Looking for a good fictional time, this one is for you. Please be aware that I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance. I always like my romance with a little fantasy and a lot of danger. This list consists of all of those things in one way or another.
Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught
Synopsis: Fresh from her triumphs in Paris society, Whitney Stone returns to England determined to win the heart of her childhood love. However, in order to save himself from ruin, her father has come to an arrangement with the arrogant Duke of Claymore, and Whitney is the price.
This novel is so much more than what the synopsis says. Whitney is funny, witty, and odd in all the best ways. She’s beautiful but doesn’t know it or rather doesn’t care. Her headstrong personality is out of place for the time period but brings so much life to the story. I only need one word to describe the Duke of Claymore, yummy. That man has lived in my fantasies for years. As the synopsis say he’s other worldly arrogant. Yet, he’s an honest man and really quite sweet. Whitney and the Duke tumble in and out of love repeatedly as there personalities clash. Which makes the ending even more romantic.
Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston
Synopsis: Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise.
That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge
Where do I start. Liv is the protagonist I’ve always wanted. She knows who she is even when she doesn’t know where she’s going. Vic is the definition of go with the flow. For a hybrid shifter he’s pretty laid back. If your looking for a story where the guy saves the girl this isn’t the story for you. Liv can save herself and does multiple times. Also the sex is kind of amazing and funny.
Up In Flames by Abbi Glines
Spoiled. Selfish. Rich girl. Villain. Slut.
Synopsis: As the Prada-clad bad girl of Rosemary Beach, Nan Dillon has been called every vile name under the hot summer sun. Some of her reputation is deserved—she’s never had to worry about anything but maintaining her perfect figure and splitting Daddy’s private jet with her brother, Rush.
But Nan is far from happy. Rush has another kid on the way and doesn’t have time to catch up with his sister.Grant, the last guy she truly cared about, chose to be with her half-sister, Harlow, instead of her.And Harlow, who has never gotten over the way Nan treated her when she first moved to town, remains distant.
So when Major asks her out, she jumps at the chance to date the gorgeous charmer. Though she doesn’t know much about the sweet-talking Texan, and though it’s clear he doesn’t want to be exclusive, dating him beats hanging out with vapid socialites or watching Netflix alone at home.
For a while, Nan deals with Major’s playboy ways, but after he burns her one too many times, she takes off for an impromptu wild weekend in Vegas. There, she meets Gannon, a darkly seductive and oh-so-dangerous businessman who knows exactly how to handle her.
With Major asking for a second chance and Gannon haunting her dreams, Nan has to decide who to give her heart to. But what she doesn’t realize is that these players are involved in a much bigger game—and they’re already two moves ahead of her.
Not only is this one of my favorite romances it’s also my favorite Rosemary Beach Novel. Throughout the series Nan has played the villain. But she’s always been my favorite. From the very first novel and if you think the synopsis gave away too much. You’d be wrong. So much went down in this final installment to the series. It was crazy as hell. Gannon is like oil to Nan’s flame. Major is so much more than just a playboy. The three of them never let you up for air.
Green Eyes by Karen Robards
Synopsis: Young, beautiful, and destitute, widowed Anna Traverne finds herself at the mercy of her brother-in-law Lord Ridley, who offers her and her little daughter a home for a price: Anna must become his mistress. Frightened, revolted, gently bred Anna can see no way out – until a handsome jewel thief breaks into Gordon Hall in search of a fabled set of emeralds.
Surprised by Anna in the act of purloining the jewels, Julian Chase is captured and carted off to Newgate to hang for the theft. The emeralds remain missing; despite being tortured, Julian insists he has no idea where they are. By the time he manages to cheat the hangman, though, Julian has figured out what must have happened: the green-eyed angel whose screams led to his downfall had to have taken them.
And he is right: finding herself in possession of the emeralds after Julian’s capture, Anna seizes on the chance to escape from Lord Ridley and flees to the tea plantation in Ceylon that is her home. But once Julian knows the truth, he comes after her, traveling halfway across the world to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his – and to take a sensuous revenge on the larcenous young beauty whose fate he now holds in his hands.
This novel incredibly sad and yet heartfelt. This story is a mix of romance, mythology and history. The sex in this novel is off the the charts.
The Beast In Him by Shelly Laurenston
Synopsis: Some things are so worth waiting for. Like the moment when Jessica Ward “accidentally” bumps into Bobby Ray Smith and shows him just how far she’s come since high school. Back then, Jess’s gangly limbs and bruised heart turn to jelly any time Smitty’s “all the better to ravish you with” body came near her. So, some things haven’t changed. Except now Jess is a success on her own terms. And she can enjoy a romp-or twenty-with a big, bad wolf and walk away. Easy.
The sexy, polished CEO who hires Smitty’s security firm might be a million miles from the loveable geek he knew, but her kiss, her touch, is every bit as hot as he imagined. Jess was never the kind to ask for help, and she doesn’t want it now, not even with someone targeting her Pack. But Smitty’s not going to turn tail and run. Not before proving that their sheet-scorching animal lust is only the start of something even wilder.
