*originally published 06/16/2016
For ROMANCE we have historical, paranormal, contemporary and my absolute favourite, suspense.
1. THE WALLFLOWER Series by Lisa Kleypas
This series is the main reason I gave historical romance a shot (not historical fiction with romance but straight up historical romance). This series is a throwback to Jane Austen’s wit and humour. I loved the characters and plots in each book. There are 4 books and 2 novellas in this series.
2. MCCABE Trilogy by Maya Banks
A historical romance in the highlands? Sign me up! A great mix of steamy romance with Scottish history. PLEASE NOTE: do not start the other Highland trilogy by Banks as it is still incomplete years later.
3. JAMES FAMILY Trilogy by Jennifer Haymore
Steamy romance, wit and great realistic storylines – a must read! I read the first books for two other series by Haymore, and they are just as great – I have collected all her books.
4. WYLDER SISTERS Trilogy by Isabella Bradford
A fun trilogy much like Kleypas and Haymore’s writing – balanced between romance, history and wit.
5. HONEYCOTE Series by Anne Barton
This series so far has 4 books and one novella. I was hooked from the first book as it is like Klepas’s writing.
HISTORICAL ROMANCE STANDALONE:
1. TUMBLING THROUGH TIME by Gwyn Cready
Cready’s debut novel is a fun time traveling romance – more emphasis on humour and romance than historical background.
2. SUDDENLY YOU by Lisa Kleypas
Kleypas is the queen of historical romance, in my opinion! I love her writing and with this standalone novel I totally related to the main character.
3. THE BRIDE SALE by Candice Hearn
Bride Sale is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast story (but loosely) which is one of my favourite “fairytales”.
PARANORMAL HISTORICAL ROMANCE:
1. DARKEST LONDON Series by Kristen Callihan
Darkest London has everything…romance, history, gothic, paranormal, suspense and mystery. The first book just takes a hold of you and takes you back to your first reading experience. The moment you discover what reading can do for you. PLEASE NOTE: I highly suggest you read the novella, Ember (the prequel) after Firelight(as there is spoilers).
2. SCANDALS WITH BITE Series by Brooklyn Ann
LOVE this series! I like how Ann uses history and historical characters to blend a richer story with Vampires and suspense!
3. WESTFIELD WOLVES & GENTLEMEN VAMPYRE Series by Lydia Dare
A fun historical romance with Sottish and English folklore, oh and werewolves, vampires and witches! PLEASE NOTE: Westfield Wolves and Gentlemen Vampyre are really one series in my opinion. The characters from all the books are reoccurring characters in other books. I would suggest you read the first 4 books from WW then the 3 books in GV and then the last 2 WW books.
PARANORMAL SUSPENSE ROMANCE:
1. WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD Series by Kelley Armstrong
I really enjoy this paranormal suspense with a little romance series. PLEASE NOTE: This series is different than the TV show. Also, the first book, Bitten is not really representative of the series so if it is not your cup of tea please give book 2 a try.
2. MERCY THOMPSON Series & ALPHA AND OMEGA Series by Patricia Briggs
I cannot choose between these two series AND they are connected in the same world so I would say read both! Both series have kick-ass heroines with supportive men.
3. WARRIORS OF THE RIFT Series by Cynthia Garner
I blindly picked up this series and just enjoyed it! It starts off more like a romantic suspense but the crimes are more paranormal…and slowly Garner introduces you to a new world you don’t want to leave.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE SERIES:
1. LAKESHORE CHRONICLES Series by Susan Wiggs
For me this series is summer reading! It is set in a small town that sounds lovely to vacation in – all year around. Each book has a different heroine and hero but it is best to read in order as characters will pop up in different books (many are related in some fashion). There may be spoilers if you decide to read out of order 😉
2. CHESAPEAKE BAY Series by Nora Roberts
I enjoyed this series for it’s simplicity and predictability. You get exactly what you hope for and this series was perfect for when I needed a break from the gruesome murder mysteries. The characters are lovely and the stories are sweet.
3. LUCKY HARBOR Series by Jill Shalvis
Based on the first three books, in this series, I am hooked on Jill Shalvis’ novels. They have the realistic sassy heroines and heroes that can keep up with them!
4. FRIDAY HARBOR Series by Lisa Kleypas
Looks like Kleypas can also write contemporary romance! It is as if her HR characters have been transplanted in modern times with a modern storyline. The writing is great and entertaining – much like Nora Roberts contemporary romances – sweet.
5. WHISKEY CREEK Series by Brenda Novak
I started reading Novak as a romantic suspense novel (Last Stand series) but Novak started off writing contemporary romances. While some novels have been a miss with me, on the whole, I enjoy this series.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE STANDALONE:
1. LAKESIDE COTTAGE by Susan Wiggs
A perfect beach read! A sweet romance – a single mother and her son are both intrigued by their new neighbour.
2. A SUMMER IN SONOMA by Robyn Carr
This novel is a five star book for me. There was nothing I did not like about this story or characters. This is when I knew I would be a Carr fan for life.
