Presented like this, it does seem like the perfect place to hang out, right? Roaming the lands of Lallybroch, dancing around magic stones with Jamie, chasing demons looking badass in a killer pair of leather pants with Wrath & the boys and finishing the night by flying over Seattle in Grey’s helicopter… What do you say? Sounds like a date you’d enjoy?
Romancelandia is a vast land and it sure shelters a lot of sub-genres and tropes but what are your favorite places to hang out? What is Romancelandia for you?
For me Romancelandia doesn’t really have to be romance sub-genres only. For a long while I thought I had never read a romance book and I understand now I was very much attracted to the romantic elements in books not categorized as romance.
I’m partial to the contemporary genre but also find myself irresistibly attracted to anything with a kilt for some reason ^^ !
My contemporary authors of choice, the ones I’m turning to when the mood strikes? From the top of my head, I’ll go with, Jill Shalvis, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sarah Morgan, Jennifer Crusie, Julie James, Lauren Layne, Victoria Dahl, Christina Lauren, Emma Chase, Robin Kaye, Roxanne St. Claire.
Best of all is when I can find a mix of historical and fantasy, Outlander sure hits the spot with the time traveling, history facts and celtic mythology. It fuels my inner nerd to connect the dots between realm and reality, and Gabaldon sure did her research which makes the fiction almost… real. And there’s the undeniable fact Jamie is the perfect romance hero in every way, which sane woman wouldn’t want to find herself stuck with him? (Alright, only if we can bring our Kindles.)
Lovers of old tales, where and when do you like to travel to? When you need a change of scenery, what is your favorite time to immerse yourself into?
Arthurian legends are my favorites and for a while I would read anything about them. I’ve told you before how I came to reading romance, but I’ll tell you again;I’ve always been an avid reader, but mostly read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, crime, horror stories up until 5 or 6 years ago where I stumbled upon that Fifty Shades book everyone was talking about. Christian Grey may or may not feature in my top 10 favorite romance/erotica books, he’s honestly not even a favorite hero of mine, but he’s the reason I’m reading romance today. (late bloomer here!)
The closest thing resembling a romance on my bookshelves before 2010 were my Arthurian legend books, Barjavel, Jean-Louis Fetjaine, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Stephen Lawhead, Mercedes Lackey… And the platonic young love Garion had for X’nedra in David Eddings’ heroic fantasy series, The Belgariad. This was the extent of my romance culture.
I had no real interest for the genre in particular. I wasn’t moved by the english classics forced on me earlier in my teenage years, Austen and Brontë had nothing on my beloved Michael Moorcock, Raymond E. Feist, Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Goodkind, Richard Matheson, Clive Barker, Orson Scott Card, Robin Hobb, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Terry Pratchett and so many science fiction authors. (This was a lot of name dropping! And if you like the authors above, you are my soulmate.)
Then one day I struck gold and discovered Kristen Ashley and her wonderful world of alpha males. Which lead me next to many authors of erotica and contemporary romance, and I finally understood the appeal about that emotionally satisfying ending romance is known for.
I can assure you nothing leaves me satisfied like a good romance novel. (All the pervs have an innuendo ready at this point, I know. You go ahead and say it.) I can I have my choice of topping, so many different flavours and the guarantee of a happy ending. (I’m fine with the “Happy For Now” as well!)
But in the midst of my first year binging on romance (+500 books!) I unearthed something I had no idea was available all this time : J.R. WARD’s BDB
I mean HOW could I have not known about Black Dagger Brotherhood before?
I love science fiction, I love fantasy and heroic fantasy, and everything I enjoyed reading all these years with the addition of badass alpha heroes and hot sex? Have I been sheltering myself somehow? Paranormal fiction is everything I love and I have to discover at 28 years old that there’s a whole romance/erotica subgenre for people like me? (On that note, please fellow librarians, tell me why not put these books within the Sci Fi section? I mean, I’ve read graphic sex scenes in plenty horror and thrillers. I just wished I had seen a J.R. Ward book on the bookshelves at the store when I was buying all my heroic fantasy. Just saying. Or maybe I needed a friend to corrupt me back then. Apparently I was hanging with the wrong people the last 20 years. Damn, Lana, where were you all this time?)
Then came along Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian, Larissa Ione, Kresley Cole, Suzanne Wright, Tanya Holmes… Pure book heaven.
As much as I love the contemporary romance world, I guess my old self still have some hankering for paranormal storylines and I’m so grateful to have many PNR authors to look forward to.
And then you have the Romantic Suspense sub-genre. So many possibilities, a suspenseful plot and a love interest? Yes, please! I get to have the romance and play the whodunnit game, which can be utterly satisfying especially when you can guess right!
Authors I’m turning to when I need some action and romance? Sandra Brown, Karen Rose, Pamela Clare, Christy Reece, Maya Banks, Lori Foster, JD Robb, Lynn Raye Harris and Cindy Gerard.
Erotica, Historical, M/M romance, LGBT romance, Western Romance, New Adult, Young Adult… My interest knows no bounds, I’ve read almost every kind out there but must admit my most read romance sub-genres are contemporary, paranormal and RS.
If you had to set the perfect 3 stops-date in Romancelandia, where would you go? Yep, 3 books only! (You can even pick a series!) I’d love to see your picks! Here are mine :