It was also incredibly romantic, so this guest post by Laura Jarratt is perfectly fitting as today she is sharing with us her top 10 favourite romantic reads... How many have you read? What do you think of her choices? Which books would you include? Let Laura know in comments!
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My Top Ten Romantic Novels
by Laura Jarratt
For me to get into romantic fiction, there has to be a meaningful theme playing out or a quirky male main character who just sucks me in, so my choice here (in no particular order) has both of those options:
I loved this book when I was fourteen. I must have read it at least ten times. Not only has it got a great pacey supernatural storyline but it also has Sorry – a male witch who is one of the most idiosyncratic teenage boys to exist in YA fiction. He really is a priceless original. It’s also a very clever play on the changeover from childhood into the adult world, using the supernatural changeover of Laura Chant from ordinary girl into a witch to illustrate this.
2. Devil’s Cub – Georgette Heyer
I read my first Georgette Heyer when I was ten, hidden in the back of my mum’s wardrobe lighting the pages with a torch because I thought I was doing something really naughty (though actually they are perfectly harmless and very innocent books). Georgette Heyer is the mistress of the romantic comedy with amusing and vivid heroes. Devil’s Cub is one of the first I read. Dominic Alastair is the baddest of bad boys but with the adorable trait of being able to laugh at himself and not take himself half as seriously as others do. When he meets Mary who possess the ability to put him down effortlessly, he’s in love. Mary knows his reputation too well and she’s not buying into his loving her for a good while. One of Heyer’s wittiest.
Freddy is everything Dominic in Devil’s Cub is not. In the first few chapters, he appears to be little more than a buffoon but he’s a lesson in looking past the obvious. By the final chapter he’ll be one of your favourites – he’s possibly the sweetest hero in fiction and he will steal your heart.
A beautiful and very powerful book with a depiction of real love between Tessa and Adam. Tessa is dying of cancer when she meets Adam. Their relationship is exquisitely painted and so full of truth. It should be compulsory reading for any girl who thinks that being treated badly in a relationship is how relationships are for everyone. Of course, this is only one aspect of what is an incredible book – do not read without a tissue box at hand.
I have never understood why this book isn’t as well known and loved as Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. Helen is a woman who made a disastrous mistake in her choice of husband and in the end leaves him to protect her child. The questions this raises for the society of the time make this compulsive reading as does the delicate unfolding of the relationship between Helen and Gilbert Markham who is fascinated by the mysterious woman who comes to live at Wildfell Hall.
I’m a big fan of Kevin Brooks’ style of prose. This was the first book of his that I read and it blew me away. I didn’t know teen books could be like this and it made me rethink how and what I wanted to write. But Candy is written from Joe’s point of view. And to read a love story from the point of view of a boy is rare enough to make this worth reading for that reason alone. It’s not a book for younger readers and it’s not a happy read but Brooks has a talent for putting you into the head of a teenage boy who’s in love for the first time.
7. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
I’ve loved this since I was a child and it’s so famous it needs no introduction from me. Jane and Rochester are one of the great romantic pairings because their chemistry leaps off the page. Enough said.
This is a short story from a collection of tough uncompromising fiction. It’s beautifully written. A modern classic that depicts a relationship between two men that spans decades and confronts the prejudice of the recent past.
Berni’s a friend of mine and I’ve been cheerleading her with Will and Ellie through all her drafts of this book pre-publication. Firstly, I love a good vampire story and secondly Will makes me laugh. He’s a tough brooding hero with a great sense of humour – you can’t help adoring him because he’s just so funny and he has excellent comic timing.
10. The Moon in the Water – Pamela Belle
Sadly now out of print and my copy fell apart. A romantic historical saga that my best friend and I discovered when we were teenagers. We were totally in love with the complex and mercurial Francis Heron.