10 All-time Greatest Romance Novels

We call them bodice busters. Romance novels, those guilty literary pleasures with covers depicting bulging biceps wrapped around busty damsels, usually in distress of some type. But the romance novel is nothing to induce shame. Those buxom heroines with perfectly tousled hair are in many ways powerful women. As novelist Jayne Ann Krentz explains, “Readers understand that the books celebrate female power. In the romance novel, the woman always wins. With courage, intelligence, and gentleness she brings the most dangerous creature on the earth, the human male, to his knees.”

And so the romance novel continues to dominate women’s literature now as it did in bygone eras. Classics remain classics and new specimens thrive in the literary market. Old and new, here are the top 10 romance novels of all time:

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