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book suggestions, perhaps a challenge?

 
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orientalbelle



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: book suggestions, perhaps a challenge? Reply with quote

A bit of an odd request but can you recommend any good romance novels that don't contain sex/purple prose in them?
I know, I know, a bit of an odd request given the subject material of romance novels. I'm finding that lately I just want to settle down with a good romance (not Danielle Steel, sorry) and not have to flip through pages of purple prose. I've looked in the rating section and most of the "kisses" authors are either inspirational writers or regency writers. I have no problem with regency, but I would LOVE a book that was longer than 200pgs. I've had my fill of inspirational romances for the time being as they sometimes tend to get preachy; although if there's a great one I'm missing please include it. I'm not that big into the paranormal genre, but if you have one that is just dynamite, please mention it. Otherwise, I like just about everything else, though I am partial to medieval, americana, and westerns. :)
Thanks for stepping up to my challenge.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orientalbelle - check out Eva Ibbotson's books - they're light on sex and really well-written (and not inspirationals). I read The Countess Below Stairs and A Company of Swans in the last few months (both were reviewed at AAR) and really enjoyed them. The setting is early 20th century for both books. Ibbotson's writing style is lovely, and A Countess Below Stairs in particular is fantastic.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1081
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about Mary Stewart? Hers were mostly set in the 1950s and 1960s. Brilliant writing. Mostly what we would now call romantic suspense I guess. One, Nine Coaches Waiting is really a gothic. I've raved about her here before but I'm quite happy to do so again. Mostly first person (heroine POV) and fabulous, fabulous settings. You'll want to go to France, Greece, Austria etc Very Happy

Elizabeth
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cheri



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1350
Location: michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading alot of Cheryl St.John. She writes shorter warm books. I don't recall any purple prose or preachyness. And most are set in America/Frontier. I loved Secondhand Wife, The Doctor's Wife, Joe's Wife, The Preacher's Daughter and The Tenderfoot Bride. I recently gave one to my sister and she devoured it. I hope you enjoy them if you try and then let me know. Happy reading. cheri
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 697

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:19 am    Post subject: Re: book suggestions, perhaps a challenge? Reply with quote

orientalbelle wrote:
A bit of an odd request but can you recommend any good romance novels that don't contain sex/purple prose in them? ..... I have no problem with regency, but I would LOVE a book that was longer than 200pgs. ....
I would recommend Georgette Heyer's books to you - the earliest were written originally in the 1930's, thereabouts, so it was to our grandparents' generation, and has "kisses" only. Perennial favourites are reviewed here at AAR - Frederica, Venetia, Devil's Cub, These Old Shades, Arabella. I also love The Corinthian, Regency Buck, An Infamous Army, to name a few. They are widely available in libraries too.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you asking for romance novels without a lot of love scenes, because purple prose can describe an overwrought style that is flowery and filled with way too many descriptions and adjectives. I would suggest Mary Balogh, Tracy Grant, Elizabeth Chadwick and Susan Carroll. All write prose that flows beautifully and doesn't have an excessive amount of love scenes. Good luck!
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 875
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first person who pops into my mind is Lynn Kurland. Her stories are very romantic but don't include the graphic sex scenes so common these days. There is sexual tension and kisses, but the rest is implied. She's kind of a throwback to the "behind closed doors" approach of earlier romance writing. Some of her books are straight romances and others include a bit of time travel. I always enjoy her stories and the characters. You can check out my Shelfari shelf for titles by looking under the "lynn kurland" tag. I would give her some consideration.
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graceC



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 471

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would second Lynn Kurland. She writes mostly time travel romance with no sex scenes to speak of (very PG 13). My favorites by her are:

- Stardust of Yesterday
- The More I See You
- If I Had You
- This Is All I Ask
- A Garden In The Rain

I would also suggest Judith McNaught. Mind you, there are sex scenes in her books but they're tasteful and never graphic. Some of my favorites by Judith McNaught:

