This past week, I had the opportunity to spend five days with no internet, bottomless tea, and a feline companion. If this sounds like reader’s paradise, you’re right. So, what kinds of books does a romance reader turn to, when reading is the only thing on the agenda? The answer might be surprising.
Five whole days with nothing to do but read (okay ,and watch movies, but mostly reading) is serious business, so a good deal of planning did go into my choices. I wanted to bring mostly historical romance novels with me, though a little variety is a good thing. I brought two YA contemporary novels with me, one with at least romantic elements (I’m still reading it, so not sure if there’s a HFN (Happy For Now) or not, and one that states, at the outset, that the male and female leads do not fall in love (they really don’t, and that’s perfectly fine.)
That non-romance, I borrowed from Overdrive aka library for e-books, which is extremely useful, especially when the wallet is light, and I want the luggage to be, also. Even with paperbacks, those things get heavy, if there are a lot of them. This is where my Kindle *which never made it out of my computer bag, the entire time :facepalm:) and Kindle app on my phone (which got one heck of a workout) came into play, but more on that later. Paperbacks are always going to be a special love of mine. The smell of the pages, the feel of the book in my hands, the cover art, all of that good stuff is hard to beat. One advantage to spending a week with only a cat for company is that the cat is not going to make any sort of comment on romance novel cover art.
Okay, okay, on to the books. One of my goals with reading, this year has been to reconnect with the types of historical romances I love the very, very best, which means books with heaping helpings of both. Since I also want to read more standalones, when I find a book that ticks both of those boxes, I am going to grab it. In this case, it is my first time re-reading The Love Slave, by Bertrice Small, the author who first got me into romance, in the first place. Though I’ve re-read a lot of Small, I hadn’t read this 1995 release since it was brand new. That makes it like both a re-read an a brand new book at the same time. Sweet deal.
By His Majesty’s Grace, by Jennifer Blake, which was inspired by a workshop given by Bertrice Small and Roberta Gellis, the first in a Tudor-era trilogy (um, hello, Jennifer Blake, inspired by Small and Gellis, and set during the Tudor era? You can’t see it, but I reflexively make grabby hands at a combination like that.) also came along, and you bet I am going to hunt down the other two books in the trilogy.
Believe it or not, I have never, ever read Gaelen Foley, so we hit another one of my goals, to read authors I missed the first time around. Since the library had Her Only Desire, which kicks off the Spice Trilogy, and I usually like books set in India, I nabbed this one. Still looking forward to reading this one, as I got a wee bit sidetracked, and haven’t started it yet.
I will read anything by Barbara Samuel (aka Ruth Wind, aka Barbara O’Neal, aka Lark O’Neal) so when I spotted the first two books in her The Last Roundup series, I blew through them both in one ay. Category isn’t a subgenre I look into often, and contemporary westerns aren’t my first choice, but that that trademark Barbara Samuel emotion and attention to detail will triumph every time. Of course this means I have to grab the second two (and I will admit to a short burst of chair dancing when I found out who the heroine of book four was oh be still my heart.)
Also on my TBR shelf is Jane Feather’s Kiss Trilogy, beginning with The Widow’s Kiss. Jane Feather, Tudor era, exceptionally beautiful heroine, widowed multiple times, as the heroine of the first book? Um, yes, give me those, please. Those books are hardcover, and thus did not make the trip, so they were waiting for me patiently at home, and as soon as I finish The Love Slave, I am tearing into those.
Said tearing into may be interspersed with my inadvertant Terri Brisbin binge. It had been a while since I’d read this author, despite having attended several of her workshops, so, when I saw her paranormal historical Storm series was available again, I had to grab the first one for my Kindle app. This was a mistake, because I blazed through that in one day, and had to wait until I was back in the world at large, to get the second book. While I was on Amazon, I grabbed two other standalone Brisbins, and remembered that I also had the first book in her Stone Circles series, which is also paranormal historical. This also reminded me that I have a couple of her paperbacks in storage, and how much I loved her first releases, her time traveling MacKendimen series, which I can’t remember if I had already read the whole thing. That, in turn, reminded me that there are still three entire Terri Brisbin series I don’t think I’ve read, so those hop onto my TBR list
That reminds me that I only ever read the first book in Jane Feather’s Blackwater Brides series, which is weird, because Jane Feather is awesome, and these books are Georgian, which is one of my favorite eras. So is the seventeenth century, which means it really is time that I dive into her Bride trilogy, about three women who vow never to marry, but something tells me they might change their minds.
Phew. I think I’m going to need more reading time, because you know this is only scratching the surface. You guys wouldn’t want to add to my list, would you? :points to comment section:
So, dear readers, I turn it now over to you. What’s on your TBR list? What should I put on mine? Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell me all about it. No restrictions. There’s room for everybody at this table.