Hey everyone! I hope you’ve been able to get lots of reading in since the official kickoff of this challenge! I know I spent the long holiday weekend getting as much reading done as possible.
It’s time now to get into one of my favorite things about this challenge – introducing you to some amazing authors who love to read just as much as I do. First up is Chanel Cleeton. I fell in love with Chanel’s books the minute I picked up I See London last year. My love for her characters and the series only grew with each new book. If you love new adult romance set in glorious locations “across the pond,” so to speak, you should definitely pick it up.
Chanel’s newest series launched just last week and I don’t even have proper words to tell you how much I love it. This one is contemporary romance, set in DC. So, it’s right up my alley. If you love politics, scandal and romance, you have to pick up Flirting with Scandal. It’s so good. Absolutely one of my favorites of this year so far!
Chanel joined us today to talk about her love of reading, romance and her all-time favorite romance novels.
My Top Ten All-Time Favorite Romance Novels
by Chanel Cleeton
I read my first romance novel at age ten—True Betrayals by Nora Roberts—and fell in love. There’s something about romance novels—the strong heroines, the swoon-worthy heroes, the happily ever after, the adventure along the way—that has always felt like magic to me. Whenever I’ve had a bad day or need a pick-me-up, I always know that I can turn to the pages of my favorite romance novel and everything will be better.
When I sat down and started writing the list of my top ten favorites, I really struggled because there were so many good reads to choose from. But these books are the ones I’ve read over and over again, the print copies I’ve had to replace because they’re falling apart from frequent use, the stories that shaped me and made me a romance writer. They’re the books that have gotten me through tough times and whose stories still put a smile on my face. If you haven’t had a chance to read any of these, then I highly recommend you give them a shot.
Whitney My Love
by Judith McNaught
It took a great deal of restraint to not fill this list entirely with Judith McNaught titles. She is my all-time favorite romance writer and I can’t possibly overstate how much her books have meant to me. I started reading her pretty early on in my foray into romance and I immediately fell in love. I’ve probably read Whitney My Love fifty times, and each time it still captures my heart. I think more than anything, I found this book exactly when I needed it, at a time when I connected with the heroine and her struggle to figure out who she was and grow into herself. It’s a sweeping historical romance full of gorgeous dialogue and a complex relationship between a young girl and a duke.
by Judith McNaught
Paradise was my first Judith McNaught title, and I love her contemporaries as much as her historicals. This is THE ultimate second chance romance and the love story between the hero and heroine is epic. The hero, Matt, is probably one of my all-time favorite heroes and I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to read this book and not fall a little in love with him. This is one I’ve had to replace several times over the years because it’s a favorite re-read.
Once and Always
by Judith McNaught
Judith McNaught writes the kind of romances that evoke a visceral reaction in the reader, and Once and Always is the perfect example of that. The path to love in this historical romance is as rocky as the heroine is headstrong, and with a wealthy lord who is completely closed off to love, Once and Always is full of a delicious amount of angst. The banter is sharp, the story will tug at your heartstrings, and the hero is another McNaught classic.
Daring to Dream
by Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts is another favorite of mine and I struggled to narrow her titles down to just a few. Daring to Dream captured me from the beginning because the heroine, Margo, is the kind of heroine you root for—unapologetically flawed but determined to make her way in the world—and her chemistry with the hero, Josh, is quite simply electric. This is a GREAT contemporary romance.
by Nora Roberts
I read this book for the first time seventeen years ago, and I still remember where I was sitting when I read it. This is another epic contemporary romance that spans childhood to adulthood, and the hero and heroine are guaranteed to steal your heart. Throw in jewel thieves, magicians, and a healthy dose of suspense and you have a story that will utterly consume you.
How the Marquess was Won
by Julie Anne Long
Julie Anne Long is a newer favorite of mine and another author who I could have listed so many books for, but out of all of her amazing titles, How the Marquess was Won stands out to me as perfection. The banter is some of the best I’ve ever read, the chemistry electric, and the hero is incredibly swoonworthy. I basically shove this book at people because it is that good.
A Duke of Her Own
by Eloisa James
Eloisa James is another one of my favorite historical romance authors, and A Duke of Her Own is the kind of story that stays with you for a long time. The hero, the Duke of Villiers, isn’t your typical romance hero—he has some rather glaring flaws—but you can’t help but fall in love with him anyway. The heroine, Eleanor, is so intelligent and witty. Their banter is clever and the chemistry between them divine.
by Brenda Joyce
Brenda Joyce is another favorite of mine and I have a long list of her books dominating my shelves. While her Deadly series is one of my all-time favorite series, if I had to go with a single title, I’d have to go with Splendor. This one is full of passion and angst, and a Russian prince who has his hands full with the heroine.
by Lisa Kleypas
I have so much love for Lisa Kleypas’s historicals and contemporaries, but her Travis series centered on a wealthy Houston family is my favorite. And Hardy Cates, the hero in Blue-Eyed Devil, takes the cake. This story is poignant and sexy, and stays with you long after you turn the last page.
by Kristen Ashley
I was a little late to the Kristen Ashley party (and deeply regret it), but I read my first Ashley book last year and fell head-over-heels in love. There are so many titles I could have added to this list (Motorcycle Man, anyone?), but they say you never forget your first, so I’m going to go with Sweet Dreams, which introduced me to Ashley’s work. I started this one coming off of a horribly painful back injury, and not going to lie, Kristen Ashley’s backlist carried me through my recovery. I can’t recommend her books enough.
Well, that’s it for me. How about you? What are some of your all-time faves?
Thanks so much for joining us, Chanel! Believe it or not, I’ve not read a single book on your list – and zero Kristen Ashley books (I KNOW!) – but after this, I have a few more books to add to my own TBR!
For those of you participating in the challenge, don’t forget to keep entering your links in the Rafflecopter. I can’t tell you all the prizes we’ll be giving away this summer because we’re still pulling awesome things together, but believe me when I say you want to win them. I wish I could win them! 🙂 And if you’re not participating yet, it’s not too late to sign up! Hit up the announcement post and learn more!
Next week we have even more fun planned with our first blogger spotlight and their fun mini-challenge! You don’t want to miss it! Keep current with all the details by joining our Facebook event.
Until next week… happy reading!