Meet Reviewer Dabney Grinnan Dabney’s Top 10 Romance List
About Me Favorite Romance Novels

I loved romances when, back in the late 70’s, in high school, I read every Barbara Cartland novel ever written. Then, thanks to a savvy babysitter, I got my hands on the hot stuff. To this day I can remember how astonishingly steamy I found Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love. I abandoned romance when I went to college and didn’t pick one up again until six years ago when I got my first Kindle. Since then, I’ve read over a thousand romances; loved many, liked more, hated some. Much of what I’ve read has been historical and contemporary romance, but these days I’m reading more erotica and romantic suspense. I like my books to have sizzle, wit, and plots that make sense. I’d take sexy over sweet any day. Currently, I’m loving Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran, Courtney Milan, Sarah Mayberry, and Ruthie Knox. When not reading or writing about reading, or wishing I could rule the world, I’m meddling in the lives of my four kids, keeping our practice in the black, doing bossy volunteer work, and hanging out with Dr. Feelgood.

Absolute Favorites

Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman
Reckless by Anne Stuart
Heat by R. Lee Smith
The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
Black Ice by Anne Stuart
Unveiled by Courtney Milan
The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long
Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
His at Night by Sherry Thomas

Favorite Classic

It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Personal Reading Tastes Favorites by Sub-Genre

What I’m a sucker for in a book:

Bad boys, believable passion, strong heroines with stronger heroes, humor, great secondary romances.

What I don’t particularly care for in a book:

TSTL characters, poorly written plots, big secrets, series set around unbelievable clubs.

What drives me absolutely nuts in a book:

Characters who are perfect in every way, heroines obsessed with lingerie, cheesy dialog, soap boxing.

Favorite Romance Authors

All-Time Favorite Romance Authors

Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Rachel Gibson
Lisa Kleypas
Courtney Milan
Anne Stuart
Joanna Bourne
Julie Anne Long
Meredith Duran

Best Discovery/Buried Treasure Authors

Joanna Bourne

My Biggest Glom

Melody Thomas



Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl
Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry

Romantic Suspense:

Extreme Danger by Shannon McKenna
Death Angel by Linda Howard
Black Ice by Anne Stuart

European Historical:

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale


By Design by Madeline Hunter

Traditional Regency:

What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long

American Historical:

Sing My Name by Ellen O’Connell

Paranormal/Alternate Reality:

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

Favorite Characters Favorites by Plot Type

Favorite Hero

Doctor Jonas Grantham from Courtney Milan’s A Kiss for Midwinter

Favorite Heroine

Margeurite de Fleurignac from Joanna Bourne’s The Forbidden Rose

Most Tortured Hero

Sebastian Verlaine from Patricia Gaffney’s To Have and To Hold

Strongest Heroine

Lulu Davies from Carrie Lofty’s His Very Own Girl

Favorite Couple

Naval Captain Hugh McAlden and Meggs Tanner from The Danger of Desire by Elizabeth Essex
Adrian Alistair Rohan and Charlotte Spencer from Reckless by Anne Stuart
Alex Moncrieffe and Genevieve Eversea from What I Did for a Duke Julie Anne Long

Best Villain

Lazarus, My Lord and Spymaster, Joanna Bourne

Cabin or Road:

Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase


Natural Born Charmer Susan Elizabeth Phillips


Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day

Favorites by Mood

Comfort Reads:

The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
The Chinooks series by Rachel Gibson

Guilty Pleasure:

Completely inappropriate bodice rippers (my favorite is The Wolf and the Dove.)


Most Disappointing Books

A Lady of Persuasion by Tessa Dare


Seductive as Flame by Susan Johnson

Purple Prose-iest Read

Anything written by Stephanie Laurens in the past five years

Authors I Have Given Up On

Elizabeth Hoyt
Anna Campbell

Authors Others Love That I Don’t

Kristen Ashley
Megan Mulry

Most Annoying Lead Character

Tuesday Jones from Erin McCarthy’s Slow Ride
Travis Maddox from Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster

Non-Romance Favorites

Favorite Classic Novel

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Favorite Author

Phillip Pullman
Michael Malone

Favorite Book

What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long

Favorite Mystery

Faithful Place by Tana French

Favorite Classic Mystery

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

Favorite Women’s Fiction

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Favorite YA Book

The Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman

Favorite SF/Horror/Fantasy

The Stand by Stephen King

Book Most Often Reread

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Search our reviews database by Title or Author by Titleby Author’s Last Nameby Author’s First Name Do a more in-depth review search via Power Search

Use Freefind to locate other material at the site  


Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved