Monday, July 24, 2006

What makes a five star romance?

As an author, I am still trying to figure this out. I have about forty books on my keeper shelf pile that I would rate as five star books. Lucy's Mercenary trilogy and The Real Deal are among these (O.K. I'm done kissing up:) As well as several Suzanne Brockman novels and Janet Evonovich's Plum series.I love the Sabrina Jefferies historical romances and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fantasy Lover and Night Pleasures.

When I think of common threads which makes these my favorite books I can safely say I am a big fan of a heroine with a few insecurities and a hero who has a good sense of humor. An original plot (because let's face facts, when you pick up a romance you have a good idea where it's going to end, but it's the getting there that keeps us coming back.)
So what are you favorites? What do you personally look for when you go book hunting? And what makes those favorites special?
You are doing me a service here since I plan to refer to the answers during my future endeavors.



Dannyfiredragon said...

My keeper shelves are pretty full and always growing. A keeper is for me a book that is so great that I want to read it again and again.

All the books come from different romance genres, but I love books with Alpha heroes as well as Tortured heroes.

The rest is always a mood thing. At the moment I am looking for funny stories when I go shopping like the books by Erin McCarthy

ShelMel said...

Hmm - that's an interesting question. I tend to like certain authors: Sydney Sheldon, Nicholas Sparks, Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, etc. I don't know exactly what hooks me about each of these authors - except that if I look back on it - I tend to like character-driven story lines.

It's finding out where a hero/heroine is in their life and where the journey takes them that's exciting to me. Hmm, I'm interested to see what others say, too.

Rachael said...

I like action and mystery in the romance novels that I read. I love suspense mysteries. I like Julie Leto's book Dirty Little Secrets. I love Janet Evanovich's series. It has romance, mystery, humor, and action. I also love cozie mysteries like Diane Mott Davidson. I love thrillers and mysteries such as Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, and Robert Crais. I guess what makes a book five star is a good plot from page 1 to the last. I don't like when I can predict the ending of the book. I don't like characters that don't talk like real people. A five star romance is the kind of book that can be read over and over. It's the kind of book you can't put down and you go out and buy 10 of them to give out to friends. In my opinion, Dirty Little Secrets by Julie Leto is definetely a 5 star romance.

readingissomuchfun said...

My keeper shelf is so full right now. And it keeps growing everytime I hear about a new book from the authors I like or new authors I get to talk to and hear more about their books.

When I go looking for a book. I usually search on amazon and see what other's are saying about the author and I go to the authors site's as well to see if there books look good to. I always have to read more about the book though such as the Excerpts or back of the books when I am in a book store.

What makes a five star book for me is a book that grab's my attention from the beginning to the ending. There are some books that I have read that did grab my attention at the beinning but then in the middle it got all boring. Don't like when that happens.

I like a book that has a really good plot and will keep me wanting more and not want to put the book down till I am done.

I love all types of romance, thriller, chicklit, erotica, mystery.


Jennifer Y. said...

I love all kinds of books and have many, many keepers (probably too many). to me a keeper is a book that I enjoyed so much I want to read it again. I buy and read all kinds of books.

Julie in Ohio said...

What is with these tough questions today? :o)

What keeps me going back to certain books are anything from tortured heroes to sassy heroines.
I also like story that keeps me on my toes. I may know how it all ends but I like a good suspensful journey. That is the reason I like Nora Roberts. She isn't straight forward.
I enjoy a humorous story. Which is why I keep Julia Quinn, Christina Dodd and Teresa Medeiros around. Lisa Kleypas is good for a giggle or two but she is really good at sassy heroines.
I will also pick up JR Ward everytime because she has Alpha/tortured heroes down pat. I can't say enough about her Brotherhood series.
The bottom line is the story. If an author (any author) tells an interesting story, doesn't even have to an original story (kidnapping, unknown pregnancy, vampire, etc...), I will buy it and enjoy it. :o)

Minna said...

