Classic Romance - Which One First? Jude Deveraux Recommendations

Classic Romance: Which One First?The interesting thing about Jude Deveraux novels is that for every book someone adored, there’s a nearly equal number of readers who didn’t like it. So it’s difficult to create a recommendation list for early Deveraux books, and I’ve tried to include the balance of comments so that readers who are curious about her backlist can get a sense of what might appeal to them.

So, let’s get started!

A Knight in Shining Armor [Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | Kobo | WORD Brooklyn]

You can’t be surprised this made the list! This time-travel romance is a little unorthodox in the ending, but it is among the most beloved romances. Some don’t love the ending – as Karen said, “I have to say that I didn’t really like KISA—the ending just didn’t quite work for me as a true HEA (but I feel that way about a lot of time travel books).” But yet, it is one of those romances readers still talk about.

Sweet Liar [Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | Kobo | WORD Brooklyn]

More than Knight, so many recommended this book.

Recommended by ShellBell, and by Morphidae, who says “I can’t help but love a book with a book shopping spree.” E_bookpushers agrees that this is an excellent starting point. Nicole gave an excellent summary as to why so many love this book: “Mike is sweet to Samantha; he’s NICE to her, he’s FUNNY (marry the one that’s FUNNY should be the motto) and he’s still a guy – he doesn’t have a clue sometimes, he can get jealous, he thinks up ways to wear down Samantha’s defenses (in good ways, of course). And Sam’s not a bad character either; a lot of Mary Jane types in JDs books, but Sam’s got issues and is likable anyway.”

Kiersten added, “It was her first contemporary hardcover and the story and characters all delivery. Made be want to drink a boilermaker every day. Loved it.”

The Velvet quartet beginning with The Velvet Promise [Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | Kobo]

Anna Bowling says that The Velvet quartet “remain her favorite Deveraux ever.” Michelle C. says the Velvet Promise is wonderful “Though Gavin could be a bit of a schmuck, I rooted for Judith the entire book.”  Evaine says, “The Velvet quartet is still amongst my favorite of favorites.  I go back to it every so often for comfort reads.  My favorite is Highland Velvet which I must have read a good 20 times by now.”

The Duchess [Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | Kobo]

Some disliked the hero, while other readers adored everything about it, despite the flaws. Sasha did indeed release the Kraken on the thread and wrote, “Oh my god, it was so full of asshattery—the characters themselves, and the narrative they exist in. The hero, Trevelyan, has greatly influenced my reception of all subsequent TallDark&Broodies;, ugh. I can’t help but love it still. I also realized that I can still repeat passages by heart.” (And in the interest of fairness, Sasha HATERATED Knight in Shining Armor.

The Raider [Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | Kobo]

Reneesance says this was her first romance. Hellion says, “The scene where he finally confesses to the heroine HE’S the Raider, and they’re looking down at the town and another Raider *rides* through the town in front of them—PRICELESS.” Darlene Marshall agrees – and it was one of her first romances as well.

And – a note of caution! Overquoted cautions not to start with Remembrance: “it’s one of my favorites. I think maybe I just like tragic romances.” Cleo agrees: “I agree that Remembrance probably isn’t one to start with, but I enjoyed it – in all of its weird, sprawling, ranty splendor.”

So – what author of classic romance would you like to learn about next? Any suggestions for our next edition of “Which One First?”


Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Morphidae says:

    I want to know which Georgette Heyer to read. I’ve never read any of her books and there are conflicting recommendations on which one to start with.

  2. 2
    bungluna says:

    I’ve recently run into Kathleen Gilles Seide and would love to know more about her.  Would she be considered a ‘classic’?

  3. 3
    Donna says:

    She was writing Series romances about the same time as Jude Devereaux, so yes, Kathleen Gilles Seidel would be a classic. I loved ” When Love isn’t Enough”. It was about a couple that was already married and how choices made change the relationship. It was LOVELY. She’d be a good choice.

    And since I was reading “classics” when they weren’t…. guess I’ve read all the authors I would be interested in knowing more about…. hmmmm…..

  4. 4
    Kara says:

    I’d probably consider Catherine Coulter as a writer of classics. She has an extensive back catalog, and writes many different genres of romance novels.

    My favorite Coulter is Rosehaven, because well the marten Trist totally steals the book. And Hastings is pretty great. Coulter also has some of the more controversial rapey books that frequently get mentioned here- Devil’s Embrace and Devil’s Daughter.

