Anyone familiar with the romance community knows that these smart, engaged women love books and know how to have fun, and never is this more apparent than at the RT Booklovers Convention, hosted by Romantic Times magazine.

It’s a terrific conference that covers a full spectrum of business advice, craft tips, and, well, book-fan euphoria. It’s a lot of fun but also a great resource for readers and writers alike, and I for one have had a terrific experience so far. (It’s Thursday. Two more days. I can sleep after RT, right?)

Of course, as a romance advocate, I’m always happy to meet authors and discuss books. And since these conventions always involve books I want to read, authors I’m a fan of, and great conversations about which new authors to pick up, they are a great place to hang out.

I’m notoriously bad about remembering to take pictures—I’m going to blame it on the completely engrossing conversations I’m lucky enough to be part of—so I’ll just share a couple of fun posters from the lobby, and fall back on a couple of beautiful covers.

So, after hours of talking with fellow romance readers and writers, here are some books I can recommend:

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist. I’ve heard such greRT Conventinpat things about this book, and it’s toward the top of my TBR pile. Set during the world-changing 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Tiffany Girl is the story of the impetuous Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist who is handpicked by Louis Tiffany to help complete a stained glass masterpiece, the Tiffany chapel—which he plans to show at the fair—when his glassworkers go on strike. Weaving historical details with themes of home, hearth, identity, and artistry, Flossie must navigate her ambition, dreams, and a budding romance. I love that Gist is writing about this fascinating piece of American history and thinking outside the box in regard to historical romance. I really can’t wait to read this book.

The One in My Heart by Sherry Thomas. No one does emotional intensity and romantic angst quite like Sherry Thomas, and I just loved her recent, indie-published contemporary, The One in My Heart. The heroine can be a little confusing, what with wanting to be loved, but not knowing how to handle it when she is, but it doesn’t matter, because the couple is so sexy and complicated, the plot is a romantic minefieldCurious Beginning—their fake relationship functions somewhat like a modern twist on a marriage of convenience—and the hero is divine. (He’s even a descendent of Lord and Lady Tremaine, from Thomas’historical title, Private Arrangements.) I love this author and this book kept me up well past my bedtime. If you haven’t read Sherry Thomas, then get on that!

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn.This prolific bestselling historical author starts a new series with this title, out in September, which is set in London in 1887 against the historical backdrop of Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee. Intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell looks forward to resuming her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry, but she is waylaid by a bizarre abduction attempt, which proves to be connected to a nefarious plot linked to her mysterious past. Forced to go on the run with an ambiguous but intriguing ally, Veronica must figure out who is after her and why, all while also trying to figure out her complicated partner. (It kind of reminds me of Vesper Holly. Did you ever read those books by Lloyd Alexander?)

I’m intrigued. Are you? What books have you heard great things about that you’re excited to read? Or what books are you reading that you love?

Photo above right: A poster from the RT Booklovers Convention. Credit Bobbi Dumas.

Bobbi Dumas is a freelance writer, book reviewer, romance advocate and founder of ReadARomanceMonth.comShe mostly writes about books and romance for NPRThe Huffington Post and Kirkus.