I have to admit I’ve been a bit too snobby to try romance. Despite my favourite author being Jane Austen and her works considered part of the romance genre. I have also enjoyed Jennifer L. Armentrout’s romance novels (though I did read all of her fantasy romance books first.) As I did with JLA, I also did with Lynn Kurland – which is how I decided to write a post.
Romance is well known for it’s focus on relationships (central to the plot) with the happily ever after or happily for now ending. The sexual explicitness can be on a spectrum from “clean” (no action) to “dirty.”
Who’s reading this billion dollar industry? “Statistics actually show that the majority of romance readers are young women between 18 and 44 years old” (taken from What is a romance novel: a beginner’s guide to the female-powered genre on Bustle).
So I fit the age group! I tend to prefer extraordinary circumstances such as historical, time travel or urban fantasy. I need a strong protagonist, good writing and an engaging story.
Here’s some reviews:
Ever My Love (2017) by Lynn Kurland
After finishing all 11 books that are currently out from Kurland’s fantasy series on the Nine Kingdoms, I was curious about her other series. This is the 14th book in the time travelling romance series but I didn’t suffer for not having read the previous installments. Not usually a romance reader, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. A strong heroine who’s running to her independence and a tall, handsome fellow who happens to travel to ancient Scotland every other day were the stars of a thrilling, lovely story. Their journeys become entwined and they must rely on each other to fix the issues time needs altered. The language and turn of phrase was familiar without feeling like I was reading the same series. I love Kurland’s brand of romance – subtle, sweet and deep.
The Lost Duke of Wyndham (2008) by Julia Quinn
Grace Eversleigh is working as companion to a cranky dowager duchess in the house of the Duke of Wyndham. On their way home from a party they are accosted by a highway man (Jack), one who seems familiar to the dowager duchess and unaccountably attracted to Grace. He is the lost Duke – grandson to the dowager duchess who had believed her son had perished without leaving an heir. As he gets used to his family and responsibilities, Jack also falls in love with Grace. This was a quick read that I enjoyed as the period is about when Austen wrote. The action is more sensual with moderate explicitness.
Born in Fire (1994) by Nora Roberts
I couldn’t do a round up of romance without the prolific romance writer Nora Roberts. I chose Born in Fire. Roberts sets the scene with sentences like, “The west coast of Ireland shivered under it and dreamed of spring” (page 1). This was a a very sweet, enjoyable read with a feisty protagonist who must learn to open her heart or miss out on happiness. The level of steam was just right for me, there was passion and love without extensive detail.
8 Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (2018) by Kerrelyn Sparks
It’s hard to resist a flirtatious general gorgeous who tries so hard to win the hand of the maiden.
This book is a great blend of sensual, smart, suspenseful and sassy. It was a very nice, quick read on a night in.
Unequal Affections (2013) by Lara S. Ormiston
It was so good it felt illicit…reading a book written as if Elizabeth Bennet had accepted Mr Darcy’s first proposal at Hunsford. I don’t usually approve of Austen knock-offs, the writing never makes it to the perfection set by the original. This book was well imagined, well written and just a little bit gratuitous getting to see Mr Darcy as a lover. The simmering intensity of the carresses, looks and stolen kisses was delicious.
Obviously I can’t show the breadth of options in this genre so look out for future reviews.