Hi, everyone! Happy Thanksgiving.
Since today’s holiday is all about gratitude, family and friends, I thought I’d tempt you away from your turkey for a little bit and talk about a very powerful element of the romance genre: the series! So many of these revolve around actual families, or groups of friends who have become like family, that it seems an appropriate topic for a holiday that celebrates these things.
I’ve been mentioning some of these on my Read-A-Romance Facebook page, and it’s been a lot of fun! We romance fans love our series, and in the hands of great writers, each book becomes a must read. Unfortunately, there are so many I can’t possibly write about them all. But I’ll spotlight a few, mention a few others, including some I really want to read. And then you can contribute to my “death by TBR pile” by suggesting other ones that you feel are must reads, or simply gush along with me about your faves I’ve already mentioned.
I’m going to start where I almost always start when I talk favorite romances—with Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Who loves the Chicago Stars? I have such a hard time picking a favorite out of that series, because so many of them have set the bar for me in romance reading, but if you haven’t read them before, I hope you’ll pick them up. I never thought I could love a football series, but boy was I ever wrong! I heard that SEP did a Facebook poll on favorite heroines and I think Molly Somerville from This Heart of Mine won. So, if I had to recommend a starting place, maybe it would be there. (Though, if you’re someone who must read books in order, the series starts with It Had to Be You.)
Are you a Julia Quinn fan? How about the The Bridgertons? JQ has a distinct voice that is infused with sly wit and charming humor, and while anything she writes is worth reading, The Bridgertons are special: eight brothers and sisters who are devoted to each other (no matter how much they may squabble) and are quintessential noble aristocrats. This series is beloved for so many reasons, and all are well-deserved. You can read them in any order, but you may want to start at the beginning with The Duke and I.
I simply love the Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins, and every single book in it. (Four so far, but I think the fifth may be the last. Sniff.) The Holland family is quirky and hysterical, and there for each other when it matters. You may want to read them in order just to see the relationships unfold chronologically, since they are all in each other’s business—but it’s not necessary. The series begins with The Best Man.
The extremely popular Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis is just ending after 12 full-length titles. These books are so fun, sexy and sweet, and the characters are people you wish you could live next door to and be best friends with. They’re all great, but I especially liked the friends-to-lovers storyline in Always On My Mind. The series starts with Simply Irresistible, but they can be read in any order.
I don’t know how Lisa Kleypas does it, but I think she may be the most swoon-worthy romance writer out there. The Wallflowers series revolves around four friends who’ve never been able to land husbands and have become like sisters as they’ve been ignored by potential suitors at ball after ball, event after event. There’s so much personality, sensuality and a touch of suspense in each book. (My favorite is The Devil in Winter, but they’re all fabulous. As are most things Kleypas writes.)
Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series is chock full of hot romance and steampunk adventure. This creative and fun series has excellent worldbuilding and a truly unique setting, but the heroes are awesome alphas and the romantic arcs are top notch. If you haven’t discovered them, you’ll want to give them a try. The series begins with The Iron Duke.
Running out of room here. Some other series I love:
Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt. Who would’ve thought Georgian-set romances would be so sexy?!
Fool’s Gold by Susan Mallery. Can I please live in Fool’s Gold? Like romance comfort food.
Crooked Creek Ranch by Molly O’Keefe. O’Keefe is a great writer who perfectly blends sensuality and poignancy. This series is pitch-perfect.
And some series I hope to have the chance to read soon:
Virgin River by Robyn Carr. Okay, don’t judge me. I’ve read a few things I’ve loved by RC, but nothing from this superpopular series. Maybe this Christmas...?
Inside Out by Lisa Renee Jones. Sounds intriguing, unique and sexy!
Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Renard. I’ve heard so much about this series, and even people who didn’t love it tell me that there are certain scenes that are “near perfection.” Interesting!
So, what about you? Do you love these? What other must-read series would you recommend?