Smart Bitches in People Magazine

Great day in the morning! We’re in People Magazine.

While the article doesn’t appear to be on their website, in the 3 August issue, featuring a very messy-headed Robert Pattinson and “his messy love life” on the cover, on page 46, there’s BOSOMS! And a list of our very favorite romances.

Here, a PDF for your viewing pleasure! People magazine, page 46.

People (the magazine, not the plural noun) had asked us for a list of our very favorite romances, and that list was, of course, a LOT longer when we sent it in. Five of our choices made the list:

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One of the best romances ever: unabashed and hilarious, fun and moving. Minerva’s jerkwad ex-boyfriend bets his friend Cal that he can’t get Min to sleep with him in a month. If you love stories with bickering, blistering attraction, this will keep you reading long after you meant to turn off the light.

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The premise sounds like something dreamed up in the fevered fantasies of a bad 80s screenwriter: a white ninja rescues a shy, proper seamstress from a life of drudgery. The execution, however, is flawless. Few people write with the elegance and beauty of Laura Kinsale, and this book’s emotional intensity will have you reaching for a box of tissues.

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During the course of this book, the heroine tells the hero “In my dictionary, romance is not maudlin, treacly sentiment. It is a curry, spiced with excitement and humor and a healthy dollop of cynicism.” Few romance novels fit this description better than Lord of Scoundrels. This book reliably converts non-romance readers over to the dark side. Male or female; math professor or classicist; computer programmer or chef: all are helpless to resist the razor-sharp banter and explosive chemistry between Jessica and Sebastian.

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People often sniff at Harlequins, known in the industry as “category” romances, but behind the covers, they can pack a marvelous story in a very short space. This one is a great example: a new twist on the Cinderella myth that’s set in Australia. It’s a perfect afternoon beach read.

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This is the first of an ongoing series by Nora Roberts writing as Robb.Set in NYC in the 2020s, there’s mystery, suspense, and hot, hot action of many kinds. Eve and Roarke form one of the best couples in romance today.

But there were more on the original list, which began: Seven of our favorite romances? When People asked us that question, the wailing and gnashing of the teeth began. Not only is narrowing the list down almost impossible, Sarah and Candy have divergent reading tastes and don’t always agree on what’s good. The books they do agree on have a distressing tendency to be out-of-print and very hard to find (The Windflower by Laura London, for example). We finally agreed on a few limiting criteria: nothing that’s been out of print for more than ten years, and the selection must attempt to reflect the variety in the genre. So here’s The Smart Bitches’ Top Seven Romances That Aren’t Impossible to Find.

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(The Immortals After Dark series) If you pack one of these in your beach bag, bring a fan, because holy hot steaming demons: this series is smart, savvy, and so freaking spicy. Few do hot sexy tension like Cole.

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So many amazing romances are being released from digital publishers. This powerful story from Samhain Publishing features a hero and heroine scarred in different ways who have to relearn everything they thought they knew about sex and love. It comes out in print in February.

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Shana Abe writes lyrically and beautifully, and her Drakon series (The Smoke Thief, The Dream Thief, Queen of Dragons, The Treasure Keeper) about a race of Dragon people with the ability to change form are no exception.


Obviously, when you have no limits in bandwidth, you can keep going for pages about your favorite books! But with column inches, space is tight like, well, you know where I was going with that.

SO! How about a giveaway? To celebrate I will give a set of each of the above books, including a bound galley of Butterfly Tattoo, to one random commenter in the next 24 hours. All you have to do is pick your one favorite, without question, ultimate recommendation for the Best Romance Novel Ever in your opinion. See? Easy, right? Riiiiight.

 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    “Devil in Winter” by Lisa Kleypas

  2. 2

    Just one? You mean just one author right? Not one book! Oh heavens, I guess it would have to be Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. I just absolutely adore that book, the series, Jamie and Claire. Oh gosh I have it in hardback, paperback, and if it comes out as an ebook I would buy that too just so I could read it whenever and wherever I want!

