Bonnets and Bodice Rippers

Romance Readers Advisory | NEST September 12, 2009 | Reposted December 15, 2010

I’ve been asked to present a breakout session at the NEST fall retreat on my favorite genre: SMUT!

New! – Bookmarks that you are FREE to CHANGE, print, distribute.
(All praise goes to NoveList and their wonderful Read-Alike articles and Kaite Stover for her stamp of approval.)

Of course, I’m going to do some research to expand my horizons beyond Regency with the help of NoveList.  I figure I can keep some of the articles I find here for future reference, but first, I’d like to pay my respects to the Godmother of Romance, Jane Austen.  Long live Pride and Prejudice

  • Getting up to Speed in…Romance by Joyce Saricks – if you’re in Kansas, you have free access to NoveList thanks to the generosity of the State Library.  Joyce mentions a few authors I’ve read (Jennifer Crusie, Diana Gabaldon and Susan Elizabeth Philips), along  with a few I haven’t (Judith McNaught and Nora Roberts).  A good (copyrighted) article that I have found very helpful.
  • Romance Reader’s Advisory, Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 by Jennifer Brannen
    • According to the Romance Writers of America, “Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.”  Happily ever after, that’s what I’m talking about.
    • She quotes some statistics from Corona Research that basically say MEN read romance…who knew?
    • Part two talks about Readers’ Advisory interviews – be respectful and find out what the appeal is.  I started out reading contemporary but once I discovered Mary Balogh and intricately tied cravats…I was hooked and haven’t looked back in about three years.
    • Part three goes into what makes Romance so much fun – all the sub-genres!  According to her catalog of sub-genres, I’m stuck on Historical, rather than Traditional, Regency romances where there’s more sex!

Enough with the Experts, here’s what I’m familiar with:

  • Fantasy/Sci Fi – Sharon Shinn’s Samaria series, Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey and Diana Gabaldon.  I have long been a reader of what I call ‘thinly veiled romance.’  Juliet Marillier also writes some wonderful novel-length fairy-tales that are engrossing.
  • Contemporary Romance – Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Greene, Jennifer Crusie and Janet Evanovich (the earlier books were steamier, but the tension between Stephanie and her men is still entertaining).
  • Historical Romance –
    • Eloisa James, Some of her books are set in Georgian England, so the costumes and manners are slightly different but as a professor of Literature, her writing is incredible.  Start with the Desperate Duchesses series.  She tends to include kids and animals in her stories and a hearty sprinkling of humor.
    • Julia Quinn, is laugh-out-loud funny and if you come for a large family, you’ll enjoy meeting all of the Bridgertons, from Anthony to Hyacinth, along with mother Violet.
    • Teresa Medeiros also writes novel-length fairy tales with humor and a good characters.
    • Lisa Kleypas is a new find for me, thanks to a blurb on an Eloisa James book.  I’m half-way through the first of the Wallflowers and so far, so good.
    • Mary Balogh‘s series featuring the aristocratic Bedwyns, especially Slightly Dangerous, is a series I read and re-read.  I have more difficulty getting into her newer novels, though.
    • Amanda Quick writes hard-cover novels and her newest series, the Arcane society, features metaphysics…thereby combining my two loves (smut and new age woo woo).
    • Elizabeth Lowell wrote a wonderful romance trilogy, Enchanted, set in medieval England.
  • Racier than what I normally read:  Lori Foster (erotica), Bertrice Small and Lora Leigh
  • Paranormal – Steampunk paranormal romance sub-subgenre: Gail Dayton, Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate series), Iron Duke by Meljean Brook and Steamed by Katie McAlister.  I want to read Gail Carriger – the stuff I read on NoveList about that series look GOOD – “funny, romantic.”


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