Thursday, September 3, 2015

Love stories for literati: romances my book-loving friends admit reading

[Forget stereotypical bodice-rippers.
This is the book that got the most
votes from my friends.]
If you wanted to read a romance novel, my friends might not be the first people you'd turn to for recommendations. I've been an English teacher and a book editor, and the people I know tend to have high brows (considerably higher than mine); many of them actually enjoy literary fiction.

Yet when I--inspired by romance novelist Kristan Higgins's eloquent defense of her chosen genre in Publishers Weekly--wanted to branch out and read a romance, I asked my Facebook friends anyway, even though I feared they would limit their suggestions to Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters.

They didn't.

Here is a list of romances, mostly series, recommended by an assortment of bibliophiles including several published writers, some editors, a publisher, a linguist, a bookstore assistant and other dedicated bookworms. "I read them with NO apology," wrote a multilingual physician.
Contemporary
Martin, Deirdre: New York Blades series (Hip Check)
Nicholls, David: One Day
Phillips, Susan Elizabeth: Chicago Star series
Roberts, Nora: Bride Quartet series

Fantasy
Harkness, Deborah: All Souls trilogy

Historical
Bourne, Joanna: Spymaster series (The Spymaster’s Lady or The Forbidden Rose)
Gabaldon, Diana: Outlander series, Lord John Grey series
Heyer, Georgette: Regency Romances series (Frederica or The Corinthian)
James, Eloisa: Desperate Duchesses series (Three Weeks with Lady X)
MacKenzie, Sally: The Naked … series (The Naked Earl)
Quinn, Julia: Bridgerton series

Inspirational
Heitzmann, Kristen: A Rush of Wings Series (The Still of Night)
Marshall, Catherine: Christy

Suspense
Brockmann, Suzanne: Troubleshooters series (The Defiant Hero)
If you'd like a longer list that includes some of these books as well as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, a retired English teacher recommends that you check out NPR's "Happily Ever After: 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances."

1 comment:

Janet Tkachuck said...

Hey, no one mentioned M.C. Beaton, who has written over 100 romances. We can't leave the creator of Agatha Raisin off the list!