3. TRUE BLUE by Luanne Rice
I used to watch TV movies with my mom (and would still watch them if they aired them as they used to) and saw True Blue was based on a book (by the same name). Rice is more contemporary fiction with some romance.
4. P.S. I LOVE YOU by Cecelia Ahern
Another five star novel for me…I read the book before I saw the movie and love both versions as the movie caught the spirit of the book. Warning: have tissues handy!
5. CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? by Sophie Kinsella
A romantic comedy to the tee. I am not a huge fan of the Shopaholic series (as Becky’s spending gives me high anxiety) but love this book…I think it is time for a re-read!
And now my favourite…
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE SERIES:
1. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE Series by Karen Rose
Rose is so great at making the “killer(s)” chilling. The suspense is always at the high end that I usually have to finish the book in one sitting. And to balance it all out there is a realistic love story that makes the world okay again.
2. F.B.I. Series by Allison Brennan
Brennan’s series all have different names but there are some connections with each one so I am calling it as F.B.I. for our purposes. Like Rose, Brennan is great at creating villains and heroes!
3. JOHN MANCINI Series by Mariah Stewart
I binge read this series and loved each book. I really enjoy this series.
4. ROGUE Series by Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot
If you are looking for a shorter read this is the series for you. The first part of the series has 4 novellas (all one story) and the second part has 2 novellas. Leigh and Elliot write romantic suspense on their own and this is their joint project.
5. WILDFIRE Trilogy by Ella Grace
Ella Grace is the pseudonym for Christy Reece – I really liked this trilogy as it was more than just the standard romantic suspense as it is about three sisters reconnecting.
6. FOR ME Trilogy by Cynthia Eden
Cynthia Eden writes many types of romances and this one is more romance than suspense…I mean in the steamy sense as there still is enough suspense to keep a mystery fan reading.
7. FORENSIC INSTINCTS Series by Andrea Kane
First thing I love about this series is the cases, second is the characters. Each has their own talent to lend to the agency but they also seem so realistic. I can totally see this series being turned into a TV show (hint hint). There is a bit of humour that keeps the characters sane and lovable.
8. BUCHANAN-RENARD Series by Julie Garwood
The first several novels in this series were amazing! Again this series is more romance than suspense but there are still thrilling suspense moments.
9. LAST CHANCE Series by Christy Reece
One author made two entries on this list! Last Chance series is more gritty than her Wildfire series. The cases are often heartbreaking but the steamy romances balances out the bad stuff…well, a bit, as some of the stories are still stuck in my mind.
10. IN DEATH Series by JD Robb
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE STANDALONE:
1. ONE FALSE MOVE by Alex Kava
I like Kava’s suspense series, Maggie O’Dell, and this a perfect introduction to see if you like her writing. A standalone novel is less of a commitment. This novel is more on the suspense thriller side.
2. THE OTHER DAUGHTER by Lisa Gardner
This is one of Gardner’s few standalone novels and I really enjoyed it. I usually am not a fan of lost memories but this book had me from the beginning.
3. I’LL BE WATCHING YOU by Andrea Kane
This was my first novel by Andrea Kane, based on a friend’s recommendation. I loved this thrilling romantic suspense. It is a bit like Karen Rose just not as “chilling”.
4. MOST LIKELY TO DIE by Lisa Jackson, Wendy Corsi Staub and Beverly Barton
This is one novel written by three different authors and yet the writing is seamless. This is also the first time I read anything by these author.
5. ALL SHE EVER WANTED by Barbara Freethy
This novel is more romance than suspense…reminds me of an early Nora Roberts romantic suspense. It is a light read for the beach.
6. PLAY DIRTY by Sandra Brown
A classic Sandra Brown romantic suspense…another good read for the beach.
7. LAST SEEN ALIVE by Carlene Thompson
I enjoy most of Thompson’s books – that I have read – as I like these quick easy reads.
8. THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER by Mariah Stewart
It has been a long time since I read this book but that just means I can reread it soon!
9. DON’T SCREAM by Wendy Corsi Staub
I would say this is more of stay in your hotel and read, because there are moments you will forget the world around you and make some interesting faces as you go through the suspense.
10. CAROLINA MOON by Nora Roberts
I have to end this blog post on romance with a Nora Roberts book! It’s hard to pick the best one so I am picking one that has always been in my top 5!
Romance I am Looking Forward to in the Summer(2016)!
1. FOREVERMORE (#7) Kristen Callihan
This is the final book in the Darkest London series and I am excited and sad to finish it!
2. DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE by Susan Mallery
I am looking forward to this standalone by Susan Mallery.
3. FORGOTTEN SECRETS by Robin Perini
This will be my first book by Pererini but it is about the FBI so I am excited for this romantic suspense.
4. FIREFLY SUMMER by Nan Rossiter
This is another new-to-me author but I am looking forward to this contemporary romance. It seems to remind me of Susan Wiggs and Luanne Rice.
5. HIGHLAND TEMPTATION (#3) Jennifer Haymore
Historical highlands…sigh…summer read!