Romance Readers Reading Challenges discussion

Archive (general & ongoing) > Wanted: Romance that's geared equally to male readers

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message 1: by Kody (last edited Dec 01, 2018 02:48AM) (new)

Kody | 13 comments Hello, I'd like to start by saying I'm new to the group, I'm male, I'm straight, and I've recently become a closet romance reading fanatic. I'm always on the prowl for new recommendations of romance novels and series, so feel free to drop your favorite recommendations. All are welcome, though if I'm being picky then I'm not partial to historical romance and would rather stick with the romantically inclined contemporary or urban paranormal.

IF YOU WANT A CHALLENGE HOWEVER, I do have a request for a few different kinds of unconventional romance if anyone is willing to join in on the quest and help me look, or recommend from their own experience. To make this easier for others who come on the discussion and are interested in my specific requests I'm going to try something a little unconventional. But let me list what I'm looking for and you decide which ones you think you can help with and I'll explain what to do from there.

CATEGORY 1: I love reading romance, but I'm always a little disappointed when the book ends and I never hear more of the couple. I don't just want to read about how a couple comes together, I want to read about what happens after they're together. What's the married life like, what's parenthood like, and all the other ups and downs of a strong relationship. Does anybody have some recommendations for a good romance series where the main hero and the heroine become a couple in the first book (or at the very least second) and stay together (or mostly stays together) through out the entire series. Ex. Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) by Jeaniene Frost The Grunt 1 (The Lonely Hearts, #3) by Latrivia S. Nelson God Touched (Demon Accords, #1) by John Conroe

CATEGORY 2: I find that romance with first person duel perspectives (meaning each chapter cycles from the male point of view to the female's point of view) to be particularly entertaining as it gives me a point of view to relate to, while also helping me understand what the female is thinking. Helps my feeble male mind keep up with all the romantic nuances. Not to mention that I've yet to find a duel perspective audio book that I didn't enjoy. Did I mention how much I love a good audio book? Anyways does anyone have any good recommendations? Ex. Just like That by Nicola Rendell Rival (Fall Away, #2) by Penelope Douglas

CATEGORY 3: Extraordinary females unconventionally falling for males that that shouldn't be in the female's league financially or socially. For example: rich woman falling for a middle class civilian male. Famous woman falling for the average Joe (obviously there's more to him) Ex. The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1) by Helen Hoang Driftwood Rooted (Driftwood #2) by Victoria Kristine

CATEGORY 4: This one is similar to CATEGORY 3, but has more to do with the Woman's physical capabilities rather than her financial status. Basically I'm looking for scenarios where the woman is the combative type in the relationship while the male is either non-combative or less adept as his partner Example: Female Crime Boss/assassin/cop falling for civilian male, supernatural female falling for human male, Female cop falling for human male. For the record this isn't the same as looking for a beta male. I don't care who is dominant in the relationship, but I dislike submissive characters no matter the gender. Ex. God Touched (Demon Accords, #1) by John Conroe Wild Cat (Shifters Unbound, #3) by Jennifer Ashley Sunrise at Sunset Revamped (Sunset Vampire #1) by Jaz Primo

CATEGORY 5: This one is just a list of romance scenarios I categorize as EXTREMELY RARE but would really like to read a novel based on the scenario. Seriously if you know a book that falls under this list post it on this discussion and email me while your at it. The list includes: A) Female soldier falling for a civilian male. This is something I find ridiculous because it happens all the time in real life, but there is not a single romance (that i can find) based on this scenario. Hell there's not even a country song about this and that's just crazy. I shed a tear for all my fellow female soldiers everywhere. B) Female criminal (assassin, crime boss, mafia family, etc) falling for a law abiding male. There's a ton of the reverse scenario, but it's like female criminals don't exist in romantic literature outside of the over used "cat burglar". C) Male author writing romance from first person duel perspective. I have no examples of these scenarios.

