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Topic: Hidden Gems in Romance?

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Subject: Hidden Gems in Romance?
Date Posted: 11/20/2009 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I was wondering what some of your hidden gems books are in the romance genre? Or maybe even over-looked authors. I'm currently reading the second Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentleman book (Duty and Desire) by Pamela Aidan. I'm loving the book (as I did the first). I don't know that it's a really well known trilogy (maybe I'm wrong).


So what are some of your favorites that aren't as well known?

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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The Bachelor's Cat by L.F. Hoffman

This is far from your average romance novel.  First, it's written by a man.  Second, it's short - just a little over a hundred pages.   The writing is sparse and there's little character development.   In fact, the characters aren't even given proper names.   Througout the story, they are referred to as "the man" or "the girlfriend".

Despite all of that, this is one of the most powerful romances that I've ever read.   It's about love - real love.  I cry (in a good way) every single time I re-read it - which is at least once a year.

Check out the reviews  - both on PBS and on Amazon.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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Oh that sounds like a good book. Definitely going to read that!

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2006
Posts: 4,687
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Just ordered a copy of The Bachelor's Cat . . . sounds good to me too!  Thanks for the recommendation. 

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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Amazon Lily by Theresa Weir...Contemporary romance set in the Amazon. I discovered Weir while looking for romances set in that specific location, but ended up collecting most of her backlist. He heroes are usually flawed, very flawed, but she gets you to love them anyway.

Heaven in His Arms by Lisa Ann Verge...Set in Canada during the late 1600's I believe. Hero is a fur trapper who is forced to marry to keep his license. He picks the sickest woman off the boat hoping she'll just pass on and he'll keep his freedom to roam. Well, she turns out to be a lot stronger than she looks. In fact, she turns out to be one of my most favorite heroines in a romance novel :P

Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi...Americana/historical romance. This author actually pulls off having a "mentally challenged" hero. He suffered a brain injury during birth and is a little slow mentally, but the sweetest hero you will ever read about. You'll love Jess. All Morsi's books are really great but this one is extra special.

Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth...Okay, this one is kinda well known but out of print and tough to get a copy of. If you can manage it you won't regret it. It's a historical romance and the hero is so in love with the heroine it'll make you just feel like melting, ESPECIALLY after you read why he loves her so much.

The Legend Makers by Catherine Lanigan. A love triangle in the Amazon. I don't usually like love triangles but I really liked this book. The characters were well done, the backstory and legend very interesting, the adventure entertaining, and the ending was really great, though bittersweet. This is the same author who wrote Romancing the Stone.



Last Edited on: 11/21/09 10:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/21/2009 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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 requested the cat book too!

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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A Love Through Time by Terri Brisbin

I'll second,  Heaven in His Arms by Lisa Ann Verge

Beyond Paradise by Elizabeth Doyle

The Suitor by Sandy Hingston

 

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,545
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Wow, Sarah, what a great list.  Thanks so much.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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The Maiden of Inverness by Arnette Lamb

Pleasures of the Night - Sylvia Day

The Irish Devil - Donna Fletcher

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
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I got all these suggestions off of this forum, very good reads.

The Orchid Hunter (Bombshell) :: Sandra K. Moore - I got this as a freebie and I almost didn't read it but I'm glad I did. This was a fast, action packed book about a woman who goes to the Amazon to collect a rare orchid.

Tag, You're It! :: Penny McCall - Funny dialog and lots of action.

Night Echoes :: Holly Lisle = very creepy ghost story but still has a good romance plot.

Rocky Mountain Man :: Jillian Hart - This is a great tortured hero book. 

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Marianne Stillings.  I like that she doesn't crank out 10 books a year.  Wonderful writer.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,545
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Mary, If you were going to order one or two of Marianne Stillings books, which would they be.......
Date Posted: 11/22/2009 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've read them all but the most recent which I have in the TBR.   My favorite is The Damsel In This Dress.  It's one of my few keepers. I also loved Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evie (great treasure hunt type caper).  Arousing Suspicions was another good one.  Her heroines are usually a little quirky.  She's great with witty dialogue.  She's also great with character naming.  Not common names but not really weird either. Like the hero in Damsel is named J. Soldier McKennit.  And then there's the Darling's.  2 cop brothers and a sister who are not pleased to be named Darling-one is in Midnight but not the hero: The Darling books are Arousing Suspisions, Satisfaction and Killer Charms.  I think I'll read KC this week I just noticed that it's WL again.

ETA: just an FYI she doesnt' write a lot of sex scenes in her books and they aren't really graphic.  They are more fun reads. 



