[Note From Frolic: We have a thing for novellas. A BIG thing. In the next installment of an ongoing series, we bring you a post from author Darynda Jones, whose novella ‘The Graveyard Shift‘ with our friends at 1001 Dark Nights is out now!]
One might think that, with so many wonderful books out there, it would be nigh impossible to choose your desert island reads. Those essential three or four or five books that you can read time and time again.
For me, however, that has never been a problem. I’ve always had a “top five” running through my head. Some books get replaced every so often when a new work of art that leaves me begging for more hits the shelves, but the list has remained stable for quite some time now. And I read a lot.
Still, I do have five books that are, for one reason or another, the books I read (or listen to) over and over. I do not, however, have an absolute favorite. These are all top picks, so in no particular order, here are my FIVE DESESRT ISLAND BOOKS:
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
I have to read this book about once a year. It is the quintessential romantic tale. It has it all. Brooding hero. Smart, perky heroine. Rules of society that don’t quite fit with the heroine’s view of the world. It’s charming and funny and absolutely delicious. And don’t even get me started on Simon. He is the perfect book boyfriend. I once contemplated tattooing his name on my wrist but didn’t think my husband would appreciate it.
Lover Awakened by the incomparable JR Ward
Talk about a brooding hero. Just wow. Whenever I am asked who my penultimate book boyfriend is, I always say Zsadist. His story arc is nothing short of spectacular and Bella, our intrepid heroine, is his perfect match. She is understanding but not a pushover. He has to work for her love, even when he thinks he doesn’t want (or need) it.
Envy by Sandra Brown
This book. THIS BOOK! I have loved this book for years and years, and this is one I simply must listen to every few months. The narrator, Victor Slezak, is amazing and I melt every time he incorporates that sexy Southern accent. One thing that impressed me so much with this book is how the talented Ms. Brown wrote a book within a book within a book. It’s so layered and rich and so very much worth the read. And when you get to the first kiss? Yeah, you’re welcome.
Anything by Judith McNaught
Okay, I’m going to cheat here and just name an author, but I’ll explain why afterward. Judith McNaught. Seriously, this woman could write a grocery list and make me want to read it again and again, but her books are so evenly delightful, the stories so exquisitely delectable, I can’t choose just one. I’d take any of hers to a desert island and would enjoy every word. I can honestly say one was not better than the others, and that is a rare thing. To produce perfection every time? She is simply a master storyteller.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
My last selection is going to be a controversial one, but stick with me on this. You know how sometimes we love books because of the nostalgia attached to them? The feelings they gave you when you first read them that were so strong you get those same feels every time you reread them? Well, that is what Twilight does for me. I adore the Twilight Saga, but even more, I love what Stephenie Meyer did. With her sensual and unique story, she convinced tens of thousands of teen girls (and boys!) to read. Trust me, I was working with teens at the time and I saw it time and time again. Dozens of girls who’d never read a book in their lives read Twilight. I applaud Ms. Meyer for that alone, but I also loved the story. So there’s that.
Okeydokey, there you have it. My five deserted island books, and I only cheated once. It’s Ms. McNaught’s fault really. I can hardly be blamed.
I hope you’ll give these a try and drop me a line if you do! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you very much, Frolic, for having me!
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About the Author:
Darynda Jones is the American author of the Charley Davidson series of paranormal romantic thrillers and a young adult series called The Darklight Trilogy. She lives in New Mexico. She is a recipient of the RITA Award. You can find her here: https://darynda.com/
The Graveyard Shift by Darynda Jones
Guarding a precocious five-year-old who is half-human, half-god, and 100% destined to save the world is no easy feat.
Garrett Swopes was the ultimate skeptic until he met a certain hellion and her husband. They vanished after stopping a catastrophic event and left him, a mere mortal, in charge of protecting their gift to mankind. But when she disappears as well, he needs the help of another breed of hellion. One who can see past the veil of space and time. One who betrayed him.
She will get a truce in the deal, but she will never earn his forgiveness.
Marika Dubois’s son—a warrior in the coming war between heaven and hell—was foreseen long before his birth. But to create a child strong enough to endure the trials that lay ahead, she needed a descendant of powerful magics. She found that in Garrett Swopes and tricked him into fathering her son. A ploy he has never forgiven her for. But when he knocks on her door asking for her help, she sees the fierce attraction he tries to deny rise within him.
And Marika has to decide if she dares risk her heart a second time to help the only man she’s ever loved.