Contemporary Romance for Newbies
Contemporary Romance for Newbies, our topic in the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2016 ( #ContRom2016 ) is prefect for me. Contemporaries are a sub-genre of romance I’ve come to love. But I came into them kicking and screaming. I did not want to read Contemporaries. I didn’t want reality. I wanted to be in another world. I was also in denial for a very long time that I liked to read romance. Me? Read Romance? No way! I was a Horror and Historical fiction reader. I read the Classics, Poetry and Memoirs. But NOT romance. Especially not Contemporaries!
I found Historical Romance when I could no longer find the Historical Fiction tombs I loved. BIG books of 600 pages or more were my passion. I would get giddy over a book over 1000 pages. I fell in love with Historical Romance and began reading them in-between Historical Fiction. But only if they were 400 pages or more. I was a book snob and didn’t even know it.
Thankfully, I took a few writing classes with Leigh Michaels and we read her books to understand what she was trying to teach us. I fell in love with her succinct use of language and rapid-fire talent of telling a contemporary story. If it wasn’t for taking her classes, I may never have tried to read contemporary romance. I have Ms. Michaels to thank for helping me understand verb tense and many, many more aspects of writing. God bless her patience. I don’t think I’d have the love of writing without her influence to set me on the right path. No, I’m not a published author. It’s on my list of “maybe someday,” but learning how to write romance did teach me a lot about why I like what I do as a reader. That’s golden!
When the Historical market went wonky and publishers were no longer contracting my favorite authors for new books, I was devastated. What few Historicals I could find just weren’t keeping me in enough books to read. I read some Paranormal and Science Fiction for a while, but it was when I found Small Town Contemporaries that I realized what I had been missing.
I’m currently a Contemporary Romance convert.
I’m still searching for the type of Contemporary Romance I like best by trying new-to-me authors all the time, so hopefully my list of Contemporaries for Newbies will make you a Contemporary Romance convert too. I like all the categories of Contemporary Romance, which did take a while to happen, so I’m no longer a newbie. If I had to guess, Contemporaries are 1/3 to 1/2 of what I read currently and they continue to grow in numbers. I choose them just as easily as Historicals and sometimes binge on Contemporaries for weeks at a time, as my Goodreads friends can tell you. I like Contemporaries because I can read them faster and learn so many interesting things about the world we live in.
Here are some of my favorite authors I recommend to Newbies reading Contemporary. The author name links go to reviews of their books I’ve read and reviewed here on my blog or at Goodreads, or at Romance Junkies so you can find out more.
If you love quirky characters and love to laugh…Jill Shalvis is the perfect choice.
For heartfelt emotion and lots of women’s issues to resolve…try some Women’s Fiction. Emilie Richards and Barbara Claypole White are two of my favorites. Marin Thomas is new-to-me with her March release.
For fun towns full of caring people who get into each other’s business with the best of intentions…try Small Town Romance. I love Robyn Carr and RaeAnne Thayne, both authors have snagged my attention with several of their series. Lily Everett‘s Sanctuary Island series is precious.
For younger characters falling in love before or after college, try some New Adult. The New Adult category is very new for me but Brigid Kemmerer, K.A. Tucker and Karina Halle seem to come up with original stories and characters worth getting to know.
For cowboys and ranches and hard-working characters not willing to give up easily…try some Contemporary Westerns. I happen to love Jill Gregory‘s and Laura Drake‘s stories for fun-loving Contemporary Westerns. Renee Carlino is a new-to-me author with After the Rain, an author I’ll be looking into more closely with future books.
For sweet, loving relationship stories that keep the bedroom door closed…try Sweet Contemporary or Inspirational Contemporary. Lin Stepp, Jesse Hayworth and Marie Ferrarella are all new-to-me authors who have enticed me to try more than one book in their series. All three have something unique to offer lovers of sweet romance.
Concise or short stories that will give you just a taste of Contemporary. I happen to really enjoy Leigh Michaels‘ and Marta Perry‘s storytelling skills. Patricia Davids is new-to-me. All three have a variety of stories to start with.
I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of these authors or your favorite contemporary authors you think I should try.