If you have made it this far then I applaud your dedication. I know was a lot to read for a casual discussion. Anyways earlier I said I wanted to try something new. Basically what I want is for everyone interested to list their favorite romance novel/series regardless of what category it falls under if any at all and put it at the top of your post. If your favorite does fall under a category list which categories next to it's cover. For Example:

God Touched God Touched CATEGORY 3, CATEGORY 4

After listing your most highly recommended romance, I want you to look at each category and think of books you have read or heard about that should be included in the category. For example

Category 1: Sunrise at Sunset: Revamped Sunrise at Sunset: Revamped

Category 2: Just like that Just like That by Nicola Rendell


I know this is a lot, but I think if everyone contributes, I think we might start a pretty interesting list of unconventional romance recommendation. For all genders.

message 2: by C.K. (new)

C.K. Wiles | 1 comments Hi Kody,

Welcome to the world or romance. My romantic comedy series seems to fit into your Category 1. The hero and heroine meet in book 1. The book is told from the heroine’s point of view. Book 2 is from a different heroine’s viewpoint, but takes place in the same setting (a historic bohemian theater) and the characters from book 1 (including hero/heroine) are in it too. Then book 3 revisits main characters from book 1 again ( which is what you said you are looking for). So if you enjoy steamy romantic comedies that will make you laugh out loud, check out The Curtain Call series ( Showtime Rendezvous, Stage Bound, Bared Secret).

Happy Reading!

message 3: by Kody (new)

Kody | 13 comments I just wanna point out that books 2 - 4 of the Winston brothers series (which are the ones i've read so far) fall under category 3 and category 2. For anyone viewing this discussion and looking for a good Cat 3 or Cat 2 series, I recommend looking into them.

Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers, #2) by Penny Reid Couple: Park ranger x Famous actor
Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3) by Penny Reid Couple: Auto mechanic x Local celebrity and famous cooking icon
Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4) by Penny Reid Couple: Auto mechanic x World Famous artist

message 4: by Skyler (new)

Skyler  | 3 comments Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia is one of my favorites and kind of Category 3 and the sequel, Return to Poughkeepsie, has a hero crime boss and a heroine assassin. Hope you like them!

message 5: by Jane (PS), Moderator (last edited Feb 06, 2019 11:40PM) (new)

Jane (PS) | 20406 comments Hi Kody - all you examples are mf. Would you be open to mm (ie gay)? Its just that a series that I have loved over the past few years fits your category 1 & 3 pretty well ~ but its between two men :)

The Heart of Texas - 8 books in the series. Very family oriented with the last book being about their daughter and her quest for love. Gay romance.

For Cat 5(b) - have you read Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep. Great PNR/Urban Fantasy series.

Also the Magic Bites (Kate Daniels) PNR/Urban Fantasy series is written by husband & wife authors and provides side books with the male perspective.

message 6: by ~KarenH~, Moderator (new)

~KarenH~ | 7550 comments Hi Kody! Sorry for the delay in responding - I started to reply shortly after you posted, then got sidetracked and never made it back!

The one series that jumps immediately to mind that fits several of your categories is the In Death series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts' alter ego). This series fits categories 1 and 2 exactly. It's a crazy long series (approaching 50 books) that follows the same couple from their first meeting through courtship and into their marriage. The audio versions, narrated by Susan Ericksen, are absolutely amazing. It also sort of fits your 3rd category - they're both well respected in their lives/careers, but those lives and careers are completely opposite. Eve Dallas is lower/middle class and a highly decorated homicide detective, and Roarke is a mostly reformed criminal turned legit businessman and one of the richest men in the world. These are romantic suspense - every book is set around Eve's current murder case - and they're set about 40 or so years in the future. Since the first book was written almost 25 years ago, it's kind of fun looking at how the author envisioned the advancements and societal changes, and how close we are to some of them already. The first book is Naked in Death. One huge bonus for me is there is also a large cast of great secondary characters that are well developed, and you also get to see the changes and growth in their lives.

