First Love: Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice, is, let’s face it, a classic. I mean, dissertations have been written about this beloved book. What more could I possibly have to add?

I’ll simply tell you what I love about it.

Liza’s Love List for Pride and Prejudice

  • Mr. Darcy, who very obviously looks like Colin Firth
  • Elizabeth Bennett. She’s fantastic. If I could be friends with any fictional character, it would be her.
  • Mr. Darcy’s cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. He’s delish.
  • Mr. Bingley and Jane!
  • The fact that every time I read it, I want Lydia to take a long walk off a short pier.
  • And I want George Wickham to be waiting for her at the bottom of the sea.
  • the way Elizabeth stands up to Darcy’s aunt
  • the dog Elizabeth plays with in the BBC adaptation when visiting Jane at Netherfield (I know, it’s not in the book. But I want that dog!)
  • the humor
  • Mr. Darcy’s first proposal
  • Mr. Darcy’s second proposal!
  • Everything! I think I might have to read it again. Like, today.

So tell me–what’s your favorite part (or parts) of Pride and Prejudice?

First Love: Bitten

Back when I was a younger Liza, I was new to the world of paranormal and urban fantasy. Sure, as a teenager I read LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries series, but when I was an adult, I stumbled across a copy of Kelley Armstrong’s Stolen, it felt like a whole new world had opened up to me.

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I read Stolen in probably a single sitting, and then I had to go back and find Bitten. I loved Bitten even more than Stolen, and thus began my decade-long love affair with Kelley Armstrong’s writing.

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At the time, she was also posting short stories and novellas from the Women of the Otherworld universe on her website, and I greedily read them–including a delicious prequel to Bitten. Years later, she published those stories in a collection called Men of the Otherworld.

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Next week over on my personal blog, I’ll discuss how Season One the television series lives up to the novels.

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First Love: This Lullaby

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This book was given to me before I read a lot of YA fiction, and before I read a lot of romance (other than those paperbacks my grandma used to hide from me). I have extremely fond memories of reading this book while on vacation with my husband, early on in our marriage. It features Remy, a girl who doesn’t believe in lasting love and tends to push people away. She’s driven and successful in school and in her part-time job, and she also parties and doesn’t put a lot of stock in her love life. Then she meets Dexter, and–you guessed it–everything changes.

Except it doesn’t happen that easily, of course.

If I’m remembering correctly, I first read this book in 2004, and I’ve read it several times since. It’s funny and full of heart, and I highly recommend it.

First Love: Howl’s Moving Castle

I’d loved romantic stories for years, but Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones was one that made an impression on me as a teen. This particular story made me want to create a romance novel of my own — which is funny, because it’s not a traditional “romance novel.” Technically, it’s a children’s novel.

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Besides the literal magic in the story, as main character Sophie is transformed into an old woman by the powers of an evil witch, there was something magical about the interaction between the two main characters. Sophie and Howl had a connection that was based on caring about each other as people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to read about characters lusting over each other in other romantic fiction, but this story stayed with me because of how genuine their love was. I just loved every time Sophie and Howl had a scene together.

Although I don’t write anything fantasy-related, Howl’s Moving Castle is one of many inspirations of mine, and one I’ll still return back to again and again.

Till Next Time,
Sibyl

(P.S. The movie is also fantastic, too!)

First Love: The Silver Land

I was in sixth grade when my friend Amber passed me this book. “It’s really good,” she said, and I was puzzled because if the term had existed then, we’d have called Amber a “reluctant reader.”

I read the book.

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And oh-my-giddy-goodness, I could not believe it. The sex scenes were mind-blowing to an impressionable young twelve-year-old. In fact, I still remembered them over a decade later, but I was fuzzy on the other details of the story . Sadly, I’d returned Amber’s book, so I hunted down a used copy to read again.

It’s the story of a Celtic girl whose village is ransacked and destroyed by Romans. She’s taken and raped and beaten. Later, she becomes a slave (and raped some more, if I’m remembering correctly), and then a Druid priestess, where she is likely raped again.

I don’t know if they used the word “consent” in 1989. The Silver Land definitely falls into the category of “old-skool” romances discussed in Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan’s book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms.

The book has some definite faults, but I’ll always have a soft spot for it (and a place on my shelf) because it was my first romance novel.

First love: Butterfly

Butterfly by Kathryn Harvey is one of the first romance books I remember reading. It was my mom’s and I probably picked it up while home from college. It was the first time I’d read a book with such vivid sex scenes, and where those scenes were important to the story in a different way from usual, because they weren’t about the development of a relationship between one man and one woman.

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I remember going back to Butterfly again and again, throughout college and grad school, sometimes just reading a scene or two (you can guess which scenes). Having been a late bloomer, those were years when I was exploring my sexuality, and I was captivated by those scenes.

Butterfly is the story of Beverly Highland, a successful entrepreneur who secretly runs a high class brothel for women in Beverly Hills, and how she became who she is today and how she plans to take revenge on someone who put her on her path. Beverly’s story is interspersed with the stories of three of the brothel’s patrons, their sexual fantasies, and why they need the brothel.

Until I wrote this post, I had no idea Butterfly was the first in a trilogy. I’ll have to go back and read the other two!

What romance was your first love?

Bisous,
Tori

* There are several covers of this book because it has been reissued several times, but this is the cover of the book I own.