Tag Archives: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen #5: 13 Favourite Romance Novels

When I tried to come up with ideas for this week’s TT13, I thought “13 Cups of Tea” might be a fitting (if slightly boring) topic. However, I’m sure I’ve already drunk more than 13 cups of tea today, so I had to drop the subject again. “13 Favourite Scenes from Gene Kelly Musicals” might have been fun on the one hand, but, on the other hand, might have been regarded as a Kelly overkill. So, no 13 scenes with Gene Kelly either.

Instead I’m going to do a list of 13 favourite romance novels to coincide with AAR’s current “Top 100 Romance Poll“. I put my list together sometime last week, but it still needs some tweaking because not only appear some of my very favourite novels in the 20s or even 30s right now, but because I also forgot to list Jane Austen and Julia Ross. Furthermore, I didn’t know it was alright to list novellas as well.

Right, so here’s a selection from my ballot for All About Romance:

13 of My Favourite Romance Novels

First, #1, 2, and 3 on my list:

1 Susan Fox, THE PRODIGAL WIFE

2 Penelope Williamson, KEEPER OF THE DREAM

3 Jane Austen, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Some examples from my Top Twenty:

4 Gaelen Foley, LORD OF FIRE
(That scene when bad, bad Lucien Knight finds out the Goody-Two-Shoes heroine has managed to invade his den of iniquity? Priceless!)

5 Margaret Moore, THE WASTREL
(A very sweet historical with hysterical secondary characters — and as far as I know, it was one of the first Harlequin/M&B covers depicting only the hero)

6 Kathleen Givens, KILGANNON
(Kath’s debut novel was the second romance I read as a romance. You can therefore imagine what a pleasure it was to meet Kathleen in person for the first time at last year’s German Booklovers Conference. I’m happy to say that since then she has become a dear friend.)

7 Victoria Holt, THE DEVIL ON HORSEBACK
(Wheee! One of those Golden Oldies — if I remember correctly it was also the first Holt novel I ever read back in my teens, and my German copy has long since been reduced to a mere loose-leaf collection *g*)

8 Julia Ross, NIGHT OF SIN
(How could I forget Julia Ross??? I got THE SEDUCTION and THE WICKED LOVER, which also made it on my Top 100 list, at the Beau Monde silent auction back in 2005. It were not only the gorgeous covers that first captivated me, but also the dedication to THE SEDUCTION: “This book is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Dorothy Dunnett. — Lymond will remain forever unequalled.” Hear, hear.)

Two novellas I particularily enjoyed

9 Sherrilyn Kenyon, “Fire and Ice” (from MAN OF MY DREAMS)
(Tortured hero anybody? *g*)

10 Rachel Gibson, “Now and Forever” (from SECRETS OF A PERFECT NIGHT)
(High-school lovers reunited at the high school reuinion, very sweet)

Books that stand out:

11 Penny Jordan, A REKINDLED PASSION
(An old Mills&Boon romance and a second-chance-at-love story. What I find so intriguing about this book is that the protagonists are in their late 30s / early 40s — not all that usual for a romance written in 1989!)

12 Susan Sizemore, WINGS OF THE STORM
(One of the best time travels I’ve ever read with a strong, but sweet hero, who is at one point likened to a big, old tomcat. *g*)

13 Valentina Luellen, THE DEVIL OF TALLAND
(One of the more obscure titles among my collection of romance novels; the back cover blurb reads: “Overwhelmed by pity and believing he had only a few hours to live, Roxanna agreed to marry the stranger she met in a Cornish inn. How could she have known that she would find herself caught up in a web of intrigue and treachery, where jealousy wrestled with a new found love. — Snatched from death by the husband she thought dead, could she trust the stranger who demanded his rights — handsome, enigmatic Ross, whom she suspected of being not only a smuggler, but a traitor to his country?” — What can I say? It’s got a “devil” in the title, which should tell you it is a good, old-fashioned romance with an moody, brooding, domineering hero!)