Oh, boy! This is a very difficult question. I like fantasy, suspense and mystery, but I can't say why some bookes stay in my bookcase and others don't. There are some writers whose books are usually keepers, like Sharon Sala, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Nora Roberts etc.

Cherie Japp said...

To me a keeper is a book that you start reading and can't put down. If you have read 50 pages and you can already guess what is going to happen next to me that is not a book worth reading. I tend love unusual plots. I enjoy alot of fantasy and paranormal romance as a result. I also enjoy other genres as well if the plot is different.

Jennifer L hart said...

Julie- I figured I would make everyone work for the prize:) You are right, the story is the essential element. Not even the coolest cover in the world can save a stinker.

Jennifer Y - I know what you mean. My husband periodically asks me to donate a few (dozen) of my keepers.

Linda- I understand about the losing momentum thing. It is always a let down when you have invested yourself in 130 pages and lose the will to see it through.

Rachel- Your tastes are as varied as mine. I agree that plot is the driving force behind a good book.

Shelmel- I have a few authors who I can pick up one of his/her books and picture every scene easily.

Dannyfiredragon- I agree with you about mood. A few of my keepers are pulled out once a year and read when the mood strikes me. (Circle of Friends for instance. Then I pull out the movie and enjoy Chris O'Donnell.) ;)

Stacy Dawn said...

I've got the Stephanie Plum series too but a lot of other single books. For me if the story hit me right or especially made me laugh, it's almost always going to be put on my keeper shelf. I don't have one specific type, it's all individually based.

Catherine Spangler said...

Great question, Jenn, and very astute answers. I think we all agree a five-star romance has to be a page turner. I'm a reader who gets hooked by emotion. I want to really feel with the characters. I also like characters with quirks or flaws, and I adore new and innovative plots (or with a new twist on an old theme). Some of my auto-buy authors are: Linda Howard, Janet Evanovich, JD Robb, JR Ward, Rachel Caine, Charlaine Harris, just to name a few.

~ Catherine

Maureen said...

A romance keeper for me is one that I can easily see the couple together years from now. I also like books that have some humor in them and a book where you feel like you know the characters.

CrystalG said...

My keeper shelves are overflowing too. I have historical and contemporaries. What gets me to add a book to my keeper shelf is how the book has made me feel when I am reading it.

Kelley said...

My favorite books also include Lucy's Mercenary trilogy and The Real Deal. Lucy has a way of drawing me into her heros. I fall in love with each and everyone. I also love all the books in Lori Foster's Visitation series as well as Too Much Temptation. Erin Mccarthy and Susan Donovan write books that make me laugh out loud and I love that! I enjoy both light-hearted romance and romance that touches your heart and makes you think!

Amy S. said...

I read all genres of romance. A book that gets put on my keeper shelf is one that I enjoy very much. It has a great story to it. One that once I start reading, I can't put down till I finish it.

Rachael said...

Certain words in book summaries grab my attention too. These words will make me look twice and grab that book.

Bounty Hunter
Sex with the Ex
Hilarious characters
Readers of Janet Evanovich will love this book
Hot and Steamy Sex Scenes
So scary it kept me up all night
A ending that you would never expect
Thrilling from start to finish

Jennifer Y. said...

Kelley: I agree with Lucy's Mercenary trilogy being keepers! I love those books!

Dannyfiredragon said...

Kelley & Jennifer,

yep Lucy's Mercenaries are real keepers. I love the series.


thanks for the recommendation of Susan Donovan. I like funny books

Lis said...

My all time favorites, Pride & Prejudice; My Knight In Shining Armor; Rememberance; Three Fates. There's just something about the whole story, the characters, that can suck me straight into the story and even though I know what's going to happen, I forget all that and experience the book all over again like its new.

When bookhunting, title, blurb, then if I like what I see and its a new to me author I'll thumb through a few pages. I do that since I bought a few on blurb alone and was disappointed.

