Top Ten Tuesday : 10 Shades of Love

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic, probably in light of the fact that this Friday is Valentine’s Day, is:

Love – a freebie, any topic you choose

Well, I do tend to bang on about not reading love stories or romances but then when I look at my own shelves I do read more of it than I think, or at least books that aren’t all just about love but do have a romantic theme at their heart.  Here are 10 books that immediately spring to mind, I will warn you upfront that not all of these were favourites.  Some definite ‘Yeses’ and some positive ‘Nos’:

  1. Maybe not the most popular starter but given the title I had to go their – The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.  Well, I confess, I loved this series and I know it’s become one of those things that people now seem to deny liking but what can I say –  I loved this series – okay, maybe not the fourth book – but the first three, yeah, I couldn’t get enough of them.  I might not feel the same if I reread these now but at the time I totally swept up by the whole thing.
  2. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – this is another series that I simply inhaled at the time.  Looking at this in the cold light of day, I don’t think this would be a series that I would pick up today – I don’t tend to read as much YA and I have become very tired of love triangles – but at the time this was very entertaining – although I never got on board with all the other spin off series.
  3. The Poison Study series by Maria V Snyder.  I finished the final instalment in this series not that long ago and thought it concluded on a really good note.  This is a series that just worked very well for me.
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  Bloody hell I loved this series, although, I don’t think I ever concluded the full set. I got as far as No.6, a Breath of Snow and Ashes and I could have sworn that was the conclusion of the series (at the time) and yet it now appears there is a book 9 in the offing – who knew!  Did I mention that I live under a rock.  I’m not sure that I would continue reading these, I did love Jamie but at the same time I quite like the ending from No.6 and if I picked up the following books and didn’t enjoy them, well, it would probably taint the whole series for me.  Ostrich?  Who me ?? I have completist issues.
  5. The All Souls Trilogy (A Discovery of Witches) by Deborah Harkness. I’m going to go with the unpopular opinion on this one.  This series didn’t work for me.  I found the first one okay, I quite liked it in some respects in fact, or at least it started well but then seemed to keep spiralling down, but Matthew got on my last nerve and so although I read the second book it didn’t work out for me at all.  Matthew was too controlling and he came across as one of those characters who everyone seems to wax lyrical about being so fearsome but when push comes to shove he’s about as much use as a chocolate teacup.  He’s one of those chaps who seems to do a lot of growling with the overall notion of ‘hold me back’ or ‘there’ll be hell to pay’ but his bark seems worse than his bite (pun not intended).  Sorry, it’s just me, but I wanted to flick him on the nose.
  6. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.  I love this series so much.  Phedre and Joscelin are the most amazing couple, the world building is fantastic, the storylines are thrilling.  I.  Love.  It.  The end, goodbye.
  7. The Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris.  I read all of these, ngl – I was a bit disappointed with the ending – but, overall an entertaining series that maybe just exceeded it’s welcome a little.  Good fun though.
  8. The Princess Bride by Williams Goldman – more a silly adventure than romance but I do feel this should make the list.  And, it’s one of the rare occasions that I love both the book and the film.
  9. The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross.  A fairytale retelling of one of my favourite stories – Beauty and the Beast – told from the beast’s perspective. I really enjoyed this one and should give it a reread at some point.
  10. In conclusion – I had to go there, given the title, Twilight and the fact it’s fanfic – 50 Shades of Grey by EL James. Yes, I got caught up in all the hype and the fact that everyone seemed to be reading this, plus fanfic for Twilight so I wanted to check out what all the furore was about.  Seriously, this book was not for me.  If you loved this, I’m not having a go, it’s all personal choice at the end of the day, but this is a book that I would have liked to throw across the room.  Nope, no sirree.