The best novels for those who crave and enjoy romance in any style and era

Allison M. Azulay Author Of Propositions and Proposals
By Allison M. Azulay

Who am I?

I freely admit to reading romances―"Nurse Janes," as one of my teachers used to call them―whenever I need a break from heavier material or just from life. While I have some favorite authors (who doesn't?), I do not limit myself to any particular era or style of romance. To me, romance has many shades and flavours, and I enjoy them all. Believe you me, choosing just five to recommend was no piece of cake.


I wrote...

Propositions and Proposals

By Allison M. Azulay,

Book cover of Propositions and Proposals

What is my book about?

Some men run from marriage, others long for it with little hope of finding love. This book's Twin Tales, Graymere Gambit and Falworth Folly, offer both perspectives, along with intrigues among the English aristocracy of the Regency period.

The books I picked & why

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Lorna Doone

By R. D. Blackmore, Sally Shuttleworth (editor),

Book cover of Lorna Doone

Why this book?

R.D. Blackmore's Lorna Doone may not be everyone's idea of a romance, but I put it solidly into that category because it follows the relationship of a boy and girl from youth to adulthood, and shows the affection and devotion shared between them. To me, that is more romantic than a string of sexual escapades can ever be. And seeing it all from the boy's viewpoint was refreshing and poignant, making me suspect men are actually more emotionally sensitive than us women, feminine stereotypes and stiff-backed machismo notwithstanding.

Lorna Doone

By R. D. Blackmore, Sally Shuttleworth (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lorna Doone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Every woman clutched her child, and every man turned pale at the very name of "Doone"'

John Ridd, an unsophisticated farmer, falls in love with the beautiful and aristocratic Lorna Doone, kidnapped as a child by the outlaw Doones on Exmoor. Ridd's rivalry with the villainous Carver Doone reaches a dramatic climax that will determine Lorna's future happiness.

First published in 1869, Lorna Doone was praised by R. L. Stevenson and Thomas Hardy and has remained constantly in print. The novel has many aspects: it is a romance; a historical novel set at the time of the Monmouth Rebellion in…


Water, Stone, Heart

By Will North,

Book cover of Water, Stone, Heart

Why this book?

I was pleasantly surprised at how sweet and truly romantic Will North's Water, Stone, Heart turned out to be. I wandered lazily through the Cornish countryside with the main character, meeting quirky locals, becoming fascinated by the mystery of the artist who had settled in a seaside village. And at the conclusion I felt comfortably satisfied. A lovely read. Who says men can't write romance?

Water, Stone, Heart

By Will North,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Water, Stone, Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Forty year-old Nicola Rhys-Jones is a woman in hiding. Fleeing an abusive husband, she finds refuge in Boscastle, a village on the rugged coast of Cornwall, England. Andrew Stratton is an American professor of architectural theory. Shocked out of his academic bubble when his ambitious wife leaves him, he signs up for something tangible: a course in the art of stone wall-building—in Boscastle.

From the moment they meet, Nicola and Andrew are attracted to each other, but at daggers drawn. Nicola, sexy yet sarcastic, is an expert at fending off men. In Andrew, she meets her match: quick-witted, funny, yet…


Lawman

By Diana Palmer,

Book cover of Lawman

Why this book?

Lawman was my introduction to the novels of Diana Palmer, which have become my go-to for contemporary romance. Perhaps I found Lawman compelling because the heroine's history of trauma stirred some memories of my own. The taut thriller quality of the tale certainly kept me reading, as well. And a happy ending is a must, even if I want to slap a stubborn hero upside the head from time to time. (Well, yes, the heroine sometimes needs an attitude check, too.)

Lawman

By Diana Palmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lawman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When San Antonio FBI agent Garon Grier buys a ranch in Jacobsville, Texas, the strong, silent loner is hoping to mend some broken family fences. He's not looking for love. Grace Carver grew up in this quiet Texas town, but because of her troubled youth, she's never married—hadn't even thought about it…until Garon.

These unlikely allies are brought together by the most difficult case of Garon's career: hunting an escaped child predator whose former victims are all dead. All except one.

Now a desperate lawman and the woman who is the lone survivor of a madman's twisted rampage have one…


Kiss of the Highlander

By Karen Marie Moning,

Book cover of Kiss of the Highlander

Why this book?

Karen Marie Moning's Kiss of the Highlander had me itching to find myself a hunky Druid, even if I had to fall into a hole and end up in the past to do it. I could picture in my mind's eye those rippling muscles, luscious lips, and penetrating eyes. Sigh.

Kiss of the Highlander

By Karen Marie Moning,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kiss of the Highlander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A laird trapped between centuries...

Enchanted by a powerful spell, Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar slumbered for nearly five centuries hidden deep in a cave, until an unlikely savior awakened him. The enticing lass who dressed and spoke like no woman he’d ever known was from his distant future, where crumbled ruins were all that remained of his vanished world. Drustan knew he had to return to his own century if he was to save his people from a terrible fate. And he needed the bewitching woman by his side....

A woman changed forever in his arms...

Gwen Cassidy had come…


Heller with a Gun: A Novel

By Louis L'Amour,

Book cover of Heller with a Gun: A Novel

Why this book?

I know, it sounds absurd to recommend a book entitled Heller with a Gun as a romance. But in fact many books of the Western genre have all the elements of romance along with the ultra-American setting, action, and adventure that gave them their own niche. In this particular book, I found the Mr./Miss Right versus Mr./Miss Wrong dilemma and could not put the book down until the problem resolved itself in classic Western style.

Heller with a Gun: A Novel

By Louis L'Amour,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heller with a Gun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tom Healy was in trouble. His theatrical troupe needed to get to Alder Gulch, Montana, and the weather was turning. Andy Barker promised Tom he could get them there safely, but Tom was reluctant to trust him: he had the lives of three actresses to consider, and his personal feelings for Janice further heightened his concern. Then King Mabry showed up. Although Tom didn’t like the way he looked at Janice, he could see that Mabry made Barker uneasy. So Tom invited Mabry to join them. Tom was right to be worried, because Barker had a plan. He knew that…


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