Thursday Thirteen #4: 13 Favourite M&B Novels

I discovered my love for Mills&Boon novels seven years ago while spending a rather wet year abroad in Galway, Ireland. The many UBSs in Galway provided for a steady supply of old and new romances, which resulted in many an afternoon snuggled up with a cup of tea and a book in bed while outside storm and rain raged.

Thirteen Favourite Mills&Boon Novels

1) Susan Fox, THE PRODIGAL WIFE (bought on 21 March 2003)
A second-chance-at-love story: Five years ago Lainey left her new husband because it turned out he only married her for convenience. Or had he? When she learns that she might have been spectularly wrong about Gabe Patton, Lainey returns to the ranch in order to apologize and to offer him a divorce. Yet to her shock, Gabe insists that they stay married.
One of my all-time favourite romances.

2) Liz Fielding, A WIFE ON PAPER (bought on 14 July 2004)
When Francesca and Guy met for the first time, Guy was mesmerised — yet also unable and unwilling to act on the instant attraction because Francesca was pregnant with the baby of his brother. But three years later, that brother is is dead and has left Francesca homeless and without a penny. In his will, he asks Guy to take care of her and their small son, and enter with her into a marriage of convenience. Soon, sparks begin to fly.

3) Kate Walker, THE TEMPTATION GAME (bought on 21 February 2001 in Galway)
For years, Rachel hasn’t seen her stepbrother with whom she was once so wildly in love as a teenager and who repudiated her love in the cruelest possible way. But now Gabriel is back, dark and brooding — and she is still attracted to him. And it seems he might be, too …

4) Lucy Gordon, THE PREGNANCY BOND (bought on 7 November 2002)
On the night Kelly celebrates her divorce with a party, her estranged husband, a successful overseas journalist, unexpectedly turns up — and at the end of the party both of them end up in bed. And a few weeks later, Kelly realizes she is pregnant. To her surprise, Jake is determined to look after her and support her during her pregnancy. What is more, Kelly slowly learns that Jake is not quite the man she thought she knew so well.
One of the most unusual M&B novel I have ever read: in the course of the novel the hero suffers from severe depression and panic attacks.

5) Emma Darcy, CRAVING JAMIE (bought on 10 February 2001 in Galway)
Another second-chance-at-love story (I love those!): Beth and Jamie had been childhood sweethearts before they lost contact. Years later they meet again, and Beth is shocked to find out Jamie has turned into a cold, emotionless man. But she is determined to find the old Jamie again under the cool exterior of the new Jim Neilson.

6) Michelle Reid, MARRIAGE ON THE REBOUND (bought on 28 February 2001 in Galway)
From the backcover blurb: Shaan had been jilted by Piers Danvers on their wedding day, but Rafe Danvers was waiting to step straight into his half-brother’s shoes. Older, darker, stronger, and head of the Danvers business empire, it was Rafe who had persuaded Piers to abandon Shaan. Now, with the same ruthless determination, he insisted that she become his bride instead, even though until this moment he had acted as if he despised her.

7) Penny Jordan, LOVER BY DECEPTION (bought on 23 November 2000 in Galway)
An amnesia story!!! 🙂 From the backcover blurb: Ward Hunter had reason to despise Anna Trewayne, and an accident had placed her at his mercy. Her memory lost, she mistakenly believed Ward to be a friend and lover…

8) Lynne Graham, CLAIMING HIS WIFE AND CHILD (bought on 21 April 2006)
Part of the M&B “Queens of Romance” series, therefore two novels in one book and both of them second-chance-at-love AND revenge stories (yay for me!). Here’s the backcover blurb:

ONE NIGHT WITH HIS WIFE
Luc Sarrazin’s marriage to Star had been intensely passionate but brief. They’d separated almost immediately and Star had disappeared, but Lucy had never filed for divorce. Eighteen months later, Luc tracks Star down, but then he discovers that Star is the mother of twins!