Jennifer L hart said...

Thanks everyone! Great answers all! You're picking out some of my favorites and I guess we can all agree we love Lucy's work! Now if we could just get her to answer...:)

AmberPackard said...

I only have a few books on my keeper list. My favorite is Isle of Lies By Donna Fletcher I just finished reading it for the 3rd time and I love anything by Sari Robins

Maria said...

The things all of my favorite books have in common is that I really cared for the hero/heroine, they made me feel, they stay with me long after I've read their story.

I loved the tortured hero and the woman who's able to heal him with her love and vice a versa.

On the flip side I also like a hero/heroine with a wicked sense of humor. Humor comes naturally for them and/or uses it as a cover to hide their pain.

I mostly like to read paranormal romance, dark romance, dark fantasy but I like a good romantic comedy every once in a while.

kim said...

i read mostly contempory and romantic suspense romances. i keep to the same authors cause i have to watch my budget.

Stacy~ said...

A few things make a book a keeper, but the main ingredient is the emotion. That's what keeps me reading. Suzanne Brockmann, Judith McNaught, JD RObb, J R Ward - these authors are a few examples of writers who pull at your heartstrings and who make me react strongly to the story, so that it stays with me for days. When you feel like you can crawl inside the character's head and "be" in the scene yourself, that's when it's a 5-star romance.

Someone also mentioned Janet Evanovich's Plum series - definitely very funny stuff that hits the spot when I'm looking for something less intense.

Rachael said...

Stacy: I love what you said about crawling into the person's head and the scene! Very nicely put! :)

Barb V. said...

I hate to part with my books, so I have a lot of them packed away in boxes in the garage -- still in my possession, but hard to get at. There are just a few that I keep on my shelves for rereading. One of my all time favorites is Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Her heroes always have flaws, but still manage to redeem themselves with the heroine in the end. There is a lot of humor as well, and that is important to me. I like her so much that I have her books in audio too and listen to them while doing housework or walking. I love the Janet Evanovich and JD Robb series; and again, I think it is because there is a degree of humor in them. I guess another thing that appeals is the continuity of the series -- you get to catch up on how your old friends are doing.

Carol said...

When I find an author I like, I keep buying their books. I read a variety of books but I find myself buying more romantic suspense than anything else.

Niny said...

A keeper is a book that I enjoyed so much reading that I know, I will want to read again and again a book that keeps me turning pages until the end and I just wish it wouln't end. For me there have to be emotions involved, a tender hearted hero with a willfull heroine, or a sentitive heroine and a vulnerable hero. It really doesnt matter, as long as the plot grabs my attention I'm sold! I dont have a preference in genre because it all depends on my mood. I love suspense, action, comedy, Some of my favorite authors are Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Dianne Castell, Lucy Monroe, Janice Maynard, LuAnn Mc Lane, just to name a few because my must have list keeps growing and growing. I have many more but from the top of my head those are my favorites.

Liz Fielding said...

For me a five star book is one where the character's are so great, you love them like family, the kind who are always there when you need a hug. You read it, and then, when stuff isn't working, it's the one you reach for and just lose yourself in. For me it's SEP's This Heart of Mine, bought in Denver airport on my way home from National.

Mary Eason said...

A keeper for me can be in any genre. I find myself looking at the way the author makes the Heroine and Hero interact. Mostly I look for the passion between them. I love tortured H/h and Alpha heros are hard to beat. But no matter what the genre the or how great the story line is I sometimes find myself skipping ahead to the good parts between H/h.


My favourite authors are Linda Howard, Diana Palmer and of course Lucy Monroe.

Shuck Ying said...

I enjoy Sherrilyn Kenyon, Shannon Mckenna, Linda Howard ...too long of list, lol to keep typing.

Deborah Chan said...

Cherry Adair, Linda Howard, Lori Foster, many Brava authors including Lucy Monroe..are some of my favourites.

