Romance novels have a long and fascinating history, all the way back to the beginning of the novel in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While there isn’t very much scholarship about romance novels (yet!) there are a few outstanding books focusing on the genre, its readers and its development from a few lady authors, like Jane Austen, scribbling stories in their drawing rooms to a billion dollar industry today. Here are must Must Reads for the romance scholar or the romance reader who just wants to know more about her beloved books.
The term bodice ripper may inflame your passions (in a bad way, or in a good way!), but these old skool romances are still worth a read. Some are entertaining and some show how much the genre has transformed. All of them are epic love stories with happy endings
Fetch the smelling salts, your grace! If you love a romantic hero who happens to be a duke, then you just might enjoy some of my favorite historical (and contemporary!) romance novels featuring dukes.
Sometimes, I just need to read something hysterical. Like, snorting with laughter hilarious. Like, laughing so hard and for so long that The Husband finally looks up from his computer screen to ask what the heck is so funny. These are some books that make that happen.
There is just something so lovable about wallflowers and the romances they star in. Perhaps it’s because so many readers empathize with those brilliant, witty but introverted and overlooked girls. There are many reasons to adore them–and in an article for RT BookReviews I count the top ten reasons to love wallflowers. Here are some of my favorite romance novels featuring wallflowers: