July 17, 2019
LibraryReads and NoveList have been running a series of webinars all year to provide you with information and basic backgrounds on a variety of genres. So far, we’ve done science fiction, mysteries, fantasy, and just presented one on romance. Stephanie Anderson from BookOps, Polli Kenn from the Kansas City Library, and I enjoyed our hour sharing our knowledge about the romance genre and hearing from webinar attendees about their favorite romances, what they’re excited to read, and what burning questions they had. If you couldn’t make the webinar or want to re-watch it, you can find it here, and we want to share our romance starter pack with you. If you are new to the genre or just want a quick hit on what’s popular in romance, these five titles will get you started. They are well-reviewed, will appeal to a wide variety of readers, and are either stand-alone titles or the first in a series. Happy reading!
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This #ownvoices contemporary took the romance world by storm when it came out last year. Readers appreciated the authentic look at a woman with autism who hires a male escort to teach her about love and intimacy. This novel is more sexually explicit than its candy-coated cover would suggest, so it won’t be for every reader, but it’s a great example of the growing diversity in romance novels.
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
The paranormal starter of a long-running series is full of action and offers plenty of rich world-building and steamy encounters. Changeling Lucas Hunter is drawn to psychic Sascha Duncan who is forbidden to feel emotions and must hide the feelings that would otherwise mark her as flawed. The two come from opposite worlds and must resist the temptation to explore their mutual attraction or risk losing everything they’ve ever know.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
This debut novel enthralled romantic comedy readers with its likeable characters who trade snappy banter in a game of one-upmanship as they battle it out for a promotion. This funny, engaging Australian novel features a winning blend of crazy pranks, sexy descriptions, and fully realized characterizations.
Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins has written dozens of romance novels, but this one is probably her most well-known. She creates wonderfully crafted dialogue and three-dimensional characters who face credible threats and problems. Her historical research is woven through the book so expertly that readers walk away having been both entertained and educated. In this work, a former slave cares for a runaway only to learn that his work with the Underground Railroad may have been sabotaged by a traitor.
The Lawrence Browne Affair by Cat Sebastian
Cat Sebastian writes Regency romances featuring a diverse array of LGBTQIA characters and The Lawrence Browne Affair contains many elements that will be familiar to fans of traditional regencies: the brilliant but grumpy earl, a crumbling family estate, someone he can’t resist who is not what they seem and plenty of witty dialogue as the two men fall in love.
For more title suggestions, trends, and information, please watch the Crash Course in Romance.
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Halle Eisenman is the Content Development Manager at NoveList. She is currently reading A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole.