I decided it was time to update my old "romance reading recommendation" page. Some of those books I still adore, and some of the series have fallen off the edge of a cliff.
Before you go any further, let me say that I have a complicated list of likes/dislikes, and a general tendency toward more "vanilla" books. I also LOVE romance, erotica not as much.
Here is a snippet of a conversation with some friends that will give you an idea about my reading issues...
Friend #1: "You should really read Book So-and-So. It's great!"
Me: "I can't. The hero is a man-ho. You know that's one of my no-no rules."
Another friend (#2): "How about this book? I loved it."
Me: "Nope. That has too much dark and disturbing material. Also on my list of rules."
Friend #3: "What about Book Blah Blah?"
Me: "Absolutely not. That breaks the rule about cheating and/or having sex with other partners while the story is happening. I don't care about their histories PRIOR to the book, but once you get on page one, all sexual activity must be limited to hero and heroine, including, but not pertaining exclusively to, dreams and fantasies."
Friend #1: "You sure have a lot of rules."
Me: "No I don't!"
All friends simultaneously: "YES YOU DO!"
Me: "What? So I don't like man-hos, virgin heroes, alpha-holes, orgies, BDSM, fake BDSM, young adult, new adult, dark and disturbing topics like rape or violence, too-stupid-to-live heroines, plot-driven stories, huge info dumps, cheating, The Big Misunderstanding, billionaires, cougars, dark and angsty books, jump-the-shark plots, plot holes, gang-bangs, figging, flogging, anal sex, most contemporaries, and/or poorly written bearotica."
Friends: ALL RISE EYEBROWS ACCUSINGLY
Me: "Fine. Maybe I have a lot of rules."
Here is a general list of things I do like!
Books With Cool Dogs
Married Couples/Older Couples
Big Curvy Heroines
Heroes With Glasses
Beauty and the Beast
Physically Flawed Heroes
New Twists On Fairy Tales
Stuff I'm on the fence about...
Rated G Romance
Sci Fi Romance
I'm getting sick of vampires
Here's my no-no list...
Young Adult/New Adult
Disturbing Topics Like Rape/Incest, etc.
Poorly Written Bearotica
Erotica With More Partners Than A Law Firm
Jump The Shark Series
Lost The Magic Series
Too Much Deep POV
The Big Misunderstanding
Dark and Angsty
My tastes have changed over time. I started my love affair with the romance genre about fifteen years ago, and I devoured historicals and paranormals. Now I'm looking for quirky, unique, innovative, cross-genre, well-written fiction.
Some old and new favorite books...
THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion
THE GIRL WITH THE CAT TATTOO by Theresa Weir
VIXEN series by Julia Barrett
WAKING THE MERROW by Heather Rigney
ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE by Steve Kluger
JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny
WARRIOR by Zoe Archer
SKIN GAME by Ava Gray
SOULLESS by Gail Carriger
DREAMING OF YOU by Lisa Kleypas
RAVISHED by Amanda Quick
LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase
WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST by Eloisa James
Some favorite mystery writers...
Louise Penny--The Gamache Series
Dana Stabenow--The Liam Campbell Series
Elizabeth Peters--The Amelia Peabody Series
Annette Blair--Vintage Magic Mysteries
Some favorite vintage romance authors and series...
Julia Quinn--The Brigertons
Christine Feehan--vintage Carpathians
Stephanie Laurens--vintage Cynsters