There’s this crazy thing that happens when you come out of the romance writing closet: people around you start wanting to read it. For the past few months, I’ve had to write tailored lists to friends and family, pointing them towards the right books for them—the right level of smart or sexy or suspenseful. And, given the number of sub-genres in Romance—probably as many as the rest of fiction put together—that’s not an easy task. Throw in elements like voice, style and subject matter and it’s as tough as finding that perfect outfit.
My mother—who’s been decidedly anti-Romance since I brought home that very first dog-eared Sweet Dreams paperback—recently asked me what she should start with. Now, I recommend books to fellow authors all the time; books that are well-written and smart and sexy as hell. But for my mom? Oh, man, that was tough. What would she like? Something suspenseful, since she enjoyed Stieg Larsson, or something purely romantic? She likes romantic movies, usually, so perhaps a classic romance? Or maybe I could recommend something written for older readers? Or funny? Historical? Because there’s no way she’d like erotic… Oh, crap. Maybe she would?
At work, I’ve got colleagues requesting best-of lists, as have Facebook friends—who may or may not be addicted to the racy photos I post. And, just this weekend, a friend asked me to point her towards something dark and erotic, like a PJ Harvey song, but a book.
She got her own recs. Because a description like that deserves it. But for all you other newbies, looking for a My First Romance Primer™, we’ve made a list and cut it down by about 4,000% percent. For those who devour these and want more, we’ll do some regular recommendations, right here. Weekly? Monthly? We’re not entirely sure. It might turn into a ‘what we’re reading’ post or something similar. Feel free to help us decide by commenting below!
So, on that note, *cue trumpets* we would like to introduce you lovely people to our first recommended romance read:
Anne's writing is the best combination of really steamy and really classy. Her characters are strong and conflicted. They feel real and their stakes are high. If you're looking for a great doorway into the world of erotic romance, this is it. It's smart and emotional and oh-so-sighworthy. A must-read!
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