I ran across NPR’s list of 100 swoon-worthy romance novels and am sort of bemused by the list. It’s pretty heavy on historical romances and on relatively recent work.
Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase – okay, seriously, I do not get the love for this book. Meh at best.
Indigo, by Beverly Jenkins – haven’t read it
Outlander (series), by Diana Gabaldon – read the first one, have no interest in the rest of the series or the TV show. Also, Gabaldon is a gigantic hypocrite regarding fan fiction, which influences my opinion/interest.
Texas Destiny, by Lorraine Heath – haven’t read
The Serpent Garden, by Judith Merkle Riley – haven’t read
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, by Jennifer Ashley – read it, liked it well enough.
The Bedwyn Saga (series), by Mary Balogh – I really liked the book that spawned the Bedwyns, A Summer to Remember. But couldn’t read more than 1.5 books of the Bedwyn series proper.
Ravished, by Amanda Quick – I think I read this? Years ago.
The Wallflowers (series), by Lisa Kleypas – Nope. (I don’t love Kleypas the way so many readers do.)
The Bridgertons (series), by Julia Quinn – The Black Mallet of Death! The Duke and I seriously pisses me off, but The Viscount Who Loved Me is excellent. I don’t think I’ve read the whole series.
The Brothers Sinister (series), by Courtney Milan – haven’t read it.
The Rules of Scoundrels (series), by Sarah MacLean – haven’t read it.
Flowers From the Storm, by Laura Kinsale – have never managed to finish it.
Spindle Cove (series), by Tessa Dare – haven’t read it.
Maiden Lane (series), by Elizabeth Hoyt – haven’t read it. Although I think I read another series by Hoyt back when she debuted.
Pennyroyal Green (series), by Julie Anne Long – haven’t read it.
The Bride, by Julie Garwood – which one is this one? I used to have mad love for Garwood, so I’m pretty sure I would have read this but they all blur together in my memory.
The Pink Carnation (series), by Lauren Willig – Lost interest after the first couple of books.
A Knight in Shining Armor, by Jude Deveraux – Read this years ago as a new romance reader and it remains one of the few books to ever make me cry. I’m not sure how I’d feel about it if I read it today.
Not Quite a Husband, by Sherry Thomas – I’ve read Thomas but I”m not sure about this book.
Desperate Duchesses (series), by Eloisa James – Haven’t read it; I think James is pretty overrated.
Something Wonderful, by Judith McNaught – Another early read that I think I’d hate if I tried to read it today.
The Windflower, by Laura London – Meh. Another classic that other readers love that I do not.
The Spymasters (series), by Joanna Bourne – Okay.
The Duke of Shadows, by Meredith Duran – Okay.
Beast, by Judith Ivory – I think I read this? Maybe?
To Have and to Hold, by Patricia Gaffney – Nope. Not a Gaffney fan.
The Captive, by Grace Burrowes – Haven’t read it.
The Lotus Palace (series), by Jeannie Lin – Haven’t read it.
All Through the Night, by Connie Brockway – Okay.
Blaze, by Susan Johnson – LOVED this back in the day. Footnotes!
Morning Glory, by LaVyrle Spencer – Read it, but it’s one of my least favorite Spencer novels, never reread it.
Simple Jess, by Pamela Morsi – Liked it, but not my favorite Morsi.
The Morning Gift, by Eva Ibbotson – DNF
A Lady Awakened, by Cecilia Grant – Haven’t read it.
The Summer of You, by Kate Noble – Haven’t read it.
The Rake, by Mary Jo Putney – Probably read it, but like Garwood, Putney’s historicals all bleed together except for her Fallen Angel series.
The India Fan, by Victoria Holt – liked it back when I glommed Holt as a teen.
North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell – really liked it, although I have to admit that I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I hadn’t seen the miniseries first.
The Far Pavilions, by M.M. Kaye – liked it a lot
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen – not my favorite Austen but still good.
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte – oh, Jane. Why?
Venetia, by Georgette Heyer – Meh.
Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell – Haven’t read it.
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins – Okay.
The Queen’s Thief (series), by Megan Whalen Turner – On the keeper shelf, despite the fact that I do not love the fourth book of the series.
Perfect Chemistry, by Simone Elkeles – I know I’ve read this but cannot for the life of me remember much about it.
Adios to My Old Life, by Caridad Ferrer – Really enjoyed this book.
