I have a confession to make. I read some romance when I was a teen, and then pretty much nothing for like 30+ years. having moved toward horror and sci-fi genres, as well as miscellaneous literary fiction. Until a few weeks ago, when I picked up a couple of romance novels and haven’t looked back. I am pleased to report that my mood and will to live have been greatly improved by the re-introduction of this genre into my life. Who knew? (Clearly, you knew, as did romance readers everywhere.)
I am a relative n00b to the genre, but I read r fast, so I’ve managed to read a fair amount so far and some trends have emerged. It turns out I like my romance super steamy and explicit, mostly (not necessarily) contemporary, and mostly (not necessarily) funny. I would be delighted to get some recommendations.
The books I’ve liked so far, in my thus-far short excursion into the land of HEA and aided by the Amazon algorithms and Romance Rehab recommendations, were books by Melanie Harlow (After We Fall series and Cloverleigh Farms series), Avery Flynn (The Hartigans series), and a few books here and there by Nicole Snow (some stuff), Carian Cole (Rush), and a few others. The funniest book I’ve read in a long time is Hard Code by Misha Bell. I laughed out loud throughout.
How do you feel about genre mixing? (We asked)
Oh yes. Genre mixing FTW! Btw I also read mystery/suspense, thrillers, horror, sci-fi, so I am a sucker for a good plot (interesting, with tension, brain tickles, etc), and would absolutely love to see them mixed with humor and romance. Thanks!
#2 is more into erotica than #1 is, but she gets most of it from fan fiction (she’s especially into Holmes and Watson fanfic? Also star wars. )
I have not read any of the authors listed above, but now I’m curious. They all definitely have similar covers, so there’s something going on!
The funniest Rom Com I’ve read recently was Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. Hall is supposed to have some highly rated extremely explicit stuff (Spires series, maybe?), but I haven’t actually read any of it yet. The non-explicit stuff other than Boyfriend Material I’ve read has been pretty disappointing. His Billionaire books have the same kind of cover vibe that the other books you’ve been reading have, so maybe those will fit?
The Harmony series by Jayne Castle isn’t erotic, but there are sex scenes. I really like the spec fic set-up and world building in these.
KJ Charles is historical, but if you like plotting she is hard to beat. If you’re into heists, Any Old Diamonds is a great place to start. She’s also got paranormal.
Jordan Hawke has a large number of spec fic (mostly paranormal) series, some of which are extreme bargains as ebooks.
Courtney Milan is mostly historical, but she’s great with plotting. The Brothers Sinister boxset is a good deal.
Jackie Lau gets towards erotica, but she’s more slow-burn than plot.
Rebekah Weatherspoon is not particularly erotic or plotty (there are sex scenes), but she’s definitely funny and cozy. Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny is a good place to start.
A lot of Alexis Hall, KJ Charles, and Jordan Hawke are m/m (or occasionally m/nb). There’s so little m/m stuff out there (more than there used to be, but still not a ton) that it’s really interesting to see how standard tropes get turned on their heads when both heroes are male.
I am positive that the readers of Grumpy Nation will have lots of excellent suggestions for you. Grumpy Nation! What should xyk read next? What do you recommend?