    Spam Word: And that is the truth86 me if you want!

  3. 3
    KristinaCook says:

    Okay, it’s *really* hard to pick just one…but if I had to, it would be Loretta Chase’s LORD OF SCOUNDRELS.  For me, it was the perfect historical romance.  It had every element that I love—a tortured hero, wonderful, snappy dialogue/repartee, and breathless sexual tension.  But what really pushes it over the top into ‘best ever’ territory was the surprise of a very likable, wonderfully engaging heroine.  Often, I find romances with a to-die-for hero, or a lot of elements that I love, but rarely do I find a romance where I *equally* enjoy the hero and heroine.  So for me, it’s LORD OF SCOUNDRELS.

  4. 4
    Bea says:

    The Tiger’s Woman by Celeste de Blasis.

    So, any bets on whether your spam filter rejects me again? :D Hmm, the magic word to enter is come89. Now wouldn’t that be exhausting? :D

  5. 5
    Katiebabs says:

    My best romance ever is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. I stayed up reading that book for 6 hours straight with no breaks. The passion and love Alexander and Tatiana is all consuming. This book hits you in the gut and it is set in Russia during WWII.

    The only book that reduced me to an emotional mess where I couldn’t read any book for almost a month afterwards.

  6. 6
    Shell Bryce says:

    Ohhh hard choice but if I had to pick my fave book it would have to be Shiloh Walkers Hunters Edge.  I don’t know why but that one has always stood out for me.

  7. 7

    Er, did you mean, choose one book from your list? In that case, “The Shadow and the Star” by Laura Kinsale.

  8. 8
    azteclady says:

    I would hate you for asking for the one (I never know how to narrow these things to ten, forget ONE!) but my instinctive answer is always: Morning Glory, by LaVyrle Spencer.

    So, there you have it, ONE!

    hah!

  9. 9
    Ocy says:

    I am a sucker for Joanna Bourne’s My Lord and Spymaster.  Fictional character crush ahoy!

  10. 10
    CupK8 says:

    Just one…? But… but…

    Okay.. *sigh*

    I am going to choose Georgette Heyer’s The Black Sheep.  I have enjoyed many witty, funny romances, but this one took the cake for me. :)  One of the things I love the most about this novel is that the characters are outwardly so different, and yet they click so well.  I could go on and on.. man, now I want to re-read it!

  11. 11
    limecello says:

    That is a horrible question. :P It’s like asking “which kid would you save if there was a fire?” – you know, if I had kids.
    Although I’m not as fond of her newer books… I have to go with one of SEPs. She’s one of the first romance authors I read. (I checked them out at the library – and didn’t want to be seen with the kitschy covers – or the giant garish heart sticker on the spine, really.) I have a top four … ok, so five in my head right now – Breathing Room; Heaven, Texas; Kiss an Angel, Lady Be Good; This Heart of Mine/Nobody’s Baby But Mine. (Ok so I cheated and listed 6.)
    If I had to pick my favorite of that bunch… (and it was already hard enough to narrow it down to one author, mind you) – I’d have to go with Heaven, Texas.

  12. 12
    SarahT says:

    Although it’s hard to pick just one, I’d have to say ‘The Promise of Jenny Jones’ by Maggie Osborne. I absolutely love that book!

  13. 13
    Lynette says:

    Since Aztec Lady already picked Morning Glory!  Awesome, awesome, awesome book.

    I’m going to go with:

    Daniel’s Bride by Linda Lael Miller

    Morning Glory and Naked in Death are all neck and neck.

  14. 14
    RB says:

    Wow!  A random commenter?  That is a contest even I can figure out.  Favorite romance novel is a little more difficult…
    I used to read every Danielle Steel book available, so ten years ago one of hers would have been a favorite.  Now I tend to prefer Nora Roberts or Erin McCarthy (love Nascar Romance!).  However, my current favorite is Victoria Dahls, “Talk Me Down”.  I think it is a great combination of a fun and flirty romance with a dash of serious issues and intrigue.