Jenn said...

It's so hard for me to say because I like a wide variety of authors with different types of writing. I love a strong heroine with a few insecurities as long she's not whinny. I love strong heros with a sensitive side too.

I love Lucy Monroe, Jenny Crusie, Janet Evanovich, Lori Foster just to name a few.

Crystal said...

I'm not really picky at all - I will try just about any books. Recently I think my favorites are the humorous contemporary romances. I do have favorite authors, but that seems to be expanding with each new book I read. Besides the humorous romances, I also love romantic suspense and suspense. Some of my favorite must-buy authors are: Nora Roberts, Lucy Monroe (no I'm not just kissing up), Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Leslie Kelly, Carly Phillips, Gwen Hunter, Nicholas Sparks (he's a local author here), Julie Kenner, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alison Brennan and so many more.

Susan said...

I love all kinds of books! It truly depends on the mood I'm in as to what I read.

Kelley said...

Susan Donovan is great. My favs are He Loves Lucy and Knock Me Off My Feet. You will be laughing out loud with those two.

Heather Harper said...

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

My keeper list is extensive, but these three stand out. There is a common thread among all of my favorites.

Pleasant arrangement of prose.
Authors embracing their voice.
Attention to theme.
Vivid characters.

Judy F said...

A keeper for me is a book I can't let go of even after I have finished it. I go back and re-read sections right away. Some of my keepers are Linda Howard, Lori Foster, Lucy Monroe, Susan E. Phillips, Erin McCarthy, Dianne Castell. and on an on

Amy said...

I probably have over 1000 books on my keeper shelves. I have authors like Diaan Palmer, Lucy Monroe, Christine Feehan, Sharon Sala and Catherine Anderson who's book's I love and I keep them all. Other authors books I keep depending on how well I like the book and if I think I will want to re-read it again in the future

Barbara-PF said...

For me a five star romance is a book that I lose myself in. As I am reading I lose track of time and what is going on around me and become totally caught up in the story.

This may be a one setting read (time permitting) but if it is a book that I must put down and come back to then the key is that I think about it while I am away from it....wonder what will happen next how things weill turn out.

Tami Boyer said...

For me it's the way the story unfolds from the first page. I like when I am pulled in from that awesome first line. Whether it's a sexy love scene or wild intrigue. My keepers are books that I know I'll read again and again, because they are just that good. I want to have them close, so I can revisit the characters, and get pulled back in all over again.

Brandy said...

I've noticed a pattern in my keeper books. There are alot of books with humor, then there are alot of books with a Hero who is Alpha but the heroine is not weak. Lucy's books are on my keeper shelf, Charlaine Harris, Janet Evanovich, J.D. Robb, Jill Shalvis, Erin McCarthy, etc. These are my favorite authors and if you were to look at my bookshelves, you'd know it.

bamabelle said...

I like a wide variety of romance subgenres. I just love to read period. So for me, the main thing that makes a book is that the book connects with me on some level. Sometimes that is through emotion, sometimes humor, and other times romance. When a book engages me on many levels that is when it becomes a five star romance.

Jen in WA said...

For me a 5 star romance (and a keeper) is a book that I'd be willing to recommend to others to read. Generally I fell in love with the characters and the plot wasn't one that's been around since the dawn of time.

The first 5 star romance I read (a couple years ago) was "To Catch a Countess" by Patricia Grasso. Those characters and the plot just stuck with me. It also made me hunt out more books by the author.

Danielle said...

I love the oldies (Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers and Shirlee Busbee). I love the alpha heroes. Bring back men like Steve Morgan, the man you love to hate.

Now, I'm hooked on romantic suspense you hear me...any more books like "Ready, Willing and Able" coming out.

Wheaton, IL

Jodi said...

I keep all of my books. I just can't seem to part with any of them much to the dismay of my dh.
Most of the authors that I read are from recommendations from my book loops.

MaryKate said...

