Readers Remember, Kathleen Winsor, "Forever Amber"

looking at the sunset

Today is the birthday of late author, Kathleen Winsor. Fellow reader Maili had an idea along with other readers, in that readers should honor Kathleen Winsor’s memory with doing a list of their favorite romances. A top “16” list as a matter of fact. Jessica from RacyRomanceReviews will have a list of all participants. Anyway, I didn’t think I would get to number 16 but, I’m happy to say “mission accomplished.” Sort of. I did throw in there a couple of books that feature a strong romantic subplot.

Kathleen Winsor, Forever Amber

Kathleen Winsor was born on Oct 16, 1919 and she died on May 26, 2003. One of the goals she listed for herself was to write a “bestselling novel” and she did just that with Forever, Amber, a book that was published in 1940 and was considered to be “the first real historical romance.” The book was panned for its blatant sexuality. I’ve never read Forever, Amber and while writing up this post, I did do a quick read of her biography. Her obit you can read here.

The List of “16”

In no particular order, here is my list of “16” romances in honor of Kathleen Winsor, the woman who started it all.

Heart of the West by Penelope Williamson (western saga, features a love triangle)
Reason To Believe by Kathleen Eagle (contemporary romance feat. marriage in trouble)
This Time Forever by Kathleen Eagle (contemporary romance)
Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale (historical romance)

The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale (historical romance)
The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale (historical romance)
Bliss by Judy Cuevas (also known as Judith Ivory) (historical romance)
Dance by Judy Cuevas (also known as Judith Ivory) (historical romance)

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer (historical romance)
My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway (historical romance)
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught (historical romance)
Outlander Series (Jamie & Claire rock) (TT, historical, contemporary, fiction)

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (historical romantic suspense)
Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Rev. Clare Fergusson series (In the Bleak Midwinter, etc)
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons (Russian Love Story set around WWII)
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (historical romantic suspense)

Edited add: Seems the genesis of this post for the 16 Favorite Romances in honor of Kathleen Winsor was among three people so my apologies for not giving the correct attribution (because clearly I was missing from Twitter when this discussion took place.)


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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14 Responses to Readers Remember, Kathleen Winsor, "Forever Amber"

  1. Bev Stephans says:

    Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor (The 1st romance I read.)
    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (A timeless classic.)
    Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (The 1st true bodice ripper I read.)
    Victoria Holt & Mary Stewart (My gothic period)

    The next are not in any particular order….just as I thought of them:

    Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Russ Van Alstyne & Clare Ferguson series
    Morning Glory by Lavyrle Spencer (I just read it last year!)
    Mackenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard (I love Wolf and Mary.)
    Heartbreaker by Linda Howard (This is one of her old Harlequin categories.)
    Cry No More by Linda Howard (Milla and Diaz rule.)
    Born In Shame by Nora Roberts (Murphy Muldoon is my kind of hero.)
    The 1st three “In Death” books by J. D. Robb (Roarke rules.)
    The Grace Valley series by Robyn Carr
    The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr
    Heaven Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    If you count all of the books in the series, there will be more than sixteen, but this was the best I could do. I’m sure I forgot an important book.

  2. KristieJ says:

    Heh heh heh – Even before I read your list, I knew what some of them would be – The Bronze Horseman and Heart of the West being two I figured would be shoe-ins and I was pretty sure the Outlander series would be on your list too πŸ™‚
    And while I haven’t read all of your list – of the ones I have, I have to agree with TSATS & FFTS by Laura Kinsale, & Bliss by Judith Ivory. And I’ve STILL yet to read Heart of the West. I quite enjoyed the two Kathleen Eagle books and we both have Morning Glory on our lists πŸ™‚

  3. Avid Reader says:

    @KristieJ: Hey KristeJ, yes you know me well πŸ™‚

  4. Kailana says:

    That’s a great idea for a post! I actually read Forever Amber. Didn’t really enjoy it, but at least I can say I read it…

  5. Pingback: The Winsor List: My Favorite 16 Romances «

  6. Jessica says:

    Connie Brockway and Victoria Holt — I must must must read them.

    Great list Keishon! Thank you for participating!

  7. SarahT says:

    Yet another great list! I’m going to have to give Holt and Stewart a try. I missed the Gothic phase. I think it must have been over when I started reading non-category romances.

  8. Kate says:

    Great list! I really need to look into Kinsale – I love historicals. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Avid Reader says:

    @Kate: Laura Kinsale is the queen of angst and dark, flawed heroes….you can’t go wrong with any of her books unless you don’t care for dark stories.

    Same for all of you who have never read Laura Kinsale before….read her and thank me later πŸ˜›

    Thanks everybody!

  10. Marg says:

    So glad to see The Bronze Horseman make it onto a list!

  11. Avid Reader says:

    @Marg: I love Alexander Belov. Loved him. He is probably one of the most memorable heroes I’ve read in my entire life of reading.

  12. Alison says:

    Why is the story of Forever Amber not finished? I just read it and was really upset! She heads to America thinking that the wife of her lover Bruce is dead-she isn’t so then what?! Clearly there was meant to be a sequal but my searches have turned up nothing. Arg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Avid Reader says:

    @Alison: Ugh. Thanks for the warning.

  14. I read Forever Amber for the first time about 40 years ago. I have lost count of the times I have re-read it. I loved it then and love it now. There are so many twists and turns in the story that you can never get bored of it. I wish there had been a sequal as it feels as though there should have been. I truly believe that if a decent movie had been made of this story, (not the poor excuse that they did make), it would have outshone Gone With the Wind by miles.

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