Hope this helps!

message 7: by Saint Monique (new)

Saint Monique Hello Kody!
Here are some recommendations if you're still looking for them.

Cat 1: Charley Davidson series - it's pnr, 13 books long and has the same couple First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) by Darynda Jones

Cat 2: Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4) by Elizabeth Hoyt it's historical romance, the heroine is an aristocrat and the hero is a commoner and is running a school for poor children. it's book 4 in a series but I highly recommend the whole series :)

Cat 5: The Risk (Mindf*ck, #1) by S.T. Abby the heroine is a serial killer and the hero is FBI agent, also 5 books long series the whole about them. I think the first book is still free on Amazon ;)

message 8: by Kody (new)

Kody | 13 comments These are excellent recommendations. And for the record if the romance is about a gay couple. Just specify so anyone reading this thread knows

message 9: by Kody (new)

Kody | 13 comments ~KarenH~ wrote: "Hi Kody! Sorry for the delay in responding - I started to reply shortly after you posted, then got sidetracked and never made it back!

The one series that jumps immediately to mind that fits seve..."

How many books does it take the the main characters to become a couple?

message 10: by HeatherMarie (new)

HeatherMarie (heathermariereads) | 659 comments Oh yay a treasure hunt! Here are some reccs, hope they help.

CATEGORY 1: Let’s Stay Together

Alpha & Omega Series- Briggs (Cry Wolf)

Charley Davidson Series- Jones (First Grave on the Right)
Urban Fantasy
Grim Reaper heroine & mysterious hero.

Naked in Death- Robb
Urban Paranormal
Blade Runner-like world building between police detective heroine & wealthy ne’er-do-well. They do not get together for a while.

In the Bleak Midwinter by Spencer-Fleming
Mystery with Romantic Elements/ Slowburn
Heroine former navy pilot/minister & hero chief of police. They do not get together in the first two books.

Flavia Albia Mysteries- Davis (The Ides of April)
Historical Mystery with Romantic Elements
It’s historical, so my bad, it’s set in Ancient Rome but reads like Noir with dry British humor.

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1) by Patricia Briggs First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) by Darynda Jones Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb In the Bleak Midwinter (The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #1) by Julia Spencer-Fleming The Ides of April (Flavia Albia Mystery, #1) by Lindsey Davis

CATEGORY 2: Dual Perspectives
I don’t track this so I don’t have a lot to recommend. But I do something sneaky if I’m looking for a dual perspective audiobook. On overdrive/audible/whatever I search by narrator & see if the book has more than one. Sebastian York is pretty good & does A LOT of romances.

CATEGORY 3: Out of His League
Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid
A successful Hollywood actress & a park ranger.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
I’m reading it right now, the audio book is great. I guess when they got together she was doing pretty well off of Will & Grace and he was couchsurfing.

Captive Prince
A prince is stripped of his identity & sold into slavery. Hiding his true self he becomes a servant to the rival kingdom’s royalty.

Romancing the Inventor by Brook
Inventor & maid.

Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers, #2) by Penny Reid The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1) by C.S. Pacat Romancing the Inventor (Supernatural Society, #1) by Gail Carriger

CATEGORY 4:Boss Lady & Civilian
Slouch Witch- Harper
Urban Fantasy
A lazy witch is mistakenly forced to work for a paranormal lawforce agency.

Northern Lights- Roberts
The hero is a newly arrived police chief in Alaska & bush pilot heroine. He’s got some skills obviously but she is much tougher and less sentimental at first look.

The Spymaster’s Lady- Bourne
They are both spies but she is in another league.

Fox & O’Hare Series- Evanovich (The Heist)
The heroine is an FBI agent & the hero is a con artist forced to work for the FBI when he gets caught.

