Friday, October 28, 2011

Anna's Foray into Romance Novels

I saw Sarah MacLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord recommended time and time again online. I've never read a romance book before, so I figured, why not try it out?

Well, holy heck I loved them. I thought these books would be trashy and anti-feminist, but they were surprisingly smart and funny.

But they left me thinking: How the heck do people read these books in public? Seriously, this was a big hangup. You should have seen me on the El on the way to work, trying to hide the covers with my hands.

So, romance readers, two questions:

1. Seriously, do you just read these as eBooks or just not in public? Or are you just less shy than I am?
2. I liked these -- so can you share any other recommendations in the genre?

If anyone else is nervous about branching out to these much-maligned genre, I say give it a go!

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. You know...other than on my Kindle I'm not sure that I have ever read a romance novel in public! I don't know if I could either...and I read them pretty often...

    sososo glad you enjoyed this - that trilogy is definitely one of my favorites! You'll have to read the last one (Eleven Scandals...) next :)

  2. 1. I agree, the covers are too embarrasing to be read in public, which is a shame because this is one of my favourite genres!

    2. You have to read Julia Quinns Bridgerton series and Lisa Kleypas Wallflower and Hathaways series :)

  3. It depends on the cover. I usually end up reading them as e-books or listening on audio because they're just more available to me that way. But I read Jaci Burton's Play by Play books, while I was sitting at the receptionist desk at work. I just made sure no one saw the covers. :-)

    If you like the historical thing, Kasey Michaels just came out with the Blackthorne Brothers series. The first one is called The Taming of the Rake. I also enjoyed the first in Robyn DeHarts Legend Hunters series. It's called Seduce Me.

    Are you thinking of branching out into other romance sub-genres?

  4. Here's my question... are they cheesy? I tend to associate Romance novels with cheesiness & that always turns me off. I'm with you though, I'd be a bit embarrassed to carry these book covers around in public. But then again - who cares?! haha

  5. I've been reading romance all my life and I've never been worried about people seeing the covers. Probably most of the women around you are reading the same types of books and are secretly wondering what you're reading, and I'm fairly certain that men don't care. So read with pride! If you enjoy the book, there's no need to embarassed about the cover.

    I'd definitely give Julia Quinn a try, she's hilarious and they're pretty tame when it comes to the bedroom scenes. Also, Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase is the BEST regency romance I've ever read.

  6. I am a lover of romance. I've never been ashamed of my trashy romances. I usually find that anyone who looks down upon them simply hasn't read them. They tend to be smart and funny and generally well written.

    Julie Garwood was my first romance author, I've also enjoyed Stephenie Laurens in the past. Lately I've been more interested in Contemporary (Shannon Stacy has a good series, and Nora Roberts is very tame but I like how her characters interact). Also, paranormal romance is great. The Night Huntress is my current love and Immortals After Dark is a great (and very big!) series as well.

  7. Welcome to the wonderful world of romance novels! *pins a ribbon on you* I used to be more sensitive about the covers, but I'm not anymore. Everyone who knows me knows that I love books and romance, so it's no biggie. Some covers are definitely better than others.

    Romance varies widely in level of heat, so be aware of that. If you like it hot, I'd recommend the Night Huntress Series. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon isn't "technically" a romance novel, but it's my fave book of all time and exceedingly romantic (you know, not counting mine- lol).

    I also loved Nora Robert's Born in Fire and Donna MacMeans' The Education of Mrs. Brimley.

    Happy reading! :)


  8. I love reading historical romances and romance novels. And Sarah MacLean's novels are definite favorites (I blew through the three books in the series in two weeks!). Another series I really loved is the Wallflowers series by Lisa Kleypas, which you should try to check out!

    I don't mind reading these novels in public, to be honest, because it's never occurred to me to be conscious of it. But I have realized I have a tendency to go for more understated covers, especially if they feature scenic photography instead of the hero/heroine sort of thing.

