Sunday, August 5, 2018

Top Ten Recommended

Divided up into Contemporary, Historical, and I have no idea (Fantasy usually) here are the lists of some of my friends top ten favorite books. I tried to query friends that were younger and older than me, who's favorites were the same and different sub-genres than me, and have been reading romance for years and just started. I'm really pleased with the variety of recs that came out of this. 

Apologies for how long this took me, whew, it was way more work to get the information organized and formatted in a way that was readable. I also wanted to make it printable for people that didn't want to have to keep returning to my post. 

Thanks to everyone again for the time and effort they took to send me their top reads, whether it was 20 books because they just couldn't cut it down to ten or simply author names because they enjoy their whole backlist. Can't wait to dive into this list :)

Contributors to the list (click on names to go to their Goodreads page or BookLikes:


Comments after rec are from contributor.

Not able to Categorize
(Without reading the books, I couldn't decide if they were leaning more Hist or Contemp, usually fantasy or sci-fi in this category.)

Anastasi, Jess - Damage Control (Syfy romance)

Bardugo, Leigh - Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

Cashore, Kristin - Graceling

Clare, Cassandra - City of Bones series

Clarke, Cassandra Rose - The Assassin's Curse series of 2 books (Fantasy, YA)

Coe, Cara - The Hidden Princess

Coe, Cara - The White Forest

Cook, Nickolas - Alice in Zombieland (romance is secondary in this book but I love Ali and Cole)

Derr, Megan - Tournament of Losers

Devan, Grace - Radiance 

Feehan, Christine - Burning Wild (Jake is everything)

Harrison, Thea - Dragon Bound

Harrison, Thea - Kinked

Lane, Jex - Captive

Mafi, Tahereh - Shatter Me

McBride, Belinda - The Tenth Muse

McFarland, Caitlyn - Dragonsworn series of 3 books (NA, syfy/fantasy)

Meade, Rachael - Vampire Academy (plus the series as a whole)

Meyer, Marisa - Cinder (plus the series as a whole)

O'Neill, Morgan - The Thornless Rose (Favorite time travel)

Owens, Robin D. - Heart Quest

Pacat, C.S, - Captive Prince

Peters, Elizabeth - The Vicky Bliss series (Borrower of the Night, Street of the Five Moons, Silhouette in Scarlet, Trojan Gold, Night Train to Memphis, The Laughter of Dead Kings. I enjoy the Amelia Peabody books, but I liked Vicky's adventures better.)

Roberson, Jennifer - Sword Dancer (and sequels) (Scifi/fantasy with an unusual dose of romance and two utterly unforgettable characters.)

Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter (all)

Saenz, Benjamin Alire - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe(these guys stole my heart)

Shannon, Samantha - The Bone Season (plus the series as a whole)

Singh, Nalini - Angel's Blood (whole series)

Singh, Nalini - Psy Changeling series (there's too many books from the series that I like but each book is always close to 5 stars)

Smith, R. Lee - Land of the Beautiful Dead  (Urban Fantasy/Dystopian? Hard to categorize but a story that stayed with me long after I finished it)

Sparks, Kerrelyn -  Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon

Spencer, Wen - A Brother's Price 

Untamed, JanJan - The Doomsday Papers

Wright, Suzanne - Feral Sins (only this one of the series, the others eh)

(I typically consider this any story taking place from 1950ish to present times.)

