread it to remember.

Please give us a little more info than just the title and author. If it's a plot twist and you want to describe it, please preface with "SPOILER ALERT" for those who don't want to know...

Here are some of my ghosts (possible spoilers, but hopefully just teasers):

Lazarus Rising by Anne Stuart - The hero is a genuine bad boy who feels compelled to kill the heroine.

Sweetest Taboo by Alison Kent - The hero is the ultimate loner: he works alone, eats alone, sleeps alone, and has sex alone. What really sets him apart is the writer's craft in describing him. His name, his age, his cat. Greatest scene: 10 wordless minutes when h/h meet in their apartment mailroom.

Take Me by Cherry Adair - He's her husband but he doesn't know it. She's his mistress. He wants to divorce his wife and marry his mistress. The bestest, bestest scene is the Christmas tree scene. Get your tissues ready...


Date Posted: 8/12/2009 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

Redeeming Love by Francine RiversI think is the only one that haunted me, well other than The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Outlaws Embrace by Francine Rivers.  This was just such a great book.  I haven't read the book in over a year and I can still feel the pain of heroine, the hero, the heroine's father, the Dr. who loves the heroine, the wife of the heroine's childhood friend who thinks her husband loves the heroine (he only loves her like a sister). 

Behind Closed Doors by Shannon McKenna: 2 really messed up people just trying to survive.  They would normally be characters most people would hate in a book-heroine is a neurotic mess and the hero is the ultra-uber-alpha hell bent on revenge.  But they manage to pull each other out of their destuctive paths.

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
Back To Top

Outlander by Gabaldon, scene with Jamie towards the end of the book.  I agree with Susanna on Redeeming Love.  Also Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare.

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
Back To Top

Beau Crusoe by Carla Kelly. The hero was stranded on a desert island for years and is now back in society. He's haunted by the ghost of one of the sailors that survived the initial sinking of his ship--and finally finding out what happened still is something I can remember reading.

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
Back To Top

Minx by Julia Quinn....the scene where the "Big Misunderstanding" comes to light and the heroine is crying and screaming that she isn't good enough for him...the only book scene that's made me cry all year.

Usually I just get aggrevated at that "I'm not good enough" routine.  Seriously.  Get some self confidence and buck up!  But this was set up so well and so believable.

Last Edited on: 8/12/09 5:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,178
Back To Top

Here Be Dragons  Sharon Penman's novel about  King John, and his daughter Joanna....  A 5 years old Joanna has been rejected by her mothers family, after her mother has killed herself.  Is told she's being sent to her father.  She say's "no please " but no one hears her or sees her fear.  Still brings tears to my eyes

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
Back To Top

Great question, I think almost all my keeper books are keepers because of a specific scene(s) or dialogue. In case everyone hasn't figured it out yet JAK in all guises is one of my favorite authors. Some of her books are on my keeper shelf because of one scene or line that I just loved.

Fabulous Beast by Stephanie James, the tabby cat references and the heroine talking about the sex lives of mythical animals in an attempt to seduce the hero.

Devil to Pay by Stephanie James, the faked orgasm scene.

Between the Lines by JAK, on their wedding night the heroine is very nervous and the hero is trying to take things slowly to calm her down, it doesn't work and she, in a fit of frustration spouts off with, "You knew I wasn't some kind of hot blooded, passion-starved sex kitten." And storms off, amusing the hero to no end. Reduces me to laughter everytime.

All Night Long by JAK, the restaurant scene.

Seduction by Amada Quick, the end where the heroine tells the hero what happened in the deserted tower, and later how he convinces her to wear a necklace.

I can think of quite a few more, the Highlander books by KMM, the Linda Howard books from the 90's, and the Midnight series by LMR have too many memorable moments to list.

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
Back To Top

As Meat Loves Salt. I read it over a year ago and I still think about the very damaged main character.

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 1,012
Back To Top

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas really left me feeling empty for a couple of weeks.  I can hardly even remember the book now, but I remember being bothered by it at the time.

Outlander did the same, but it has been years since I read it.

I have a lot of books listed on here in my TBR so I need to check them out.


I'm going to add Linda Howard as well.

Last Edited on: 8/12/09 7:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2007
Posts: 597
Back To Top

I'm with Susanna and Sherron. Redeeming Love leaves no emotion untouched.

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
Back To Top

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers!

I second (or third or fourth...lol) that.  What an amazing emotional journey that book is.

Also, the scene in Outlander when Claire is about to go back through the stones & leave Jamie.  Wowza - talk about heart-wrenching.

I'll have to think of some more.

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 137
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 8/13/09 11:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
Back To Top

Susan Elizabeth Phillip's Ain't she Sweet

It is about a bully who comes back to her small town after all the horribleness has been beaten out of her (sometimes literally)... I just felt for this character so much...which is weird because I was picked on throughout school and I hate the bullies--and usually wish karma would bite them really hard. I never thought I would be able to fell bad for her and cry during the parts when she, herself, was too proud to cry. It is the only book that made me so nervous I almost threw up.


Oh god Also SEP's Dream a Little Dream of Me--When the little boy kepts saying "Are we going to die yet?"

Last Edited on: 8/12/09 10:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

Ditto Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare & Beau Crusoe by Carla Kelly.

