There is no adventure greater than starting a new romance novel, and, for most of us, our TBR of new or new-to-us titles grows, seemingly, by the minute. What’s a reader to do, then, when the siren song of rereading comes from the keeper shelf?
Not going to mess around with this one. The answer is “rereading,” obviously, and why not? Rereading ha all the fun of reading a great story for the first time, with the added benefit of knowing at the outset that everything is going to turn out okay, so it’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride. Whether rereading means flipping straight to the good parts, however the individual reader defines that, or slowly savoring every last word, rereading is perfect for lazy summer days (we will be getting them here in the northeast US, right?) or rainy weekends, cozy evenings, or whenever and however the reading spirit moves.
Narrowing the count down to a mere five was hard to do, because who can pick only five categories of romance? I may have to make an honorable mention list in the future, and, of course, would love to see your TBRR (to be re-read) choices in the comment section. For ease of choice, I went with the first five categories to come to mind. Of course, there are many more, so who knows what the future will bring? For this round, we have:
- Classic Historical Romance
- Underappreciated Historical Romance
- Contemporary Romance
- YA Romance
- Paranormal Romance
My choice for a classic, old school historical romance re-read is Lovesong, by Valerie Sherwood. This rich, epic historical has a history of its own with me, as a college friend literally chased me across campus to put this seventeenth century adventure in my hands. From colonial Virginia to the glamour of London, the wild world of the open seas, and the journey, in many ways, from girl to woman, for our intrepid heroine. Did I mention our hero? Meet Kells once, and you’ll know why I have to return to this book again and again. Also the scene with the great storm in the beginning, is on e of my all time favorites.
“Underappreciated” is kind of a difficult term to define here, but if I had to pick one historical romance that new readers may not have heard of, and seasoned readers may have missed whem it first came out, it would be Broken Wing. We have an unconventional heroine, widowed and breeches-clad, a hero who gave up his own freedom to keep an innocent boy safe, crackling chemistry that does a slow burn, and angst stretched to the ultimate limit before a well earned HEA crowns it all.
This one was a no-brainer, because it’s my favorite contemporary of all time. Ruth Wind, aka Barbara Samuel, aka Barbara O’Neal, aka Lark O’Neal, hasn’t met a genre she hasn’t turned to gold yet, and this is the mistress at the top of her game. Hot summer nights seep through the pages as biographer Ellie tries to piece together a decades-old southern mystery, and the all too appealing and frustrating Blue Reynard may hold the key to more than she knows. Two words: greenhouse scene. That is all.
My only waffle (mmm, waffles) on adding Eleanor and Park to this list was that there are some who may take issue with whether the ending qualifies for HFN, but this is my all time favorite YA, and I read what I read. It’s on the list. This story is a must for 80s babies, comics lovers, and anyone who’s wanted to bee truly, truly seen, and loved for who they actually are, at any age.
Do I even have to say anything about Outlander? Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie and Claire have spawned not only an iconic series of doorstopper novels, but a side series, with the Lord John books, an award-winning TV series, graphic novel, and it’s not done yet. Follow Claire through the stones from the aftermath of WWII, to the days before Cuulloden, and you’ll know what all the fuss is about, whether this is your first time, or your hundredth.
So, dear readers, I hand it now over to you What books are on your to-be-re-read list? If the books above were on your shelf, which one would you pick up first? Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell us all about it. There’s room for everyone at this table.