Ah, what makes a keeper, a keeper? Well, for me, it's three elements:

1- Great writing (all aspects)
2- Delish hero.
3- Interesting premise or twist on a tried and true premise.

I love me some alpha men and I really adore the dark and broody types. My keeper shelves probably boast altogether about 100 books. I'm a very fast reader, and so go often to my re-reads to fill in the gaps between authors.

My favorite keepers are THE WINDFLOWER (it's my favorite romance of all time), A KINGDOM OF DREAMS, DREAMING OF YOU, FALLEN FROM GRACE, ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT and SEA SWEPT.

Not all of them have the same themes, but most of them have a tortured or very dark hero...and Cameron Quinn is just a bad boy who I can't resist! ;-)

Bonnie Ferguson said...

Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower series as well as Kathryn Smith's Ryland brothers series are on my keeper shelves. Oh and then there's Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series . . . lol the list could go on and on.

Their stories are fantastic and all write wonderful heroes ;)

Bonnie Ferguson said...

Oh and I can't believe I forgot Karen Marie Moning's Highlander books. Talk about Alph males }:)

Nicola Marsh said...

For me, all my keepers have the same ingredient: when I get to the end of the book, I turn the last page and say 'I want more!'
Usually, I've become so wrapped up in the characters lives that I can't bear to part with them and that's the sign of a well-written book to me, the kind of book that has sucked me into the story and I come out at the end feeling like I've lost some well-loved friends.
Great question!

robynl said...

A 5 star book is where the characters become part of you or you become part of their story. You hate for the story to end and lose the friendship.

Veronica said...

My favs are Diana Palmer (love her alpha heroes), Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley MacGregor, Lucy Monroe, Catherine Coulter (historical romances). These are all on my keeper shelves.

I love my heroes to be alpha maybe trying to fight through something in there past. The heroine has to not be a total pain. I hate heroines who are whiny or man haters who jump to conclusions about everything to man says and are almost always wrong.

Jennifer L hart said...

You guys are the best! Not only am I getting a beautiful picture of what readers want, but I have also been taking down names of some of the books mentioned and compiling a nice fat Amazon wish list! Rock on!

KarenG said...

Hello. A five star book to me is a story that I want to read over. One that touched me on some level and I will remember it long after I am done reading it.

Brandy said...

A five star book for me is always one that I can see reading over and over, even though I'll remember the plot and the characters. Ready, Willing and Able of Lucy's are keepers adn major 5 star books. Get a Clue by Jill Shalvis, keeper, Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie, Keeper. Books that draw you in, make you feel for the characters and make you want to revisit them, that's a keeper, 5 star book!

Pamela K. Kinney said...

Gosh, that's a good question. A 5-star book is one I can always read again and again, like I did with Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre and many other classic books. The book draws me in, makes me see what's happening and cry and laugh with the hero and heroine, and touches me, makes me learn something new. Like Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld Women series, Lori Handeland, Laura K. Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and so many others.

Pat said...

I only have about 20 books on my keeper shelf. Only because I dont have much room.

I only read contemp and historical romance. I like humor in my romances.

I love SEP, Catherine Anderson, Susan Andersen, Susan Donovan, Sherryl Woods, HelenKay Dimon to name just a few.

Cryna said...

A keeper book for me is one that has hooked me from the beginning and kept me wanting to turn pages until the end.

I have my favorite authors that are auto buys for me, but at the same token I have tried books that have caught my eye and I liked the blurb on the back and bought it.

I find that if a book starts out slow, and does not capture my interest right from the start, I have a hard time to get into the story. If this happens I will probably put down the book, even though it might be a great book once you get further into it because I have a hard time to convince myself that I should finish reading. I will most likely take another book and read it instead.

I like it when the hero and heroine have ups and downs that they must work through, and that can be worked into the plot that has brought them together in the first place. I like happy endings, even if it is not the forever kind. I love a book that leaves an impression on me, one that makes me laugh in places and cry in others. But most of all makes itself so believeable that you want to read it over and over.

lidia said...