Slouch Witch (The Lazy Girl's Guide to Magic, #1) by Helen Harper Northern Lights by Nora Roberts The Spymaster's Lady (Spymasters, #1) by Joanna Bourne The Heist (Fox and O'Hare, #1) by Janet Evanovich

CATEGORY 5: Beautiful Unicorns
A) The Zoe (from Firefly)
Heart Strike by M.L. Buchman
Romantic Suspense
They are both soldiers but the hero’s strength is I.T. and the heroine military skills are stronger in the more traditional sense.

Deadly Intent by Pamela Clare
Romantic Suspense
The heroine is a former Army Captain and the hero is a photojournalist.

Big Bad Beast by Laurenston
Paranormal Romance
Shelly Laurenston is a love/hate author for a lot of people. This whole series is crazy sauce so keep that in mind. The heroine is a werewolf badass & the hero is a chef.

Fortune’s Pawn by Reid
Sci-Fi Romance
Merceny Heroine. Space Opera.

Heart Strike (Delta Force #2) by M.L. Buchman Deadly Intent (I-Team, #8) by Pamela Clare Big Bad Beast (Pride, #6) by Shelly Laurenston Fortune's Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach

B)Female Criminal & Law Abiding Male
Gifted Thief by Helen Harper
If your familiar alignment systems, the hero is more lawful good and the heroine is more chaotic neutral in this one.

Gifted Thief (Highland Magic, #1) by Helen Harper

C) Male Author with Dual Perspective
Check out M.L. Buchman. He writes mostly military romantic suspense. One I especially liked, they went on a mission to Venezuela and there was a great action sequence during a lightning storm on Lake Maracaibo (this cool thing)

I was going to recommend this thread to you but you’re already in it buddy lol.

Some Other Ones that might appeal (based on feedback from non-fiction/scifi ONLY readers I tricked into reading romance, bwaahahaha!):
His Road Home -Richland (Contemporary, Fake Relationship, Road Trip)
Grimspace- Aquirre (Sci-Fiction, Mystery, Space Travel
His Very Own Girl- Lofty (Historical, Pilot&Nurse, WWII)
Think of England- Charles (MM, Historical, House Party)
The Nerdy and the Dirty- Gottfred (Young Adult, Contemporary, Misfit)
Mistress of the Art of Death- Franklin (Historical, Knights, Detective)
The Hating Game- Thorne (Workplace, Rivals, Contemporary)
Cinnamon and Gunpowder- Brown(Pirates, Chef, High Seas Adventure)
Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick- Fraction (Graphic Novel, Superpowers, Funny)
Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice- Layman (Graphic Novel, Food Detective, Lucha Libre Robot Chicken)
Saga, Vol. 1- Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Space Opera, Forbidden Love)
His Road Home by Anna Richland Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) by Ann Aguirre His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty Think of England (Think of England, #1) by K.J. Charles The Nerdy and the Dirty by B.T. Gottfred Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death, #1) by Ariana Franklin The Hating Game by Sally Thorne Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown Sex Criminals, Vol. 1 One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction Chew, Vol. 1 Taster's Choice by John Layman Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

message 11: by Kody (new)

Kody | 13 comments HeatherMarie wrote: "Oh yay a treasure hunt! Here are some reccs, hope they help.

CATEGORY 1: Let’s Stay Together

Alpha & Omega Series- Briggs (Cry Wolf)

Charley Davidson Series- Jones (First ..."

Wow. So many recs so little time. Ive read a few of these like grin and beard it as well as laurenston's pride series (major fan). These are all really good. It mite take a year but ill deffinantly look into them. Thanks for the input. If you think of anything else let us know

message 12: by Julianna (last edited Mar 01, 2019 11:19AM) (new)

Julianna (authorjuliannad) | 1738 comments If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood & Black Dagger Legacy series (I recommend reading them concurrently in publication order). These books have strong males perspectives, and some of the books in the series meet your specific criteria.

