Some Romance Authors I Read

As you may, or may not, know, I own well over 2,000 books. And I’d say that about 1200-1300 of them are romance novels. Have I read them all, you ask? Pretty much. And I’ve actually read more than I own because I periodically feel that I have too many books and try to divest myself – which means after a few weeks I’m out buying more books. Then there’s the library, friends…well, you get the idea.

But it seems to me that there are some romance writers who are very useful to read if you are interested in writing romance, and I thought I would give you four recommendations. These are just my opinions – your mileage may vary.

Nora Roberts – Say what you will about La Nora, the woman has a bazillion freaking books out and writes about a thousand new ones a year. And I’m only exaggerating slightly. Do I enjoy all of her books? No. But there’s an awful lot you can learn by reading her. Some of her plots may be silly, some of her characters may be pressed out of a cookie cutter, but in her capable hands everything gels more often than not. I read her books to find out why they work and how they work.

Jayne Ann Krentz – Again, she has a million billion books published under a variety of pen names. Some of them work for me, some don’t, but you can learn a lot by reading her. With Jayne, I learn a lot about what to do – and what not to do. For example, the protracted explanations her characters deliver at the end of every book would not work for a new author like me. In my opinion, they don’t always work for her either, but she can get away with it. On the other hand, she is the queen of getting an unlikely hero and heroine involved in a mystery in a relatively graceful manner.

Nalini Singh – I love Ms. Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, but as a writer I read her for the world building and the character development. The depth to the worlds she’s built in both of her paranormal series is truly astounding. Her characters are full bodied, and the conflicts they’re part of are intense and realistic. In addition, unlike many other paranormal romance authors who have successful series, she has, so far, managed to keep the romance balanced with the demands of her plot structure. Although I don’t write paranormal romance (yet), it’s useful to see how she keeps all of the parts of her complicated story working together.

Robyn Carr – In Ms. Carr’s Virgin River series it’s all about character, and those characters are so well developed they seem to leap off the page and sit down in your living room with you. Sometimes the romance gets a little lost, but you forgive her because the people are just so real. Not too good to be true, but honest. I read her to watch her develop characters, not only in their own book, but in the books following their HEA. Basically I read her to see how she develops her town. I guess that’s world-building too.

So there you go – four out of many.

Maybe it’s just my excuse to keep reading romance. 😀

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