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Topic: I'm picky as hell, I'll admit it. Got any ideas, anyway?

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Subject: I'm picky as hell, I'll admit it. Got any ideas, anyway?
Date Posted: 7/7/2008 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2006
Posts: 89
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Can you guys help me out?  I miss reading romance books but everytime I try one out lately, I get so bored and I don't even finish it (most recent book that was so awful I wanted to vomit: Mr Perfect by Linda Howard).  I'm sick of them all being the same; I think romance authors have officially run out of ideas.

So what I'm looking for are books where the hero isn't looking to bang the heroine after 10 pages; the heroine is NOT a feminist bitch, but actually sweet; there aren't 50 pages of sex; and...actually I think that's it.  And I'll take anything - contemporary, 1800s, westerns, vampire, whatever.  As long as it's not like every other boring romance novel out there! (oh, a few examples of my favorite books are My Sunshine by Catherine Anderson, early Anne Stuart before she got all weird and feminist and all about sex, and the Bridgerton novels by...I can't remember her name)

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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It sounds like you are looking for a solid story to go along with your romance. I suggest:

Anything Marsha Canham, she can always be counted on for a good story.

One I read recently Heaven in His Arms :: Lisa Ann Verge was really different, the hero is a fur-trapper in the Great Lakes area in the 1600's who is forced to get a wife to keep his license. He marries the sickliest one right off the ship thinking she wont even survive her hospital stay and he'll be free to head off into the great yonder and expand his business. Well, she gets better and decides not to be left behind. It was a really good story that landed a spot on my keeper shelf.

Another great one I read recently: Texas Destiny :: Lorraine Heath an Old West romance where the heroine is a mail-order bride and the hero is her groom's war-scarred brother sent to pick her up from the train and escort her on the journey to the ranch. This is such a sweet love story, you won't regret reading this one.

Romance and adventure is always a hit for me :)

Last Edited on: 7/7/08 5:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/7/2008 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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Heh, I am actually one of those people who dont mind alot of steam in their romance but I know what you mean...

Have you tried anything by LaVyrle Spencer?  It would take me all day to list all her hits so just go to Amazon and pull up her titles, you wont go wrong with this author...

More suggestions: 

Judith McNaught - Paradise (most of her older books are wonderful)

...mmhhmm authors who doesnt focus too much on sex, I'll get back to you when I think of more LOL.


Date Posted: 7/7/2008 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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hmm..I liked 'Mr. Perfect' so not sure my suggestions are any good!

Have you tried Robyn Carr's Virgin River series? Virgin River, Shelter Mountain, Whispering Rock..characters overlap book to book with one main romance featured.

I also enjoyed Curtiss Ann Matlock's 'cold tea on a hot day', 'at the corner of love and heartache' and 'recipes for easy living'.

lately I've gotten back on my Nora Roberts 'kick'..loved her Born In trilogy.

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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LOL, Marissa! I don't know if I'll know one where "the hero isn't looking to bang the heroine after 10 pages" but at least ones where the sex is not the only thing going on between them. Below you'll find some suggestions...they are all historicals with 3 out of the 5 set in the Victorian era.

As You Desire by Connie Brockway: One of the best books I've read a in a while. Funny and touching at the same time, in a very different setting than the usual historicals and with a very different conflict. (Although this book may be wishlisted - I read it recently and when I posted it, it flew of my shelf.)

And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke: Great book (the hero is definitely not attracted to the heroine at the beginning) interesting characters, somewhat funny and romantic.

Where Dreams Begin and Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas: Both keepers on my shelf - and I seldom keep books. Both heroes are self-made men (no titles which is refreshing!)  DoY is the story of Derek Craven, which I think is LK's favorite hero. Both heroines are the quiet and nice - not crazy byotches.

The Proposition by Judith Ivory: The hero sees the heroines naked legs (won't tell you how) and is instantly attracted to her BUT he doesn't realize she is the woman with the great legs until after a bit into the book. Great book and one I'll look to re-read soon.

Last Edited on: 7/7/08 5:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/7/2008 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2006
Posts: 89
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Can't wait to look all these books up later tonight.  Thanks girls!

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I'm going to second the recommendation for Curtiss Ann Matlock's books.   I LOVED Cold Tea on a Hot Day. 

