Even though as you know I am not super-keen on romances in general, this particular list — 100 of the all-time great romances from Jane Austen to today — caught my attention. Because not only is PRIDE AND PREJUDICE on the list, but also:j
1. Laura Florand’s THE CHOCOLATE KISS is on it.
2. Sharon Shinn’s ARCHANGEL made the list.
3. Megan Whelan Turner’s Queen’s Thief series is included.
…. and I started saying to myself, Gosh, the people who compiled this list know how to pick romances for non-romance readers! And, of course, they are defining “romance” very broadly, or they would not include MWT’s series, which is not really a romance series imo, even though the romance subplots are important.
Evidently NPR started this with a reader poll, got 18,000 responses, and turned the project over to a couple reviewers and a couple of authors to narrow the list down to 100 titles to recommend. So it is reviewers Bobbi Dumas and Sarah Wendell and authors Sherry Thomas and Michelle Monkou who picked those titles to include.
Though they sorted the titles out by category, they made no effort to pick the top ten in each category, so Historical and Contemporary are the biggest. But SFF would be just about as big if they’d folded Paranormal into SFF, which I could go either way on that.
Other titles and authors that I recognize:
Judith Merkle Riley. I absolutely loved her Margaret of Ashbury trilogy
The Pink Carnation (series), by Lauren Willig. This series, a take-off on The Scarlet Pimpernel, is too silly for me.
The Lotus Palace (series), by Jeannie Lin. I have the first book on my TBR pile.
Nine Coaches Waiting, by Mary Stewart. Definitely my favorite of hers.
Kate Daniels (series), by Ilona Andrews. I should hope so! Two thumbs up for Kate and Curren!
The Inheritance Trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin. Again with a series that I loved but don’t think should be considered a romance series.
A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Okay, I grant you, that one could be considered a romance, though for romances, well, how about The Sharing Knife series instead?
Cry Wolf, by Patricia Briggs. Interestingly, this count this as Paranormal but Ilona Andrews as SFF. Not sure I agree with their dividing lines.
There’s a wide range of titles on this list, from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by Ward, with worldbuilding that is at best iffy and a certain tendency toward bloat, to, well, Pride and Prejudice. I definitely don’t feel that readers who love romances would like every book on this list. Still, it’s interesting to glance over and there are a lot of books on here I really love.
The one romance author not on this list whose books I immediately think of: Teresa Romain. I really like her Regency romances. I get that this is a very large category, but too bad not to see her here.
Anyway, you can click through if you’re interested and see which of your favorites are on there and what got robbed.