Jane Eyre was one of my favorite romances growing up as a teenager, and over the years it has come to be the number one on my list of favorites. Something I find rather strange in a way because I really despise first person POV. But the story grabbed me then as it still does all these years later. Because I love the story so much, I try to watch every remake of the first Jane Eyre movie. Last night, I finished watching Masterpiece Theater’s Jane Eyre with Toby Stephens playing Rochester.
I was a devoted, die-hard fan of the Ciaran Hinds version until I finished watching Toby Stephens play Edward Rochester. I am in awe of this man’s ability to make Rochester brutally mean one second and incredibly tender the next. He WAS Rochester more so than any other actor I’ve watched before. It is a fabulous performance where I could almost SEE the characters thoughts simply in the actor’s portrayal. I did have a couple of nitpicking issues with the movie, primarily they didn’t use my FAVORITE speech from book where Rochester says to Jane,
“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you–especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you,–you’d forget me.”
I sigh heavily every time I reread those few lines. They’re so incredibly moving to me. The words highlight the depth of feeling Rochester has for Jane. It’s clearly not lust that’s moving him to speak this way, it’s love, a deep, passionate abiding love.
While I have top ten books in other genres (it’s how I have my cake and eat it too when I say Salem’s Lot, The Stand and The DaVinci Code are in my top ten list. Why? Because they’re on different top ten lists! Ha! )
So here are my top ten memorable romance books.
1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
2. The Scarlett Pimpernel – Baroness Ocrzy
3. Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
4. A Knight In Shining Armor – Jude Deveraux
5. Lord of Scoundrels – Loretta Chase
6. Whitney My Love – Judith McNaught
7. The Master of Penrose – Jane Aiken Hodge
8. Mistress – Amanda Quick
9. The Devil on Horseback – Victoria Holt
10. Desire of the Heart – Barbara Cartland
Minor Plug: I have to share my news. Romantic Times BOOKreviews gave Dangerous a 4.5 Starred review, which is fantastic in and of itself. But even more wonderful for me was the way the review started out (hmmm, wonder why? LOL).
“Jane Eyre meets The Mummy, with lots of passionate sex thrown in for extra spice! Burns’ characters are so multidimensional that readers will swear they’re based on real people. Fans of Egyptology, gothic mysteries, ghost stories, romance and/or erotica will love every word — and Lucien’s meddling grandmother too. “
Oh can you imagine how much of a compliment that was for me! To have my work even remotely compared to Bronte’s masterpiece tickled me pink!