Classic Romance - Which One First? Elizabeth Lowell Recommendations

Classic Romances- Which One FirstTime 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?”

The Rec League - a tattered book w a heard on it

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

Book Untamed Book Forbidden Book Enchanted

Untamed ( A | BN | K | ARe )
Forbidden ( A | BN | K | ARe )
Enchanted ( A | BN | K | ARe )

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

Book Only His Book Only Mine Book Only You

Book Only Love Book Autumn Lover Book Winter Fire

Only His ( A | BN | K | ARe)
Only Mine ( A | BN | K | ARe)
Only You ( A | BN | K | ARe)
Only Love ( A | BN | K | ARe)
Autumn Lover ( A | BN | K | ARe)
Winter Fire ( A | BN | K | ARe)

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.”



Fever (1988)
Contemporary Romance

Book Only His

Fever ( A | BN | K)

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).” 

Note: Summer Games is also known as Remember Summer, but may be difficult to find. 



To the Ends of the Earth aka That Danvers Touch (1984) & Tell Me No Lies
Contemporary Romance

Book Only His Book Only His

To the Ends of the Earth ( A | BN | K | ARe) Tell Me No Lies ( A | BN | K)

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)
Contemporary Romance

Book Only His

Love Song for a Raven ( A | BN | Out of print – try your library? )

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)

Book Only His

Reckless Love ( A | BN | K)


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”

Book Amber Beach Book Jade Island Book Pearl Cove Book Midnight in Ruby Bayou

Amber Beach ( A | BN | K | ARe)
Jade Island ( A | BN | K | ARe)
Pearl Cove ( A | BN | K | ARe)
Midnight in Ruby Bayou ( A | BN | K | ARe)

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?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    laj says:

    I loved Lowell’s Die in Plain Sight. It has one of the sexiest scenes I have ever read.

  2. 2
    Jennifer Bell says:

    OMG Sarah quoted me :faints:

    I binge read the Only series not that long ago, and in every book they get it on for the first time near water. Do not blame me if you start giving people “sideways glances” after reading her books.

  3. 3
    Meka says:

    I have not read many by this author, but one of my very favorite books is ‘Forget me not’.  So good. Soo angsty! and Amnesia heroine! Loved it!

  4. 4
    Meg says:

    Ooh! I was quoted! *happy dance*

    And I’m giggling here because Jennifer Bell is totally right—I’d forgotten the close proximity of water for first-time nookie in the Only series. Hilarious from a metaphorical perspective, though I’ll give her a pass in that camping while traveling through the west would often have to be by water. But still…too funny.

  5. 5
    Barb in Maryland says:

    I cannot claim credit for the phrase “clue-by-4” (alas), but for the life of me, I can’t remember where I first read it.  But I am totally over the moon to be quoted.

    @Meka—Oh, Oh—“Forget Me Not”—another of Lowell’s feasts of angsty goodness.  Along with “Fires of Eden”, “Valley of the Sun” and “Chain Lightning”.  Must go digging through my keeper boxes and lay in a supply of tissues……

  6. 6
    Carol says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for quoting me, but mostly for doing the great recommendation posts (along with everything else at Smart Bitches). I’m totally a horse person and I can’t believe I’ve never read Reckless Love. Thank you, Meg and Susan and all others who recommended it.

    Long live the Rec League!!!!!

  7. 7
    Jill-Marie says:

    Another horse person here chiming in about never having read “Reckless Love,” but I absolutely ADORE “Remember Summer” (though I cannot remember if it came before “Summer Games” or vice versa, like). I have it in book form, CD and MP3.

    Yeah, I love it **that much** even though parts are the necessary cheesy.

    One I didn’t see mentioned here is “The Wrong Hostage,” which I really liked. Depending on where you look, it’s either No. 1 in the “St. Kilda” series or No. 2 in the “St. Kilda Consulting” series. Either way, it’s a good read, and frankly an even better listen if you’re into audiobooks.

  8. 8
    beth says:

    Lowell’s gem series is one of my favorite contemporary series of all time.  great characters and really interesting info about the jewels and gems—both natural and through history.  I really wish she’d continued it!

  9. 9
    Tamara Hogan says:

    I just went to my keeper shelf – OK, it’s a keeper WALL – and found nine books by Elizabeth Lowell, all purchased by me at the time they were originally released, and read pretty much ragged. Seven are Silhouette Desires (Love Story for a Raven, Fever, Dark Fire, Fire and Rain, Outlaw, Granite Man, and Warrior) and two are single titles (A Woman Without Lies and Tell Me No Lies). 

    I’m re-reading Nora’s O’Hurley category series right now, but I think Lowell is next. ;-)

  10. 10
    Megaera says:

    I picked up the original Desire edition of Love Song for a Raven at a UBS over twenty years ago, and fell seriously in love with Carlson Raven.  I looked and looked for a copy of Tell Me No Lies when I heard that it was the story of the woman Raven spent a lot of time angsting over in Love Song, but it wasn’t nearly as good as Love Song, IMHO. 

    The Only books are good, but I liked the ones set near Mesa Verde much better (starting with Fire and Rain), I think because of the setting as much as anything else.

    That’s one of my favorite things about Lowell, to be honest.  I mean, do you know of another romance set in the Queen Charlotte Islands???  That was just so nifty.

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top