Eg. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) by J.R. Ward & The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12) by J.R. Ward feature the same hero/heroine pairing, as does Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2) by J.R. Ward & The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14) by J.R. Ward . The author revisits many of the main characters in later books, showing their mated lives and giving them new conflicts to overcome, through their own POVs scenes.

Some of the books fit Category 3 such as Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1) by J.R. Ward & Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2) by J.R. Ward which have wealthy, aristocratic heroines paired with commoner heroes.

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9) by J.R. Ward kind of fits Category 4. It features a warrior, vampire heroine paired with a human doctor hero.

Xhex from Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8) by J.R. Ward kind of fits your Category 5. She's also an unconventional assassin heroine, working for a crime boss who falls for one of the soldiers of the vampire race.

You also might want to check out Lauren Blakely's Big Rock Big Rock (Big Rock, #1) by Lauren Blakely series. All the books are written from the first person male perspective.

A few more that comes to mind in Category 3:
An Unforgettable Lady by Jessica Bird which features a wealthy heroine who falls for her body guard.
The Wilde Side (Wilde Series, #2) by Janelle Denison has a hotel heiress paired with a construction worker.
Paradise (Second Opportunities, #1) by Judith McNaught has a wealthy heiress who falls for an ordinary Joe from the wrong side of the tracks.
Crave (Fallen Angels, #2) by J.R. Ward - paranormal romance in which a high-priced female attorney falls for a mercenary she's representing as a public defender.
Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5) by Lisa Kleypas - aristocratic heroine falls for the stable boy.

message 13: by Kody (new)

Kody | 13 comments Julianna wrote: "If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood & Black Dagger Legacy series (I recommend reading them concurrently in publication order). These books have str..."

i heard of the black dagger brotherhood. Unfortunately I tried to read out of order (the one with a human male mate). I was very confused. Later ill read the first book to c what i was missing. As for your other recs im looking into them now

message 14: by Julianna (last edited Mar 01, 2019 11:18AM) (new)

Julianna (authorjuliannad) | 1738 comments The BDB are awesome books, but definitely not ones that can really be read out of order. There's a great deal that happens in the later books that won't make much sense without reading the earlier ones, so I'm not surprised that you were confused. That's also why I recommend reading the BDB and BDL together as one whole series. They're supposedly two different series, but they overlap enough to also be confusing as well. Hope you enjoy them more when you start over from the beginning.

BTW, Crave, although part of different series, is written by the same author and takes place in the same world as the BDB with some common characters as well. It shouldn't be quite as confusing to read them separately though.

BTW, I know that you said historical isn't really your forte, but it might be worth checking out the Outlander Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon series just to see if it might work for you. It's one of my personal all-time favorites and the most epic romance I know of that follows the same main couple throughout the entire series.

Hope you find some great books to enjoy. Good luck! And happy reading!:-)

message 15: by HeatherMarie (new)

HeatherMarie (heathermariereads) | 659 comments Oh there are two podcast interviews you might want to check out:
The podcast is Smart Podcast, Trashy Books (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books)

Episode 210: Couples Who Read Romance Together

Episode 256: Popculture Between Couples

message 16: by ~Melissa~ (new)

~Melissa~ | 1964 comments Kody wrote: "~KarenH~ wrote: "Hi Kody! Sorry for the delay in responding - I started to reply shortly after you posted, then got sidetracked and never made it back!

The one series that jumps immediately to mi..."

Book 1 they get together Naked in Death- this was the first series that jumped to my mind, too. If you like audiobook's the narrator is wonderful!!

message 17: by Kody (new)

Kody | 13 comments ~Melissa~ wrote: "Kody wrote: "~KarenH~ wrote: "Hi Kody! Sorry for the delay in responding - I started to reply shortly after you posted, then got sidetracked and never made it back!

The one series that jumps imme..."

I love good audiobooks. Reading along with the narrator brings the characters to life. Atleast for me

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