We all have a Keeper Shelf. Home to books that we have read and re-read many times over. Books that we would never part with. Books that will forever have a special place in a our hearts. Historical romance author JoMarie DeGioia shares her Top 5 favourite historical romance books – and what a list!
When heiress Hastings Trent is joined with warrior Severin Langthorne in marriage, she must uncover the mystery surrounding a secluded estate known as Rosehaven.
Come back to England in the year 1277 and meet Hastings of Trent and Severin of Langthorne, two strangers joined in marriage. Hastings is an heiress and Severin is the warrior whom the dying Earl of Oxborough has selected to assume his title, properties, possessions, and his daughter. It is Severin’s duty to sire children, to bring strong new blood to the line, and keep Oxborough powerful. Hastings thinks he’s cold-blooded, severe, merciless. Severin doesn’t smile, he looks capable of cruelty, he inspires fear. As for Hastings, Severin believes she should be obedient, submissive, malleable. She should speak softly and do whatever he wants, immediately. Both are in for a surprise.
Gabriel Fairchild’s valor during battle earns him the reputation of hero, but costs him both his sight and his hope for the future. Abandoned by the fiancée he adored, the man who once walked like a prince among London’s elite secludes himself in his family’s mansion, cursing his way through dark days and darker nights.
Prim nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at Fairchild Park to find her new charge behaving more like a beast than a man. Determined to do her duty, she engages the arrogant earl in a battle of both wit and wills. Although he claims she doesn’t possess an ounce of womanly softness, she can feel his heart racing at her slightest touch. As Samantha begins to let the light back into Gabriel’s life and his heart, they both discover that some secrets — and some pleasures — are best explored in the dark …
Justin Tolbert was a war hero and the new Earl of Wynfield, but he was not the same man Lady Sarah Spense once knew . . .
Suddenly, too vividly, Sarah remembered the night he had first asked her to dance. The London ballroom had been overcrowded, its heat stifling. Justin had been wearing his uniform, the handsome regimentals setting off the perfection of his strong body and his still-boyish face. She had thought then that there was no man more handsome in the room. She had stepped willingly into his arms, and when the music had begun, she had drifted, following his lead. They had moved together without conscious thought. As if the two of them had been created to dance together….Would they ever do that again . . . ?
Only her beloved grandmother, Lady Esther, knew how devastated Taylor Stapleton had been when her fiancé eloped with Taylor’s cousin. Now dear Esther — one of London’s richest and most formidable matriarchs — lies dying. But first she was going to help Taylor pull off the scam of the season.
To escape becoming a ward of her unscrupulous uncle, Taylor would wed Lucas Ross, a rugged American rancher. Lady Esther’s money would enable Ross to return home to Montana. Taylor had her own urgent reason to go to America…a precious legacy she hadn’t revealed to Ross, for they had agreed to part ways once they reached Boston. But as her handsome new husband spoke of life in Montana, Taylor began planning a new future. To Taylor, the wide-open spaces of Montana sounded like paradise . . .
Lady Saura of Roget lives a lonely life of servitude–her fortune controlled by her cruel stepfather. Yet it is she who has been called upon to brighten the days of Sir William of Miraval, a proud and noble knight who once swore to live or perish by the sword . . . until his world was engulfed in agonizing darkness. Summoned to Sir William’s castle, the raven-haired innocent is overcome by desire and love for the magnificent, golden warrior who has laid siege to her heart.
But there is grave danger awaiting them both just beyond the castle walls . . . and a deadly price to be paid for surrendering to a fiery, all-consuming love.
To make this list I went to my keeper shelf, where real estate is pretty exclusive. It was tough picking one particular favorite by some of my favorite authors! A couple of these happen to also be the very first book I’d ever read by that author. I discovered Catherine Coulter on a pharmacy bookshelf. Gayle Wilson and Christina Dodd were new to me when I read their titles as well. As for Teresa Medieros and Julie Garwood, it was even tougher picking a favorite out of their titles on my keeper shelf. Julie Garwood takes up quite a bit of space all by herself!
The author voices are different in every one of these. The settings and situations also vary. There is one very important thing all of these titles have in common, however. These are all stories that gripped me when I first read them. When I reread them. And even now, years after I’ve read them, I can remember not only the stories but the feelings they evoked.
I hope to create emotion in my readers with my own Historical Romance series. To make readers care about my story people as much as I do as I’m writing them. And long after, just like the feelings I carry after reading my own favorites!