|[Forget stereotypical bodice-rippers.|
This is the book that got the most
votes from my friends.]
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.
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.
ContemporaryIf 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."
Martin, Deirdre: New York Blades series (Hip Check)
Nicholls, David: One Day
Phillips, Susan Elizabeth: Chicago Star series
Roberts, Nora: Bride Quartet series
Harkness, Deborah: All Souls trilogy
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
Heitzmann, Kristen: A Rush of Wings Series (The Still of Night)
Marshall, Catherine: Christy
Brockmann, Suzanne: Troubleshooters series (The Defiant Hero)