I-Team (series), by Pamela Clare – Haven’t read it.
In Death (series), by J.D. Robb – Good series, but I’ve stopped buying them and now wait to borrow from the library if I decide to read. Somewhat repetitive.
Nine Coaches Waiting, by Mary Stewart – Haven’t read it.
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Psy/Changeling (series), by Nalini Singh – Haven’t read it.
The Iron Seas (series), by Meljean Brook – Really liked the installments I’ve read but I’m pretty sure I’ve missed some.
Kate Daniels (series), by Ilona Andrews – Really like the world building but find the editing problematic. So many discontinuities and sloppy errors.
Ember, by Bettie Sharpe – LOVED this.
The Inheritance Trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin – haven’t read it.
A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold – On the keeper shelf.
Archangel, by Sharon Shinn – Haven’t read it.
Warrior’s Woman, by Johanna Lindsey – Read it as a teen; tried rereading later and found it unreadable.
Charley Davidson (series), by Darynda Jones – Haven’t read it.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood (series), by J.R. Ward – Loved it when it first came out, lost interest for a variety of reasons ranging from appropriation to crackpot author behavior.
Immortals After Dark (series), by Kresley Cole – Haven’t read it.
Fever (series), by Karen Marie Moning – Haven’t read it.
The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley – Liked it.
Cry Wolf, by Patricia Briggs – Liked it.
Vampire Huntress (series), by L.A. Banks – Read one of the series, liked it.
Dark Hunter (series), by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Haven’t read it.
The Magpie Lord, by K. J. Charles – Haven’t read it.
Fated Love, by Radclyffe – Haven’t read it. Liked other Radclyffe that I’ve tried though.
Hot Head, by Damon Suede – DNF, thought it was nearly unreadable.
Cut & Run, by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban – DNF.
Keeping Promise Rock, by Amy Lane – Haven’t read it, although I think I have tried other Amy Lane.
Butterfly Tattoo, by Deidre Knight – Read it, thought it was okay.
Maid to Match, by Deeanne Gist – Haven’t read it.
Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers – Haven’t read it.
Natural Law, by Joey W. Hill – Read it back when it was first published and liked it.
Liberating Lacey, by Anne Calhoun – Haven’t read it.
The Lady’s Tutor, by Robin Schone – Read it, felt ambivalent about it.
Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie – Read it, really liked it.
Heart of the Falcon, by Francis Ray – Haven’t read it.
Something About You, by Julie James – I’ve read one James book (it was okay?) but I’m not sure if it was this one.
The Chocolate Kiss, by Laura Florand – Haven’t read it, but it is TBR.
A Bollywood Affair, by Sonali Dev – Haven’t read it, also TBR.
Dream Man (series), by Kristen Ashley – Nope, not interested.
The Chesapeake Bay Saga, by Nora Roberts – Read it, loved it at the time.
Lucky Harbor (series), by Jill Shalvis – Haven’t read it.
Chicago Stars (series), by Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Read the early books of the series, have stopped reading Phillips, found them somewhat problematic upon reread.
Troubleshooters (series), by Suzanne Brockmann – Really loved this series back when it started, long before 2001; I’ve since abandoned it for a variety of reasons, including my discomfort with the real-life contractorization of the military that is on display in the books and the complete disregard for constitutional rights and criminal activity displayed in the fiction.
Virgin River (series), by Robyn Carr – Haven’t read it.
The Mackenzie Family (series), by Linda Howard – Read and liked it way back when, although I’m pretty sure if I tried to read it now, I’d hate the books.
Blue Heron (series), by Kristan Higgins – Haven’t read it. (I do not love HIggins’ work generally.)
The Madaris Family (series), by Brenda Jackson – Haven’t read it.
Wild Seasons (series), by Christina Lauren – Haven’t read it.
Intimate Betrayal, by Donna Hill – Haven’t read it.
Crazy Thing Called Love, by Molly O’Keefe – Haven’t read it.
Black Knights, Inc. (series), by Julie Ann Walker – Haven’t read it.
The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes – Haven’t read it.
Doukakis’s Apprentice, by Sarah Morgan – Haven’t read it.
Sex, Straight Up, by Kathleen O’Reilly – I’m pretty sure I read this and liked it.
Her Hesitant Heart, by Carla Kelly – I’ve read this book, but would not consider it Kelly’s best work or even her best “category” in the sense of historicals published through HH.