Shades of Grey? I haven’t read it, but I hear it’s saucy. Saucy is probably too tame a word, but it sounds so much better than raunchy, which to my ear sounds ugly. Shades of Grey is in my reading queue. I will get to it and will no doubt enjoy it. Will I like it, though? Perhaps.
Writing romance in any form, whether it be Nicholas Sparks(ly), religious, paranormal or erotic is a slippery slope – no pun intended. All the elements must come together in the form of good writing to make a great book… a tall order indeed. We are big readers here at the Heatley Cliff and our tastes vary. We aren’t snobs and we like escapism (hence the pretend Manor house I am now writing this post from). We will always hold a special place in our hearts for Austen, Bronte and Alcott, but sometimes we just want some good old fashioned bodice ripping, don’t you?
This week at the Heatley Cliff, we are discussing the evolution of the romance novel on our podcast. It’s actually pretty interesting stuff. So while I realize that the whole Shades of Grey phenom is a flavour of the week, I wanted to pay homage to our number one romance homegirl, Nora Roberts, with some must read titles.
Fact – Ms. Roberts has had over 176 books on the New York Times Bestseller list. Fact – There are more than 400 million books of hers in print. Fact – Over the last 30 years, 27 books of Nora’s have sold EVERY MINUTE.
So while I cannot promise whips, chains, blind folds or other “safe words”, I can promise great writing, solid characters and sex scenes that will make you blush and feel sufficiently naughty. They will definitely get you in the mood, and then some.
1.Three Sisters Island Trilogy – Witches, a cozy island, long lost loves, fierce women and a whole lotta let’s-save-the-island-with-some-down-home-lovin’. This was the first set of books by NR that I ever read. Shortly after, I got pregnant with my second child. Yeah, it’s that good.
2.Midnight Bayou – They made this one into a Lifetime movie, but don’t let that dissuade you. It’s all Spanish moss and steamy nights set to the back drop of an old plantation restoration. Ghosts and secrets and a woman with a past. Spicy.
3. Sign of Seven Trilogy - This one is told from the male perspective – a nice twist. Think Supernatural, without the CW. These life long pals accidentally let loose a demon when they were 7 years old during a childhood game (as you do), and every 7 years the town of Hawkins Hallow goes hog wild because of it. But now it’s time for the final showdown. Luckily, they meet some kick ass women who will help them banish the evil once and for all.
4. Tribute - I love this one. Brittany Murphy played the lead in the Lifetime adaption, which was an odd choice, but now I can appreciate it. She’s the child of a famous actress who died under mysterious circumstances. When she comes back to restore her mother’s old house, she moves next door to a fanboy comic book writer who is nerdy in the best way and by best way, I mean he has abs for days. Love this one.
5. The Born In Trilogy – Ireland, you say? A quaint inn owner, a fiery glass artist and a bastard sister come back to the old country to find out who she is. Add some saucy Irish dudes to the mix and you’ve got a party.
This prolific writer has 2oo books to choose from, including the darker murder mysteries she’s written under the pen name of JD Robb, so there are plenty – though admittedly, some are better than others. But millions and millions of people can’t be wrong. So draw yourself a bath, light some candles, pour some wine and get ready for a romantical date with Nora Roberts.