Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey – a teenager Catherine who is a bit dooflus falls for a cute guy Edmund but suspects his family has a dark secret. Funny, easy to read. I liked Catherine a lot.Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice – you may know the story: hunky snob Darcy falls for sassy girl Elizabeth, but you don’t know the book. Despite all efforts to make this boring and dry, this is the funniest and most romantic love story EVER. You have to read it.
Georgette Heyer, The Convenient Marriage. Horatia’s family is dirt poor but from an upper-class family. Her older sister is in love with a poor soldier but agrees to marry a rich duke for her family. Horatia proposes a swap to the duke. Giddy language, farcical situations, and cute love story.Marion Chesney, Minerva. A beautiful martyr-type girl named Minerva must marry to save her family from ruin. Unfortunately, she falls for a guy who will never marry, especially a goody-two-shoes like her. Lust was never so elegant.
Jane Austen – Emma – It’s a bit like Clueless. This may be my favorite of her books. Emma is not as easy a heroine to love as Elizabeth. But the garden scene, oh yeah.
Marion Chesney, Refining Felicity. Two old ladies have run out of money so they start a finishing program for young ladies who can’t get married. They promise that their charges will not only be perfectly behaved but become engaged by the end of the season. First charge turns out to be the worst tomboy ever. I think it was this book that had the bit with the wig that had me laughing so hard I was gasping for breath.
Louisa May Alcott, An Old-Fashioned Girl. An early feminist falls for a rich selfish hunk. For years afterwards, I thought overshoes were romantic because of this book.
Georgette Heyer, Powder and Patch. A hick falls for a beautiful girl but she spurns him. He goes to Paris for a makeover and when he comes back, he’s way more sophisticated than she is. Plus, he doesn’t care about her anymore…or does he?
Helen Jackson Hunt, Ramona. This may be too un-PC, I’m not sure. I remember it as a heartbreaking love story of a Native American man and an Hispanic woman in California.D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. An upper-class woman with an impotent husband falls for the hunky grounds worker. This was once highly controversial but now it’s just a sweet, if adulterous, love affair.