Penny Recommends Ten Fabulous Valentine Reads
1. ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE by Steve Kluger
Brilliantly funny gay romance that includes Barbara Streisand references, sports, and a fabulous cast of characters. Made me laugh out loud until I cried. LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!
2. THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion
Quirky, adorable, hilarious story about an awkward professor searching for a wife. Utterly fantastic book.
3. THE GIRL WITH THE CAT TATTOO by Theresa Weir
Refreshingly unique story with a funky moonwalking cat, heroine who dresses up like Pippi Longstocking, and an alpha-beta undercover cop/volunteer for a homeless shelter. One of my all-time favorite romances!
4. SOULLESS by Gail Carriger
This is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink novel that includes werewolves, vampires, steampunk inventions, tongue-in-cheek humor, and a very proper (and fierce) soulless heroine. Highly recommended.
5. CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK by Elizabeth Peters
This is technically not a romance. It's the first installment of the Amelia Peabody Mystery Series. Nevertheless, the swoony love affair between Peabody and Emerson is a classic and oh-so-satisfying pairing. This historical, archaeological series continues on with another excellent love story in the next generation: Nephret and Ramses. I recommend reading the whole series.
6. RAVISHED by Amanda Quick
Quick is my go-to historical romance author when I need a big heaping dose of happy. Her heroines are smart, determined, and eccentric. Her heroes are sexy, masterful, and uber-intelligent. This book is sheer perfection, and I've probably read it three dozen times. Adore!
7. JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë
The classic love story. Over-the-top melodrama, including overly zealous villains, a wedding from hell, a hidden lunatic in the attic, and fiery death and destruction. Rocky McRochester (my nickname for the hero) is a broken man saved by the the love of his persistent heroine. The best kind of Valentine Melodrama!
8. DREAMING OF YOU by Lisa Kleypas
This is one of the books that got me addicted to historical romance about twenty years ago. Derek Craven and Sara Fielding are probably my favorite romance couple of all-time. The spectacled field mouse and the super rough-around-the-edges owner of a gambling hall find their happy ending in this wonderful novel.
9. BRIDE IN A GILDED CAGE by Abby Green
This is for folks who enjoy a good Harlequin every once in a while. This book has one of my favorite scenes ever. The hero and heroine are about to dance the tango, but the heroine's skirt is too narrow. What to do? The hero rips her skirt, and then the couple performs a steamy tango so intense it clears the dance floor. Crazy hot chemistry. Yowzah!
10. THE BRIDE by Julie Garwood
Julie Garwood historicals are what we call "wallpaper historicals" in romance. Maybe they're not historically accurate, but they sure as heck are romantic, emotional, and satisfying. Alec Kincaid and Jamie are a beautiful couple, and their HEA (Happy Ever After) is swoon-worthy.
Happy Lovey-Dovey Reading,