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30 Best Romance Novels of all Time

  • Author: Admin
  • December 27, 2022
30 Best Romance Novels of all Time

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work "her own darling child" and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print." The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen's radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Acclaimed by many as the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in all of literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature - with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author's own views and convictions.

Throughout, Tolstoy points no moral, merely inviting us not to judge but to watch. As Rosemary Edmonds comments, 'He leaves the shifting patterns of the kaleidoscope to bring home the meaning of the brooding words following the title, 'Vengeance is mine, and I will repay.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.

But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Behind the foreboding walls of Newgate Prison, a pact is sealed in secret -- as a dashing and doomed criminal consents to wed a beautiful heiress . . . in return for one night of unparalleled pleasure.

In the fading echoes of hollow wedding vows, a promise is broken -- as a sensuous free-spirit flees to a lush Caribbean paradise, abandoning the handsome stranger she married to the gallows. But Ruark Beauchamp's destiny is now eternally intertwined with his exquisite, tempestuous Shanna's. And no iron ever forged can imprison his magnificent passion . . . and no hangman's noose will deny him the ecstasy that is rightfully his.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is heartbroken, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs—yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, and was her first published work when it appeared in 1811 under the pseudonym "A Lady". A work of romantic fiction, better known as a comedy of manners, Sense and Sensibility is set in southwest England, London and Kent between 1792 and 1797, and portrays the life and loves of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. The novel follows the young ladies to their new home, a meagre cottage on a distant relative's property, where they experience love, romance and heartbreak. The philosophical resolution of the novel is ambiguous: the reader must decide whether sense and sensibility have truly merged.

Emma by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen

When her former governess finds happiness as the bride of a local widower, the brilliant and beautiful Emma Woodhouse — one of Jane Austen's immortal creations — flatters herself that she alone has secured the marriage and that she possesses a special talent for bringing lovers together. The young heiress next busies herself with finding a suitable husband for her friend and protégé, Harriet Smith, setting off an entertaining sequence of comic mishaps and misunderstanding in this sparkling comedy of English-village romance. Beneath its considerable wit, the novel is also the story of a young woman's progress toward self-understanding.
Emma abounds in the droll character sketches at which Jane Austen excelled. In addition to the well-intentional heroine and her hypochondriacal father, the village of Highbury during the Regency period is populated by an amusing circle of friends and family — kindhearted but tedious Miss Bates, a chatterbox spinster; ambitious Mr. Elton, a social-climbing parson; Frank Churchill, an enigmatic Romeo; Mr. Knightley, Emma's brother-in-law and the voice of her better nature; and a cluster of other finely drawn, unforgettable personalities.
The author's skill at depicting the follies of human nature in a manner both realistic and affectionate elevates this tale of provincial matchmaking to the heights of scintillating satire. A classic of English literature that has delighted readers since its 1816 publication, the novel is now available in this high-quality, inexpensive edition sure to charm a new generation.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

DETERMINED LADY

Tough-minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction...

LORD OF SCOUNDRELS

Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him... and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can't wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place—and in some amorous position. And if that means marriage, so be it!—though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof... and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady's considerable charms.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Experience the unforgettable, heartbreaking love story set in post-World War II North Carolina about a young socialite and the boy who once stole her heart -- one of PBS's "Great American Reads".
 
Every so often a love story so captures our hearts that it becomes more than a story -- it becomes an experience to remember forever. The Notebook is such a book. It is a celebration of how passion can be ageless and timeless, a tale that moves us to laughter and tears and makes us believe in true love all over again . . .

At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle . . .

Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

Fresh from her triumphs in Paris society, Whitney Stone returns to England determined to win the heart of her childhood love. However, in order to save himself from ruin, her father has come to an arrangement with the arrogant Duke of Claymore, and Whitney is the price.

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, this author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London's most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry.
And in truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better...
—Lady Whistledown's Society Papers,
April 1814

But this time, the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn't just decided to marry—he's even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate is the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams...

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony's lips touch hers, she's suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself...

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

William Goldman's modern fantasy classic is a simple, exceptional story about quests—for riches, revenge, power, and, of course, true love—that's thrilling and timeless.

Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible—inconceivable, even—to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you'll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that's home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”

Delaney’s Desert Sheikh by Brenda Jackson

Delaney’s Desert Sheikh by Brenda Jackson

Delaney Westmoreland refused to let a mix-up in her vacation plans postpone the R and R she craved. But when she reluctantly agreed to share a secluded cabin with an arrogant sheikh bent on seduction, she found herself enrolled in a crash course in human sexuality. Unfortunately, commitment and love were misplaced pages in her darkly handsome mentor's manual.

Jamal Ari Yassir had intended to school Delaney in sensuality for his pleasure, but his plan backfired. Instead of loving and leaving her, he became engulfed by an irresistible passion for his sexy-as-sin cabin mate. Could his convenient summer lover be the woman he was destined to share his life with?

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.

But Fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all—true love.

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

In New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Kresley Cole’s sizzling series, a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire become unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he’s waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. Emmaline Troy is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

Sheltered Emmaline finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux will capture your heart with signature classic novel, a time-travel romance featuring a present-day heroine and a dashing hero from the sixteenth century!

Abandoned by a cruel fate, lovely Dougless Montgomery lies weeping upon a cold tombstone in an English church. Suddenly, the most extraordinary man appears. It is Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck…and according to his tombstone he died in 1564.

Drawn to his side by a bond so sudden and compelling it overshadows reason, Dougless knows that Nicholas is nothing less than a miracle: a man who does not seek to change her, who finds her perfect, fascinating, just as she is. What Dougless never imagined was how strong the chains are that tie them to the past…or the grand adventure that lay before them.

Hailed worldwide as one of the most romantic novels of all time, A Knight in Shining Armor is “a glorious love story that spans centuries, worlds, and souls. It is the epitome of every woman’s fantasy” (Chicago Daily Herald).

After by Anna Todd

After by Anna Todd

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn't the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER ... Life will never be the same.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Joining Bruce Coville's earlier prose adaptations of Shakespeare's plays is this picture book treatment of the Bard's most popular work ever. The tender story of the young star-crossed lovers from warring families, Romeo and Juliet has moved audiences to tears for four hundred years. And Coville tells it in a way that will surely whet the appetite of young audiences, who will then find even greater enjoyment in the original. As with his earlier adaptations, Coville expertly combines his own dramatic language with key lines from the play. Dennis Nolan, who illustrated Coville's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, contributes stunning paintings, including a gatefold of the famous balcony scene. In addition to A Midsummer Night's Dream, which Publishers Weekly called "A first rate entree to the Bard," Coville also retold The Tempest and Macbeth. Of the latter, School Library Journal said, "Coville's muscular sentences, full of dramatic word choices, make this a good read-aloud." Both Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream were honored as ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults.

Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Four young ladies enter London society and band together to each find a husband. Has the third "Wallflower" now met her match?

A Devil's Bargain

Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!

Sebastian's reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden's good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.

But Evie's proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine's callously discarded broken hearts—which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions... or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind— and none of the heart…

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Scarlett O'Hara, the beautiful, spoiled daughter of a well-to-do Georgia plantation owner, must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman's March to the Sea.

After Forever Ends by Melodie Ramone

After Forever Ends by Melodie Ramone

Orphaned by her mother and brushed off by her dad, fifteen year old Silvia Cotton had lived a lonely life. That is until 1985 when her father moved the family from the Highlands of Scotland to the Midlands of Wales. It is there she was enrolled in Bennington, a private boarding school, met the charming and rebellious Dickinson twins, Oliver and Alexander, and her regrettable life was changed forever.

Locked into a fierce friendship with Alexander and lost to a whirlwind romance with Oliver, Silvia found herself torn away from everything she thought she knew. Married too soon, she moved with Oliver to a rustic cabin deep in a Welsh wood and embarked upon a life she'd never planned for, surviving on hope she never knew existed and faith she never knew she had. She made her way through university and onto a career, only to surrender her ambition to raising her children and living a life that was strikingly "normal". But what is normal? Certainly not what ensued in the wood.