DUARTE’S CHILD
Only days before she was about to give birth, Emily left her husband, Duarte de Monteiro. Now he has traced her and their baby son, and he wants to bring them back to Portugal. This proud man can still make her knees weak with his slightest touch … but why does he want her back?

9) Janelle Denison, BRIDE INCLUDED (bought on 18 November 2000 in Galway)
And yet another second-chance-at-love-story. Once Seth and Josie were friends and lovers, but the feud between their families separated them when Seth chose to believe the lies about Josie instead of accepting he was the father of her child. But now he is back and owns the deeds to Josie’s home. And even worse: she is honour-bound to marry him.

10) Day Leclaire, LONG-LOST BRIDE (bought on 25 January 2001 in Galway)
Guess what! Another second-chance-at-love story!!! Nine years ago, Shayne was forced to annul her marriage to Chaz, which she has regretted ever since. But when she meets him again at a masked ball, she can resist the temptation to kiss him and seduce him and accept his proposal of a loveless marriage. But will Chaz ever forgive her?

11) Victoria Gordon, A MAGICAL AFFAIR (bought on 10 March 2001 in Galway)
Yup. Second-chance-at-love story, and here’s the cover blurb: When Ruth embarked on her love affair with dynamic Kurtis Goodwin, it was the most wonderful experience of her life. And when their whirlwind romance led to marriage Ruth believed she was the luckiest woman in the world. But suddenly everything seemed to go wrong! If Kurtis loved Ruth so much, why did he spend so much time with his glamorous partner, Rosemary? Perhaps Ruth should cut her losses and leave Kurtis. But, if she did leave, how would he react? Before too long, though, Ruth found herself wishing she’d never asked that second question!

12) Alison Fraser, THE STRENGHT OF DESIRE (bought on 10 February 2001 in Galway)
Second-chance-at-love AND secret baby. *happy sigh* Years ago, the callous behaviour of her womanising husband drove Hope into the arms of his younger brother Guy for one night of love and passion. Now her ex-husband is dead and Guy is back in her life — and he still doesn’t know that his niece is in truth his daughter.

13) Miranda Lee, THE PLAYBOY’S PROPOSITION (bought on 18 January 2001 in Galway)
When Michele is invited to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, her best friend Tyler, impossible handsome, wealthy, and with an endless string of girlfriends, agrees to accompany her — but only if they pretend to be lovers. And soon, they don’t even have to pretend …

Thursday Thirteen #4: The Prologue! :)

Last Thursday, BBC Radio 4 broadcasted a programme called “Guilty Pleasure — A Hundred Years of Mills&Boon” presented by stand-up comedian Lucy Porter. All in all, it was a surprisingly balanced programme with interviews with M&B authors and editors as well as with Joseph McAleer, who has written one of the important studies on M&B. They also interviewed two female academics who forcefully stated how very, very bad M&B novels are for women. (Over at Teach Me Tonight, Laura blogged about the programme last week; I’ve snatched the following quotations from her post). Celia Brayfield said,

It’s bad for women to suggest that the whole of their lives will be sorted out if they simply attract the right man. That is not the reality and it stands in the way of women taking responsibility for their own lives and for the lives of their children. Mills & Boon just says “make yourself attractive darling and some lovely bloke will come along and take care of it” and that simply doesn’t happen and it also encourages women to be dependent, to underachieve their potential, and to not fully realise themselves as human beings.

(Right. Female readers are apparently too stupid to distinguish between fiction and reality. I hope nobody let’s them read fantasy or SF!) (Hey, wait, does that mean I won’t be swept off my feet by that Italian multi-millionnaire next week? Duh.)

Brayfield also thinks that “[…] quite honestly any woman with two neurons to rub together would have serious trouble reading more than one of these books unless she had the flu.”

(Oh dearie me. I guess that means I’ve got only one neuron left after all those romance novels killed off the rest of ’em. Too bad.)

They also had another female scholar, who chimed in: “So as I say, I see them [M&B novels] as a literature of unhappiness rather than happiness. They’re a classic literature for rather miserable, rather disappointed, rather jaundiced people.”

