Ughhh... It is so hard to go to my bookshelves and pick FOUR favorites. But here we go... here are four OF my favorites :-)
Princess of Fire by Shannan Drake - 1989
In this book, I love the intrigues. One problem after another befalls the hero and heroine. They struggle and at the same time, through all these problem, the heroine can't stand the hero! So he has an even bigger problem than she does on top of all the invading armies, and angry families trying to take over. Normans, Saxons, and Passion. I really enjoy a hero who has to woo an unruly or angry heroine. It makes the 'HEA' that much more satisfying when she realizes she's completely in love with him.
What I didn't like..... There were a few places the book switched POV's rather quickly and without warning. Several places were paragraphs had sentences that started with She, She, She, etc. Nothing I think would have noticed or cared about, had I not started writing and been told to avoid things like that.
Twin of Ice - Twin of Fire by Jude Deveraux -1985
In this book, one sister finds a match other than her betrothed and the other sister finds that her match is her sister's betrothed! Chaos ensues! I actually have not read a Jude Deveraux book that I didn't love. When a book reads like a movie, I can't get enough. I can see, hear, smell, and feel everything as it occurs for the characters. I am able to completely sink into the heroine's world and live her adventure. Ok, maybe that sounds corny, but I love it!
Again in this book, I find things about the POV that bother me. The changes are seamless from one paragraph to another. I find it interesting that the rules now seem to be much more strict and for the most part an author must write an entire scene in one POV before switching away to another character. In both Deveraux and Drake, I find one page in one character's POV and then the next page goes back to the dominant POV for the rest of the chapter.
Goddess of Spring - P.C. Cast -2004
This book sinks a normal human woman into the paranormal world of the ancient greek gods. I have always had an obsession with the greek gods and the worlds other people have created around them. Which is probably why my novella is centered around Aphrodite and Ares. Anyway, I digress. I like this book because it brings to life a fantastic supernatural world and its characters. Lina, the heroine, falls in love with the stone faced unfeeling Hades and he has to come back to the mortal realm to get her to come back with him in Persephone's place.
Things I didn't like.... Can't think of one, sorry.
Acheron - Sherrilyn Kenyon - 2010
Alright, so my obsession with the greek mythos continues with Kenyon's reinvention of the greek pantheon and Atlantis. Fabulous storytelling. It was a 700+ page novel that I literally ate with and fell asleep reading until it was finished. I can only dream that people might feel the same way one day about my stories. *A girl can dream :-)* I think the true beauty of Acheron is that you get to know him so completely that you almost know how he will handle problems as they arise. Kenyon's character building is phenomenal.
Things I didn't like...... maybe that there was sooooo much information, I had to go back a few times and reread parts when they were referenced later in the book to be sure I had it right in my head.
Ok, things I like: unruly, angry heroine, hero has to work hard to woo and win her over. Intrigues! Lots of problems arrise to create issues. I like to sink into heroine's mind and world. Historicals and Greek gods! Greek gods! Greek gods! Did I say Greek gods?
Things I don't like: unnecessary POV switches
So my perfect book to read/write would include a heroine not liking the hero right off the bat. The hero has to works hard to convince her otherwise. It would be a historical novel that somehow incorporated the paranormal pantheon of the Greek gods.
After picking through my books and writing all this down I have to giggle a little because I've already been planning something sort of up this alley. The hero and heroine do like each other right away though, no angst or hatred to be found, LOL. But, kidnapping and other intrigues abound. The secondary love story however, does follow the betrayer working to earn the trust back from the woman he betrayed. So that covers my pissed off heroine, LOL, even though she's the secondary heroine. I know.... I've bit off a lot, right! Two stories in one. One is human and one is supernatural in......wait.....you guessed it.... the Greek pantheon of gods!
So I'm going to wander back off to my pages of notes that are covering my couch.....I hear my characters calling to me, telling me I need to work on their stories. Oh, wait...., that was the 2yr old whining that she needs a nap. Must attend to that first.