These days I have favourite authors rather than favourite books, but before I became a writer I was a reader and my keeper shelf was filled with books—a lot of them by Georgette Heyer.
I came to writing from a history background, not an English one, so I’d consumed all of Heyer’s Georgian and Regency romances I moved on to other authors writing historical romances. From there I moved on to contemporary romance, mystery romance and fantasy. I read broadly then and still do now. What I look for is characters I love, an entertaining plot and writing that pulls me in as it pushes the story along.
Heyer has vivid characterization and plot in every book and her writing style is wonderful. I’ve read all of her books at least twice and some many more than that.
The top of my favourites list has to be Devil’s Cub, hands down. Dominic is the archetypical bad boy hero who can be tamed by only one woman. He is perfectly matched by Mary, so practical and down-to-earth on the outside, but as reckless and daring as Dominic and just as stubborn inside. The book is packed with wonderful secondary characters and a plot that races from one disaster to the next, forcing everyone to reach deep inside themselves and become more than they were before.
Devil’s Cub is the sequel to These Old Shades, another wonderful story with characters who linger in memory. Much as I loved Leonie and Avon, though, I think Dominic and Mary surpassed them.
The Convenient Marriage, published two years after Devil’s Cub, has the same kind of non-stop action plot, a really good bad guy threatening the safety of the heroine, and a wonderful hero and heroine. Secondary characters flesh out the story and add complications and humour throughout. Love it.
Devil’s Cub and The Convenient Marriage are both set in the late Georgian period, a time period I am fascinated by. When I wrote my first novel, Dangerous Desires, I set it in the early years of the French Revolution, at the end of the Georgian era.
The Corinthian, the last on my list of three, is a true Regency. With the change of time period, Heyer also changes the tone of the story. The characters are more restrained, the plot, with it’s murder mystery element, reflects the contemporary murder mysteries Heyer was writing in tandem with her historical romances. As with the other books, the story is full of wonderful secondary characters whose interaction with the hero and heroine help them discover that they are meant for each other.
Over the years I’ve written both contemporary and historical novels. My first published novel (Second Generation) was a contemporary romance, while Dangerous Desires came out a few years later. I think it’s inevitable that I’d eventually blend the two genres together in a time travel novel.
Fighting Fate is a contemporary novel set in Boston. It focuses on a very contemporary woman, Faith Hamilton, whose life is complicated by her time travelling ancestor from pre-Revolutionary Boston, Andrew Byrne. Andrew is very much the roguish Georgian gentleman and when he visits 21st century Faith he causes no end of trouble for her. Andrew is countered by Faith’s 21st century hero, Cody Simpson. Cody is a computer geek who shouldn’t be sexy, but is. Andrew and Cody couldn’t be more different, but they come together to help Faith when trouble knocks. As with my favourite Heyer novels, Fighting Fate incorporates humour, fun secondary characters, and a hero and heroine I loved writing.
What are your keepers? Specific books? A special author? I’d love to hear about what you love to read.
Thanks for dropping by.