Last Edited on: 11/22/09 12:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/22/2009 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I had a list I spent some time putting together, and then I got distracted with something else & lost it:P

I was going to add a third to Heaven In His Arms by Lisa Ann Verge.  That one was a really great book that totally took me by surprise.  I can also add a vote for The Suitor by Sandy Hingston.  Hingston is not that well known, and this one is probably her best, & well worth nabbing a copy.  Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney is another one I think doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves.  A lot of people list off everything but that one when they talk about Gaffney, and I think it's her best.  What a Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty also comes to mind.  Definitely don't judge that one by its cover - or the title.  It's an amazing story.  Once In A Blue Moon by Penelope Williamson is another fantastic one that doesn't get as much attention as it should.  Williamson has written a lot of great books, but that one is a lesser-mentioned standout, IMO.  It punches the snot out of every hot button I have, and I was still groveling for more all the way up to the end:P  It just tore my heart out.  There is also Whispers of Heaven by her sister, Candice Proctor.  It's set on the island of Tasmania & the heroine is wealthy & priviledged, but the hero is an Irish convict.  I couldn't, for the life of me, envision an HEA for that one, but Proctor pulls it off with style.  Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke is another one that is not to be missed.  It doesn't get mentioned a lot, mostly because it's so hard to find, but if you can get a copy, you've really lucked into something special.



Last Edited on: 11/22/09 4:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/22/2009 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'll give a 2nd vote to Heaven In His Arms-if you can find it.  I had it on my WL for quite awhile before I bought it from Amazon market place.  I don't think it was that expensive although the copy wasn't in the best condition.

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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Sarah, Theresa Weir was my automatic response even before I opened the thread!  So I whole-heartedly second her.  Very, very well written characters, that are mature and face REAL problems. Very unlike most romances, but still unspeakably romantic. These are not easy, breesy romances. She doesn't write romance anymore because she was so overlooked. Now she writes mystery/suspense under the name Anne Frazier.

My favorites of hers are:

Last Summer http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780553560923-LAST+SUMMER about a diabetic rock star and a widowed schoolteacher

One Fine Day http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780553563788-One+Fine+Day about a man who has a stroke and his estranged wife

Cool Shade http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780061084621-Cool+Shade a female disc jockey and a recluse

Forever http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780553293807-FOREVER a man that suffers brain damage and his therapist---this is a whole box o' kleenex read, as is One FIne Day

American Dreamer http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780061084614-American+Dreamer a moody farmer and an animal researcher



Last Edited on: 11/22/09 8:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2009
Posts: 337
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I ordered Simple Jesse after reading the posts here and just finshed reading it:  it is a great story and I am so glad that someone mentioned it.  Now I'm going to get some more of Pamela Morsi's books....

Thanks again!

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,545
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I just finished Simple Jesse, too.  Good read.  I am now looking for Marrying Stone, Sweetwood Bride, Wild Oats, Something Shady, Letting Go and Bitsy's bait and BBQ.   If anyone wants to do a deal on two or more let me know.



Last Edited on: 12/5/09 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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well I ordered the Bachelors' Cat and it says 'love story'..another thread someone said 'love story' means sad/death. now I'm scared to read it!

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I've never been disappointed by anything from Morsi. Or Weir, for that matter.



Last Edited on: 12/5/09 6:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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Elizabeth Rolls is a *wonderful* writer. I have read The Unruly Chaperon, A Compromised Lady, His Lady Mistress and Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride. They were all Fantastic!  I plan to read as many of her books as I can get hold of.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Susanna - Don't worry about The Bachelor's Cat.   It IS a love story - a story about finding love.   But it's also a romance in the true meaning of the word - with an HEA.

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 423
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I've loved most of Morsi's books as well. My favorites that I manage to re-read everytime I'm on break at home are Garters, Here Comes the Bride, and Sealed with a Kiss. Her other ones that I really enjoyed are Courting Miss Hattie, Heaven Sent, Marrying Stone, Runabout, Sweetwood Bride, and Wild Oats. I'm keeping most of my copies.

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2005
Posts: 191
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I've enjoyed everything Karen L. King has written. Im not sure if she's still writing or not, its been at least 3 years since her last book, but she writes humorous historicals. She has a trilogy  featuring wedding duel pistols and they're some of my favorite books. Definitely keepers. I don't know of anyone else who's ever read her but I recommend her every chance I get. q

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2008
Posts: 271
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 I really like Maggie Osborne My favorite is Silver Lining, and The Wives of Bowie Stone.

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