True love, faeries, friendship, loves lost and gained. Old magic, fate, doubt, strength and courage, Silvia's story could belong to anyone, but it is her own. Simple yet extraordinary, told in retrospect with wit and candor, Silvia recalls a life of joy and sorrow, laughter and tears. As she unravels the tangled web of her days, she reveals the secrets that exist in an ancient wood, how hearts given freely can become the stuff of magic, and how true happiness was never any further than her own back garden.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of this century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their seven children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister; and it ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O'Neill, sets a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots.

The central figures in this enthralling story are the indomitable Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, the stunningly handsome and ambitious priest Ralph de Bricassart. Ralph's course moves him a long way indeed, from a remote Outback parish to the halls of the Vatican; and Meggie's except for a brief and miserable marriage elsewhere, is fixed to the Drogheda that is part of her bones - but distance does not dim their feelings though it shapes their lives.

Wonderful characters people this book; strong and gentle, Paddy, hiding a private memory; dutiful Fiona, holding back love because it once betrayed her, violent, tormented Frank, and the other hardworking Cleary sons who give the boundless lands of Drogheda the energy and devotion most men save for women; Meggie; Ralph; and Meggie's children, Justine and Dane. And the land itself; stark, relentless in its demands, brilliant in its flowering, prey to gigantic cycles of drought and flood, rich when nature is bountiful, surreal like no other place on earth.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

There was a time when the world was sweeter...when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats...when something happened to a seventeen-year-old boy that would change his life forever. Every April, when the wind blows in from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he'd fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town's Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter's life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood. No other author today touches our emotions more deeply than Nicholas Sparks.
Illuminating both the strength and the gossamer fragility of our deepest emotions, his two New York Times bestsellers, The Notebook and Message in a Bottle, have established him as the leading author of today's most cherished love stories. Now, in A Walk to Remember, he tells a truly unforgettable story, one that glimmers with all of his magic, holding us spellbound-and reminding us that in life each of us may find one great love, the kind that changes everything...

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

Cornovaglia, 1783. Ross Poldark, figlio di un piccolo possidente morto da poco, torna a casa, esausto e provato, dopo aver combattuto per l’esercito inglese nella Rivoluzione americana. Ora è un uomo maturo, non più l’avventato ed estroverso ragazzo che aveva dovuto abbandonare l’Inghilterra per problemi con la legge. Desidera soltanto lasciarsi il passato alle spalle e riabbracciare la sua promessa sposa, la bella Elizabeth. La sera stessa del suo arrivo, però, scopre che, anche a causa di voci che lo davano per morto, Elizabeth sta per convolare a nozze con un altro uomo. Non solo: Nampara, la casa avita, si trova in uno stato di abbandono, cui ha contribuito anche una coppia di vecchi servi, fedeli ma ubriaconi. Devastato dalla perdita del suo grande amore, Ross decide di rimettere in sesto Nampara e di concentrarsi sugli affari che il padre ha lasciato andare a rotoli, tornando a coltivare le terre e lanciandosi nell’apertura di una nuova miniera. Nella terra ventosa di Cornovaglia – aspra quanto la vita dei suoi minatori, percorsa dai fremiti di nuove sette religiose e afflitta da contrasti sociali – si intrecciano i destini dei membri della famiglia Poldark e di Demelza che, diventata una bellissima donna, è determinata a conquistare il cuore dell’uomo che le ha cambiato la vita.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean

A lady does not smoke cheroot. She does not ride astride. She does not fence or attend duels. She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen's club.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she's vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she's been missing.

But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.

If she's not careful, she'll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love.

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

After years of throwing make-believe weddings in the backyard, flowers, photography, desserts, and details are what these women do best: a guaranteed perfect, beautiful day full of memories to last the rest of your life.

With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera—ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up. Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, begs Mac for attention and money. Mac's foundation is jostled again moments before an important wedding planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be's brother...an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

Carter Maguire is definitely not her type: he's stable, and he's safe. He's even an English teacher at their high school alma mater. There's something about him that makes Mac think a casual fling is just what she needs to take her mind off dealing with bridezillas and screening her mother's phone calls. But a casual fling can turn into something more when you least expect it. And with the help of her three best friends—and business partners—Mac must learn how to make her own happy memories.

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the music hall phenomenon Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury. Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty's dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they begin a glittering career as music-hall stars in an all-singing and dancing double act. At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.