A Starter Kit of Reads for Romance Newbies
Want to dip your toes into the romance genre but don't know where to start? We've got you covered! And who better to match you with the perfect first read than the bestselling authors whose books make us cry, laugh, and blush?
We asked four of Goodreads' most beloved romance authors to put together a newbie starter kit for the popular subgenres they write: historical, contemporary, paranormal, and suspense. Their picks are chock-full of inventive premises, characters to cheer for, and steamy plotlines that will have you falling head over heels for romance in no time!
Browse their choices below and add what catches your eye to your Want to Read shelf.
Tessa Dare has won just about every romance award in the industry with her compulsively readable historical romances. The Wallflower Wager, the latest book in her Girl Meets Duke series, was a 2019 Goodreads Choice Award nominee in the romance category. If you like your historical heroines on the unconventional side, check out Dare's Spindle Cove series, which presents a delightful society of Regency "spinsters" who are anything but shy and retiring.
When people hear "historical romance," they often think of ladies swanning in watered silk gowns and lords brooding into their brandy.
But today's historical romance ranges beyond the ballrooms of London—encompassing diverse settings, characters, and voices.
Of course, no matter the era or author, these books all share a few things in common: sharp writing, deep emotion, and endings that affirm the power of love.
Whether you're a fan of historical, sci-fi, or contemporary fiction, Alyssa Cole has written a romance you'll probably love. Her Civil War espionage tale An Extraordinary Union was the American Library Association's RUSA Best Romance for 2018, and The New York Times named A Princess in Theory one of its 100 Notable Books of 2018. Her newest release, How to Catch a Queen, which revisits the world of modern royalty first introduced in her Reluctant Royals series, hits shelves on May 26.
The world of contemporary romance is wide, varied, and filled with so many amazing books!
The four books I’ve chosen have elements that exemplify what an amazing romance can do.
These books made me laugh, cry, shout OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!!!, blush (and make sure no one was reading over my shoulder), and feel the full-heart hug that comes along with a great romance.
Hopefully this starter kit is just the beginning of many amazing books in your future.
If you like your books sweet, sexy, and brimming with humor, then X marks the spot for Treasure, a book about two young women who fall for each other after a chance meeting at a strip club and find love as they navigate college, family, and finding their place in the world.
If angst is your catnip, Luck of the Draw, in which a recent lottery winner tries to right past wrongs and falls for a growly paramedic in the process, is a meditation on love, grief, and atonement wrapped in delicious enemies-to-lovers and fake engagement goodness.
If you’re looking for a rom-com that subverts both the billionaire and manic pixie-dream-girl tropes, check out Mr. Hotshot CEO, a hilarious and nuanced romance in which a workaholic CEO hires a woman to teach him to have fun and enjoy the little things in life, which she does while dealing with clinical depression.
Christine Feehan is one of the most prolific romance authors working today, with a whopping 83 titles and counting! Her paranormal books span elite psychic squadrons, sexy immortal beings, magical sisters, and much, much more! Not sure if paranormal romance is your thing? Feehan also writes suspenseful romance, and Vendetta Road, the latest installment of her biker-centric Torpedo Ice series, just came out.
For me, there’s nothing like a Happily Ever After story full of breathtaking romance. These are the stories I find hard to put down.
I’ve always loved the fantastical, the unique, and unusual, so writing paranormal romance felt natural for me.
I invite you to check out my picks for Romance Week, most of which are paranormal, all of which I think you’ll love.
Lexi Blake knows all about subgenres, having written bestselling urban fantasy and corporate contemporary series in addition to romantic suspense that will leave you breathless. Check out Long Lost, out this month from her Masters and Mercenaries series, if you're a fan of the Bourne movies, military men, or edge-of-your-seat thrillers.
There is nothing I love more than a great romance with some pulse-pounding, edge-of-my-seat suspense. When I get a good romantic suspense in my hands, I can’t put it down.
A romantic suspense can transport you into a world of alpha heroes and badass heroines who won’t ever let the bad guys win.
Here are four of my recent favorites!
Tell us which titles from this list you'd like to read and which books you'd recommend to beginner romance readers in the comments!
Check out the complete coverage of Romance Week, including:
Meet Today's Rising Stars of Romance
Top 100 Romance Novels on Goodreads
32 Swoonworthy Young Adult Books of the Last Decade
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