My favorite books are Harlequin Presents and Historicals. Unfortunately I can keep very few of them. My TBR pile keeps getting larger as my reading time gets shorter.

My favorite authors include Lucy Monroe, Michelle Reid, Stephanie Laurens, Patricia Grasso, and the list goes on!

Becky said...

A great book for me is one that is interesting enough that I will want to read it over and over again and not get tired of it.

Most of my books are futuristic/sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy, but I do have a few westerns and historicals(mostly about highlanders).

I love books that have Alpha Heroes in the them. Men that can be tough and dominant one minute, but also caring and understanding at another.

Anonymous said...

I look for a good story when I buy a book .

Tee said...

Lucy if you saw my books and how a I have stored over 1000 you would think I was nuts. Hubby sure does but mind you he has built me the shelves to put them in. My favorites have there own space. They are placed in order of who is my most favorite etc. As for my TBR stack....forget it. That is two book cases. LOL

Chantal said...

I will buy a book based on the author without reading the back of it. There are some writers who never disappoint me, and I just trust them.

I love all sorts of story lines, and character personalities. Out of all the books I read I have only found one hero that I didn't like..reason being that he never once said 'I love you' to the heroine. Not even on the last page!
I have yet to meet a heroine I didn't like.

Lucy Monroe said...

Jenn...thank YOU! And thanks to everyone else who said they had my mercs on their keeper shelves (as well as sundry other books)!!! I'm really honored.

And wow, I'm totally loving this discussion. What author doesn't want to know what makes a book a keeper to readers? I mean I know what makes a book my keeper (and my keeper shelves have several hundred books I re-read frequently). What can I say? I'm an addict to the romance genre. LOL I write to support my reading habit. :) But for me, it's always emotion which includes sensuality for me.

Hugs and smooches to you all!
Lucy :)

cyngreen said...

I have to have some type of connection with the heroine or hero. Mostly a love story that isn't portrayed as perfect or implausible - people with everyday problems and issues, yet who come together to make a beautiful, lasting relationship.

Jennifer L hart said...

I think we are finding some common themes here. Regardless of genre, many of us want to see none too perfect people we can relate to in incredible situations (Or sometimes very credible ones) and overcoming all of the obstacles for love. Hmmm sounds good to me!

Trish said...

For me it's characters that I feel I'm walking with. It needs to have a believeable element to it that can only come from the characters themselves - Cos no matter if the story is mystery, paranormal or Sci-Fi - the characters still have that human element in common. And if I end up feeling like I've just become the heroine, reading her lines aloud in my head so I get to be with that Hotter than Hor hero then all the better...

But a page-turner is a must. I love books that I keep the light on for an extra hour in bed at night - even if I know I have work to do early in the morning. Bleary eyes are a sure-sign of a good book night!

Great party - and great questions!

Rita R. said...

A keeper for me is a book I want to read over and over again. When I can't seem to get the book out of my head. Christine Feehan's Dark Dream is one for me. Linda Howard's Dream man and Now you see her. I also keep Diana Palmer's Diamond girl.

hunsmom (Jenni K.) said...

OK.. here's the fun part...a friend just sent a package to me today.. included was an indestructible keyboard. and it is weirding me out... it's like typing on air and isthe strangest thing I have ever seen!

Back to the subject (oh nuts.. I never even started yet!) A good romance of any kind has to get me hooked by the first few pages, or it gets passed to my Mom pronto. Not sure what actually hooks me.. butit happens more than I'd like. I love to instantly connect with the characters.. forget the setting.. just bring on the people.

Judy Blume started me off as a teenager, andit grew from there. I now find so many authors that I snatchtheir work before even looking at the intro.. can't find enough hours in the day to read all of the new people Ihaveben introduced todue to joining a few group lists.but thank you so much LoriFoster and Lucy Monroe. I'm hooked. (This keyboardis too crazy for more..) Jenni K. (hunsmom)

JENNA said...

