T5W: Favorite Romance Novels
Why is it that only women read romance novels? I never took psychology so I can’t even begin to answer the question. My husband wants to do the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, but rolls his eyes at having to read romance. I would say it’s a guilty pleasure but honestly I’ve stopped feeling guilty about it. I’m friends with cousins and coworkers on Goodreads and I just go ahead and add romance novels now. Anyway, there is such a thing as bad romance, and I’m grateful for Goodreads when it comes to that. There are a lot of people who conflate abuse and romance, or chauvinism and romance, and that’s not enjoyable, and not romantic! I love supporting authors who write empowered female characters. So here are a few of my favorites:
- The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. Firstly, Meljean Brook is my favorite romance author. Here is an interview with her where she discusses writing strong heroines, steampunk, and adventure. Her books are full of great characters, steampunk adventure, romance, and really badass ladies. She also deals with social issues. I love her books. I have not read all of them yet because I save them up for when I need something really amazing.
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik. With echoes of Howl’s Moving Castle, a girl is kidnapped by a wizard and secreted away in his castle. She discovers her own powers. It’s a little more full of trite tropes and the heroine is not as much of a badass as I might like, but it’s cute.
- Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare. Very fluffy, plenty of anachronisms which do not bother me at all, LARPers, and a gruff hero who’s just a teddy bear on the inside (we all love those guys, right?).
- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. I’m cheating here, it’s more of fantasy/sci-fi than romance, but it’s freaking good.
- TBD…. For the Book Riot Read Harder 2018 challenge, we have “A romance novel written by or about a person of color.” Top candidates for me are The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (given five stars by Roxane Gay, who writes such good Goodreads reviews!); The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran; and A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole which comes out at the end of this month and is getting rave reviews.
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