Confused? I started thinking about this yesterday when looking through submission guidelines and help for various historical romance publishers, some of my favorite series are centered around one family. So which ones are the best? Here you go…
1. Mary Balogh’s Bedwyn’s
Are you surprised by no.1? I must admit I couldn’t quite decided between 1 and 2, but what really clinched it was how unlikable some of the Bedwyn family members could be. Sorry is that confusing? Take Freyja for example, in the first few books she seems very bitter, and her poor nose is brough up a lot, but then you read her story, you see her side and suddenly everything is so clear. They are like normal people, bad sides, good sides and none of them are hidden away.
My favourite Bedwyn moment? It has to be when Alleyne returns from the dead at the end of Slightly Sinful, tears were streaming down my cheeks throughout, in fact I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.
2. Stephanie Laurens’ Cynster’s
They almost beat the Bedwyn’s to first place, but not quite. Why not? The Bar Cynster is just too good-looking and too perfect. I dearly love them though, and will probably read and reread them till the end of my life. What makes the Cynster’s so brilliant is their love of family, once they commit they are committed. Does that make sense? And of course the Cynster men would be nothing without their women, the Grande Dames really do make the stories 🙂
My Favorite Cynster Book? The Perfect Lover, Simon Cynster and Portia Ashford’s story. I love the subterfuge when they are trying to catch the killer. Truly a great read.
3. Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton’s
Julia Quinn was my first foray into the world of recently written, non-Mill&Boon/Harlequin Historical Romance, and I feel a little bad putting the Bridgerton’s 3rd, I hope she won’t delete me from her facebook friends. The reason for them coming in 3rd? They are just too nice, they’ve had trials and tribulations in their lives but they are all so darn nice. Makes me feel like a wikked ‘female dog’ or witch with a b. Ok, that’s not true, because the one feeling you do get when reading Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series is a feeling of goodness. It’s fun, it’s a little girly, out of all the romance writers I regularly read Julia Quinn comes closest to writing the fun, smart regencies usually associated with Georgette Heyer.
My Favourite Bridgerton Bride? It had to be Penelope Featherington (marries Colin in book 4 Romancing Mister Bridgerton); she is a great sport and she’s Lady Whistledown. You can’t really compete with that now can you.
4. Mary Balogh’s Huxtables
In at no.4 we have another Mary Balogh creation, that woman sure knows how to write. The Huxtables are relatively new, the first book with Vanessa was only out a few years ago and the last book is out in May 2010 (I think). What I enjoy the most about them is how they were never meant to be rich society misses, and lord. They lived a quiet life in the country and skimping on everything and suddenly their life is turned around, but they stay true to themselves and their family.
My Favourite Huxtable? Vanessa Dew, nee Huxtable. Her journey in First Comes Marriage is a great read, shows that if you do good things good things will come to you in the end.
5. Karen Hawkins’ Clan MacLean
I’m relatively new to Karen Hawkins and her books about the fierce MacLean’s so maybe it’s unfair that they ended up 5th, but someone had to. The main selling point these novels have to me is the mystical aspect, the untold stories, and the savage Scottish noble men. The responsibility these men have and feel f0r their family and their people is great, and old woman Nora’s quotes are amazingly fun, it makes each book a must-read.
My Favourite Old Woman Nora saying? “Tis a sad day when ye ha’ t’ pinch yerself t’ see if ye’re awake or in th’ midst o’ a night terror. ‘Tis a really sad day when ye have t’ pinch yerself twice.” (From Sleepless in Scotland)