Also: Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran

Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney

Broken Wing by Judith James

For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

Seize the Fire by Laura Kinsale

My Beloved by Karen Ranney

Delicious by Sherry Thomas

Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

The Proposition by Judith Ivory

Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne

The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie Osborne

The Promise of Jenny Jones by Maggie Osborne

Once in a Blue Moon by Penelope Williamson

Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson

Heart of the West by Penelope Williamson

The Outsider by Penelope Williamson

The reasons vary, but are basically all the same - they all made me cry:P


Date Posted: 8/13/2009 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
Posts: 261
Back To Top

Ditto with Susan Elizabeth Phillip's Ain't She Sweet.

Summerhouse by Jude Devereax - for some reason, that one just made me cry, especially Madison's story.


Date Posted: 8/13/2009 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
Back To Top

Oh yeah! One more


River Lady By Jude Devereax.....It is my fav book of all time..I have read it atleast 20 times. Just the good heartedness of Leah hits me every time......and the slow evolution of the heros hate to love of her.

Date Posted: 8/13/2009 1:10 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 1,008
Back To Top

Cry No More by Linda Howard    The heroine has searched for ten years for her lost child.  There is a scene at the end where Diaz, the assassin, tells her "Nothing much impresses me, but that was the bravest thing I've ever seen."  I still can't read the end of that book without crying. 

Lady Jane by Norma Lee Clark   This is my favorite regency of all time and I cry every time I read it.  It's one of those books you just want to grab and rewrite to make everything totally okay for your favorite characters.  But then it wouldn't have the impact that it does. 

Out Of The Dark by Sharon Sala  I cry just thinking about this book.  I don't need to reread it because it is pretty much seared into my memory.  It deals with victims of child sexual abuse. One of the characters is the most wrenching example of selfless love I have ever read. 

Whispers In The Woods by Helen R. Myers  A contemporary beauty and the beast type story.  The hero was the victim of involuntary genetic experimentation.  He looks very intimidating which makes it even sweeter when he says things like (in response to the heroine telling him that he worries too much)  "He looked away.  'You're my treasure. How can I not?'" 

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers  Another vote 

All of the above deal with the selfless aspect of love.

And on a happier note, the end of The Gypsy Heiress  by Laura London (aka Sharon and Tom Curtis) when the hero, a rake who grew up unloved and abused, is coming to terms with being in love.  The heroine says to him, "You might have told me--that you loved me."  He replies, "Yes.  I'm sorry.  I would have, if I had realized that you didn't know.  It seemed to be pouring out of me by the bucket until I was afraid I would drown you in it."  And then at the end when she watches him walk away to ask her uncle for her hand in marriage.  She can't go because of a recent injury to her leg.  "He stopped halfway across, and came back to me, to pick me up, still wrapped in the quilt, and together we began our journey."

I loved it twenty years ago and I still love it. 

edited to add that great scene in The Natural Child by Sharon and Tom Curtis where the heroine watches out her window and sees the gorgeous and scandalous hero walking by and accosted by beggar children.  Not knowing that he is being observed, he goes to his knees laughing and emptying his pockets and even cutting off the gold buttons on his coat.  This was years before the two actually met but she  never forgot that night.

Last Edited on: 8/13/09 3:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/13/2009 8:26 AM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2008
Posts: 19
Back To Top

I think I'm the sixth or seventh vote for Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  My boss' wife raved about it and insisted I read it.  I only wished she'd told me that afterward I would feel like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and ripped into little pieces then stomped real hard. Talk about intensely emotional!  I was haunted for weeks afterward.

Not by definition a romance novel, but another recent haunter is Souvenir by Therese Fowler.  Essentially a tragic love story, with many twists,  I remain haunted by the story of Meg and Carson.

Edited to add A Dangerous Love by Brenda Joyce; there was something about Emilian and Ariella that stayed with me a long time. The intensity and passion just leaped off the page. He was half gypsy and that added to the whole passionate aura of their story.

Last Edited on: 8/13/09 8:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/13/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
Back To Top

Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas when the heroine is reading a letter the hero wrote her, meant to be read in case of his death.  I bawled my eyes out.

Dragonfly in Amber by Gabaldon, when Jamie makes the decision that Claire has to go back because he plans to die at Culloden.  Their final scene together broke my heart.

Pleasures of the Night by Sylvia Day.  There's once scene towards the end where hero sends her "back".   Ripped my heart out.


Date Posted: 8/13/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

Tammy I had no idea Redeeming Love was that emotional..Iknow someone here posted about reading it in the weekly what we're reading thread but I thought it was based on the biblical story of Hosea with a cheating wife...not dealing wtih child rape/prostitution/abuse..eeks..and like I said once I started Ic ouldn't put it down and was sobbing and angry and just about every emotion all at once.

Date Posted: 8/13/2009 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
Back To Top

The Passions of Emma -- Penelope Williamson 

Date Posted: 8/13/2009 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
Back To Top

A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith


Date Posted: 8/13/2009 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
Back To Top

Oh. Some of you posters are really frustrating me. More than the title and author, I'm curious to know what it is about a particular book that makes it soooo memorable for you.



Date Posted: 8/14/2009 3:39 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 1,008
Back To Top

Oh, yes! Another vote for A Gentle Rain.  That was the best book I read in 2007.  I don't believe these are spoilers as they are upfront about who is what from the beginning of the book.  A young woman who is the equivalent of a Kennedy heiress or someone like that discovers on the deaths of her adoptive parents (she didn't know she was adopted) that her real parents are a mentally challenged couple living on a ranch that is a group home.  The man who runs it has a brother there and has poured his life into caring for these people.  The scene where she reveals her identity to her mother and father is just wonderful.  But this book is filled with scenes like that and also with humor.  I just kept alternating between laughing and misting up.