Rowan Recommends: Romance

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’m going to recommend some of my favorite romance books, for all those fan-girls that are spending today with a book. I don’t really books that fall exclusively under the romance category, so the books that I’m recommending today feature some of my favorite romances.

1656001 The Host by Stephanie Meyer: I know, I know. You might be laughing at me right now but I’m not ashamed to admit that I love this book. In The Host, aliens have invade Earth and their “souls” get put into people, so they take over their body and basically erase the person. Wanda get’s put inside Melanie who refuses to fade away, instead showing her memories of her brother and the man she loved, so Wanda goes in search of them. I just think this is such a beautiful romantic book and I love all of the characters. Every time I’m in the mood for a sweet romance that makes me cry, I read this book.

“It’s not the face, but the expressions on it. It’s not the voice, but what you say. It’s not how you look in that body, but the thing you do with it. You are beautiful.”

Graceling by Kristin Cashore: This book isn’t romance driven, but the romance plays a huge part and it’s so beautiful.3236307  I love this romance I adore Katsa and Po so much and they really just needed each other. Katsa never wants to marry or have children and it terrified of being tied to a man, so watching her find love and realize she can have Po without those things, makes me get all teary eyed. I also just love how they are so different but similar and how they continuously support each other through everything.

“I know you don’t want this, Katsa. But I can’t help myself. The moment you came barreling into my life I was lost. I’m afraid to tell you what I wish for, for fear you’ll… oh, I don’t know, throw me into the fire. Or more likely, refuse me. Or worst of all, despise me,” he said, his voice breaking and his eyes dropping from her face. His face dropping into his hands. “I love you,” he said. “You’re more dear to my heart than I ever knew anyone could be.”

1562090 Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: This book you guys, this book… The amount of feels I have for this book is ridiculous. I love it so much and every single time I read it, I cry like a huge baby. If you want a beautiful story with some of the most amazing writing and characters and a love story that makes you want to crawl under your bed and never come out, this is the book for you. The romance is so subtle and watching these characters slowly fall in love, a love without words because the main character can’t speak, it’s just so beautiful. This whole series is full of amazing romance, but this book is the start of it all and will steal your heart.

“He would have told her – he would have said, it matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment. I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind. I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night. You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart. You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping. You are – you are bone of my bone, and breath of my breath.”

38619Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews: Okay so this book is definitely not very romance-y but let me tell you, the romance that happens through this series is one of my favorite of all time. The author does such a good job of making you fall in love with the characters and really get to know them so you know when they start to fall in love. The thing is, this book doesn’t really have much in terms of romance, but that’s why it’s so great. The romance feels so natural because it happens over a few books and it isn’t forced or rushed. The author gives us two people who are both strong, independent, and unbearably snarky, so of course they won’t admit their attraction. I just adore how we get teased book after book and the romance just builds up until finally the characters can’t take it anymore. This is definitely my favorite sexy, adult romance.

“He grabbed me and kissed me. The kiss sent a wave of heat from my lips all the way to my toes. Curran’s eyes laughed. “For luck,” he whispered, his breath a hot cloud on my ear.”

 222063Stardust by Neil Gaiman: How could I not include this book? Stardust is a tale of magic, adventure, witches, and true love. In this book, a young man named Tristan promises the girl he wants to marry that he will bring her back a fallen star in exchange for her hand in marriage. So he sets off into a magical land where he finds that the fallen star is actually a girl. This book is so cute and fun and heart warming, with a sweet romance that just makes you wanna jump up and down. I love it because they have absolutely no idea that they are falling in love, so it’s almost funny to watch them be such oblivious idiots. And the ending brings a tear to my eye every time, it’s such a perfect, romantic ending.

“He wondered how it could have taken him so long to realize he cared for her, and he told her so, and she called him an idiot, and he declared that it was the finest thing that ever a man had been called.”

