Here’s something I’ve said before, but you might not know if you didn’t pay close attention: I read romances. Like, all the time. I love shifter and Regency ones best right now (dear lord i hope my mother doesn’t read this!). But yeah. You’ll notice that about half of the books on my list aren’t romances. They’re spectacular books WITH romance in them. Which is the sort of book I prefer at all times, really. And yes, they bring the swoon, even if it’s just of the developing tension variety, rather than the happily ever after kind. Also you should know that the romances I DID include are the cream of the swoon-making crop. I need to re-read them all soon!
Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon
1. Persuasion by Jane Austen – This is one of my favorite books of all time, and I think it is because at its heart it’s about forgiveness, overcoming the past, and getting (and taking!) second chances. Also, Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne hits me right in the feels.
2. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund – Is this cheating? It might be cheating. Peterfreund’s book is a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic retelling of Persuasion. It has all of the best elements of Austen’s original, written beautifully and wrapped in a shiny YA SFF package.
3. Archangel by Sharon Shinn – Science fiction. Angels. Mates brought together against their will. Music. And Shinn’s writing! She makes you believe in a romance, in characters, in emotion. Oh, this one’s good.
4. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley – Two people on completely different paths…who happen to fit each other. And they have one night to figure it out. An adventure full of art and discovery and that beautiful, shivery thing that is first love crossed with hope.
5. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook – Brooding, reluctant hero meets no-nonsense, practical heroine. It’s not love at first sight – it’s criminal investigation at first sight. And from there it’s airships, zombies, clockworks and, oh yes, eventually, love.
6. Written in Red by Anne Bishop – There is no central romance in this book. HOW DID IT MAKE THE LIST?! It’s one of those with so much potential that it fairly vibrates with it. Also, the amount of sacrifice and love and loyalty takes it into swoon-worthy territory. Healthy respect is hot, folks.
7. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – ZOMG, this book! It is so atmospheric and special. I may swoon over the setting even more than the romance, but it’s a close call.
8. Sunshine by Robin McKinley – The swoon in this one is about food, courage, and loved ones giving you space or knowing when to close ranks. It’s sweet and dark and complicated and Sunshine has the best voice ever.
9. Steam & Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape – The hero is good with kids. I think that automatically ups a book into swoon-possible territory. I know I am not alone in this. Pape’s first in a steampunk series is a combo platter of romance with pretty steamy sexy-times and a family-style happily ever after.
10. Snowfall by Mary Ann Rivers – Angie at Angieville finally convinced me to read Rivers, and holy goodness, I’m so glad I did. The emotional range in this little novella (from the Heating Up the Holidays anthology) is breathtaking. So good, so different, so addicting. I shall be reading Rivers again.
Did any of these books make your list? What makes you swoon in a book?