by Christine Wells
Recently, the lovely Kate Cuthbert, editor of the fabulous romance-focused instalment of a monthly newsletter called Booktopia Buzz (go here to subscribe) asked me to list the ten romance novels that have influenced me the most.
This was a tough question to answer and no doubt I've missed some wonderful books, but here goes:
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen--unmatched wit, keen observation and a fairytale ending--my introduction to the Regency world
2. Venetia by Georgette Heyer--one of the best 'rake's redemption' stories, ever
3. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase--no one does the battle of the sexes quite as well as Loretta Chase. An extraordinary romance..
4. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale--exquisite writing, deep passion, magnificent storytelling. Sheer brilliance
5. Welcome to Temptation by Jenny Crusie--snarky, subversive, a fantastic community novel...and some of the hottest love scenes around
6. The Devil to Pay by Liz Carlyle--Carlyle marries sophisticated sizzle with wit, deep emotion and a feel for the period which few surpass. Her heroes are particularly fabulous.
7. Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell--deep, dark, wrenchingly emotional, Campbell took a risk writing a courtesan heroine that paid off in spades
8. Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney--Putney can plunge a reader into the pit of human despair and then fling her to the skies in triumph.
9. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh--Mary Balogh's sensual story of a very proper and repressed young lady's slow awakening should be required reading for historical writers.
10. The Desperate Duchesses series by Eloisa James--I love the duality of James's novels. On the surface they are all wit and sophistication, but underneath is humanity--love and longing, desire and pain.
Now, I've just remembered approximately a dozen authors who should also be named here, not to mention a hundred more books!
But I'd love to hear your lists. What romance novels do you read over and over? Have any influenced the way you think or act? Have any given you particular comfort in tough times? If you're a writer, what authors or stories have influenced you?
I'm giving away a signed copy of WICKED LITTLE GAME to one lucky reader!