Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is ‘Favorite Couples In Books’, and while there are some couples I love I feel like this is something I’ve talked about before. Instead, sticking with the romantic theme, today I’m recommending ten books in which the romance is a central part of the story – regardless of whether or not the book has been marketed as a Romance!
I wrote a post about my relationship with the Romance genre near the end of last year and it’s a genre I’d like to embrace more in 2019, so if you have any recommendations yourself please do leave them below.
Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis: I read this Fantasy of Manners novella in December and really enjoyed it. While the main conflict is more of a magical one, there is an equally important plotline following the heroine’s relationship with her ex-fiance, and I can’t wait to read more Stephanie Burgis this year.
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of my favourite authors and this is her third novel. It isn’t my favourite of hers, but it’s more Fantasy of Manners, though not a comedy in the way many Fantasy of Manners books are, and this would be a wonderful introduction to SFF for lovers of Historical Romance.
Soulless by Gail Carriger: Yet more Fantasy of Manners – it seems to be the genre I gravitate towards when I’m in the mood for some Romance – from another of my favourite authors and the first book in one of my favourite series. There’s so much more going on in this book outside of romance, but I wouldn’t have found this series so fun without Alexia and Conall’s relationship. If you like those couples in books who annoy the hell out of each other because they don’t realise the frustration their feeling is actually good ol’ sexual tension, you’d love this series!
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: This book is so much fun! I think I ended up enjoying the companion novel, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, even more, but I loved Monty and Percy’s relationship.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: I still haven’t recovered from this book stomping all over my heart back in 2017, but it is one of my favourite novels of all time so I had to include it on this list. Miller breathes such life into Patroclus and Achilles’ relationship that, even though you know it’s all inevitable, it still hurts so much.
His Scandalous Lessons by Katrina Kendrick: Kendrick, the Romance alias of SFF author Elizabeth May, was my first foray into traditional Historical Romance last year and I had so much fun with this novel. Yes, it’s kind of cheesy, but it’s a book that does what it says on the tin and still manages to touch on a lot of serious topics and treats them sensitively rather than using them as plot fodder. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work this year!
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: Sarah Waters’ is yet another of my favourite authors, if you’re seeking some own voices LGBT+ historical fiction then I can’t recommend her enough, and Fingersmith is her masterpiece. It’s a gritty, Dickensian love story with more twists and turns than I’ve had hot dinners.
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry: This is another one I read back in 2017 and it really surprised me how much I enjoyed it. It was marketed as a kind of YA Historical Thriller, but there’s a romantic relationship that’s central to the plot – our narrator is actually narrating her story to the boy she loves, not to us – and I loved it. I feel like this book deserves more love than it gets.
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier: Yet another favourite author. This was the very first du Maurier I ever read and it was so much fun. Unlike Rebecca, Jamaica Inn or My Cousin Rachel, which are all fairly dark, Frenchman’s Creek is a historical romp set in Restoration Cornwall and featuring a wealthy woman who has a summer fling with a French pirate. It’s great fun, and the perfect beach read!
Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan: Jenny Colgan is one of those authors who essentially writes the same story again and again, she just changes the characters, the setting and the food. This was my very first Colgan novel, however, and I thought it was so much fun and a lot more heartbreaking than I was expecting. Not because of our main heroine’s romance, but because of her great aunt’s story which we gradually learn about throughout the novel. Lilian was such a strong character that I’d love to see Colgan tackle a Historical Romance in future.