Here’s my slew of best romance reads.
Best Romance Reads: MC Romance
Jaci J The Ride (Hell’s Disciplines MC). I noticed that some of the reviewers online complained about the many spelling and grammar mistakes. They didn’t bother me. In fact, as I kept reading, I thought they were part of the authenticity of the story. The hero, Tank, isn’t a super educated individual. So why should he talk and write like one? His character gives the story raw immediacy, and I like that. He’s a big, bad biker, and he completely falls for Lil. Gotta like that too.
Here’s a passage from Tank’s POV: “For as long as I can remember, there were only a few things I wanted out of my life. I’m not complicated or a needy guy. Only a few things I need to make me happy, keep my content. My club, my bike, money, somewhere warm and wet to stick my dick from time to time, and the open road. Now all of that has been blown to shit. This girl that walked into Church and rocked my world. None of it seems exactly the same anymore. Sure I still need my club, my bike and some shit, but Lil is at the top of that list now.”
S.E. Leonard Claiming Sunshine. Another gem. Unassuming but true to itself.
Paula Marinaro Game Changer (A Fallen Angel Novel). I liked the heroine’s integrity.
Joanna Wylde and her Reaper’s Property and Reaper’s Legacy. I just bought Devil’s Game. I’ll start it this morning. I’m sure I’ll finish it this evening. In the afternoon I have my last 4-hour Mongolian language class. I’m in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia right now. So a good MC Romance makes a nice mental break.
Best Romance Reads: BDSM
Sierra Cartwright: her Mastered and Hawkeye series.
Cherise Sinclair: her Masters of the Shadowlands series.
‘Nuff said about the good stuff.
There’s plenty of bad. I will mention only one (but not by name), which I bought for $6 on the strength of all the five star reviews … and put it down not quite halfway through. Talk about trite. Talk about forgetting to have a decent plot or a hero who has something to say for himself – besides just being gorgeous and all that from the heroine’s POV. The most creative aspect of the book is the author’s name, which sounds like a well-known Italian dessert, and if it’s the author’s real name, then her parents get the credit for the creativity. I note, furthermore, that the book was published by a major publisher and is not self-styled like the first three MC Romances I listed, above, all of which have more originality. Publishers, please, stop this nonsense. (I do not expect this plea to be heard.)
Best Romance Reads: Contemporary
Went on a minor Kristen Ashley binge in the past few months. (She is apparently known to her fans as KA). Law Man, Motorcycle Man, and Mystery Man from her Dream Man series, and then Sweet Dreams, Lady Luck, and Breathe from her Colorado Mountain series. Threw in Play It Safe.
Since I count myself a KA fan, I am entitled to comment. Her books would be half as long if she took out all the repetitions. Sometimes there will be five or six or seven exchanges involving a “Shut up,” before the other person in the exchange shuts up. There was one story where the heroine said “Pardon?” so many times to the hero’s comments (either she was startled by them or couldn’t believe the hero would say anything so nice and loving), thereby causing the hero to have to repeat himself repeatedly, that I thought the poor girl should get her hearing checked. And characters often tend to deliver themselves of long discourses, often extending over several pages, where they reveal home truths at a rate that only mystifies the reader how things in their town could get so messed up in the first place if there were so many people able to speak so forthrightly about … I don’t know … everything.
But I kept reading on, which meant I was enjoying whatever world KA was creating with me sinking into it.
Best Romance Reads: Regency
Carla Kelly. Just checked my kindle and counted up that I’ve read 17 of her novels in the past ten months.
No one can outdo Georgette Heyer, who single-handedly created the Regency genre from the 1930 – 1970s (or thereabouts). Heyer has a genius ear for dialogue. What her characters say is what they are. If they’re slow-tops, they talk like slow-tops. If they’re witty, they say witty things. Very different from so many Regency writers who want to create witty characters but nothing truly witty ever comes out of their mouths. What I love about Kelly is the way she creates engaging interior dialogues characters have with themselves as they reflect on their situation and/or their emotions.
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen