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General Discussion > Wanted: Highest recommended romance for male readers

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message 1: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 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

Etc....


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 Treena (new)

Treena (treenao) | 90 comments Hi Kody! So awesome to meet you!

My recommendation is for Category 1. Have you read the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews? It's paranormal/UF and fits your "requirements" of the couple being together and seeing them go through the ups-and-downs after they do get together. It's a complete/finished series and book 1 is Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews . I highly recommend it/the series. It's one of my ultimate favorites.

You've given me food for thought about the other categories. And I will comb through my Kindle/library to see if I have other books that I can recommend to fit your other challenges. :-)


kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments WOW! You have really put some thought into this. How refreshing for a man to be so open to romance. I mean no offense by that, but many women readers I've come across scoff at romance let alone the men!

I've got loads I can recommend! I've also had more than my fair share of duds too, but I've read some great, much more than superficial romance books. It's also great that you seem to be into many different types of romance. I'll delve into my shelves and try and come up with some goodies for you. Are standalones ok too?


message 4: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments Treena wrote: "Hi Kody! So awesome to meet you!

My recommendation is for Category 1. Have you read the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews? It's paranormal/UF and fits your "requirements" of the couple being t..."


Ive heard of that series before but havnt had a chance to look into it. Is it more like the mercy thompson series or the night huntress series? If ur unfamiliar with those series, im basically asking if its an urban fantasy with heavy romantic tones or a romance set in urban fantsy environment? Either way im in need of a strong series so im gonna look into it. Thanks for the recomendations.


message 5: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments kittykat wrote: "WOW! You have really put some thought into this. How refreshing for a man to be so open to romance. I mean no offense by that, but many women readers I've come across scoff at romance let alone the..."

Why thank you. Its always nice to be appreciated for my refreshy goodness lol. And yes recomend any book you want. Just label it a category 1 if it happens to be part of a series and attach any other categories it falls under as well. Hell if you think its good enough recommend a historical romance that doesnt fall under any category i dont even care. The categories are just my way of casting out a net looking for a list of rare and unconventional scenarios.


kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments Regarding the Kate Daniels series, I would definitely say that it's UF with romance rather than the other way round, but a bit more romance than Mercy Thompson (whose romance I don't like that much). And as some who read the Nighthuntress series, I remember it the main body of it (the Kat and Bones books) also being UF with romance rather than the other way round, but it was a few years ago so my memory may be skewered.

My (many many!) recs are on their way :)


message 7: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments kittykat wrote: "Regarding the Kate Daniels series, I would definitely say that it's UF with romance rather than the other way round, but a bit more romance than Mercy Thompson (whose romance I don't like that much..."

Thank you. Looking forward to to those recs.


message 8: by Treena (new)

Treena (treenao) | 90 comments kittykat wrote: "Regarding the Kate Daniels series, I would definitely say that it's UF with romance rather than the other way round, but a bit more romance than Mercy Thompson (whose romance I don't like that much..."

Hi Kody, I agree with what kittykat said about Kate Daniels. It’s indeed an UF (shifters, vampires, and magic users) with a heck of a good romance. And yes, I’d liken it more to Bones & Kat versus Mercy. (I’ve read them too.) Book 1 is a solid set up in terms of world building and main character introduction. They don’t get together yet. But I think they do by 2 or 3 (I forget which).

If you do give this series a shot, I’d love to hear what you think :-)


message 9: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments Treena wrote: "kittykat wrote: "Regarding the Kate Daniels series, I would definitely say that it's UF with romance rather than the other way round, but a bit more romance than Mercy Thompson (whose romance I don..."

Will do. Ill probably start on the first book tonight.


message 10: by kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude (last edited Dec 03, 2018 05:01AM) (new)

kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments Ok Kody. After scouring my shelves I've come up with some for you in the best way I can

First batch

Misc. series most about the development of the relationship over time-
Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, #1) by Devon Monk (I think they get together in book two or three) is full of magic but no supernatural creatures,
Full Moon Rising (Riley Jenson Guardian #1) by Keri Arthur so long as you don't mind sex with other people at some points in the story and the romance (not the sex) is slow burn,
The Link (Pearl Vampire Chronicles #1) by Dara J. Nelson is about the maturing of vampire love and fighting enemies,
Adaptation Book 1 (Adaptation #1) by Pepper Pace duology - aliens (!) coming to earth,
Color of Loneliness (Color, #1) by Madeleine Beckett duology with grief and loneliness being a major theme,
Scarred (Damaged Souls, #1) by Twyla Turner this trilogy is about the healing of two broken souls,
Dutch and Gina The President's Girlfriend (The President's Girlfriend, #1) by Mallory Monroe I think the title says it all,
this trilogy The Ground Rules (The Rule Breakers, #1) by Roya Carmen and this trilogy Maybe Baby by Kim Golden (there are 4 but the last book is a different couple) if you don't mind cheating or 'swinging' being a big part of the narrative,


message 11: by kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude (last edited Dec 03, 2018 05:22AM) (new)

kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments Second batch - mostly about the development of the relationship over time, some of which I didn't love but found the story compelling to read

Misc. standalones - Wrecking Ball (Wrecked, #1) by B.N. Toler , Take Care, Sara by Lindy Zart , The Fight for Us (Bristol Island, #1) by Elizabeth Finn , Angel of Redemption by J.A. Little ,
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang and Three Heart Echo by Keary Taylor and Transcendence (Transcendence, #1) by Shay Savage are totally left of centre
Remember Me by Michelle N. Onuorah (mild christian fiction),
In the Nick of Time by Tiana Laveen covers addiction issues,
Home by K. Carr mental health issues,
Arsen A Broken Love Story by Mia Asher covers cheating
The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1) by Graeme Simsion (there are 2 books but I've only read the first one),
Aphrodisiac by Mercedes Keyes very difficult topic to read,


message 12: by kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude (last edited Dec 03, 2018 05:21AM) (new)

kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments Cat 3 - rich woman falling for a middle class civilian male.

Lucky by J.J. Murray , The Boss Lady by Lolah Lace Rafe (Loose Ends, #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon and Pieces of Me by Kirby Elaine this is a really unique story and worth it for the twist halfway through that will knock you sideways.

Also, if you're up for queer reads (and I urge you not to discount them),
Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt, #1) by Heidi Cullinan and its sequel are superb and include flawed MC's,
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is so much more than a romance and worth every bit of the hype it's gained.
And my oh-so-beloved Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1) by T.J. Klune (and its sequel) which will forever be on a re-read list due to the total beauty of everything about it. I will pimp this book out till the cows come home!

Anyway, after all that, have I earned my keep Kody? I can come up with others too, but I offered the ones that when I scrolled through the stories were stuck in my mind for various reasons.


message 13: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments kittykat wrote: "Cat 3 - rich woman falling for a middle class civilian male.

Lucky by J.J. Murray, The Boss Lady by Lolah Lace Rafe (Loose Ends, #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon and Pieces of Me by Kirby Elaine this is..."


Holy. Crap. Yes i do believe you have earned your keep lol its going to take me a bit to look through all of them but i think im gonna start with your CAT 3 recs first. Thank you for taking the time to recommending all thes great reads. And yes feel free to keep adding more and more recomendations as they come to you. Im sure u not only have helped me but others who have come looking for similar books.


message 14: by A (new)

A | 66 comments I think you might enjoy Ilona Andrews, it’s actually a husband and wife writing team. I haven’t read her Kate Daniels series but I have read quite a few of their other books. The book covers are deceptively “traditional romance” covers, though... half naked women being kissed from behind by a Fabio look alike, but overlook them if you can!


kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments Hi again Kody. You are more than welcome :-).

Obviously, I read a lot of indie and lesser-known authors and although some are terrible (!), some are just as great storywise as some of the big names and publishers. And so long as the writing/editing errors (ie spelling, grammar etc) aren't too bad, I can forgive some mistakes.

I, like you, don't have an affinity to historical romance and have read very little of it, but I have decided to give some Regency a try at some point so watch this space...


message 16: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments Amoreena wrote: "I think you might enjoy Ilona Andrews, it’s actually a husband and wife writing team. I haven’t read her Kate Daniels series but I have read quite a few of their other books. The book covers are de..."

I'm trying really hard to get into the Kate Daniels series. I've read the first book and just started the second but I'm finding myself completely uninterested in this character's plot line. It's got all the makings of a good urban fantasy, and more often than not reminds me of the mercy thompson series so its good but I'm just not feeling it. Maybe because I was expecting more romance and since there's not a whole lot to be seen my perception of the series is a bit biased, but I don't really feel any excitement reading about Kate's adventures. I don't know why I'm not feeling it and that bugs me because it is good. Maybe I'm just partial to male protagonist lately.


message 17: by kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude (last edited Dec 14, 2018 04:32PM) (new)

kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments Kody, the romance ramps up in the next book I think, but TBH I never read UF for the romance, and most often I find it gets in the way of the rest of the story! But, the romance is never really very heavy in that series anyway. Try the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs (the spin off to Mercy Thompson), where I found the romance had more heart and preferred the male MC Charles over Mercy's Adam.

Also for me, Kate Daniels didn't hit the 'I'm really enjoying it' sphere until book 3 or 4 I think, and again I didn't even like Curran until later on in it as I felt there was too much male posturing early on which is one of my pet peeves.

If the romance you're looking for is where it's key to the plot and heavy in content, maybe head towards the PNR or contemporaries. Until you're ready for some action and adventure. Then get back to the UF where the little bit of romance is an added bonus!


message 18: by Skye (new)

Skye (skyehorizon14) | 1 comments Hello Kody,
This book falls in category 2, When It Will Rayne, It Will Pour by S.C. McCormack , this one falls under category 3 Hot Ice by Nora Roberts , these both have action/adventure with romance thrown into the mix. Hope these are what you're looking for!


message 19: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments kittykat wrote: "Kody, the romance ramps up in the next book I think, but TBH I never read UF for the romance, and most often I find it gets in the way of the rest of the story! But, the romance is never really ver..."

I hear what your saying. I'm also up to date on all of Patricia Briggs novels. I don't know what's wrong, I was looking for a story similar to the night huntress series romance wise, but actually now that I think about it I don't think there was a urban fantasy or paranormal story that i could enjoy right now no matter how good it was. I'm on a contemporary romance fix right now and I guess jumping back into urban fantasy made all the action and drama seem inconsequential.

I just finished reading Dark Wild Night (Wild Seasons, #3) by Christina Lauren basically the male was a comic book store owner and the female was a graphic novel artist in the midst of becoming rich an famous due to her popular graphic novel becoming a film adaptation. I chose it because it falls under both category 2 and 3. I loved the male narrator's Aussie accent lol. I'm also a fan of nerdy characters so double awesome. Have you heard of it? Apparently it's by the same author who wrote Beautiful Bastard.

I'm now in the process of reading Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3) by Penny Reid and the southern accents of the narrators is cracking me up. It's also a Cat 2 and 3. After this though I'm thinking of picking one of your recommendations to read next. Out of all the ones you recommended me so far (or ones you haven't) which do you think i should start with?


message 20: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments Skye wrote: "Hello Kody,
This book falls in category 2, When It Will Rayne, It Will Pour by S.C. McCormack, this one falls under category 3 Hot Ice by Nora Roberts, these both have action/adventure with..."


Just added both to my want to read list. Hot Ice in particular looks very intriguing, I'm curious why a woman who's already rich would go dangerously treasure hunting (if i'm understanding the description correctly lol).