I'm always a sucker for a new set-up, a sense of humor in both characters, and more story happening in the story, rather than backstory. I don't usually have favorite authors, but favorite books.

catslady said...

I have to love the characters - once that happens everything else seems to fall into place. There's nothing worse than not caring what happens to the main characters.

I like a variety of books. I keep buying my favorite authors but also love to try out new ones.

To laugh and cry in the same story is always a good thing. And never wanting the story to stop.

Wendy said...

My keeper shelves have fluctuated over the past as my reading tastes changed somewhat with maturity. LOL I've always been a romance fan, but lately have branched out into the paranormal. I find that I'm keeping most of those that are a series and they I would like to re-read at some point. This isn't to say I still don't have a few romance keepers! Even I have my favorites:)

Pamk said...

i like all type of genres. But anything paranormal. I like different stories. And they have to have humor, great heroine and heros. And a story that I love to read again and again.

Michele said...

What do I look for to define a keeper?
Strong Alpha who gets perplexed and stymied by what he thought was a pushover female.
His education in female strength can be tender and amusing.
I just read an old OLD Jayne Ann Krentz book that had elements of that.
Many of her books are keepers, including her regencies.
Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lucy ( I love Lucy!) ,
Mickee Madden,
Melanie Jackson,
Celeste Bradley,
Kim Harrison,
Laurell K. Hamilton,
Nina Bangs,
Annalee Blysse
Susan Grant,
Quite a few already listed here,
I guess I like a paranormal aspect in my reading, or intrigue, spies, OH!
I forgot Christina Skye Navy SEALS and Tara Janzens muscle car series...
Oh gosh, Sandra Hill and those hysterical yummy Vikings...

Keepers, Keepers all.

Touch the heart emotion, tapping inner strengths, courage over dastardly odds and hot sex doesn't hurt either. LOL

I saw someone mention Nicholas Sparks.
I can't read Nicholas Sparks - unless I need to clear my sinuses -I usually use 1/2 box of tissues by the end. I don't read him anymore.

I guess Im going to stop babbling and a book!

Great blogfest, Lucy. I've been hearing all about this whereever I've surfed today.

This forum is a HIT!

Lucy Monroe said...

Wowza...this discussion is rocking. But Michele, you are right...the whole blogfest is rocking today! It's been so GREAT! I'm just uber glad we've got so many prizes to give away over the week.

Lori said...

My keeper shelves are overflowing and they just keep growing and growing. I love several different elements in a keeper, but I really have to like the hero and the herione. I love books that are part of a series.
I, also, like to keep all of the books that my favorite authors have written.


mammakim said...

My keeper shelves are full of the warm and fuzzy stories. I just love a story that makes me smile after. Not that I don't love the adventure and suspense, I just seem to be drawn to the warm and fuzzies

Ashleigh Raine Jen said...

For me, there are many different reasons why a book is a keeper. Many times it's the author's voice. There are some authors, I know no matter what they write, I'm going to love it because they have a voice that captures me from word one. These are the authors whose houses I would clean to give them more time to focus on writing. :)

Often a keeper will be the first book I read by a particular author. Because to me it's like falling in love for the first time. That book represents the first time I found that author, the first time that author swept me off my feet. So rereading that book brings back all those wonderful memories of first love (with the author,the book and the characters). An example of this is the first romance I ever read, Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. I sigh happily just thinking about sneak-reading this book during English class my freshman year of high school. Opened my eyes to a whole new world of reading.

Another reason a book becomes a keeper is when an author makes me feel so strongly for the characters, or identify with the characters, that I forget my own life, forget to make dinner, forget to pick my son up from school (bad, bad me!--good, good book! and I was only ten minutes late and totally made it up to him). These are the books where I'm laughing and crying and falling in love all over again and when the book's over I'm in a bit of a daze because I have to come to terms with the fact that I'm no longer a part of those character's lives. (Then I usually reread my favorite parts to get lost in the story again.)