Aaron, Celia - Blackwood

Alers, Rochelle

Anders, Natasha - The Unwanted Wife

Ashley, Kristen - Rock Chick (only this one of the Rock Chicks I couldn't get through the rest of her series too repetitive)

Ashley, Kristen - Sweet Dreams (one of her best IMO)

Ashton, Avril - (Watch Me) Break You

Ayala, Rachelle - Playing for the Save

Barry, Emma, & Turner, Genevieve - A Midnight Clear

Black, Incy - Hard to Forget (R. suspense)

Bette, Kimberly A. - Held

Bowen, Sarina - The Year We Fell Down (NA, sports)

Bowen, Sarina, & Kennedy, Elle - 2 recs for Him and Us (LGBT, M/M, NA, sports) (read this twice in four months and am not against another reread)

Brockmann, Suzanne - Get Lucky

Brockmann, Suzanne - Gone Too Far

Carr, K. - Home

Carr, M.C. - Birdie

Carter, Chance - Royal Engagement

Chauhan, Anuja - Those Pricey Thakur Girls

Christine, Lee - In Safe Arms (R. suspense)

Clayton, Alice - Wallbanger (great romantic comedy)

Cole, Alyssa - Let It Shine

Cole, Kresley - 2 recs for A Hunger Like No Other

Cole, Kresley - Dark Needs at Night's Edge

Cole, Kresly - Demon From the Dark

Craig, Christie - Shut Up and Kiss Me

Crusie, Jennifer - (pretty much anything, her brand of romance ensnares me)

Crusie, Jennifer - 2 recs for Bet Me (longtime perennial re-read)

Cullinan, Heidi - Carry the Ocean

Fitzpatrick, Huntley - My Life Next Door

Foster, Melissa - Tru Blue

Frost, Jeaniene - 2 recs for Halfway to the Grave (I wish this series had never ended, whole series)

Frost, Sosie - Beauty and the Blitz

Gerard, Cindy - Into the Dark (R. suspense)

Gerard, Cindy - To the Brink

Gibson, Rachel - Truly, Madly, Yours

Green, John - Fault in Our Stars

Grey, Autumn - Breaking Gravity (naughty but tortured teacher romance, NA)

Griffin, Laura - Beyond Limits (R. suspense)

Haddon, Mark - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Han, Jennifer - To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Harkins, M.K. - Intentional

Harmon, Amy - 2 recs for  Making Faces (when I need a good cry)

Harvey-Berrick, Jane - The Education of Sebastian and The Education of Caroline

Hazard, Alessandra - Just a Bit Ruthless

Henry, Lisa - The Island

Higgins, Kristan - Catch of the Day

Hoover, Colleen - Hopeless

Hoover, Colleen - It Ends With Us

Hoover, Colleen - Ugly Love

Howard, Linda - 2 recs for Mr. Perfect (favorite romantic suspense) (although I'm very pissed off at LH at the moment, I couldn't leave this one off the list)

Hype, Jenn - Simply Crazy

Jackson, Brenda - Westmorelands

James, Julie - Just the Sexiest Man Alive

James, Julie - Something About You

Janzen, Tara - Crazy Hot

Jenkins, Beverly

Jones, Darynda - First Grave on the Right - (I love this whole series, it mostly revolves around the same couple)

Kelly, Brynn - Edge of Truth

Kennedy, Elle - Fragment

Keplinger, Kody - The DUFF:  Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Kinsella, Sophie - Confessions of a Shopaholic (even if in new installments Rebecca has gotten on my nerves with her refusal to learn from her past I still over the first in the series)

Kinsella, Sophie - Finding Aubrey

Kleypas, LIsa - Smooth Talking Stranger

Lanyon, Josh - Death of a Pirate King

Laurenston, Shelly - The Beast in Him (PNR/Shifter, just funny and one of her best)

Layne, Lauren - Walk of Shame

Llosa, Mario Vargas - The Bad Girl

Loch, Kathryn - Haunted Heart

Lyga, Barry - I Hunt Killers series

Malone, Lily - So Far Into You (chick-lit)

Manning, Sarra - You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

March, Meghan - Beneath this Mask and Beneath these Scars

McAvoy, J.J. - That Thing Between Eli & Gwen

McDonald, Jeanne - Compass

McKenna, Cara - Willing Victim

McKinley, Brooke - Shades of Grey

McLean, Jay - More Than This

McNaught, Judith - Perfect

Nelson, Latrivia S. - Dmitry's Closet (both series)

Nelson, Latrivia S. - Ivy's Twisted Vine

Pace, Pepper - Stranded!

