Friday, April 20

Love Those Keepers

I reread Eloisa James' Pleasure for Pleasure this week. It's officially a keeper.

While I was reading I realized a book doesn't have to be an A to qualify as a keeper. It just needs elements, that I want to visit over and over. Maybe it's the characters, a particular scene, or dialogue that completely works.

I love the interaction between Josie and Mayne on their wedding night, their conversation is incredible, smart, witty, romantic and some how real. I can reread this section over and over and it's always wonderful--love it.

Probably half my keepers aren't because I love the entire book but rather sections. Catherine Coulter's Fire Song has been on my keeper shelf for years. And if I reread the book in its entirety I'd probably throw it against a wall, but when I reread it's only the second half and the last 100 pages absolutely sparkle, at least for me. When Kassia finally gets fed up and Graelem realizes he's an ass, and he loves her and can't figure out why she's put up with his crap--she leaves and he goes looking for her--love it.

The opening scene of Linda Howard's Open Season, when Daisy realizes she fits the "librarian" stereotype to a "T" and decides she needs to change her life, and then her first encounter with Jack when she wont let him in the back door of the library, makes me smile just thinking about it. And then there's the priceless condom scene in the drug store--love it.

Another Linda Howard keeper--Sarah's Child, is Rome an ass? You bet. Do I love him anyway? You bet. I can't read the scene where he's on his knees with the baby without crying. I've read this book countless times over the years and that one still gets me--love it.

Even if the rest of Meljean's Demon Angel tanked (it doesn't :D) this scene alone would make it a keeper:
Guardian's milled about--men and women, some with wings, some in human garb, some nude--and he searched the faces for the one who had come for him, saved him.

And did not see her.

"Where is she?" He blushed as Michael raised his brows. Would the Doyen think his intentions toward the woman impure? But still he asked, "My angel."

Michael did not reply.

Hugh swallowed and looked at the ground. Pure, clean--no dirt or rot. "'Twas Lilith?"


How could it be? Except that there must be good in her, must be something within her that resists the demon. "Can she be saved?" Did he not owe it to her to try?

Michael studied him with obsidian eyes. "I can not save her."

Hugh nodded. If a place like Caelum could exist, then it surely possible to save a demon. "Then I will."
I've posted that section before, but it's one of my absolutely favorites scenes this year, actually the first 100 pages of Demon Angel completely rock.

So, am I the only idiot who keeps an imperfect book because two, three or ten chapters are perfect??


Rosie said...

I have a whole office full of bookshelves filled with imperfect books, so no you aren't the only one.

SARAH'S CHILD totally kicked my booty the first time I read it. That Rome Matthews...

FIRE SONG? Me too! Just when you wonder why, why, why (medieval times or not) Kassia could endure Graelem let alone love him, he finally gets a clue.

Gad I could go on and on. Instead of thinking and browsing through my own shelves I just rhapsodized over your picks. Although I still have to read DEMON ANGEL.

Kat O+ said...

My keepers are definitely...eccentric by most other readers' standards, I'd wager: EJ's Enchanted Pleasures, Enoch's England's Perfect Hero, Quinn's Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (that one's a bit more popular), Kathleen O'Reilly's The Longest Night, Woodiwiss's The Wolf and the Dove (sentimental reasons), and Patricia McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (though technically more fantasy than romance). Yes, sometimes books make it to the keeper shelf based on one scene or one bit of dialogue. It's all about the goosebumps and spine tingles! *g*

I'm going to have to check out some of those books you mentioned. I've noticed that we seem to like similar kinds of writing. :-)

CindyS said...

Oh yeah. The book doesn't have to be an A grade to remain on the keeper shelf. Sometimes it's just one scene but reading up to that scene makes it all the more touching.

I don't think I have Fire Song - I'll make a note - I'm with you on Sarah's Child - she made choices I'm not sure I would have made but it all works out and like you say, the ending was mind blowing.


Tara Marie said...

Rosie, there aren't too many of us who like Fire Song--I'm actually surpised to find someone else who considers it a keeper--LOL

Kat--I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Romancing Mr. Bridgerton--my favorite Quinn. All of Eloisa James' books are keepers for me--her voice is probably one of my favorites, haven't reread Enchanted Pleasures in quite a while, but may need to know. :D

Cindy, Fire Song comes with a huge disclaimer--the here is one of the biggest alpha jerks of all times!! And, yet I still love the ending. Makes Rome from Sarah's Child look like a perfect gentlemen :D

Amie Stuart said...

I'm sure I have shelves full of them. I went back a few years ago and read a Jude Deveraux book, realizing 10 or 15 years after the fact that the heroine was TSTL but I still keep it. Maybe not all the time, but I think sometimes we remember some books with such fondness, even if they wouldn't work for us now, we keep them--they're special!

BTW Open Season is one of mine and I LOVE hte condom scene!

I probalby have Fire Song on my shelf--I used to read all her historicals *Sigh*

Tara Marie said...

Amie, you are not alone with the Jude Devereaux oldies. I've got hardcovers of The Taming and The Conquest. The Taming gets kept for the rat kicking scene and ending--I choose to ignore the hero's very beastly behavior.

Bev (BB) said...

I think my April 14 RtB column was basically about the fact that I have an entire collection of paperbacks, more or less, because I liked bits and pieces of them. I'm a firm believer that there may not be any perfect books overall but there are definitely perfect scenes in some of them and those create those perfect reading experiences of the moment that makes of the obsessed readers we are. :D

Devon said...

Actually, EJ is a great example of this for me. Like, you said she has a great voice, but in almost all of her books there are things that didn't work for me. There are also things she totally nails (Esme/Bonnington, sigh). I've re-read Your Wicked Ways several times, just for certain scenes, even though there are things that bug me.

Sam said...

I just joined Book Mooch, and I'm having a terrible time deciding which books to give away, lol. I keep taking ne out and thinking, "no, I just can't part with that one..."

meljean brook said...

Oh, man. *kicks toe in dirt and blushes wildly*

But I do have a lot of books that are keepers just for a couple of chapters, or even a scene.

nath said...

Hey Tara Marie!

You're not an idiot at all! At least, you don't keep all the books you read like me! I think even for a chapter, it's worth :) It's fun that you've been re-reading books :)

I luv Sarah's Child... made my heart squeezes a lot when I was reading it, because of the situation. Open Season was good, but not my favorite by LH. LUV Demon Angel :D I actually like the whole book :) Can't wait for Demon Moon!

Tara Marie said...

Devon--Eloisa James is a fixture on my TBR pile, I reread her often especially His Wicked Ways, for some reason that one is a particular favorite.

Bev--I think I must have accidently stolen your concept--I should have known the realization wasnt' mine--I've been too tired.

Sam--purging books is one of the toughest things I do, that probably explains why I only do it once or twice a year--if that :D

Meljean--I guess it's not that strange, keeping books that aren't perfect.

Nath--I'm relieved I'm not an idiot, though that still might be debatable :D Sarah's Child is one of those books you love or hate--it will always be a favorite.