Today I am excited to highlight three of my favorite romance authors!
I live for fantasy. I read tons of it. Romance is what I turn to when I need to detox. The time always comes when I need a break. I want to be free of magic, special snowflakes, and worlds that need saving, so I can come back refreshed.
So here below are some of my favorite authors to turn to. Do I love every book they have ever written? No. I can’t name a single author with a decent size body of work who I can say that about. Nor do I think it’s realistic. But these ladies are very consistent for me.
Historical Romance: Lisa Kleypas
Once upon a time I had historical romance firmly in the category of Things-Only-Old-Ladies-Read. The fact that I can remember my mother laughing as she discovered boxes of them when cleaning out my Great Aunt Leah’s house may be partly to blame. I gave Kleypas a try after reading how much another blogger, Kelly , loved them. Obsession ensued. I started with The Wallflowers series, which I read in under a week. I then moved directly on to The Hathaways, which I finished in about the same time frame.
At once sexy, charming, and free of the problematic themes common in earlier decades, they are good example of modern genre (post 2000’s) historical romance. Kleypas is currently two books in to her new historical series, The Ravenels. She also has an excellent contemporary series and some other historicals.
While I would read these in order, my favorites from each series are:
The Wallflowers: It Happened One Autumn and Devil in Winter
The Hathaways: Tempt Me at Twilight and Love in the Afternoon
The Ravenels: Still to come! She’s only two books into this family-based series and my favorite’s haven’t had their own book yet. Book three, Devil in Spring, comes out March 2017 and the hero is the son of the couple from Devil in Winter, so that should be fun.
#1. Cara McKenna
In spite of all the beefcake on McKenna’s covers (which just make me laugh for some reason), I really love her books. Her voice is unique and the focus is on ordinary people with more realism and less wish-fulfillment.
Kelly (yes, that’s his name) from After Hours lives in a run down city outside Detroit and works as an orderly in a mental hospital. That’s right. Not one of the doctors or therapists. Not even someone with a college degree. The orderly. Cause he huge and good at calming residents having a meltdown. Two favorites from other books are a prison inmate and an agoraphobic ex-alcoholic with a submissive kink. I don’t think McKenna is deliberately giving a giant middle-finger to the ‘billionaire bachelor’, but as one who loathes that particular trope, I am delighted. Her stories are also characterized by satisfying HFN (happy-for-now) endings. While there are exceptions, I generally prefer that contemporary novels not end with weddings and babies.
A Few Favorites:
#2 Christina Lauren
Christina Lauren are best known for their Beautiful Bastard series. I like Wild Seasons better. In fact, it is one of my all-time favorite series in the romance genre. They are fun, sexy, and swoony. Sure, the titles are a bit goofy. But I appreciate the lack of beefcake on the cover. Best of all, the stories rock and avoid many of my most hated/over-used tropes. It’s nice to take a break from the athletes, man-whores, and alpha-holes. However, if you happen to love those you can find a few of them in the Beautiful series.
Wild Seasons: I love the first three almost equally. If I had to choose, Dirty Rowdy Thing is probably my favorite.
Beautiful Bastard: I love Beautiful Stranger, but am pretty ambivalent about the others.
The stories and writing styles of these authors are very different from each other. I hope you enjoyed and find one that works for you!