(She’s right, of course. I was totally, totally miserable last week.) (Oh yes, silly me, that might have had something to do with my teeth. It’s too bad when you’ve got only one neuron left. You forget so many things…)

Anyways, Brayfield and Evans came across as stuck-up, snobby academics, even worse, stuck-up, snobby, uninformed academics because it was pretty clear that they’ve never read a romance novel. All they did was to rehash all those idotic academic studies on romance which claim that reading romance is like taking drugs or tranquillizers, that it keeps women from rebelling against the yoke of patriarchy, blah-blah-blah.

Soooo, I thought that it would be appropriate for this week’s TT13 to list 13 of my favourite M&B titles. Me and my one lonely, little neuron love them to pieces.

Thursday Thirteen #3: Thirteen Sachets of Instant Soup

I still wasn’t able to chew properly today (or at least not without feeling a considerable amount of discomfort or even downright pain). Therefore I braved the elements (’twas raining cats and dogs today!) and went to the supermarket (okay, okay, I drove) and bought a considerable amount of rice pudding, semolina pudding, and, well, soup. Lots and lots of sachets of instant soup. And here they are:

Thirteen Sachets of Instant Soup

1) creamy potato soup

2) potato-and-leek soup

3) all-natural tomato soup

4) creamy tomato soup

5) tomato soup with ricotta

6) tomato soup with mozzarella

7) creamy mushroom soup

8) chanterelle soup

9) white mushroom soup

10) creamy shrimp soup (tasted crap)

11) alphabet soup

12) alphabet soup

13) alphabet soup

Thursday Thirteen #2: Thirteen Cities

Thirteen Towns & Cities I Have Visited

1. Frankfurt (well, that’s no big feat since I live in a suburb of Frankfurt

2. Mainz (work there)

3. Freiburg (I used to live in the Black Forest when I was a child)

4. Florence (during a summer vacation with my parents)

5. Siena (during the aforementioned summer vacation with my parents; Siena’s church is striped like a zebra 🙂 )

6. Vienna (saw my first musical there, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS)

7. Prague (on my very last school excursion; the Charles Bridge at night must be the most romantic place on earth!)

8. Birmingham (during my teens I had an English penfriend who lived near Birmingham)

9. Oxford (oh, I love Oxford! Not only have they got a whole street full of bookstores, but there is also the wonderful, the magnificent Pitt Rivers Museum!)

10. Berwick-upon-Tweed (in the rain; you’ll get to see it, too, in one of the next episodes of “Trials & Tribulations of a Travelling Scholar”)

11. London (of course!)

12. Edinburgh (the City of Wonders)

13. Reno (in the month my first book was published, for RWA National 2005)

Sandy’s Thursday Thirteen #1

This looks like fun, so here we go: Sandy’s first Thursday Thirteen list:

Sandy’s Thirteen Novels

1. Dicki und Tomi

2. Dick und Tom (the sequel!!!)

3. Der Wildfang (The Tomboy, written Dec 1987- Dec 1990)

4. Der Wildfang 2 (The Tomboy 2 — another sequel!)

5. Der Flug der Rabin (The Flight of the Raven, written in Jan 1996)

6. Tochter des Einhorns (Daughter of the Unicorn, written May – Oct 1996)

7. Im Bann des Wolfes (Wolf’s Spell, written Oct 1996 – August 1997)

8. Wolfswald (Wolf’s Wood, sequel!!!, written August 1997 – Oct 1999)

9. Highland Love (written April 2000 – February 2002)

10. Straight to the Heart / The Lily Brand (my first published novel! 2005)

11. Castle of Wolfenbach / Castle of the Wolf (2007)

12. Bewitched (will be released in April 2008)

13. Betrayal (the current work in progress)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Carrie Lofty
2. Sandee
3. Qtpies7
4. Lost in Wisconsin
5. Lori
6. Michael Schurmann
7. Seeley DeBorn
8. Thomma Lyn
9. Jendi
10. Camille Alexa
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!