Every once in awhile a thread will pop up in the forums asking readers to pick their choices for actors to play the heroes and heroines of favorite romances. Just who should play Roarke? And what about Bobby Tom Denton? And can anyone correctly portray Zhadist?

Well, some readers have given up waiting for Hollywood to option their favorite romances, and have taken matters into their own hands. Most online romance readers are familiar with official book trailers, but did you know that some romance readers have created their own videos for their favorite romances?

Thanks to YouTube, a whole realm of reader-created videos is available for your viewing. The quality of the videos varies tremendously. Some are merely a series of book covers, with music in the background; others are a few still clips. But some are incredibly complex, and tell the entire story of a book, or a series of books.

As might be expected, readers have focused primarily on big name romance authors such as Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts/JD Robb, and JR Ward. With some careful searching, you can find a few others as well.

One of my favorites is the one I’ve linked to above, for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, with Hugh Dancy starring as Jamie. I’ll have to admit that I haven’t actually read Outlander, but loved the sense of place and time created in the video, as well as the choices made for music.  (The owner has disabled the ability to embed a video elsewhere, so just click through and you’ll be taken to YouTube.)

I discovered videos for most of Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s books, but most of them were in Spanish. While my knowledge of Spanish is sketchy, I still found them to be pretty entertaining. It was a hard choice, but I think my favorite is the video for Dream a Little Dream I didn’t care for the casting of Hilary Swank as Rachel, but Gerald Butler works for me as Gabe. The intro with views of the mountains, and Gabe’s home at the top of the mountains seemed spot-on from my memory.

Not surprisingly, there are a number of videos for J.D. Robb’s In Death series. I found one very short video starring Alyssa Milano and Julian McMahon as Eve and Roarke , casting I’d never imagined.  On the other hand, I found another that seemed like the opening for the entire series, as it featured all of the major characters – many of whom aren’t introduced in the first book. This one, starred Sienna Guillory as Eve, Hugh Jackman as Roarke. There are also videos for many of the individual books in the series, as well as special tributes to Eve and Roarke.

I thought some of the casting was off on this trailer for Nora Robert’s Key Trilogy, but loved the sense of place given to Warrior’s Peak, the rather scary mansion where a lot of the action takes place. Overall, it provides a nice intro to the entire series.

I also found a number of videos that are simply cast suggestions for various books or series, chief among them, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. One of my favorites offers up Drew Barrymore as Stephanie, Dwayne Johnson as Ranger, and Cloris Leachman as Grandma Mazur. I saw several other cast videos that suggested Sandra Bullock for the role of Stephanie.

There are many videos out there for J.R. Ward’s Brotherhood of the Black Dagger series; some focus on the primary relationship in one book, while others are simply a tribute to the main characters across the series. One of my favorites primarily because of the darkness of most of the video – features Hugh Jackman as Wrath and Colin Farrell as Butch. However, featuring Brad Pitt as Phury nearly ruined it for me.

While most of the videos I found were for contemporary or paranormal romances, I did find a tribute to Lucien, from Mary Jo Putney’s Fallen Angels series. It’s been years since I read this book, but this brought back many memories. In fact, I may just go back and reread the book.

I don’t know anyone who has made a video for a romances, but find the whole process rather fascinating. Some of the videos I found are wonderful, with careful attention paid to music selection, pictures or clips to portray accurately the setting, as well as the right actors for the cast.

One disappointment is that no matter how many times I’ve looked, I have yet to find a video for that perennial favorite in AAR polls, Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. How about you? Have you found any great videos that I’ve missed? Have you ever thought about making one as a tribute to a romance novel?

– LinnieGayl AAR

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