SBD: romance for a book club?

Today’s mission for SBD, if you choose to accept it:  recommend a romance novel, erotic romance, or erotica for a book club.  Contemporary or urban fantasy, please.

The recommendations aren’t for me personally but for TheBiochemist.  Here’s a summary of my email to her when she asked for suggestions.

LGBT, which is the bulk of my contemporary reading (other than categories, which are not eligible, okay?):  Josh Lanyon (ex: Fair Game, Come Unto These Yellow Sands in ebooks; the Adrien English series which is available in print).  James Buchanan writes good BDSM that isn’t formal or stylized.   KA Mitchell.  JL Merrow’s books (all ebooks, no print) are relatively short but have a great sense of place (England), and Muscling Through made me think of Flowers for Algernon, because it had heroes who had vastly different IQs and backgrounds.  Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCop series is more paranormal/procedural than romance although there is a relationship involved in the series.  

Possible UF:  Meljean Brook’s The Guardian series, which has a lot of dense world building and kind of needs to be read in order.  The series begins with a novella prequel that isn’t really necessary to understand and the first book is Demon Angel.   Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax futuristic series is well-reviewed, but I happen to like her Corine Solomon series (first book Blue Diablo) better.  Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten (keeper).  Patricia Briggs’ Mercedes Thompson series (beginning with Moon Called) has a thin romance thread but really isn’t romance.  JR Ward has a huge following for her Black Dagger Brotherhood series but I would not recommend them except to demonstrate rabid fans, a cracked out author who believes in her persona too much, cultural appropriation, and a series that needs to be seriously edited.  JD Robb’s Naked in Death, which I probably should have listed first.
Possible Steampunk:  Brook also has begun a steampunk series that has been fairly well reviewed.  The first book being The Iron Duke
Possible contemporary authors:  Louisa Edwards — cooking/chef series; Julie James, Chicago, legal settings; Victoria Dahl, Colorado.  I’ve read something by each of them and didn’t LOVE them, but the conventional wisdom is that they are all good.  Dahl has one heroine who writes erotic romance for a living, and has published a short BDSM historical that purports to have been that fictional author’s work.  Other readers love Susan Elizabeth Philips, especially her football series, but I find the subtext to be way too preachy and conservative. Kristan Higgins’ books are widely loved (but I loathe them). Jennifer Crusie’s Anyone But You is a little dated but good, and her Welcome to Temptation and Bet Me are very, very good.  Rachel Gibson’s See Jane Score maybe. Nora Roberts’ Born in Fire or Montana Sky.  Brockmann’s Over the Edge.  Linda Howard’s older stuff but nothing more recently published than 2000 (Now You See Her, maybe, which has a paranormalish thread).  
If YA is a possibility:  Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever.  All I’ll say is “sa-woon”.
Romance related nonfiction:  Beyond Heaving Bosoms

Which authors or titles have I missed?

 

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “SBD: romance for a book club?

  1. Heys! I don’t read much contemporary and no urban fantasy so I am not much help at all here but I would second Bet Me, add also that I thought See Jane Score was fun, and recommend a pass on The Iron Duke.

    • Thanks for the recs/follow up. I’d forgotten that you didn’t like The Iron Duke, meant to go back and re-read with your comments in mind but it hasn’t happened yet.

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