  5. 5
    Julie says:

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie. Long live the contemporary!

  6. 6
    Jodi says:

    A Knight in Shining Armor was my first “real” romance novel, and I was shocked at how explicit it was.  I’d read Harlequin Regency novels up until that point, so anything with real sex was eye-opening.  To make it more complex it was a book on tape that was supposed to be for my younger brother. The Books for the Blind and Visually Impaired (he actually just has dyslexia but was eligible) had accidentally grabbed the corresponding adult title for the children’s one Mom had ordered!

  7. 7
    aurian says:

    Jude Deveraux is one of my favourite authors, I still collect and read her as soon as possible. I adore her paranormal series Forever, Forever and Always, Always and keep hoping she’ll write a sequal.

    How about Bertrice Small? I adore her books about Skye O’Malley.

  8. 8
    Kristi says:

    Let’s see, you already did Johanna Lindsay and we did Judith McNaught, right? My top three old school favorites, right here!

    I would agree with Catherine Coulter. What about Julie Garwood, Lisa Kleypas, Jo Beverly, Jennifer Blake, Sandra Brown, Teresa Merderios, Eloisa James… the last few are getting into the ‘new school’, I think! Julia Quinn and Stephanie Laurens seem new school, plus they have their main series to ‘start’ with.

    Susan Elizabeth Phillilps, Nora Roberts (duh) are two… Hmm

  9. 9
    John says:

    I find this hilarious, as right after that thread I read The Duchess and it was quite a nice introduction to Deveraux.  I haven’t touched KISA yet – and now I’m worried since it appears that they are divided in public opinion.

    For what it’s worth, I loved the hero, the epic ridiculosity…the heroine was annoying as hell in some spots. 

    Since I’m a huge romance newb, I can provide an endless list of authors that I want to know more about and try that are “classics” : 

    Beatrice Small, Catherine Coulter, Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Jo Goodman, Linda Howard, Nora Roberts….the list goes on.

  10. 10
    jessica says:

    I love KISA although I haven’t read it in a long time—doesn’t the heroine throw herself off a balcony with her tiny monkey?  For some reason that seen made me cry each and every time (that poor little monkey!).

    I also remember loving Remembrance.  But I don’t remember it being ranty and weird!  Maybe it’s time to read it again!!

  11. 11

    Jennifer Blake is my first request.  She was one of the first I read when I started reading historical romances.  You would learn stuff as well as watching the hero and heroine get their HEA.  I haven’t read all of hers, but I have gone through quite a few.

    I have never read KISA mainly because I don’t really like Time Travel romances, plus friends who didn’t like the ending much at all.  I think my two favorite books would be The Heiress and Highland Velvet.

  12. 12
    cbackson says:

    Nora Roberts! There are just so many of them that I’ve been afraid to even try. Although I did read the first of the In Death ones (okay, but couldn’t figure out what was gained by setting it in the future).

  13. 13
    Jacqueline C. says:

    I have to agree with the Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips requests.

  14. 14
    Overquoted says:

    I’ll second Linda Howard and Julie Garwood. I’d suggest Sandra Hill, too.

  15. 15
    Deb Kinnard says:

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Laura Kinsale (or they did and I simply didn’t spot it, being deep in the Rewrite Pit). I just bought FOR MY LADY’S HEART for the Kindle I don’t own (reading it on the iPod Touch), and I can see why she’s won so many accolades. Really good writing.

    With Susan Wiggs, I prefer her historicals to the contemporaries I read. I think her voice shines through more strongly in the historical settings.

    And as far as Devereaux, did she write THE BLACK LYON or was that someone else? Seems to me the ubiquitous Montgomery family figured into that one.

    All time, all-time greatest medieval romance ever written (except maybe for Roberta Gellis): A MEMORY OF LIONS by Parke Godwin. Yummy, delicious read.

  16. 16
    Terrie says:

    @ Morphidae: For a first Georgette Heyer, I’d probably recommend Devil’s Cub.  It has a bit of a slow start for contemporary readers but then it just moves right along.  Another Heyer I’d recommend for a possible first: Frederica

  17. 17
    Aimee says:

    When I turned 14, my mom deemed me old enough to begin reading her romance novels.  (I had been asking for a couple of years.)

