Saturday, September 27, 2014

Best Bodice Rippers!

I belong to a group on Goodreads, Bodice Ripper Romance Anonymous, that has sent me some of the greatest recommendations for historical romances. And so I could not resist this new list, however difficult this category may be to define. Some think this subgenre is comprised of just the classics. That is not so. While many of the classics were bodice rippers, certainly not all were. And, lest you think it’s a subgenre of the past, there are new bodice rippers being written today (some of which are on this list).

At least one of my Goodreads pals defines this subgenre as stories “containing an element of sexual peril.” Possibly that is so, as the ones on my list all have this. But for me, there is usually more. Typically there is a forced seduction by the hero involved or an actual ripping of the heroine’s bodice. Let’s just say I know it when I see it.

These won’t appeal to all, but certainly they are all well done. All have been rated 4 or 5 stars by me. Some are keepers. If you like stories that feature an alpha male hero who begins demanding his way, but falls at the heroine’s feet at the end to beg forgiveness and confess his love, you’ll find them here.

Do let me know if you have read a good one I’ve missed.

A Dangerous Love, The Border Lord’s Bride from The Border Chronicles by Bertrice Small
A Gentle Feuding by Johanna Lindsey
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
A Pirate's Love by Johanna Lindsey
And Gold Was Ours by Rebecca Brandewyne
Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
Black Sword by Kathryn LeVeque
Bonds of Love by Lisa Gregory (aka Candace Camp)
Bound by the Heart by Marsha Canham (the original print version)
Bride of the Baja by Jane Toombs
Callista by Cordia Byers
Captive Bride by Johanna Lindsey
Chance the Winds of Fortune and the sequel, Dark Before the Rising Sun by Laurie McBain
Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson
Crimson Rapture by Jennifer Horsman
Damsel in Distress by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)
Dark Fires by Brenda Joyce
Dawnfire by Lynn Eirckson
Deceive Not My Heart by Shirlee Busbee
Desire in Disguise by Rebecca Brandewyne
Devil's Desire by Laurie McBain
Devil's Embrace by Catherine Coulter
Dream of Me by Josie Litton
Embrace and Conquer by Jennifer Blake
Edin’s Embrace by Nadine Crenshaw
Fair is the Rose by Meagan McKinney
Fires of Winter and Hearts Aflame from the Viking trilogy by Johanna Lindsey
Forbidden Love by Karen Robards
Forever and a Lifetime by Jennifer Horsman
Forever My Love by Rebecca Brandewyne
Golden Fancy by Jennifer Blake
Gypsy Lady by Shirley Busbee
Innocent Fire, Firestorm and Fires of Paradise (part of the Bragg Saga) by Brenda Joyce
Island Flame, and the sequel, Sea Fire by Karen Robards
Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson
Lady Highwayman by Tanya Kayley
Lady of Conquest by Teresa Medeiros
Lady of Fire by Anita Mills
Lady Vixen by Shirley Busbee
Lespada by Kathryn Le Veque
Lie Down in Roses by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)
Lions and Lace by Meagan McKinney
Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne
Love Only Once and Gentle Rogue from the Mallory series by Johanna Lindsey
Love's Wild Desire by Jennifer Blake
Magic Embrace by Jennifer Horsman
Midnight Masquerade by Shirlee Busbee
My Lord Monleigh by Jan Cox Speas
My Wicked Enchantress by Meagan McKinney
No Gentle Love by Rebecca Brandewyne
Notorious Angel by Jennifer Blake
Once and Always by Judith McNaught
Ondine by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)
Pirate Royale by Cordia Byers
Princess of Fire by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)
Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey
Rangoon by Christine Monson
Rose of Rapture by Rebecca Brandewyne
Royal Seduction from the Royal Princes of Ruthenia duology by Jennifer Blake
Season of the Sun by Catherine Coulter
Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale
Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Silver Storm by Cynthia Wright
Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small
Stormfire by Christine Monson
Surrender in Moonlight by Jennifer Blake
Swan Road by Rebecca Brandewyne
Sweet Savage Eden by Heather Graham
Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers
Tara’s Song by Barbara Ferry Johnson
Tender Betrayal by Jennifer Blake
The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux
The Black Swan By Day Taylor
The Conqueror by Brenda Joyce
The Darkest Heart by Brenda Joyce
The Demon Lover by Victoria Holt
The Falcon and the Flower by Virginia Henley
The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss
The Flesh and the Devil by Teresa Denys
The Game by Brenda Joyce
The Ground She Walks Upon by Meagan McKinney
The Pagan’s Prize by Miriam Minger
The Pirate and the Pagan by Virginia Henley
The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys
The Spanish Rose by Shirlee Busbee
The Storm and the Splendor by Jennifer Blake
The Taming and Ride Out the Storm from a trilogy by Aleen Malcolm
The Wind and the Sea by Marsha Canham
The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss
This Other Eden by Marilyn Harris
Till Dawn Tames the Night by Meagan McKinney
Uncommon Vows by Mary Jo Putney
Under Crimson Sails by Lynna Lawton
Until You by Judith McNaught
Virgin Star by Jennifer Horsman
When Angels Fall by Meagan McKinney
When the Splendour Falls by Laurie McBain
While Passion Sleeps by Shirlee Busbee
Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain
Winter's Heat by Denise Domning


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  2. Well there's my RE-reading list for the next two years! ;) Thanks for collating!

    1. Verge, I'm so glad you found some good ones here. It's amazing so many of the great historical romances are bodice rippers, no?

  3. Regan I loved Julia London's Year of Living Scandalously. A couple of the best love scenes ever. Thanks for this list....definitely a great reference!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Heather. Was it a bodice ripper Regency?

  4. I am trying to remember an author I read back in the late 1980's early 1990's...the book I remember was set in New Orleans...the hero's family was old New Orleans...the heroine's was the heiress to a seems to have been more of an arraigned marriage...he had previously kept a mistress who was the widow of an older wealthy man but wanted to marry our hero. The mistress tried to break up the marriage by using her cousin who was a painter to do a portrait of the heroine...but what he painted was an imagine nude with the heroine's face...the painting was unveiled at a huge social event where the husband saw it and became enraged...he ends up forcing his wife who was in the early stages of pregnancy...she looses the baby and almost her life...before he realizes that they were set up by the ex-mistress. Does anyone know this author or book?

    1. That does not sound familiar but it does sound like one I'd like to read. You might as the Bodice Rippers group on Goodreads. They are well versed in the oldies.