Book Series Favorites I - Romance

As the majority of people landing on this site land on one of my series reviews, I thought I'd rehash a post from That Other Site with a list of Book Series Recommendations. I'm going to post per genre and of course I'm starting with romance :)

There are many reasons why I love a good book series- sinking into the familiarity of a well-known world, being able to follow the stories of all the characters I've become attached to and the freedom a series allows authors to completely develop their characters after establishing their world in the first couple of books. With any series, I get very anal about reading them in perfect order but of course many dont require it. I will list those which absolutely require reading in order.

The list below are in descending order of my favorites. The pictures are for the first book of every series. And lastly if you have any other reccos please do mention them! I'm always on the lookout for my next read.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series - JR Ward
Probably the newest addition to my list, but when I tell you that 90% of page hits per day are for my review on this series you can see how popular it is. Currently, a 7 book series, the genre is paranormal romance. In Caldwell, New York, there is an elite group of vampires called the Black Dagger Brotherhood, devoted to protecting their race from evil undead vampire slayers the lessers. Each book in the series follows the romances of one of the Brothers. My review linked above goes through the first 6 books in greater detail, but I have to add here about the addicting nature of these books. They're wonderful and that the series shot immediately to the top of my list should also tell you something. Read this in order folks!!

In Death Series - Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb

A futuristic romance thriller series we follow the relationship of Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke as a backdrop to Eve's investigations as a homicide detective in New York of the future. While this series has a mix of genres I like to classify it under romance because the characters and their relationships are center stage here with sci-fi and thriller lite elements. That being said Ms. Roberts does not shy away from any gory aspects so readers should be prepared. A very believable and fun future vision, Robert's strengths- very likeable secondary characters, punchy conversations and a dash of romance makes this a very fun read. Roberts is such a prolific writer, that the series reader can rest happy knowing that this is a series with a huge backlist to keep them occupied for months and with no end in sight in the near future. Reading in order is not strictly needed, but the characters relationships do develop over the course of the books and it's recommended.

Outlander Series - Diana Gabaldon
This is a time travel romance and contains the strongest start to a series in this list. Outlander follows time traveller Claire Randall, a nurse at the end of the second world war who is inadvertently hurtled back in time to the Scotland of the 17th century, mistaken for an English spy and meets the love of her life with Scotsman Jamie Fraser. Ms. Gabaldon's strengths are the amounts of historical research she includes in her novels and a shattering of some myths of romance writing. The series picks up the characters once they are well into their forties and Ms. Gabaldon manages to keep things extremely interesting between them. I love the first 2 books, the rest make for interesting reading. I dont think I have done justice to this series with this paltry description, so look out for reviews very soon :) Read in order.

Earth Children series - Jean M. Auel
A prehistoric romance series, the story follows Ayla a Cro-Magnon baby, who has been brought up by a clan of Neanderthals. Auel creates an amazingly rich and varied prehistoric world for her characters and I love the series for it's detail and freshness. The freshness is a little lost with the latter books but the first three are well worth the read. A detailed review can be found linked above. Again, one of those order bound series.

Looking at this list I just realized there's no representation of my favorite romance novel form - the historical romance! I think it's because it's very difficult to keep a series fresh in historicals. Certainly the ones I've read have run into one another after a few books. But, since I cannot NOT mention a few, I'm going to list a couple of reads.

The first is not a series but a list of connected books by the incomparable Georgette Heyer - The Black Moth, These Old Shades (story of Duke of Avon and Leonie), Devil's cub (Vidal, Avon's son and Mary's story) and An Infamous Army (with Vidal's granddaughter and a character from Regency Buck). The relation between The Black Moth and TOS is explained in my reviews linked above.

The second historical recco (I hope it develops into a series, even though there's only one book published so far) is for author Jennifer Haymore's debut A Hint of Wicked. Since it contained one of my favorite romance themes- the love triangle- I knew it would be an interesting read. What raised it above the ordinary for me was the amount of angst in the story and I loooove some good heart-wrenching Angst.

Sophie, the Duchess of Calton, has lost her childhood sweetheart Garrett at the Battle of Waterloo. After seven long years Garrett is declared dead and she marries Tristan, Garrett's cousin, best friend and heir. Sophie and Tristan get over their loss and start building a life together when all of a sudden Garrett returns and he wants everything back, starting with Sophie. But, Sophie is now at a loss since she loves both her husbands but in different ways entirely and cannot choose between them. I was a bit anxious towards the end, because the nature of a love triangle is that one person doesn't get a HEA and the author has created some lovely characters - I was rooting for all of them. But a short teaser for the next book that Ms. Haymore is writing, titled A Touch of Scandal, and set 4 months after the events of the last has me waiting with bated breath for it to be published.

So, that's all folks. The next installment will be for Fantasy with a couple of sci-fi reccos.


avdi said...

Outlander was also made into a movie if I am right?

Of course we have bumped into these reviews now and then..

samir said...

CP :
I am sure these books are good; but the best is your Drambuie review.
I did get a couple of Gabaldon books; started "Outlander"; but could not finish.

couchpapaya said...

avdi - outlander the movie isnt based on this book. i think it's difficult to make this one into a movie esp. as the author still hasnt brought the story to a close.

samir - i'll probably recycle that review on here at some point :) i was really curious abt how u wld like outlander (am just sorry u spent money to buy more than the first part), more so because i dont know any men who read romance. are u able to pin-point what made u stop reading - the writing style, the subject or were u just bored?

eye-in-sty-in said...

When I passed thru frankfurt, I saw a bottle of Dram and I rememered you :-)

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