May 24 2014 9:00am

Libraries, Bracelets, and Hearts: The 10 Most Coveted Items in Romance from KCole, Singh, Rocha, and More!

Have you ever read a romance novel and said, “I want that?” I know I have. Or has the hero done some romantic gesture that just sweeps you offer your feet? Yeah, I thought so. Below are the top 10 coveted items/actions that heroes have given heroines; some are material some are sexual, but all have given readers an OMG response.

1. The charm bracelet from Nalini Singh’s Heart of Obsidian: Who doesn’t have all the feels when Kaleb gives a certain bracelet and charms to an aptly named heroine? Each charm is special and has a special meaning to Kaleb as well as the heroine, Sahara. I don’t even wear bracelets, but after reading this book I want one.

2. The Diamond Rose from Nalini Singh’s Angels’ Blood: Okay, so this is meant to entice the heroine into an angelic booty call, but come on. It’s a ROSE made out of DIAMONDS. Call me shallow and superficial, but Elena’s reaction to the rose is even better, she sends the archangel Raphael packing and looking for more creative gifts.

3. The earrings from Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen of Attolia: Eugenidies gets his hand chopped off, but still loves the queen, Irene, who is older than him. These earrings are a huge plot point so I am not going to reveal what they signify, go read the book to find out.

4. HeartGift (any) from Robin D. Owens’ Heartmate series: The HeartGift is a super special gift made for the futuristic equivalent of soul mates in Owens’ world. Made during a period of magic awakening known as Passage, to give and have someone accept the gift means the two are recognized as HeartMates. The catch? You can’t tell someone you are their HeartMate.

5. O’Kane Ink from Kit Rocha’s Beyond series: You can’t just walk into Sector Four and get O’Kane ink, you’ve got to earn it. Even better is when you snag yourself an O’Kane hottie and get matching tattoos solidifying your bond and commitment to each other. The couple that best shows this commitment? The King and Queen of Sector Four, Dallas and Lex.

6. Musical penguin from Nalini Singh’s Kiss of Snow: Nalini Singh's heroes give some of the best gifts. Hawk gives Sienna a penguin that plays music to a song the pair danced to. How sweet is that? Plus the penguin is dressed in a black tuxedo with a little saxophone. Adorable? I think so!

7. His heart (literally) from Kresley Cole’s Lothaire: How does the baddest vampire alive deal with heartbreak? He tears out his heart literally and sends it in a box to the heroine Elizabeth. How she responds? Classic Kresley Cole.

8. A sweet horse ala George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones: So you have to marry a barbarian warlord? Sucks to be you Daenerys, at least you get to ride in style on an awesome Dothraki steed. In fact, it’s a sweet silver filly that makes you look like the badass queen and “mother of dragons” you’ll be someday.

9. His first time ala Jean Johnson’s The Flame and Jackie Ashenden’s Taking Him: So what if trust is an issue like it is for Jackie Ashenden’s Hunter or if you’ve been trapped on a magical island with no women like Koranen? Well,  then you get to be the lucky lady that snags the v-card. If you can get over the emotional or magical barrier (flame in Koranen’s case) then you might find teaching a new dog some new tricks well worth the time.

10. A library from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: Let’s face it, every person who loves to read saw Belle looking at the library and thought, “lucky bitch.” At least with the invention of the e-reader, you can store hundreds of books and have access to them right at your fingertips. But still, the Disney-fication of bookshelves is a gorgeous one.

What item, gesture or thing would you covet most from a romance novel? Was there one I missed, if so what is it and why is it so important?



Sahara Hoshi reviews for Wicked Lil Pixie and is a lifelong reader of romance. Favorite genres include new adult, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and erotica.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
I'm not a coffee drinker, but if Roarke (from J.D. Robb's ... in Death series) gave me some coffee .... There's also the fact that he reproduced Eve's apartment within his home so that she would be comfortable there.
Carmen Pinzon
2. bungluna
Krispy Kreme donuts in "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie. Both a gift and a gesture, sigh.
Laura Bracken
3. Night -owl
I don't know if this counts but, when I read this article the first thing that came to my mind was when Eric had Sookies drive-way re-graveled for her in the, Sookie Stackhouse series. I always thought it was so sweet because it was so much more than a gift or gesture; it really showed us and Sookie that Eric knew her really well. He knew she was practical, and would prefer a new drive- way over diamonds.
4. Andrea2
How about an example of what the heroine gives to the hero? In JD Robb's . . . In Death series, for a wedding anniversary present Eve has the Siobhan Brody Memorial Park built to honor Rourke's mother. A perfect gift, especially considering that Roarke is a gazillionaire and can have anything he wants/needs.
5. willaful
Funny, we're almost all going to In Death! Perhaps because it's so long-running and has numerous examples. What I always wanted was the magical futuristic birth control/std protection, and I was bummed when in later books it became clear that there hadn't actually been advancements... just as usual, the main couple were ignoring the issue. :-\

The specific swoony item that comes to my mind is the "magic charm" at the end of The Dream Hunter by Laura Kinsale. It signifies how well the hero understand the heroine, and his willingness to meet her needs, no matter how irrational they might seem. I'm chock full of irrational needs, so it really spoke to me. :-)
6. Terry D
All 3 of Claire Randall Fraser Grey's husbands gave her a kit of medical supplies, proving that they know her well.
Also, at the end of Brockmann's Dark of Night, Decker bravely agrees to go shopping with clothes-loving Tracy. She tells him they're going to the shelter to pick out a dog. Awww, I'm tearing up here.
7. AudraL
Another In Death addition: The DLE--Eve's piece of crap-looking car that's got all the latest bells and whistles. Now that I wrote it, not sure the initials are right--will have to re-read a couple of the books--sooo sad. :)
8. Raechel S.
@AudraL- It is the DLE. (DLE Urban to be precise.)

My #1 choice has always been the library, but since it was already on the list I'd go with an autochef. Not a gift, but it's what I covet most from the In Death series.

As for gifts, I think almost everything Roarke gives Eve is romantic - he knows her so well. However, I think the 2 best gifts she's given him are the first edition Yeates (because she had to work with Summerset to obtain it) and the fancy dinner she planned for the two of them (because she did something domestic without outside assistance). She did them despite feeling uncomfortable during both instances.
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