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2007
Posts: 1,334
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Castle of the Wolf by Sandra Schwab

Bobbie Faye's Really (really, really, really) Bad Day by Toni Mcgee Causey

Jennifer Government by Max Barry (?) (not really a romance)

The Accidental Countess by Melissa Schroeder

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 217
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I would have to say the Outlander series....the romance is there and the sex but there is so much more to the book. And I LOVED the way they met. They are long books though and majorly addictive. The Stephanie Plum series is fun too. It is a bit different than your average romance novel.

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I second Susannah on Robyn Carr's Virgin River series.  And I definitely agree on the Outlander series!   You might also try Dee Henderson's True series if you like inspirational romance (it has a military flair to it also)


Date Posted: 7/7/2008 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2006
Posts: 16
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Another one who thought Lavryle Spencer.  A couple of good ones come to mind with her-Vows and Then Came Heaven.

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 6,060
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Have you ever read any Laura Kinsale?  I like just about all her books that I've read (though Shadowheart was a little too dark for me).  My favorites are Seize the Fire, Flowers From The Storm, and The Shadow and the Star.   I think all would fit the bill of what you are looking for.

Also, they are hard to find, but Carla Kelly's old Regency romances are fabulous.  Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand is probably my favorite of hers, but I've honestly adored every book of hers I have read. 


Date Posted: 7/8/2008 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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LaVyrle Spencer :  Years, Morning Glory and Small Town Girl

Curtiss Ann Matlock : Heaven in Texas, Driving Lessons and Lost Highways

Susan Wiggs usually has some good books without alot of sex

Robyn Carr's Virgin River series.......excellent choice

Jane Smiley : A Thousand Acres

I'm in a reading slump myself lately, so i am interested in everyone's suggestions also.

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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What about Lynn Kurland? 

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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I personally don't care about the sex scenes either and most of the time I'll skip them if they take 20 pages to do it.

The most recent reads I can reccomend are:

Debbie Macomber: the Blossom Street series...no sex at all that I can remember and they concentrate on a group of women, not just one.

Sherryl Woods: Mending Fences (a light romance but involves a serious issue of rape)


I second the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich  ...they aren't romance, but a hilarious series of 17 (currently 14 + 3 'in Between' novels) books. Once you start them, you won't want to stop (if you like funny). A small romance by Janet Evanovich called "Manhunt" was cute...I really liked it.

I know there are a lot more... Oh, Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie was really good, too...I don't recall there being a lot of sex in the book.


Date Posted: 7/8/2008 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2007
Posts: 597
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 Try Rain Lily by Candace Camp. It's sweet and sad and you'll be wanting her to jump his bones.   LOL

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Some recent favorites:

Ain't She Sweet?
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Devil in Winter
Author: Lisa Kleypas

Devil's Bride (Cynster, Bk 1)
Author: Stephanie Laurens

Yours Until Dawn
Author: Teresa Medeiros

Nerd in Shining Armor
Author: Vicki Lewis Thompson

 ETA:  I also second Outlander.  It is a masterpiece!!

Last Edited on: 7/8/08 9:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/8/2008 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I second Marsha Canham, in particular The Last Arrow.  Also Thunder & Roses (MJ Putney) and especially Outlander by D. Gabaldon, the all-time best book ever written!

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I just finished Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney and posted it on my bookshelf when I thought of this post. It's the story of a man who spend almost 20 years lost in the wilderness (he was lost as a child) and is "rescued" - if his rescue could be called that - and eventually ended up at a scientists home under the care of the scientist's family, including a widowed daughter. Of course the man and the scientist's daughter fall in love. It's set in the 1800's near the Great Lakes and is such a sweet story. Plus, it has a virginal hero which is practically unheard of :P


Last Edited on: 7/21/08 1:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/21/2008 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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A resounding third on Marsha Canham.  She's my favorite.  And I'm really enjoying Laura Lee Guhrke as well.  I've seen her books off & on in different places and never picked one up, but I've read two recently - Not So Innocent, and Guilty Pleasures and I really loved them both.

Last Edited on: 7/21/08 1:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/21/2008 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,428
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I recently finished SUGAR DADDY by Lisa Kleypas and am now on BLUE-EYED DEVIL.  Enjoyed SD and am also liking BED, but then I really like Lisa Kleypas.  Pat