Time to collect all the recommendations you made for which Elizabeth Lowell novel you recommend to new readers – and this one was a bit of a challenge because Lowell writes in at least three genres with several different names. Whenever we collect reader recommendations, I think it's so neat that usually, we end up raving about the same set of books. Hence, the reason for “Which One First?”
I'm also trying a new feature to tie all the recommendation threads together, whethere they're about classic backlist and older titles, a specific author, or a type of book or plot device.
Introducing: The Rec League! Reader recommendations are often the best way to find new and excellent reads, and I know all of you are always hunting for good books. I want to make it easier for you to find recommendation threads, so I'll collect them all with that tag.
And now, on with our Elizabeth Lowell recommendations!
There's a lot to choose from: early category romances, historicals, and romantic suspense are on this list.
If you've never tried Elizabeth Lowell, I hope this page might help you find a terrific book.
Untamed, Forbidden, and Enchanted (1993-94)
Medieval historical romance
I recommended this set in the original post, but this is a reader favorite even among those, myself included, who aren't huge medieval fans. Jennifer B said it best: ” The medievals are good if you want some light witchcraft and magic with your alpha males and broadswords.”
I ask you, who doesn't want light witchcraft and magic with alpha males and broadswords?
The Only Series: Only His, Only Mine, Only You, Only Love, Autumn Lover, Winter Fire (1991-1996)
Western Historical, post Civil War
This is two series that cross at book 5. Only His is the first book of the “Only” series, but Autumn Lover is book 1 of the Maxwells series, and the 5th book in the Only series.
Because that's not confusing, no.
But! It does mean that if you like one, there are five more!
Helen M wrote, “The Medieval trilogy are regular re-reads for me (my copies have the same stepbacks you posted above, Sarah!), but The Only books are my favourites – I can’t believe how little love they are getting here! Only His was the first Lowell I ever read, and Caleb and Willow’s story remains my favourite. Somehow, I read the first four books while I was at uni, and then completely failed until last summer to find out that there were two more in the series – Autumn Lover and Winter Fire. I obviously bought them as fast as my fingers could fly over my keyboard, and devoured them straightaway. Loved them.”
As I said in the comments to the original thread, I love this book. The heroine has been raised in various tribal societies around the world, and so her concepts of time and her interactions with the hero and his ranch hands are fascinating.
Gry wrote, “I must admit that one of her Romances has really stuck with me (the book was Fever) which I read _very_many years ago, and which I recently found again as an e-book *does happy dance*”
That said, Barb warns against some of the older Silhouette Desires, writing, “Her old Silhouette Desires (the red covers—y’all remember those, doncha?) were chock full of uber-alpha asshats who had been done wrong by a woman and are thus treat all women (including our heroine) as scum of the earth. The women are noble doormats and rarely, if ever, whack the hero upside the head with a clue-by-4. I really can’t recommend these.”
Clue-by-4! HA! Barb also says, “But her old Silhouette Intimate Moments—oh! the angsty goodness!! “Summer Games” is on my keeper shelf and is re-read often. (He maybe alpha, but he’s no asshat and she has a really good spine—win,win).”
To the Ends of the Earth aka That Danvers Touch (1984) & Tell Me No Lies
These two books were mentioned repeatedly by many different readers.
Lynne Connolly said, “My two favourites are “To The Ends of the Earth” and “Tell Me No Lies.” They have that uber-masculine hero, and to modern tastes he might not work, because her heroes always have a cruel streak. One reason “To The Ends of The Earth” works so well for me is the grovel at the end. Epic grovel.”
Sandra Antonelli added, “While I love the Donovan series and would recommend those books, I’d like to mention Tell Me No Lies from the mid 80s. Oh, hell, read anything by Lowell and you can’t go wrong. Her women are always strong, her men often have facial hair (yum) and the research she does for the plots is always detailed and fascinating.”
DonnaMarie says Tell Me No Lies is the only romance she's had to replace due to wear and tear. And Sarrible confesses, “To the Ends of the Earth was one of the first romances I ever read (I swiped it from my mom when I was 15 or 16) and I didn’t actually realize what a fucking DICK the hero was until years later. Despite it, I loved Elizabeth Lowell for a long time, for all the reasons everyone has mentioned.”
Love Song for a Raven (1987)
Carol had some wonderful things to say about this book: “Last fall I ran across Love Song for a Raven, which was reprinted in 2006, but originally published in 1987 (in the Silhouette Desire line; isn’t Wikipedia fabulous?). It’s probably the best short romance I’ve ever read (and I’m not a fan of contemporary unless it’s suspense). The couple are the only characters in the book until the end, and each comes to the story battered in ways that make it extremely difficult to believe that love can be theirs. The development of their romance is amazing and believable in spite of the compressed time frame.
“I think it would be fair to call it a category tour de force.”
Reckless Love (1989)
Meg wrote, “OK. I’m realizing just how much of an unhealthy attachment I developed to Elizabeth Lowell starting in college (when I would escape into the local bookstores and read furtively in the Romance section). I’m also realizing just how much I enjoy a “hero” who is a jackass as long as there is a ton of angst involved and the situation ends with appropriate levels of groveling (in short: it’s clear WHY I have an attachment to Lowell). I like To the Ends of the Earth quite a bit. Ditto Remember Summer (which was my first Lowell, so it gets nostalgia points).
“Since I am a horse person, I like most of her westerns, though my favorites are for historical Only His, Only You, Reckless Love, & Winter Fire and for contemporary, Fire and Rain & Granite Man.
Susan says, “Hands down, my favorite is Reckless Love. Yes, Ty could be an ass, but he (mostly) redeemed himself and Janna was a sweet mix of vulnerable and strong. The setting is so vivid and compelling, and the interactions with the wild horses is fascinating—almost more riveting than the romance.
Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, Midnight in Ruby Bayou – The Donovans Series (1997-2000)
Romantic suspense involving jewels: “Members of the Donovan family, involved in a global gem-trading empire, based in Seattle, Washington”
Several people mentioned the Donovan series as some of their favorites of Lowell's romantic suspense. Sarrible in particular says, “Amber Beach is one of my go-to sick day reads.”
So, which Lowell novels are your favorites from this list? Are you thinking of a book wasn't included? Please share in the comments – and, if you've never read Elizabeth Lowell, does this make you want to try one?