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15.01.2014 admin
In a vignette from Making it Up as I Go Along, Marian Keyes recounts her past life as a falseeyelash addict.
Over the past 25 years, Jill Mansell’s novels have provided a welcome port for readers lost in the vast seas of the romantic fiction market. The story centres around 25-year-old Lily, the darling of a pretty Cotswold village, whose beloved mother left her a series of letters – one to be read on each of her birthdays – before she died. Lily is a likeable, if not unique, heroine – kind, beautiful, spirited – and her escapades offer a satisfying blend of frothy romance, moral conundrums and poignancy. Told from the points of view of all three women, plus Declan and Lily’s oldest friend, Dan, the smooth first-person prose makes for easy reading, and the shifting perspectives keep things lively, although one wishes for more time with each person. It may not set the world alight, but there’s plenty in this solid novel to warm all of our hearts.
This selection includes many books not categorised in either General Fiction or General Non-Fiction.
The perfect reading list for any day you want to fall in love with a romantic YA story. We asked our fandom what they recommend to readers looking for realistic, contemporary romances, and these are the thirty most frequently mentioned ones! I would probably add Past Perfect by Leila Sales, Forget You by Jennifer Echols, omg and at least one book by Sarah Dessen, probably This Lullaby that is my favorite. I love that Open Road Summer is on this list, because that’s coming up soon in my to read pile. Mia in If I stay is really in love with Adam, and he loves her so much and stays by her side most of the book when her parents are dead. Without further ado, here is our list of 9 best romance novels to read during the month of February. Sarah Addison Allen’s newest book, First Frost, was listed on our 12 Books You Must Read In 2015 list for good reason.
For those of you who like YA novels, Eleanor & Park is the book for you in this season of love.
It won’t be released until February 10th, but A Spool of Blue Thread is already at the top of my reading list for this month. About the Author Latest PostsAbout Featured BloggerA featured blogger post on The SITS Girls is our way of putting a spotlight on bloggers everywhere. The fact that it may be dressed up again in the see-through garments of an historical era, the crime thriller, or vampires and werewolves does not alter the basic recipe that girl must meet boy by page three and that their relationship must move without any major distractions to an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending” (Romance Writers of America definition) by page 200.
Obviously there is a lot to criticise, ridicule (including their sometimes hilarious covers) and dislike in these tales, the reading of which seems equivalent, at best, to blowing bubblegum or popping a party pill, and, at worst, to sousing oneself in porn. What is more, says Ms Quilliam, many believe the romantic lies they read; the evidence keeps turning up at family planning clinics, surgeries and therapy rooms in the form of pregnant and distressed women. No, her beef is actually with the one redeeming feature of these pathetic tales, the fact that the passionate couple often end up married.
This, and not just the chance of catching a nasty disease, seems to inspire the most quoted part of her essay, which begins thus: “There’s a final, worrying difference between sexual health professionals and the producers of romantic fiction.

If her proposal sounds like the kiss of death for the genre, she is right about one thing: romantic escapism cannot help men and women to establish a good sexual relationship and persevere in it. Significantly, “marriage” is a word that Ms Quilliam uses only twice in her piece, both times in a derogatory way: once in a reference to “patriarchal marriage” (you know, the kind that gave marriage a bad name), and once in that sardonic reference to “marital devotion” that needs to be cemented by “endless pregnancies”. In this way she cements the irrelevance of her concerns to the vast majority of women and men, who still value and desire marriage as a pathway to personal happiness even if, increasingly, they do not get around to clinching it. As for adding a “large dollop of sex education” to render harmless the passions of princess brides and vampire lovers — it is most unlikely to catch on. I note that in romances, failure to contracept sometimes stems from, of all things, desire to conceive. In a desperate moment in a laundromat I was looking for things to read and the only books were romance fiction. Reliably heart-warming and funny, they’ve sold in their millions, and won Mansell a legion of fans, who won’t be disappointed with this, her 27th offering. The last of these speaks of Declan, the love of her mother’s life, and Lily sets out to find him, via a chance encounter with a handsome screenwriter-turned-actor in hiding from the paparazzi. There are moments of gentle comedy – Coral’s attempts to hide the haemorrhoid cream in her shopping trolley when she bumps into a love interest – and the plot surges along with few improbable moments. Personally, I loved if I stay better, mostly because the boy turning into other people everyday confused me, and the relationship he had with the girl wasn’t really grounded.
You might recognize its sweet scent as a tinge of chocolate mixed with the smell of leather and pages of old books. I’m fairly certain it is against the law to list romantic books without at least one of her novels making the list. Montgomery, I always think of Anne of Windy Poplars as the perfect book for love and cold weather. It starts with Claire, a World War II nurse in Scotland who is transported back in time from 1945 to 1743.
If you haven’t read Heyer before, start with Arabella, and get ready to fall in love. The story spans four generations of the Whitshanks family and the house they call home, revealing their secrets, celebrations, and shared stories. A few more people this month than last, judging from the coverage given to an article in that worthy publication by British psychologist and agony aunt, Susan Quilliam.
Together, they are up against a tide of romantic fiction that is filling women’s heads with dangerous nonsense about relationships, sex and babies. It is not flattering to the intelligence of women but her theory is plausible; whatever you read on a regular basis must have an effect.
Given “positives” such as more adventurous sex, and the fact that we have all read RF even if it was only Georgette Heyer decades ago, and because no-one at Family Planning wants to be a spoilsport where sex is concerned (least of all Susan Quilliam, who updated Alex Comfort’s sexology manual, The Joy of Sex, three years ago) the genre is not beyond redemption, she says.
But if that relationship is not marriage, then all her concern for it will mean an uphill battle to save something inherently fragile and risky.

That is one reason why so many women read Mills & Boon, why Jane Austen’s heroines have never dated, and why the whole world watches a royal couple get married in a cathedral.
IMHO, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between pictures of body parts and excruciatingly detailed descriptions of the same.
At least, that is how love smells in my world, for there are few things I love more than a really good book, especially when it comes to the best romance books around.
I have a list of the best books to read for love in February that will help you get started.
If you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice since your 11th grade English class, pick it back up again.
You will find within its pages a love story, but you will also find a strong, independent female character who is well ahead of her time, as well as a creepy Gothic thriller.
Comprised of letters from Anne to Gilbert, it is full of love and sweetness, and thoughts about exactly which kind of pen and paper are perfect for writing a love poem. A meticulously researched historical fiction results with adventure, war, friendship, and mystery. While it might not be a romance in the classic sense of the word, I think it will be a story of love. Do you have a favorite love story? Let me know in the comments so I can add it to my reading list. Her essay spiced up the journal’s usual menu of condoms and chlamydia with the attention-grabbing headline: “‘He seized her in his manly arms and bent his lips to hers…’. The “stresses of pregnancy and child-rearing” can, no doubt, be great, but they are unlikely to destroy a marriage based on sound, shared values, or undermine the wellbeing of a committed spouse. Just like any good work of fiction, you may find yourself looking at the world in a new way. But the heart of the story beats out the relationship between Claire and Jamie, and you will find yourself swept up in their love that is able to transcend time and space.
I’ll just say that I stayed up all night reading this one, and it was totally worth it. Ms Quilliam herself is appalled at the “escapism, perfectionism and idealisation” that still keeps so many women in thrall to romance.
In some Western countries, romance accounts for nearly half of all fiction bought and some fans read up to 30 titles a month. Quite properly they condemn non-consensual sex, and quite reasonably warn against unrealistic expectations of sexual relationships.
But it’s “relentless baby-making as proof of a relationship’s strength” that troubles them most.

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