Park, Jessica - Flat Out Love

Phillips, Susan Elizabeth - Dream a Little Dream

Phillips, Susan Elizabeth - 2 recs for Kiss An Angel

Phillips, Susan Elizabeth - Match Me If You Can

Powell, Liz - Hunted

Rai, Alisha - Hate to Want You

Ray, Francis

Reed, Jamie - Burning Emerald

Reed, Jamie - Fading Amber

Reed, Jamie - Living Violet

Reid, Penny - 2 recs for Beard Science

Reid, Penny - Neanderthal Seeks Human (when I need that touch of awkward/funny)

Rinyu, Beth - Thursday Afternoon

Robbs, J.D. - 2 recs for In Death series (because- Roarke! futuristic)

Romig, Aleatha - Consequences (whole series)

Roux, Abigail - Divide & Conquer

Schlosser, Jamie - Outcast (The Good Guys)

Scott, Kylie - Play (Rocker, for those times I just want to laugh)

Shalvis, Jill - Lucky in Love

Shalvis, Jill - Rainy Day Friends (new favorite)

Shalvis, Jill - Simply Irresistible

Sheehan, Madeline - Unbeautifully

Sheehan, Madeline - Undeniable

Sheridan, Mia - Stinger

Singh, Nalini - Rock Hard

Sjoberg, Lori - Grave Vengeance (paranormal)

Smith, Maureen - The Swede

St. Pierre, Raven - The Complete Free Falling series

Swain, Shea - The Awakening of the Halo

Swain, Shea - The Binding of the Halo

Swain, Shea - Chained to the Devil's Son

Thompson, Nancy S. - Stirred

Thorne, Sally - 4 recs for The Hating Game (new favorite)

Turner, Twyla - Chasing Day series

Untamed, JanJan - The View From the Bottom

Ward, J.R. - 2 recs for Dark Lover (favorite PNR)

Ward, J.R. - Lover Awakened

Webber, Tammara - Easy and Breakable

Young, Samantha - On Dublin Street (again I adore the series however the couples change each book and Joss and Braedon are my favorite)

Zabo, Anna - Just Business

Zapata, Mariana - Kulti (it took a long time for me to fall in love with this one but once I did there was no stopping it)

Zapata, Mariana - The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (when I need that slow burn)

(I typically consider this any story taking place from dawn of humans to 1940ish)

Anderson, Catherine - Summer Breeze

Ashley, Jennifer - The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie (just love it so much)

Austen, Jane - Persuasion

Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice (I know, I know--but--Mr. Darcy!--Classic)

Brockway, Connie - Bridal Favors

Brockway, Connie - The Other Guy's Bride

Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre

Canham, Marsha - Through a Dark Mist and In a Shadow of Midnight

Cleeton, Chanel - Next Year in Havana (women's fiction)

Dare, Tessa - Any Duchess Will Do 

Dare, Tessa - Romancing the Duke

de Blasis, Celeste - The Tiger's Woman (MY FIRST HISTORICAL ROMANCE! I will NEVER forget it. It's bodice rippery, but back in the day I devoured this book-several times.)

Donaldson, Julianne

Donati, Sara - Into the Wilderness

Duran, Meredith - The Duke of Shadows

Enoch, Suzanne - England's Perfect Hero

Garwood, Julie - The Bride

Garwood, Julie - For the Roses

Garwood, Julie - The Gift (funny and sentimental choice.)

Garwood, Julie - Ransom

Goodman, Jo - Sweet Fire

Graham, Winston - Poldark series (The 1970s BBC production of Poldark, with Robin Ellies, Angharad Rees, Ralph Bates, Jill Townsend, Clive Francis, Kevin McNally
Making Poldark, by Robin Ellis
Poldark's Cornwall, by Winston Graham
I can't rave about these enough. I watched half of the first episode of the recent BBC remake with Aidan Turner and was completely turned off. Graham served as an advisor to the 1970s version, and it was much more faithful to the books. And I'm sorry, but Aidan Turner is NOT Robin Ellis!!!!!!!)