- A Kingdom of Dreams (Medieval)
- Something Wonderful (Regency)
- Once & Always (Regency)
- Almost Heaven (Regency)
- Paradise (contemporary)

I almost forgot: you might want to check out The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnely. IIRC, the sex scenes were just warm but the story was really really good. It's also been reviewed here.
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 902

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:56 am    Post subject: recs Reply with quote

Sandra Dallas writes good westerns over different time periods, my fav being Alice's Tulips (I think it took place at the end of the Civil War, but this setting is out west) and the book she is probably best known for and read by book clubs, Persian Pickle Club. Ms. Dallas has said her characters turn off the light at night and she doesn't write the details. They are emotional books.

No Place Like Home is a contemporary by Barbara Samuels, got an A-, warm rating here and takes place out west.

The Monk Downstairs by Tim Farrington is also good and I keep hoping I'll see it made into a movie. It got a subtle rating here.

What the Heart Knows by Kathleen Eagle, got an A, warm review here, and is a contemporary that involves an investigation on an Indian Reservation and a retired NBA star.

If Andy Warhol had a Girlfriend is a contemporary chick lit book with a rating of Kisses here that I loved for the characters and travel. It made me laugh and cry.

Lastly, Still Life With Murder by PB Ryan, is a historical mystery which got a B+ review here with N/A rating but has lead characters that are attracted to each other. I think its a series but I haven't read the more recent books in the series.


Last edited by Kayne on Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1843
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A bit of an odd request but can you recommend any good romance novels that don't contain sex/purple prose in them?


If I were you, I would look into books identified as "women's fiction" or even "chick lit." Although chick lit may get "edgy" in terms of describing their heroine's single lifestyle, it's usually a lot more talk than action.

For instance, I just read Elizabeth Young's "A Promising Man (And About Time Too)" and, as I recall, there were no actual sexual encounters until almost the end of the book and that was relatively short. Not pages and pages. And, it's British potty mouth; no purple prose to be found.

Other books you might try:
Adrianna Trigiani's "Big Stone Gap"
Laura Caldwell's "The Year of Living Famously"
Michelle Curry Wright's "Miranda Blue Calling"
Mariah Stewart's "Moments in Time" -- This latter book I absolutely remember as having no sex scenes at all. It's funny because Stewart is a romance writer and romances, these days, do seem to have the obligatory 2 or 2.5 sex scenes. Not this one.
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Manda



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 589

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karen Kendall's Fit to be Tied
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JulieR



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elda Minger's The Kiss. It got a B grade here at AAR; here is the review:

www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=5616
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orientalbelle



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="xina"]Are you asking for romance novels without a lot of love scenes, because purple prose can describe an overwrought style that is flowery and filled with way too many descriptions and adjectives. [/quote]

I don't mind sexual tension, but I would actually prefer the romance novels to be without love scenes. I know, I'm a bit of an oddity. For example, I really love Katherine Sutcliffe, Meaghan McKinnely, medieval Julie Garwood,an d I'm okay about Deveraux, McNaught, even some of Johanna Lindsay, Elizabeth Lowell, and Catherine Coulter, but I'm just tired of flipping pages. Actually, come to think of it, I like Lori Copeland's style a lot and she is pretty mild, but even with her love scenes, I find myself flipping through pages.

I'm looking more for romance novels than chick lit. While they're still entertaining, I'm just seeking a good romance.

Thanks for the help so far. Any other suggestions? Keep 'em coming.
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JulieR



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Connie Willis's Bellwether. She's more known for her science fiction, so that's where this book would be shelved at the library or book store, but this really isn't sci-fi. The H/H are both researchers at a think tank who end up working together. I don't think this is the strongest romance ever, but it's an enjoyable, humorous, satiric read.

Or if you don't mind some sci-fi, her To Say Nothing of the Dog has more romance (along with time travel) and is an even better book. It got an A review here at AAR:

www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=378
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