The Beast in Him is laugh out loud funny. By first impressions Jessica Ward is a quiet unassuming mouse. It takes being around her to know she’s anything but. Smitty is a character. There’s no way to accurately describe him. Jess and Smitty together are comedic duo. This romance is sweet.
Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught
Synopsis: High atop a snow-covered hill, the stately old Wyatt mansion is perched like a crown, its stone spires pointing upward, its stained glass windows glowing like colorful jewels. Such opulence means success and, surely, happiness. But on the eve of wealthy philanthropist Cecil Wyatt’s eightieth birthday, all the money in the world won’t bring back his missing grandson, William Wyatt. The only thing for certain: Foul play was involved.
The family, the police, the media-all have tried in vain to discover the young man’s fate. Now suspicion has turned shockingly toward William’s own half-brother, the rather distant and enigmatic Mitchell Wyatt.
Kate Donovan never dreamed that a chance romantic encounter on a tropical island paradise would tag her as a suspect in a high-society murder case. But after Kate tangles with the darkly charismatic Mitchell Wyatt, she finds herself cast in a shadow of guilt and mistrust. As the Chicago police tighten their net, it will take all of Kate’s ingenuity to clear her name. With her calm, cool wit, and the help of a man who may or may not be a dangerous catch, Kate vows to claim the life and love she desires.
Honestly, in my opinion the murder mystery is like a secondary plot. The real plot is the romance between Kate and Mitchell that spans years. I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotionally invested in a couple as I have this one. The fact that met on a tropical island that she went to with another man…. I refuse to say more. I could ramble about this novels for months. That’s how good it is.
Fade To Midnight by Shannon McKenna
Synopsis: Beaten and tortured almost to death, Kev Larsen was found eighteen years earlier in a warehouse alley. He survived his brutal ordeal, but his memories before that night were completely erased, until brain surgery triggers fragmented, terrifying flashbacks. Now Kev is determined to unlock the secrets to his past. Edie Parrish has always been good at not letting anyone get too close to her.
If someone were to learn of her unusual gift, her life would be immediately jeopardized. But when Kev Larsen discovers who she really is, Edie has to trust him. And soon, Edie can’t resist her desire – even though she knows she’ll have to pay a price for it. Now Kev and Edie must race against time and place their faith in each other to stop a deadly legacy.
Kev and Edie together are a dynamic duo. I loved how they fumbled around each other because neither knew how to handle the situation. This novel contains a lot of paranormal and sci-fi aspects. Which admittedly requires some heavy thinking to keep it all straight.
Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts
Synopsis: Fitzgerald had always been the family maverick, but even he couldn’t understand his impulse to buy a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans. All he knew was that ever since he first saw Manet Hall, he’d been enchanted-and obsessed-with it. So when the opportunity to buy the house comes up, Declan jumps at the chance to live out a dream.
Determined to restore Manet Hall to its former splendor, Declan begins the daunting renovation room by room, relying on his own labor and skills. But the days spent in total isolation in the empty house take a toll. He is seeing visions of days from a century past, and experiencing sensations of terror and nearly unbearable grief-sensations not his own, but those of a stranger. Local legend has it that the house is haunted, and with every passing day Declan’s belief in the ghostly presence grows.
Only the companionship of alluring Angelina Simone can distract him from the mysterious happenings in the house, but Angelina too has her own surprising connection to Manet Hall-a connection that will help Declan uncover a secret that’s been buried for a hundred years.
This novel is so good. As you know if you ever read a Nora Roberts novel she drags you into the characters life. She makes you feel like you know them. This is story no exception. It’s a romance infused with mystery and paranormal themes. It also contains some sensitive subjects.
Cat’s Lair by Christine feehan
Synopsis: Cat Benoit has finally escaped the past—and the man who was the source of her nightmares. She’s off the grid, underground but watchful, and creating a new life for herself in Texas, far from the torrid dangers of her native New Orleans. She’s safe. He’ll never find her this time. Cat has to believe that. It’s the only thing keeping her sane.
Yet she can’t escape the attention of Ridley Cromer, the instructor at the martial arts dojo where Cat takes lessons. She arouses the animal in Ridley—and something feral comes to life when their body heat rises. Cat is in no position to let her guard down with anyone, especially someone who could be endangered by her past. But Ridley has secrets of his own—secrets only Cat would understand. If she dares to trust him.
The relationship between Cat and Ridley is one for the books. Cat is a cautious woman. She’s unsure of herself but not of the danger chasing after her. She goes to tremendous extremes to make sure she can keep herself hidden. Ridley stands out in a crowd. He’s handsome and wanted by many women. But, he only has eyes for Cat. The word used to describe him was zen. During normal circumstances I’d agree but any time he’s around Cat he can’t seem to think rationally. There relationship has many ups and downs. At one point in the story I didn’t want them to be endgame.
So these are my favorite romances. Most of them are part of a series but they can all be read as stand-alone’s. I truly believe that if you enjoy romance novel there’s a book on this list for you.