    My first?  KISA.  I will always remember it, and thus began my obsessive reading style – read everything ever written by an author I like, then move on!

  18. 18
    Erin says:

    Total blasts from the past! The first three suggestions just happen to be my top 3 Deveraux faves. Another one that I read countless times was Wishes:

  19. 19
    Cassidy says:

    For heyer, start with devil’s cub, nonesuch, black sheep. I love the masqueraders!

  20. 20
    LaurieD says:

    Hmm…classics… well, Katherine Woodiwiss, of course, then there’s Rosemary Rogers, Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockmann, Brenda Joyce, Anne Stuart, Laura Kinsale, Rachel Lee, Elizabeth Lowell, Julie Garwood, Dorothy Garlock, Catherine Anderson, Iris Johansen, Amanda Quick, Karen Robards, LaVyrle Spencer, and Jennifer Blake.  I would say I consider all of them classics in one way or the other, some of them for their Harlequin/Silhouette stories that stood the test of time, some of them for having gotten started back when there were only a handful of authors writing romance, and some because they started trends, or ended them, with fresh ideas.

  21. 21
    Sally says:

    As much as I love Devil’s Cub, I wouldn’t start with it.  For sheer comedy I love The Talisman Ring and The Reluctant Widow.  My mother started me off with the Quiet Gentleman when I was a teenager and, while I enjoyed it enough to become a lifelong Heyerphile, it was not a favourite then.  Now, some 30 years later, it’s become one of my go-to comfort rereads.

  22. 22
    delphia2000 says:

    What about going back a bit further and reviewing some of the old romance ‘Gothic’ novels by Mary Stewart,  Phyllis Whitney or Victoria Holt? I was also fond of Arnette Lamb for Highland stuff altho I can’t really remember hers as much as the previous two authors works. For Regencies, maybe Marion Chesney? I stumbled on her ‘School for Manners’ series at work (library) recently and really enjoyed those.

    I liked Roberta Gellis also and remember that some of her books were stories that took place at the same time as others in the series but from a different couple’s viewpoint which I thought was an interesting idea.

    For myself, I’d be interested in reading about Coulter’s books as she’s one I’d like to read but don’t want to just jump into anything without a good rec.

  23. 23
    debbie says:

    Catherine Coulter, please!

  24. 24
    Morphidae says:

    See what I mean about Heyer? LOL.

    I think the one to start with Small is a gimme – Skye O’Malley.

  25. 25
    Elizabeth says:

    I just read the Knight in Shining Armour and enjoyed it very much. However, at the end of my copy is a note from Deveraux to say that she wrote the story about an alcoholic personality ( not necessarily an actual alcoholic) I presume she meant Robert, but I really did not get that from the story. Am I missing something?
    And I would also like to have another look at the ‘gothic’ novels. Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart is one of my forever favourite romantic suspense stories.

  26. 26
    Kilian says:

    @ Morphidae – I add my vote for Devil’s Cub as a good intro to Heyer. I remember laughing out loud at some of Rupert’s foolishness and loved any scene the Duke of Avon appeared in as a character.

  27. 27
    Donna says:

    And as far as Devereaux, did she write THE BLACK LYON or was that someone else? Seems to me the ubiquitous Montgomery family figured into that one.

    Yes, she did. Yes, he was a Montgomery. And he was the Black Lyon “all over.” Yes, one of my all time favorite lines.

  28. 28
    Ellen says:

    I love Knight and Dutchess, I read them at least once a year.  They make me luagh and cry.  I also love The Invitation, and High Tide, and there is a bunch for short stories that I love but can’t remember the names of…  One is with the Mike from SweetLiar borther, and there one with a cabin in the woods and a nurse comes to take care of him…  I am not a fan of her suspernateral books, excpet Summerhouse.

  29. 29
    Susan says:

    The Awakening by Jude Deveraux was the very first adult romance I ever read (I read YA romances before that, especially the Sunfire series); I pilfered it from my mom’s bookshelf. Next came the Velvet series. Those Montgomeries made my 16 year old heart go pitter-patter.

    I don’t read Ms. Deveraux’s books anymore, but I have many happy memories of spending lazy afternoons curled up with a Jude Deveraux book while telling my little brother to quit bothering me. :)

    p.s. I still hate the ending of KISA 20 years after I read it.

  30. 30
    kisah says:

    Gothics for the win!  Please?  :)

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