16 For Kathleen Winsor, Born October 16

What was your first ‘dirty’ book? Mine was likely Kathleen Winsor‘s Forever Amber, which I read when I was way too young to have done so. That combination of history–the rich Restoration period–and a wayward woman in the person of Amber St. Clare proved an irresistible combination for me.

In honor of Ms. Winsor’s birthday, today, several bloggers–especially Jessica from Racy Romance Reviews–and Twitter friends decided to celebrate by posting their 16 favorite romances of all time–or for right now, if the perpetuity thing is too daunting.

I thought it sounded fun, and one of my all-time favorite never-met-her-in-person-but-love-her-online people, Maili, thought of it, so I had to do it. So here goes; please submit yours in comments!

Amanda Quick, Deception

Anne Stuart, Black Ice

Anne Stuart, To Love A Dark Lord

Carla Kelly, Reforming Lord Ragsdale

Carolyn Jewel, My Wicked Enemy

Connie Brockway, As You Desire

Edith Layton, The Devil’s Bargain

J.R. Ward, Lover Eternal

Liz Carlyle, The Devil You Know

Loretta Chase, Lord of Scoundrels

Loretta Chase, Mr. Impossible

Mary Balogh, The Notorious Rake

Mary Balogh, The Temporary Wife

Meljean Brook, Demon Angel

Robin Schone, The Lady’s Tutor

Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

Of course, having written these 16 down, there are literally hundreds more I could say are my favorites (I read a lot. Explains my lack of productivity in the writing way sometimes. Ahem). Are any of these your favorites also? Did you hate any of these? Let’s talk about books!


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Jane Austen
13 years ago

My first dirty book was when I was in 8th grade. I was reading Like Water for Chocolate and had just gotten to a sex scene in 7th period study hall when one of the guys stole my book and read the section out loud. Needless to say I turned quite crimson and was teased for the remainder of the year in that study hall.

I love Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. I think it proves that romance novels are not trashy, but can be quite witty and entertaining. I also say that if you want a larger vocabulary you should read a historical romance novel.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
13 years ago

My first dirty book was either John Jakes The Bastard or Irwin Shaw’s Rich Man, Poor Man. I didn’t read Forever Amber until later in high school after I had seen the movie. I guess my first dirty romance must have been Rosemary Roger’s Sweet, Savage Love which my mother gave me no less.

I adore Loretta Chase and Lord of Scoundrels is a good one.

Evangeline Holland
13 years ago

My first dirty book was Hollywood Husbands by Jackie Collins. Fictional ’80s Hollywood in all its excess, sex and drama. I don’t know where I got it, but I would read it under the covers at night, eyes huge in my 10 year old face. 😀

sandy l
13 years ago

My first dirty book was either The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon or The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. My favorite books often depend on my mood. But some of my favorite romances are Scoundrel by Elizabeth Elliott, Indiscreet and The Temporary Wife by Mary Balogh, As You Desire by Connie Brockway and Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Cruisie.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

This has turned into a What Was Your First Dirty Book commentary! Much easier than picking 16 favorites.

My first dirty book was For Whom The Bell Tolls (or some Hemingway). I was quite young and when I came to the sensual parts, I closed the book, knowing I was too young.
But by the time Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss came around, I was ready!

I have to mention a few of favorites, not 16. I can’t remember the titles of 16 books!:
The Last Frost Fair by Joy Freeman, a story that still haunts me.
The Rake and the Reformer by Mary Jo Putney – she really sealed my love for the Regency in this one.
The Unlikely Duchess by Mary Balogh, a mapcap romp, funny and charming.
These three books really made me love the Regency Romance!

Here’s some more:
His Last Lover and The Captain’s Mermaid by Mary Blayney – quietly wonderful books, as are all of Mary’s (I’m reading Stranger’s Kiss now)!
I also loved our Janet’s Rules of Gentility and have Janet’s A Most Lamentable Comedy on my TBR list.
And I’m very fond of Amanda’s books and am all admiration at her mastery of different time periods and settings. Can’t wait to read Winter Queen! Now we’re full circle because she has a Frost Fair in that book, too!

Jane Austen
13 years ago

I too Love Welcome to Temptation, but not as much as I love its sequel Faking It.

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

LOL! I think my first “dirty book” was a Judith Krantz–maybe “Mistral’s Daughter”

I don’t think I can remember 16 faves, but off the top of my head here are a few romance I really love:
Carla Kelly “Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand”
Laura Kinsale, “For My Lady’s Heart” (my favorite romance evah!)
Judith Ivory, “Sleeping Beauty”, plus her Judy Cuevas book “Dance” (my second favorite romance evah)
Mary Balogh “Christmas Bride” (I love many Balogh trads, but this one the most), and her Georgian historical “Thief of Dreams”
Liz Carlyle, “No True Gentleman”
And “Lord of Scoundrels,” natch

13 years ago

Oooh, great topic!
Favorites include:
1. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
2. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
3. Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey
4. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
5. Vows by LaVyrle Spencer
6. Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros
7. The Princess by Jude Deveraux
8. Lover Awakened by JR Ward
9. The Maiden by Jude Deveraux (first dirty book!)
10. Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
11. Heaven, Texas by SEP
12. Waiting for the Moon by Kristin Hannah
13. The Gamble by LaVyrle Spencer
14. The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer
15. The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
16. Warrior’s Woman by Johanna Lindsey

And so many more!

Janet Mullany
13 years ago

I remember reading “Forever Amber” but I can’t remember anything about it. I think my first dirty book was “Angelique” by Sergeanne Golon (had to look it up) which featured the first hero with a reverse tan line: his hands were described as being white and aristocratic but his chest was brown against his shirt ruffles. Huh?

1.- 4. Pam Rosenthal’s books
5. Bet Me, Jennifer Crusie
6 – 7 (or possibly 8) Nita Abrams’ books, can’t remember the titles.
9. Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory.

and at this point I give up.

Thanks for the shout out, Diane, on Comedy!

13 years ago

Oh, that Anne Stuart cover! Bliss! I had no idea she wrote historicals actually, as I have only read the rom suspense.

Great list! Thanks you for joining in!

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

It was great reading everyone’s lists. I’m trying hard to find DANCE by Judy Cuevas. But it’s out of my budget for now.

Here’s my list…

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

My first dirty book was a contemp category, an M & B. I can picture the first two sex scenes, but they didn’t even progress beyond 2nd base. Still they were oh-so-forbidden to me at that time. I took them on my summer vacation to my uncle’s, and the proceeded to embarass them with questions when I couldn’t understand some phrases. I got plenty of pointed looks. Like I cared. They weren’t my mother (and he never told her).

Megan Frampton
13 years ago

Hey, everyone, thanks for sharing! I’ve read a lot of your first dirty books, too, and have found some books to hunt down that I haven’t read yet.

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