Contemporary Romances, Where Art Thou?

I’ve been in a major funk lately regarding books that feature suspense, paranormal or supernatural aspects. I can’t seem to enjoy them at the moment – total.burn.out. So I’ve been reading romance with no suspense, no werewolves, vampires and other spooky beings. And let me say, it’s really tough finding good contemporary books.

Historical Romances are never in decline (that’s what it seems like to me), so I have a healthy choice of those. I’ve also started reading Harlequin’s Category romances again. I’ve never been a big fan of categories, but I’ve just been craving romances that have no major external conflicts. There’s only so much I can read that has evil people trying to kill the protagonists with guns, werewolves being super alpha, vampires going nom nom, I want to have smex and suck your blood, ect. Perhaps I’m getting boring in my old age of 23.

It’s awesome that there are so many sub genres within romance so there is something for everyone, but I do feel as if the contemps are becoming a dying breed. I’ve also noticed that I’m buying less erotic romance, and I don’t buy m/f/m books anymore. Because of this, my reading has become very limited in choices. Which lead to my hunt of Contemp Romances. And what makes things even more limited are geographical restrictions. Gah. Bah. Arghh. Bah Humbug. Bugger. Bloody annoying.

Those are some of my reactions to geo restrictions, and I can probably find more to say, but Iโ€™ll restrain myself.

The reason of this post? Has told me to write a blogpost instead of ranting to her *sheepish grin*.

But it’s not all bad. I’ve become a big fan of Jill Shalvis in my search. Jill Shalvis’ Wilder Adventure series about three brothers are excellent – along with her Pacific Heat series about baseball players.

And I adore Erin McCarthy’s Fast Track series. And Nora Roberts‘ latest Bride Quartet series is romance at it’s best, IMO. Oh, and Nora’s Chesapeake Bay series is just fantabulous.

For those who read Contemporary Romances, perhaps you could share some of your favourites? (You’ll be aiding me on my search :D) And do you want there to be more Contemporary Romances, and less of Supernatural? Or is there a reason why you donโ€™t read Contemporary Romances?

16 thoughts on “Contemporary Romances, Where Art Thou?”

  1. I love contemporaries, but I also think that the good ones are hard to find. One of my favorite contemporary authors is Susan Mallery. Her Bakery Sisters Series, and the new Fools Gold Series are great. I am also a huge fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and her Chicago Stars Series (but I also happen to LOVE sports hero romance books).

  2. I find that Susan Mallery can be hit and miss for me, but when she hits, I really enjoy the books. The Bakery series is good, but in the last book, I found the hero to be such a douchebag.

    The Buchanans series is a hit for me also. And I really enjoyed the book you recommended to me the other day, Falling For Gracie. Such a funny read, and the hero could have been a douchebag, but he wasn’t :D.

    I’ve just done a re-read of some of my favourite SEP’s book. I loved Heaven Texas – and not only the central love story, but the secondary featuring the hero’s mum. Sometimes, I find that secondary romances can distract, but this was done good IMO.

  3. Personally, I don’t care for contemporary anything. Worldbuilding is a huge part of my entertainment, and I already know how iPods work. *grin* But I think there should be more contemporaries, and romance readers should sample some, because the paranormal is overshadowing the market. Romance is now being confused with Twilight. When I recommend a book to a romance virgin (pun!), I have to be careful how I phrase it so they don’t think it’s “vampire bloodsex crap” – even if there are no vampires in it.

    One thing I have noticed is that YA romances are more often contemporary than adult. Of course, any YA marketed towards girls has a romance plotline, but still.

  4. I hear you. There used to be plenty and now there are none…but, I recently read and liked Straight up by Deirdre Martin and she has written more so give those a go

  5. @SylviaSybil The market is definitely being crowded with paranormal. It’s obviously selling as they are bringing out so many. But I’m just so bored with it at the moment. And by not reading paranormals and UF books, I realised – when searching for contemporary romances – how many there are of them. Before, it didn’t bother me because I enjoyed reading them.

    Romance being confused for Twilight? *winces* Once the movie franchise is over, I think the whole craziness surrounding that will die down. I hope so!

    I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately, and there are tons of contemps available. In fact, I just ordered the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. Simone Elkeles Chemistry series are good YA contemp reads. Can be a little cheesy, but the good kind

    @blodeuedd That book caught my eye the other day while I was browsing her backlist. I’ve been unsure whether or not to buy it. I’ve read Body Check by Deirdre and enjoyed that, but her other books were geo restricted. *sobs*

  6. I agree, it is hard to find good contemporary romances, I like them because they are usually light to read and I like to change genres. I love historical romance novels, but many of them are the same, it is hard to find the ones that stand out in the crowd.