All recommendations are welcome so thank you for your time. If you ever think of anything else let us know.


message 21: by kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude (last edited Dec 15, 2018 10:33AM) (new)

kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments Kody wrote: "... I'm on a contemporary romance fix right now and I guess jumping back into urban fantasy made all the action and drama seem inconsequential..."

That's what I thought, you seem like you're a mood reader like me.

OK, well its hard for me to recommend a selection from what I already gave you but some of my 4 star + choices are...

For something unsual Transcendence (Transcendence, #1) by Shay Savage
For humor Lucky by J.J. Murray
For an epic (ish) saga The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
For family drama Home by K. Carr
For feelgood The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1) by Graeme Simsion

And an honorable mention because it's just so damn gorgeous goes to Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1) by T.J. Klune because it's as much about family and belonging as it is about the romantic love.

Let me know how you get on and what you think about my picks. Happier reading lol! :-)

I've never yet read any Christina Lauren, but I do have my eye on a couple of their (it's a two person writing team in case you didn't know) newer releases which I hope to get to soonish. With Penny Reid, I've got my eye on both her Knitting and Winston Brothers series, but I'm a bit weird in that I mostly only read series once they are complete (there are exceptions like Wolfsong and some others) so I will get to them at some point.


message 22: by Kat (new)

Kat (katwiththehat) | 12 comments ^^Good recs

I read Christina Lauren and think the contemporary romances they've released in the last year or two have been quite enjoyable reads.

Both Penny Reid's Knitting and Winston Brothers series are great for wanting to see what happens to couples down the line as while new lead couples get the spotlight, the old ones are still brought in. Also, there are several Knitting couples with that dominant woman vibe that the OP wanted.


message 23: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments kittykat wrote: "Kody wrote: "... I'm on a contemporary romance fix right now and I guess jumping back into urban fantasy made all the action and drama seem inconsequential..."

That's what I thought, you seem like..."


Im going to yo with Lucky as i like romantic humor. The winston brothers novel was awesome and ive decided to read the whole series. Just out of order lol


kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude | 361 comments Enjoy Kody!


message 25: by Kody (last edited Dec 21, 2018 08:42PM) (new)

Kody | 20 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 26: by Kody (new)

Kody | 20 comments I have question maybe someone here can answer. As I understand it, when an author creates a heroine with abandonment issues (and this is not universal just merely from my experience) the character in question has trouble opening up and forming deep attachments for fear of being hurt and vulnerable. This causes the love interest to either be very persistent or extremely patient.

Now here's my question. I've read a few romance novels where the the heroine has the exact opposite problem with forming attachments (atleast with the hero). The few that I read basically followed the same scenario. The heroine was captured (at some point) and kept locked up and abused until the hero shows up and breaks her out/rescues her. This is generally how the story starts and the heroine basically latches on to the hero (literally physically latches on) and uses him as an anchor to help cope with the outside world until she's able to overcome her victim/captive mentality (usually resulting in her becoming even more bad ass than the hero). The hero mean while struggles internally with being attracted to the heroine, but not wanting to take advantage of her vulnerable mental state. What is this mental hang up/romantic scenario called? It's not stockholm syndrome because it's not the captor the heroine starts to like. I don't think it would be called abandonment issues because the heroine pretty much puts all her faith and security in a guy she barely knows which is pretty much the opposite of abandonment issues. Is it called Co-dependent? If you're confused about what I'm talking about here's two examples.

Her Fierce Warrior (X-Ops, #4) by Paige Tyler
Croc and the Fox (Furry United Coalition, #3) by Eve Langlais

Both novels are by separate authors and part of separate series, but their romance scenarios are almost exactly the same. You can see what I'm talking about literally by like chapter 5. They're worth the read too if you haven't read them.

This is harder to pend down than I thought it would be, because there might not be a medical term for this and it might just be a type of romantic arc. Either way I need a label of some kind so I can look up similar romantic scenarios. Can anybody help? Also book recommendations are extremely welcome.


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