Romance Novels: Sexy & Sophisticated Reads

Romance Novels Sexy Sophisticated Reads

There's nothing wrong with your grocery store variety romances—those paperbacks decorated with the hulky body-building types and buxom lasses poised for kisses, but many readers want something beyond formulaic fiction—fiction that is both erotically stimulating but also—dare we wish it—believable. The following novels offer just that sort of blend of sexy sophistication—chic lit. that comes highly acclaimed by literary critics and can even be classified as good literature.

If you grew up loving those lengthy Victorian novels like Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, then The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber is the contemporary answer to those haunting Victorian tales. It is sexually lurid and unabashedly graphic—and maybe the best part—it has a rich plot that takes readers through the gamut of Victorian society—from the lowest of common street whores to the crème de la crème of British aristocracy. This satisfying novel will give you your Victorian fix with the added bonus of what really lay behind that strict society. Faber shares the story of Sugar, a nineteen-year-old prostitute who beguiles a perfume magnet with her talents. This is a must for any serious connoisseurs of good fiction, but it is just what sophisticated romance readers will want as well.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters is also a contemporary novel set during the Victorian era filled with erotic passages and lurid details about what life must have really been like for the poor. This novel is all about identity and love, loyalty and self-preservation. Waters begins her novel with a family of thieves but the novel has more ambitions than to keep to the London gutter and Waters takes readers on a romp through eccentric country houses and madhouses as well. The sexual scenes are truly enticing but surprisingly tender. Readers will be well pleased with this riveting novel filled with plot twists and memorable characters that are well-wrought and captivating.

The Lover by Marguerite Duras is a beautiful and haunting piece of literature from a major voice in French literature over the second half of the last century. Duras has a voice that marks her as one of the greats from page one of this novel set in French Indochina. The novel depicts a young French girl who embarks upon a scandalous affair with a Chinese man. Duras explores sex, lust, and love with language that is free from cliché. This gem was first published in 1984 to international acclaim and has also been made into a film. Read the book and watch the movie for a lovely weekend well spent.

The Nautical Chart by Arturo Perez-Reverte will remind you what it feels like again to long for someone both body and soul. This incredible novel is nearly impossible to label—it is mystery, adventure and historical romance all in one. Perez-Reverte tosses so much humor into the mix besides its poignant moments that one cannot help but fall a bit in love with him too—his prose is a delight and reminiscent of the best Spanish writing to date. This novel made a splash in popular reading circles, but it is quite literary too; it just can't help being a lot of fun!

If you are a reader who loves a romance with some serious writing behind it, consider the following selections as well: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, Blue Poppies by Jonathan Falla and Empress Orchid by Anchee Minn. Reading fine literature does not have to be boring. Instead of hot cocoa, you may want to pour yourself a glass of wine before curling up with these good books.

Comments (4)

Belle936
Thanks for the recommendations! Didn't know what to look for in the library this week, lol!
cuddles4862
i am a definite reader of these and they have made me a more romanic person but i am not the type to put reality and fantasy together looking for a man. i read so many of them when i was growing up that now i am writing them myself for a living.
sasyecats
I read way too many as teenager...I think it has had an effect on my relationships. moping
OUTRAGEOUS
I have to admit I am a huge fan of romance novels. Of the ones listed here I have only read Wuthering Heights and Memoirs of a Geisha, amazing novel.

Another saga worth reading, is the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. Romance, Adventure, magic, history, the 18th Century in all its glory...it is a must read.heart wings

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