♫♪♫♫♪ Summer lovin, had me a blast;
summer lovin, happened so fast ♫♪♫♫♪
NPR shared their favorite romances in a Books of Summer Love segment, including these red hot reads from Macmillan:
The Wallflowers (series), by Lisa Kleypas
Lisa Kleypas writes solid contemporary romances too, but this series about a quartet of 19th-century young women who band together to conquer the London marriage market was a favorite with our voters and our panelists.
THE FAR PAVILIONS by M.M. Kaye
An epic tale of forbidden love during the British Raj. British botanist’s son Ashton Pelham-Martyn is orphaned in India and raised to believe he’s an Indian boy named Ashok. Anjuli is a neglected princess, condemned first to an unwanted marriage and then to suttee when her husband dies — but happiness beckons for Ash and Anjuli in the “far pavilions” of the Himalayas, away from the prejudices that have kept them apart.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s most famous work was one of your favorite picks (second only to the Outlander series). So much has been said about Elizabeth and Darcy that now their place in the romance canon goes without saying — we’ll just leave you with the mental image of Colin Firth diving into that lake.
JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte
A poor, mistreated heroine, a dour, misunderstood hero, and a mad wife locked in the attic — if that’s not romance, we don’t know what is! Reader, she did indeed marry him, and they lived happily ever after.
ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell’s story of two misfit kids who fall in love over mixtapes and comic books in 1980s Omaha, Neb., was one of our favorite books of 2013 — and a favorite with our voters, too. While the ending is slightly ambiguous, we choose to believe Eleanor and Park got their happily ever after. We love them too much not to!
Charley Davidson (series), by Darynda Jones
Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and a full-time Grim Reaper, meaning she sees dead people and tries to guide them into the afterlife (and occasionally hunt down the people who left them dead). As if that weren’t complicated enough, she gets caught up in a devilishly hot romance with the actual son of Satan — a relationship that only gets more intense as the series progresses.
Vampire Huntress (series), by L.A. Banks
Damali Richards is a popular spoken-word artist and producer. She’s also the Neteru, a special human born once every thousand years to fight the dark threat of vampires with a jewel-encrusted sword that’s 7,000 years old. Can she keep the world — and her vampire lover, Carlos — safe?
Dark Hunter (series), by Sherrilyn Kenyon
We are Darkness. We are Shadow. We are the Rulers of the Night. And this is a very entertaining, long-running (and hot) series about immortal warriors dedicated to defending humanity. Immortality, it turns out, isn’t so great without love.
BET ME by Jennifer Crusie
Minerva Dobbs is an actuary whose wild side only peeps out in her choice of shoes (plastic, kitten heels, cherries and goldfish). Cal Morrissey is a serial dater who takes Min out to dinner on a bet — which, no spoilers here, she already knows about. It’s a tasty tale of love, Elvis records and really good Italian food, and as a bonus, it comes packaged with another Crusie favorite, WELCOME TO TEMPTATION.
HEART OF THE FALCON by Francis Ray
Oil company engineer Madelyn Taggart has broken a lot of boundaries as a young black woman in a very white, very male field. She hasn’t yet found a love to match her career success, but her brother’s buddy Daniel Falcon — rich, suave and oh-so-handsome — might just fit the bill.
The Madaris Family (series), by Brenda Jackson
Brenda Jackson has written over a hundred books, so we’re kind of spoiled for choice, but we recommend you start with her first series, about the soapily sensational Madaris family and their romantic adventures. There are more than 20 books in just this series, so dive in anywhere!