Gracie, Anne - The Perfect Stranger

Grasso, Patricia - Desert Eden

Gregory, Lisa - The Rainbow Season (Both of these books featured ordinary people living ordinary lives, rather than dukes and kings and pirates) 

Guhrke, Laura Lee - Conor's Way

Heath, Lorraine - Always to Remember (favorite western historical)

Heyer, Georgette - Cotillon 

Hoyt, Elizabeth - Duke of Sin

Hoyt, Elizabeth - To Seduce a Sinner

Hunter, Madeline - The Charmer

Ibbtoson, Eva A Countess Below Stairs

James, Eloisa - This Duchess of Mine

Jenkins, Beverly

Johnson, Susan - Sinful

Kelly, Carla - Marrying the Captain

Kennedy, Kris - Claiming Her

Kinsale, Laura - The Shadow and the Star

Kleypas, Lisa - 3 recs for Devil in Winter

Kleypas, Lisa - 2 recs for Love in the Afternoon

Kleypas, Lisa - Marrying Winterborne

Kleypas, Lisa - Mine Till Midnight

Kleypas, Lisa - Secrets of a Summer Night

Kleypas, Lisa - 2 recs for Tempt Me at Twilight (basically the whole Hathway series is my favorite!)

Koen, Karleen - Through a Glass Darkly

Krahn, Betina - The Book of True Desires

Krahn, Betina - The Last Bachelor

Ladd, Sarah E. 

Laurens, Stephanie - The Promise in a Kiss

Leigh, Susannah - Wine of the Dreamers (I'm not much into time travel/reincarnation,but one was slightly different. Similar, in a way, to Anya Seton's The Green Darkness. I haven't read it in a long time, maybe 20 years, so it's due to be taken off the shelf again.)

Lindsey, Johanna - Gentle Rogue

London, Julia - The Perils of Pursuing a Prince

Long, Julie Anne - The Secret to Seduction

Mathewson, R.L. - Truce

Matthews, Mimi - The Lost Letter

Marai, Sandor - Embers

Marillier, Juliet - Daughter of the Forest

Mastretta, Angeles - Lovesick

McNaught, Judith - Once and Always

Mederios, Teresa - Thief of Hearts

Morsi, Pamela - Courting Miss Hattie

O'Connell, Ellen - Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold

Osborne, Maggie - The Promise of Jenny Jones

Proctor, Candice - Beyond Sunrise

Putney, Mary Jo - Dearly Beloved (This one is controversial. A lot of readers hate it because of how it starts, but I loved it)

Quick, Amanda - Dangerous

Quinn, Paula - Laird of the Mist

Quinn, Julia - The Duke and I

Quinn, Julia - 2 recs for Romancing Mr. Bridgerton

Rasheed, Lelia - Cinders & Sapphires

Raybourn, Deanna - A Spear of Summer Grass

Shupe, Joanna - Magnate

Simmons, Paullina - The Bronze Horseman series

Smith-Saxe, Coral - Enchantment (absolutely delightful, one of my all-time favorites AND it has one of the most gorgeous covers EVER)

Spencer, LaVyrle - Hummingbird (Though I had some issues with Hummingbird, I loved the laugh out loud humor. Both of these books featured ordinary people living ordinary lives rather than dukes and kings and pirates)

Stewart, Mary - The Ivy Tree (favorite vintage)

Tavares, Miguel Sousa - Equator

Thomas, Sherry - Ravishing the Heiress

Turano, Jen 

Untamed, JanJan - The Magnificent Miss Broadway

Wallace, Bill - Buffalo Gal

Westcott, Jan - The Hepburn

White, Leslie Turner - Lord Johnnie

Woodwiss, Kathleen - Ashes in the Wind

Yerby, Frank - The Saracen Blade

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