Thursday, 30 June 2011

Books - Memorable Opening Sentences

This week we are discussing my favourite fiction genre – category romance novels. More specifically, the ones you pick up and never want to put down. The ones you go back to again and again when you want to have a good laugh, cry happily or general feel good. The memorable ones.

This time it's all about memorable opening sentences or first chapters. As a writer, I know how important it is to hook a reader within the first chapter, so I'm always interested in seeing how other authors do it so well.

The most memorable opening line I've ever read in a romance novel comes from Mackenzie’s Mountain. It's a romantic suspense novel by Linda Howard.
It's available in 2 anthologies, The Mackenzies (UK) and Mackenzie's Legacy (US).

Here’s the blurb:

Still paying for a crime he didn’t commit, Wolf Mackenzie has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming. But Mary Elizabeth Potter doesn’t see Wolf as the dangerous man the town has branded him. Then a series of violent acts against women makes the townspeople question whether Wolf has reformed – and Mary must prove them all wrong.

And here is the opening sentence:

He needed a woman. Bad’

I read that and I was totally hooked. I wanted to know who ‘He’ was and why he needed a woman that badly. LH set my expectation with those simple words. The rest of the chapter goes ahead to introduce the reader to the hero Wolf and heroine Mary. The book did not relent but delivered on the promise made in the first few words of the first chapter. The story was packed with gripping suspense, emotional tension and dare I say hot sex up until the last page. I read it and finished it on the same night.

The book was just that fabulous. Five stars all the way.

In fact this is how Wolf declared his love for Mary on the last page when she refused to marry him because she didn’t want to marry someone who didn’t love her.

“Hellfire!” he roared and jerked her up against him. “Not love you? Damn, woman, you have been wrapping me around your little finger since the first time I set eyes on you! I’d have killed Bobby Lancaster in a heartbeat for you, so don’t you ever say I don’t love you!”

Now, how’s that for a declaration of love? It certainly got my vote. If you haven’t read this book yet, pick up a copy. You'll love it like I do.

So have you read any books where you remember the opening line or the first chapter vividly? Please share them with us.

Have a thrusty Thursday.