I love finding keepers. :) As a reader, is there anything better?

I just realized...I think this is the first time I've ever posted on a blog. Lucy, you're my first! :)

(half of the Ashleigh Raine writing team)

Lucy Monroe said...

Ooh...Jen...or, erm...Ashleigh Raine came by! Talk about keepers. I met Jen at a conference, but didn't connect who she was until one day long after Ashleigh Raine had made it onto my autobuy list. Talk about feeling goofy! Glad you decided to make my blog your first, Jen. :)

Teoh said...

For me anything with a "tortured" hero has a very good chance of becoming a keeper. Even TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD!

Books are dear in my parts of the world so when I buy, they usually do end up as keepers. If they were as cheap as they are in the States, will probably be buried under by now or oust out of the house!

Pam P. said...

It can any genre or tone, and an intriguing plot where you can't guess easily will do it. But it's mainly the emotions and the character dialog and interactions that does it for me, I love character-driven stories. I tend to like flawed characters for that reason, but then again it can be a much lighter book because the characters were so engaging and were ones you liked getting to know, like Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible.

Anonymous said...

Wow so many ladies I know and love! Hi Catherine! I agree with all of you! LOL! But to me what really draw me in is a good story. One that is in a series a good one then you can't fine the other parts of the story that really drive me nuts. When it is that good you just got to have them all. Love Shadow fire!
Lisa R.

Jo said...

The books that are 5 star to me are ones that I want to start reading again before I have totally finished the first time.

They all have strong main characters and really good secondary ones. The stories always pull me in immediately and I live the story with the characters.

I read all sorts of romance, some sci fi, mystery and humor. My favorite authors grows weekly because something new will spark my interest.

Ali said...

Okay, I'll admit it, I love a story with a damsel in distress and an Alpha hero. There, I said it :-) lol It just makes my heart pound, when towards the end of the story, something tragic happens to the heroine and the hero thinks he's lost her just when he realizes he loves her.
When I go hunting for books, the first thing I look for is my auto-buy authors. The authors I'm just in love with and will buy their book no matter what they're now writting :-)

KimW said...

Usually the books I end up rating 5 star have a bad boy hero in them and a great storyline and dialog. I usually read the excerpts on the books I buy first so I can tell if it's something I'll like.

flip said...

I want a book that captures my heart. I want to become a part of the story. There must be a hero and heroine that you can love. There must be a plot. Trick if you can. Create a world for me.

What I hate in a book, mean spirited or unpricipled characters, a lack of plot, a contrived plot, no description.

Tee said...

Lucy for me to consider any book worth five it has to be one I cannot put down or if I have to will be in such a rush to finish up what needs to be done. I so love a book that keeps me wondering how this one will turn out. If it makes me cry tears of sorrow or joy helps also. As for what I look for I do have my favorite authors and they are on the automatic buy list. Others come from recommendations or even having the opportunity of meeting the writer.

Amy said...

What makes a book a 5 star romance to me is when the author pulls you into the characters lives. When I read a book I want to feel like I am in the secene with the characters, I want to feel the emotions that the characters feel.

Tara W said...

This is how I determine which books goes on my keeper shelf.
1. If I didn't want the book to end.
2. I love the book(s) so much that I keep them because one day(with
any luck) it will have a sequal.
3. I could read it over and over again.
I have books ranging from the late 70's early 80's(bodice ripping novels)to the newer authors in all genres.

Pat said...

My fav authors draw me to a book; also the back blurb.

I like good story characters -believable, good storyline and humor.

Louise Kovacs said...

I like to read about charaters who are human and believable, people who could be my friends or neighbours or coworkers. Character who are Superman or Supeerwoman clones turn me off because they areen't real.

Jennifer L hart said...

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. This sure has been fun!