Every novelist strives to hook their reader right from the beginning—in the first chapter, or better yet, the first page. But the gold standard of hooking a reader’s interest is with that perfect First Line. We’ve all read one of these—the one that zings the blood stream so you sit up and take notice.
While it may be hard to find many first lines with the classic cache to match the likes of Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” the call went out. The search was on. Narrowing the field to current romance novels, I took a look at hundreds of lines, many submitted and many from the best seller lists. Plucking my top ten most memorable proved fun and challenging. Warning: Since my favorite reads are funny, my list may be skewed. Here it is.
Stephanie’s Ten Best First Lines from Today’s Romance Novels:
10. “Jodie Devlin sucked at life.”
From Eternally Yours by Gina Ardito
9. “’I’m not lost,’ Amy Michaels said to the squirrel watching her from his perch on a tree branch.”
From At Last by Jill Shalvis
8. “His life fit very nicely into seven boxes.”
From My Man Pendelton by Elizabeth Bevarly
7. “By dying now, his father had won again. That old bastard.”
From Maid for the Billionaire by Ruth Cardello
6. “There are two things in life I hate more than getting shot at.”
From Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
5. “’Hello, my name is Riley, and I am addicted to sexy lingerie.’”
From Text Appeal by Lexi Ryan
4. “’Car accident. Ten-Year-old girl. Possible ruptured spleen.’”
From Love Me by Bella Andre
3. “Where were her panties?”
from A Stormy Spring by Christine Claire MacKenzie
2. “Daddies are a peculiar breed—donors of half of your chromosomes, but they’re not bound to stick around to see which half you might have inherited.”
From Moonshine by Sofie Couch
1. “The trouble with dead people today was they had no sense of decorum.”
From Keys to the Coven by Vicky Lobel
I’d love to hear about your favorite stunning first lines. Send me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Romance Novel Examiner, Stephanie Giancola, also writes romance novels as Stephanie Queen. Visit her website at www.StephanieQueen.com.