 8490112Daughter of Smoke and Bone: I have to admit, I read this book a while ago and don’t remember everything about it, but what really stuck with me was the romance. This romance made me feel so hopeful and overwhelmed and sad beyond words. It was beautiful and unexpected and heartbreaking. Like, thinking about it right now is making me get a little teary. Not only was this book and the world amazing and beautiful in general, but the love story was one of the best I’ve ever read. I don’t know how this series ends, so if it ends tragically, I apologize, but I promise you, it will be worth it. This is one of those loves that defied all odds and went up against time and war and death. Ugh, my heart.

“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens. I need you to remember that I love you.”

 

 

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Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

Author: Laini Taylor

Publication Date: September 27, 2011

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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I kept putting this book off for years. Years of my life that now feel wasted. This book was gorgeous. Everything about this book, the writing, the characters, the world, it all felt so vibrant and alive.  I almost feel like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me, I’m not sure how to handle this.

So it starts off with this girl named Karou, who is totally awesome. I seriously needed this after the last few books I read and their pathetic examples of “strong female characters”. She is bad ass and spiteful and mischievous and smart and loyal and she felt so real. She lives in Prague and runs errands for Brimstone, a demon Chimaera thing who is basically the only father figure she has, who pays for teeth with wishes. She knows nothing about who she is or where she came from, only that she loves her surrogate family of demon things. But what she doesn’t know is that there is a war going on, basically a war between angels and demons and she has something to do with it.

I don’t even know where to start. I loved the whole soul and body concept on the Chimaera’s side, and beauty of the beast and human bodies, and the way that the author wrote so I could see them in my mind, terrifying but beautiful. I loved the concept of wishes, how they worked and what Karou used them on. I loved both worlds and the mythology created for the two, though we saw more of the Chimaera one, and the differences between the two races. They knew so little about each other, but assumed that the other was horrible and monstrous and set about destroying each other. At the end, when a certain character was talking, (don’t want to give any spoilers) she whispered, “We dreamed together of the world remade.” My poor heart couldn’t handle it. When you get to this part in the book, you’ll know what I’m talking about and you will feel my pain. That once sentence is just filled with such hope and longing, with sadness and defeat. That’s basically all this book was. Those fours things bundled into a big ball of feels.

One of the things I loved most about Karou was that she wasn’t really anyone super special in this book. I mean, she was a mystery and had many mysteries surrounding her, but in the end, this wasn’t because she was some super important savior meant to save the world with her super special powers. It was because enough people had loved her and saved her. It was because she was strong enough to save herself.

I loved seeing the two different sides of Akiva. The vengeful angel of death, sent to destroy the Chimaera. His side when he meets Karou and stalks her, conflicted and confused and dark inside. Then the side was see when he was with the other woman, the one who regretted the lives he had taken, who hoped and dreamed for a new world, who loved so fiercely and passionately. Two completely contrasting sides, but they worked so well, adding depths and layers and life to him.

The love story was pretty good, I have to admit that when Akiva is crushing on Karou and noticing things that remind her of some other woman, I was really worried that we were going to find out the other woman was her mom or something upsetting like that and Karou was her secret love child. I’m not going to give anything away, but that, thankfully, was not the case. When Akiva and Karou are instantly drawn to each other and it’s kind of an insta-love scenario, I was concerned. But there was always an air of mystery surrounding why they were so drawn to each other and once the reason was revealed, it all made since and made me ship them even more.

The writing though, was what did it for me. It was all so rich and layered and beautiful, at times almost poetic. I really enjoyed the sense of darkness that this book gave me, but with little spots of light throughout. It was really just heavy and unforgettable. The world and storyline was so mesmerizing and intriguing, I literally read the whole book in one night, I couldn’t bear to put it down.

I’m totally gushing and I accept that. I can’t think of a single thing I disliked about this book. Except now that it’s over, I feel weirdly empty and the thought of waiting for the next one to get to my library makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry.

RATING: