Books are both my solace and my stress buster. There is nothing more relaxing than a good book. But the great books, the ones that grab you by the throat and make you wish you could meet the protagonists, get embroiled in their stories and yes, also, fantasies about running away with some of them to live in a world of your own creation…those books are the ones I wish I had written.
Top of my list and probably because it’s a book I read recently is Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. The writing, the plot and its execution are all flawless. The characters live larger than life lives but are real, flawed and completely relatable in their issues and emotions. Ellen Claremont is, in my eyes, total mom goals. If she brings the same fairness, maturity and plain and simple common sense to being President of the United States as she does to being a mother, I’d say she is a brilliant one.
The other time I was struck by writer’s envy was when I read Nalini Singh’s Heart of Obsidian. Her Psy-Changeling world and the story arc of the series is diverse, beautifully plotted and brilliantly etched but Kaleb Krychek, the hero of Heart of Obsidian, is truly the jewel in her crown. In romance novels, we frequently talk about the appeal of the bad boy. Kaleb Krychek isn’t just any bad boy. He is everything that every woman’s heart has secretly beaten for. Exponentially powerful, ruthlessly ambitious and clinically practical in his decision making, Kaleb has a backstory that is both heartbreaking and crucial to explaining both his character building and the undying love and devotion he has for his Sahara. He is in every sense of the word, the perfect protagonist. His decisions, his actions, his justifications…everything is perfect.
Again the magic by Lisa Kleypas is another book that I find hard to forget. I’ve always been a sucker for second chance romances but for some reason even within stories representing that trope, this book has a special magic to it. McKenna is incredible and Alina, barring her one blind spot, is every bit his equal. The story, the setting, the circumstances of their separation, the arc of their redemption and reunion, Kleypas nails it all.
I’m going to round off my list with an old favourite, Nora Robert’s Valley of Silence. While this is the finale of the Circle Trilogy and would require you to read the first two books to be able to truly follow along with what is happening in this one, Valley of Silence is easily the strongest of the three. Cian a vampire and Moira a scholarly queen are an unlikely pair but an exceptional one at that. This book and its writing has heart, pathos and a perfectly executed plot. I’m pretty sure everyone has already read this book but if you haven’t, I envy you the experience of reading it for the first time.
That’s my round up of books that left me working hard to up my game. What are the books you feel strongly about? Do write in and let me know, I would love to add them to my TBR.