  15. 15
    ~Linda~ says:

    Just one fav….
    I would have to say Lover Awakened by JR Ward.

  16. 16
    Beth Yarnall says:

    If I had to pick one (& you’re evil to make me do it) it would have to be Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. I loved that book!
    For a series it would definitly go to JD Robb’s In Death series… Roarke *sigh*  Need I say more?

  17. 17
    Kate Diamond says:

    Ahhh! I can’t do it.

    But if someone wanted to read a contemporary romance, I’d definitely recommend a Jennifer Crusie novel (one of her earlier single-titles).

    That’s as close as I can come to playing fair!

  18. 18
    AnimeJune says:

    You’ve already mentioned Bet Me (which got me hooked on romances), so I’ll suggest Mary Balogh’s “The Secret Pearl” – my fave historical of all time.

  19. 19
    Michelle says:

    My overall choice would be a toss up between Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ “It Had To Be You,” and LaVyrle Spencer’s “Small Town Girl.”  I’d just flip a coin between these to titles as I left for my desert isle.

  20. 20
    Mireya says:

    Julia Quinn’s “Romancing Mr. Bridgerton”. 

    And you are mean … only one choice … bleh

  21. 21
    LizC says:

    Just one? No fair! But forced to choose I will have to go with The Grand Sophy by Heyer merely because it is, to this date, the only romance novel I have completely reread cover to cover. This is the mark of a truly awesome book because as much as I, too, love Bet Me I’ve only skimmed it a few times since I first read it 5 years ago.

  22. 22
    Natasha R says:

    ai ai ai! One!? Okay, I’ll pick a favorite that is fairly recent. The Mane Attraction by Shelly Laurenston. When I’m having a crappy day, I tend to open that book. Reading any random page brings a smile to my face. It’s magically, really :D

    Reading someone’s favorites list always gets me excited! Now, I have to go book hunting!

  23. 23
    Sabrina says:

    There is no question about my answer. For me, it’s hands down Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase!

  24. 24
    Angie G says:

    I’m gonna go for Julie Garwood’s The Bride.  Maybe not the best ever, but it’s one of my very favorites!

  25. 25
    Babs says:

    Oh, tonight it would It Happened One Autumn by Kleypas. Always love reading Westcliff becoming entranced with a thoroughly inappropriate (or so he thinks) woman.

  26. 26
    tracykitn says:

    Mary Stewart’s Nine Coaches Waiting. I stole my mom’s copy when I moved out on my own. I’m not sorry, and she found herself a replacement.

  27. 27
    Babz says:

    Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh or Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole (the one with Bowen the sexy mother of a Lykae and Mariketa the witch, and yes, I had to look up the title).

    Do I really have to choose?? Come on!

    Okay, so Angel’s Blood is I think, the better book overall, but Bowen and Mari just did it for me. They argue, they scream at each other but when they are together the closeness is too, too sweet. She didn’t want him, he didn’t want her but they just can’t seem to pull away.

  28. 28

    Okay, I absolutely can’t pick, so just because she’s Australian like me, and was the first Australian to crack the Silhoutte market (go girl!), I’m going to pick Bronwyn Jameson.  Besides, the title sounds indecently cliched it deserves an eye-roll.  If it’s *that* bad and still lands on this list, it deserves to be read. 

    I have many of these books, but not all of them…I have some gaps to fill, clearly.  I’m scrambling now.  Dammit.

    Thanks for the post.  And congrats on landing in PEOPLE.  Very cool.

    Tracy

  29. 29
    Bev Stephans says:

    If I’m limited to one, it would have to be Nora Robert’s “Born In Shame”.  I’ve read it a countless number of times.  Murphy Muldoon is my kind of hero.

  30. 30

    One book… I love so many, but Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me changed my life for the better, so gets my vote.

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