    A sneaky way of reading stuff like this? I use my Kindle. ;)

  9. I loved these books too! So happy that you enjoyed them. I'm not afraid to read my romance novels in public at all. :)

  10. hahaa, I definitely read them ebook! As for recs I have no historical romance recs besides Lisa Kleypas, Lisa Kleypas, and Lisa Kleypas again. Even her contemporary books are my favorite! Also I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVEEEEEEEEEEE LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCE Julie James's books *sequels* but yeah they're not historical, just contemporary romance but they're fantastic.

    I'm glad you weren't afraid to branch out! I never knew adult reads can be so good either!

    -thank you&come again.

  11. Just want to add another vote to the Julia Quinn rec. She's funny and witty and has great characters in her novels.

  12. You should totally try Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I've given it to so many non-romance fans and I've never had a disappointed customer. Plus - they're set in Chicago! My favorites are 'Match Me If You Can' (set partially in Wicker Park) and 'This Heart of Mine.' (Oh, and I love Kleypas and Quinn too!)

    As for those unfortunate covers...I have an ereader, but I also picked up one of those super cute Vera Bradley book covers from B&N. I actually have a few, because I'm a sucker for every new VB pattern. :)

  13. Typically I don't read romance in public, but now with my Kindle, I do occasionally.

    Also, I'm going to second (for the third time -- so does that make it a fourth or fifth or something?) the Nora Roberts recommendation. She's really the only romance author I consistently read. I've only picked up a handful of others randomly, and never liked them as much.


  14. I like the genre...hate the covers. I agree Witt e "Get a cute cover" suggestion. That's what I would do, although I don't read much in public, and I wouldn't be taking these to work (at a high school) although I'm sure they would appeal to some high school girls.

  15. I love romance! Mostly because I love any romancey swoony type of story, but I'm a fan of the contemporary romance genre. Haven't read HR yet. And! I've purchased a few eBooks, and one I bought because the cover was HOT HOT HOT and I had to have it (from Amazon) and I did NOT ever take it out in public. ;)

    Like you, I've heard great things about these two books but just haven't gotten around to reading those either! But so glad you enjoyed them. I've read some Victoria Dahl and Kristan Higgins. Higgins is funny and Dahl has some pretty fierce protags!

  16. DEFINITELY anything by Lisa Kleypas.

  17. What Capillya said!

    Seriously I think you would love Kristan Higgins.

    You need to read Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise, Carla and I both loved it and you know that we are never ever ever wrong.

    As for historical romance, I like Sophie Jordan and Sarah Maclean AND Tessa Dare is really good too!

    I don't ever read romance in public, but that's because it's my before bed reading, so yah.

  18. These where my first forays into romance as well and I loved them. I do tend to buy most romance in ebook form but now that I have a study/library in my house I have bought some paperbacks.

    Some recs: contemp romances Higgins and Susan Mallery (she reminds me of an adult Sarah Dessen) and for historical I like beverly kendall (she blogs for The Season romance blog which has a lot of good recs) and I loved Kasey Michaels first book Taming of the Rake, second book was good too, but first was great!

  19. I read ebooks or just at home! Actually, I even read the ebooks at home! I never read romance until I met Sophie Jordan at a YA event. I began reading her romance novels and LOVED them. She lead me to Sarah MacLean so I think you'd like Sophie's as well. Think Firelight but no draki and more kissing ;) Also, Have you read Sarah's YA book The Season? It has some ties to the books you just read :)

  20. I really enjoy reading romance novels but I do have a problem with most of their covers and it 's my opinion that good romances are very hard to find. My favorite historical romance writer is Julia Quinn, when it comes to contemporary here are a few titles worth reading: "Practice makes perfect" by Julie James, "Fair Game " by Deidre Martin, "Unsticky" by Sarra Manning

  21. Anna I needed to tell you!! I've seen this book on your list in Autumn, I think. I loved the title so I decided that I will read it. I didn't till yesterday.. And OMG I totally love Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake!! I am half way through it and wooow if I love it! And, um, I needed to share it with you! Thanks so much for the advice! ;)


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