Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Few of Our Favorite Authors

In my last post Smokinhotbooks asked me if I could recommend any good highland historical romances to her...well, I remembered a few, but wanted to confer with Tasha from Heidenkind's Hideaway, because she has great taste in historical romances. (Remember when I said our reading styles were different? I must have been on crack or something, because our reading tastes are way similiar.) I thought it would be fun to do a collaboration of our favorite historical romance authors.  I discovered that I don't have as many books on here that involve highlanders as I thought I would, which is strange because I love books about highlanders!
My favorite 90s authors
Johanna Lindsey-A Gentle Rogue is to blame for my love of historical romances. James Mallory is still swoon-worthy! The Mallorys were my first favorite series.
Julie Garwood, Iris Johansen, Catherine Coulter Camp, Andrea Kane-Once upon a time these authors wrote awesome historical romances. Now they write trendy romantic suspense novels. The Gift, (Garwood) The Tiger Prince, (Johansen) The Sherbrooke Bride (Coulter) and The Gold Coin (Kane) are still some of my favorite historicals.  If memory serves, most of these have books set in the highlands.(I grouped them all together b/c they all switched genres about the same time.)
Judith McNaught- You haven’t read a historical until you’ve read Whitney, My Love.
Beatrice Small- Highlanders, harems, lost love, forbidden love, steamy romance scenes-you get them all with her! If you like Highlanders, her Skye O’Malley series is the best!
Jude Deveraux-Another historical author that bit the dust and now just writes contemporary books. She was writing time travel romance before it became the “in” thing to do. A Knight in Shining Armor is still such a sigh-worthy book! The Duchess is one of the few books that has been around the world with me.
Amanda Quick-Jayne Anne Quick’s alias. She used to be an author I could count on. I'd buy her books with out looking on the back to see what they were about, that was until I read A River Knows I.  I haven’t been able to read another one of her books since that one,(Yes, It was that bad.)
which is why I put her in the 90s group. I highly recommend Mistress and her older stuff.
Confessional:  For awhile there it seemed like every time I found a great historical romance author, they’d switch to contemporary romantic suspense. I took a long hiatus from reading historicals and started reading Chick Lit books & Paranormal Romances, so you might find that the 90s have more authors then right now.
Lynn Kurland-She writes a mix of time travels and historicals. All of her books are set in the highlands, and are so swoon-worthy and sigh worthy that it makes me want to travel through time to find my own hero. This is All I Ask is a medival romance, and is just so…well, romantic. Stardust of Yesterday is the start of her time travel series, but they can be read out of order. All her time travel books are set in the highlands. Warning: I haven’t read any of her new fantasy romance books. Why must all the good authors switch genres??
Kinley MacGregor-Sherrilyn Kenyon’s alias.  She has a trilogy of highlander books and a few independent books. They aren’t as good as her dark-hunter series, but still a good read.  Her Lords of Avlon series is highly enjoyable!
Hannah Howell-She writes about highlanders…need I say more?
Diana Gabaldon- Two words: Jamie Fraser. Technically her books are time travel romances, but no highlander beats Jamie. Outlander is another book that has traversed the globe with me.
Jade Lee-A find through Tasha! Her books are great because they are set in 19th century China. I’m still working my way through her books.
Julia Quinn Camp, Christina Dodd- I wasn’t sure where to their books. I loved the Bridgerton’s by Quinn and the Governess series by Dodd, but the last couple of books by them have disappointed me. Their old stuff is still a must a read!
Honorable Mentions: Meredith Duran and Tessa Dare. I've only read one book by each, but liked them both!  

Colette obviously knows my love of historical romance!  Actually, I haven't read any of the authors on Colette's list except for Julia Quinn, Jade Lee, and Christina Dodd.  I do enjoy historical roms from the '90s, though, especially ones that take place in the 19th century.  For example:

Loretta Chase--Many of Chase's books are romance classics, like Lord of Scoundrels.  My personal favorite is Captives of the NightThe Lion's Daughter is another really good one.
Christina Dodd--Dodd knows how to tell a great story, and I loved her governess series.  She wrote several books based on movies that I enjoyed, especially In My Wildest Dreams and My Favorite Bride, which take-offs of Sabrina and The Sound of Music, respectively.
Diane Farr--Farr is a Regency novelist who wrote a couple of great single-title books--The Fortune Hunter and Duel of HeartsOnce Upon a Christmas is also really good for all of you holiday-themed book fans.
Sandy Hingston--As I was just saying on twitter, Hingston is one of the few authors who consistently wrote books that I loved.  The Suitor is pure romantic fantasy, and The School for Scandal is one of my all-time favorite reads.  It gives me a sad that she's not writing books anymore.
Gaelen Foley--Foley used to be an author I could count on for a great romance.  Of course, her last few books haven't been that great, but there's always hope....
Lisa Kleypas--Okay, if you haven't read Lisa Kleypas yet (coughColettecough), you really need to just bite the bullet and do it.  Kleypas is the author who got me hooked on romance, and most of her books are simply great.  My personal favorites are Stranger In My Arms, Someone to Watch Over Me, Because You're Mine, Secrets of a Summer Night, etc. etc. etc.
Liz Carlyle--An author that used to be an auto-buy for me.  Her books aren't consistently good--at least not for me--but when she's good, she's goodNo True Gentleman and A Woman of Virtue are two of my favorites.
New skool faves--the latest run of historical roms (or the ones that I like, anyway) center around women who are strong and independent.  The relationship between the hero and heroine is less sexual than a meeting of the mind and heart, and there's typically a very strong subplot that plunges the heroine into an adventure where the hero is her partner.

Jade Lee--Oh, how I heart Jade Lee!  Her book The Dragon Earl was like a total revelation to me.  Her Tigress series (about English or American women living in Shanghai and getting involved in Taoist sex cults) is sexy and smart.  If you're looking for something a little different in your historical romance, I'd definitely recommend Lee.
Meredith Duran--Another author who writes books that are both sexy and smart.  Her titles usually make noooo sense, but she's great at taking a typical historical rom formula and giving it a new twist with interesting characters, new locales, and top-notch research.
Laura Lee Guhrke--Guhrke consistently writes good historicals, and a few have been outstanding for me:  Guilty Pleasures (which is the one I suggested to Colette), and Secret Desires of a Gentleman, which is a twist on Sabrina.
Joanna Bourne--Of the two books by her that I've read, each have has wonderful, strong female characters, fabulous settings, and tons of adventure.  The relationship between the hero and heroine is developed seamlessly into the plot and develops in a totally believable way.  I can't wait for Bourne's next book!
Unfortunately, Smokinhotbooks, I don't read many Highlander roms, either.  But you could always try St. Ives by Robert Louis Stevenson!