    I also like Shalvis and McCarthy, Victoria Dahl has a great contemporary trilogy and I like Carly Phillips, Julie James and Bella Andre.

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  8. I go through big phases of supernatural/paranormal burn-out. So I’ve managed to find quite a few (in my opinion) fantastic contemporary romance books.

    Try Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins. Really, anything by Kristan Higgins. Her newest book is on NetGalley right now and it is amazing too.

    Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise is a longtime favorite of mine as well.

    As far as YA goes, you can’t beat Sarah Dessen.

    You should look those up! If you do, let me know how you like them ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Lisa Kleypas wrote a great contemporary romance series. Sugar Daddy, Blue-Eyed Devil, and Sweet Talking Stranger are the names of the books.

    I also just read a good cowboy contemporary published by Carina Press called Liberty Starr by Rebecca Grant. Both leads were very adult and just generally nice people. This is only in ebook format though. Another one with two nice, adult leads is SEALED with a Kiss by Mary Margret Daughtridge.

    A few others on my radar – Pamela Morsi (The Bikini Car Wash and Red’s Hot Honky Tonk Bar), Julie James (she has 3 books out that have gotten rave reviews) and Rachel Gibson. I also just started reading Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series and I love it. The writing is kind of hokey sometimes and the men are all ex-Marines that worship the ground the women walk on, but the setting is magical and you get a warm, fuzzy feeling after you read one.

  10. @Marissa and @Christie I really enjoyed Julie James’ books, though I found the first two to be light on the love scenes. Dahl’s books are great. Full of humour and great sizzling sex scenes. I’m reading Crazy For Love at the moment, and liking it. I’ll have to give Carly Phillips a go. I can’t recall if I’ve read any books by Bella Andre. I think I might have read one, but a long time ago.

    @Alison I’ve loved some of Kristin Higgin’s books. I didn’t get her last book though because I’m not a big fan of the brother-in-law in love with brother’s wife trope. Jennifer Cruise has some goodies, but I sometimes find that her books can be too silly in tone. But Bet me is a great book – thanks to Angie from Angieville that rec’d it to me. I discovered Sarah Dessen not too long ago. I need to catch up with the rest of her backlist :D.

    @JenM Kleypas = autobuy for me. Her contemps I loved. Sugar Daddy was my least favourite, but I adored Jack’s book. I’m looking forward to her new series (released at end of year), but the hardcover and the shortness of the book is putting me off. I haven’t yet tried any titles from Carina – except for Carrie Lofty’s book. I’ll look up those titles you mentioned earlier. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’ve been tempted to get The Bikini Car Wash – a few have rec’d that to me. Rachel Gibson I’ve also read, though some of her titles I do want are geo restricted also *sobs some more*

    I’ve read the first three books in the Virgin River series, but I found my interesting waning on the whole setup on the third book.

  11. My contemp favs are mentioned above. Fear of burnout is why I mix genres when I read. Of course, I also switch to YA or even children’s books (the last of those was “Wild Magic” by Cat Weatherill about the Pied Piper and some of the children he took) between romances.

    Have you tried Donna Kauffman? I just finished her “Here Comes Trouble” but I have not read any other books of hers.

  12. @Cories I haven’t tried Donna Kauffman’s books. I’ll look up her titles after, and read the blurbs. ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. I agree, I’ve been feeling a little burned out lately with all the paranormal romances. I mean they’re still great, but I’m in need of some comtemp.

    I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Scott books and I’ve been recently getting into Sarah Dessen books. I’m trying chick lit, to see if it’s something I’d like.

    I’ve noticed I’ve stopped buying erotica’s as well! Which is shocking, I’ve spent so much time reading paranormal ya! Now I feel a strong urge to go out and buy some erotica lol.

  14. @Marie I read The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott the other week, and enjoyed it. Sarah Dessen is a great author. She manages to pack in so much emotion into her books, and her characters have flaws. They’re not perfect.

    I’ve gone off erotic romance lately. I’ll probably start reading it at a later date, but nothing seems to be catching my eye lately – in other words, I’m extremely fussy. ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Aw hon, you can always rant to me ๐Ÿ˜›

    I admit, I read little contemp. fiction these days. It is very hard to find good ones. I have read some SEP but I’m not big into sports and I don’t like the cliche’s that she uses. I am going to try a new (to me) author that the SB’s suggested, Kristan Higgan. They are doing her novel, All I Ever Wanted, for their book club.

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