As a book blogger, I am often asked what I would recommend to someone brand spanking new to reading romance. Let me tell you, this is a loaded question. I have questions for you, I’m going to need clarifications, I’m gonna want to understand how far you’re willing to open your mind, your heart, your imagination. I’m also going to need to know your hard limits because there is literally something for everyone in the world of romance. And I mean everyone, from a person willing to dabble in dragons to a literary snob, there is something for everyone.
Speaking of literary snobs…as a book blogger, February is a frustrating time. Now is the time when everyone who has unfairly judged the romance community as shallow, misogynistic, unrealistic, and pointless to roll up their opinion sleeves and craft a think piece on the demise of serious literature at the hands of lowly women. Yeah, fuck you. We are doing alright in our romance world, and we will continue to grow and support each other. I am of the opinion that no other genre personifies the female experience quite like romance does. You can look back to the 80s when books bordered on what we would consider a touch rapey now…but guess what, things were a touch rapey for women back then. Women back then didn’t have the station in society they do now and they certainly didn’t have the voice we are passing along to the next generation. Now, that doesn’t mean books from the 80s are bad, quite the contrary, they are a slice of life and if you pay attention, they are filled with themes of hope, love, joy and female determination. Flash forward to today and our current shit show of politics has inspired a whole new crop of women firmly in control of their destiny, owning their agency, embracing their sexuality, their intelligence, their strength without a moment of hesitation or shame. Progress my naysayers, it’s called growth and progress. Get on board, or don’t, it’s your loss.
Keep all of that in mind when you peruse our Ultimate List of Intro to Romance. On this list, you’ll find a bit of the variety romance has to offer. We have old school historicals, new school historicals, paranormal, urban fantasy, humor, suspense, gay, erotic, sweet and even some new adult. What I’d suggest for someone that’s new to romance is very subjective. Personally, I love every single thing Tiffany Reisz has ever written but, I’m hard-pressed to throw a newbie into her Original Sinners series…I might need to buy you dinner before I take you there. So, I found a nice Reisz compromise that shows off her writing chops while making it palatable to the new romance reader. Kristen Ashley is another good place to start and everyone has an opinion of which one is the best and where to begin but this is my blog, so I’m giving you my favorite comfort read of hers. Want some good kissing? Mary Ann Rivers writes the single best kissing I’ve ever read in my entire life. Full stop. Want to laugh? Alice Clayton can make that happen. Want to laugh while reading about vampires? Look no further than Kerrilyn Sparks. How do you feel about dirty talking guys? Tessa Bailey has some definite thoughts on that subject. Maybe, you’re of a certain age and want to read something a little closer to your life. Let me introduce you to two ladies, Karen Booth and Anne Calhoun, they will do you right. It’s super easy to find a strong woman in urban fantasy, I’d go so far as to say its a prerequisite for a UF heroine. Need something epic to sweep you away? Deborah Harkness and Amanda Bouchet have got you covered. Seriously, romance has something for everyone and if you can’t find a book that fits your needs, well, you’re just being an asshole. Ask any romance lover, or romance book blogger, everyone will have a different answer but I’m sure there will always be some overlap. With that, I wish you the most romantic of Februarys.
Scandal &Tags: highlanders, historical, NA, new to romance, paranormal, romance book list, suspense, Ultimate List, urban fantasy